After spending a year and a half, an independent commission formed to investigate the Abbotabad fiasco has come up with the ultimate disclosure. Apparently, no one in the town knew the world’s most wanted man and chief of Al-Qaeda Osama Bin Laden was residing in Abbottabad. The investigation describes how the daughters of one of bin Laden’s two couriers, who lived in a separate building; saw the al-Qaeda chief going for a Koran lesson with one of his wives.
According to sources in Pakistan she was unaware about his identity until she saw his picture on television. Fearing that something like this might happen again bin Laden gave up his exercise routine in a covered part of the courtyard.
The report provides a clean chit to Pakistan’s civil and military establishment of any involvement in providing refuge to the world’s top ranked terrorist. Moreover, the verdict is likely to anger Western diplomats.
Critics in the US immediately blamed Pakistani officials of releasing less than they know in the commission report. According to a senior government officer, “At the end of the day it really doesn't tell us much more than we already knew.” The report is also a disappointment for those who thought this episode might be a turning point in exposing Pakistan’s relation with extremist groups and terrorist organizations.
Christine Fair, a Pakistan watcher at Georgetown University, said that even if Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) were unaware about bin Laden’s presence, someone among the retired generals of the country must have had an idea as to what was going on. “If Pakistan had taken this breach of sovereignty seriously – by which I mean the head of al-Qaeda sitting in a cantonment so close to the capital - we should have seen a very vigorous investigation,” she said. “This was a joke.”
Osama Bin Laden was killed by team of US Navy Seals in Abbotabad, barely 30 miles from the country’s capital Islamabad. The entire incident was immensely embarrassing for the country, and played a pivotal role in creating friction between Pak-US relations.