Pakistan is a failing state, ISI Chief tells Abbottabad Commission

sinhala– සිංහල

bin laden   

Al Jazeera’s release of the Abbottabad Commission report on the killing of Osama bin Laden is a “hugely damaging and embarrassing episode” in Pakistan’s history.

The Abbottabad Commission was charged with establishing if the failures of the Pakistani government and military were due to incompetence or complicity, and was given overarching investigative powers.

The Commission’s 336-page report is scathing, holding both the government and the military responsible for “gross incompetence” leading to “collective failures” that allowed both Bin Laden to escape detection, and the United States to perpetrate “an act of war”.

Former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was able to hide in Pakistan for nine years due to the “collective failure” of state military and intelligence authorities the leaked Pakistani government report has revealed.

The report, obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, also outlines how “routine” incompetence at every level of civil governance structure allowed the once world’s most wanted man to move to six different locations within Pakistan.

The report of the Abbottabad Commission, formed in June 2011 to probe the circumstances around the killing of Bin Laden by US forces in a unilateral raid on the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, draws on testimony from more than 200 witnesses, including members of Bin Laden’s family, Pakistan’s then spy chief, senior ministers in the government and officials at every level of the military, bureaucracy and security services.It was released by the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit on Monday, after being suppressed by the Pakistani government.

It comes on the heels of a report by AP news agency revealing that top US special operations commander, Adm William McRaven, ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.

Following the US operation to kill Bin Laden in May 2011, which was conducted without the Pakistani government or military’s knowledge, the Commission was set up to examine both “how the US was able to execute a hostile military mission which lasted around three hours deep inside Pakistan”, and how Pakistan’s “intelligence establishment apparently had no idea that an international fugitive of the renown or notoriety of [Osama bin Laden] was residing in [Abbottabad]”.

It found that Bin Laden entered Pakistan in mid-2002, after narrowly escaping capture in the Battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan in December 2001. Intelligence officials say he stayed briefly in the South Waziristan and Bajaur tribal areas of Pakistan, before moving to the northern Swat Valley to stay with his guards, Ibrahim and Abrar al-Kuwaiti, for several months.

While in Swat, Bin Laden reportedly met with Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, in early 2003. A month later, Mohammad was captured in Rawalpindi in a joint US-Pakistani operation, and Bin Laden fled Swat.

In August 2005, they all moved to a custom-built compound in Abbottabad, a military garrison town located about 85km away from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. He stayed there for six years, until he was killed in the US operation in May 2011.

According to the Commission’s investigations, Pakistan’s intelligence establishment had “closed the book” on Bin Laden by 2005, and was no longer actively pursuing intelligence that could lead to his capture. This was a case of nothing less than a collective and sustained dereliction of duty by the political, military and intelligence leadership of the country.

The report concludes that unless there are major changes to Pakistan’s defence strategy, it remains vulnerable to a repeat of such an airborne raid.

The Commission found that the country’s “political, military intelligence and bureaucratic leadership cannot be absolved of their responsibility for the state of governance, policy planning and policy implementation that eventually rendered this national failure almost inevitable”, and calls on key national leaders to formally apologies to the country for “their dereliction of duty”.

Perhaps aware of the implications of its findings, the Commission noted that it had “apprehensions that the Commission’s report would be ignored, or even suppressed”, and urged the government to release it to the public.It did not do so. The report was buried by the government and never released.

The commission also heard testimony from some of the country’s most important players, including the ISI chief, Ahmad Shuja Pasha who shared the view that Pakistan is a ‘failing state’. Page 197 of the report, which contains part of the testimony of Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, then director of the ISI, was missing from all copies of the report that Al Jazeera obtained from multiple sources. It is unclear what was contained in that page, but the contextual implication is that, among other things, it contains a list of seven demands made by the United States of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

බුද්ධි අංශවල දුර්වලතා පාකිස්ථානය පිළිගනී….

තම බුද්ධි අංශයේ නොසැලකිල්ල සහ නොහැකියාව හේතුවෙන් වසර 10 ක් අල්කයිඩා නායක ඔසාමා බින් ලාඞ්න් එරට සැඟව සිටි බව පාකිස්ථාන රජය සිදුකළ වාර්තාවක සඳහන් කර තිබෙනවා. මේ බව අනාවරණය වී ඇත්තේ එම වාර්තාව මාධ්‍යයට අනාවරණය වීමත් සමගයි. අල්ජසීරා වෙබ් අඩවිය සඳහන් කළේ එම වාර්තාව මගින් ඇමරිකාව ඔසාමා බින් ලාඞ්න් ඝාතනය කිරීම නිතීවිරෝධී බවද දක්වා ඇති බවයි. එහි තවදුරටත් දක්වා ඇත්තේ ඔසාමා බින් ලාඞ්න් 2001 වර්ෂයේ සිට පාකිස්ථානයේ සැඟව සිටි ප‍්‍රදේශ පිළිබඳවද එහි දක්වා ඇති බවයි.

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