Abbottabad operation: US shouldn’t have bypassed Pakistan, says PM

Published: May 7, 2011

Gilani says sovereignty should not have been violated keeping in view the longstanding relations with the US.


While Pakistan is facing the far right’s wrath at home and criticism abroad over the circumstances that had led to the killing of al Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Friday that the United States should not have “bypassed” Pakistan on the Abbottabad raid.

Bin Laden’s death in a US special forces’ unilateral assault on Sunday has been criticised officially and by opposition parties as an “infringement” on Pakistan’s sovereignty, with a warning to the US from civil and military leaders that the repeat of such a raid would spell “catastrophe”.

“There was no need for a shortcut, or to bypass Pakistan,” Premier Gilani said, adding that the issue of violation of sovereignty was a matter of concern for Pakistan. He said it was particularly so in view of the cooperation with the US in matters of intelligence and defence.

Keeping in view the longstanding relations with the US, Pakistan’s sovereignty should not have been violated, Gilani told journalists accompanying him on his visit to France.

Premier Gilani said that the US president had acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution in the ‘war on terror’ and the ongoing intelligence-sharing between the two countries.

However, he said, relations with the United States had seen many ups and downs in the past. Mentioning the incidents of CIA agent Raymond Davis and Osama bin Laden’s killing in a unilateral US raid, he said it would take some time for relations to fully normalise between the two countries.

He said that during his visit he had an opportunity to present Pakistan’s point of view. “There were many misunderstandings and I hope they have been removed.”

In his meetings with France’s president and prime minister, Gilani said he reiterated Pakistan’s contribution in the ‘war against terror’’.

Gilani said he also reminded them that high-value suspects such as alibi and Khalid Shaikh Muhammad have been arrested by Pakistani law-enforcement agencies.

To a question, Gilani said he had not cut short his visit due to the situation back home in the wake of Bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad. “My official engagements ended tonight and I decided to return home,” he said, dismissing the suggestion that there were any adverse circumstances prompting his return.

Asked about the difference of opinion from various government quarters regarding the Abbottabad raid and its implications for Pakistan’s sovereignty, he said that either he or the information minister would soon deliver a policy statement in the Senate.

Surgical strikes by India

In an apparent reference to arch-rival India, Pakistan said on Thursday that the Abbottabad raid “should not become a future precedent for any country. The statement had come after Indian military officials said they were also capable of carrying out “surgical strikes” in Pakistan to take out wanted militants.

But the US State Department brushed aside the notion of Indian surgical strikes in Pakistan, saying that Bin Laden was “unique” case.

“I don’t want to speculate too broadly about an operation that was clearly unique in the history of the United States and the history of the world, where we had an individual who was possibly the most wanted man in the world and had perpetrated heinous crimes against not only American citizens but citizens around the globe,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a briefing in Washington.

He was asked if the same principle that the US used to justify the Abbottabad raid applied to other countries like India and if it would back New Delhi on such a move.

Toner indicated that the current mode of anti-terror cooperation – encouraged by Washington – was the appropriate way to deal with the militants.

“Our counterterrorism cooperation both with India and with Pakistan is ongoing and we believe that it’s directed at exactly these kinds of elements,” the spokesman said, when an Indian journalist drew his attention to the case of the 2008 Mumbai attack suspects.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2011.

Reader Comments (21)

  • Asrar Ahmed
    May 7, 2011 - 7:54AM

    Why does he not hold a press conference and answer the questions from the Press.

    Let the Commander in Chief also hold a press conference along with top brass of armed forces.
    If there were lapses,admit it. Life has to go on.Let us clean the country of all terrorist.This has to be done at any cost please.Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 7, 2011 - 7:59AM

    We would not bypass you if only your army and ISI were trustworthy. They have failed the trust test many times before. When they cannot keep their own army oath to protect the country and Pakistani constitution, how can they be honest to America? Trust is earned and not giving in charity.

    Our US army not involved in politics and money making? Here a colonel makes much less money than a common doctor. That is why our country is what it is!Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 7, 2011 - 8:06AM

    What a load of ………Recommend

  • May 7, 2011 - 8:22AM

    The US-Pakistan joint military attack of 2 May 2011 on the so-called house of Arab-Muslim legendary warrior Usama bin Laden in Bilal Town, Abbottabad, Pakistan – which reportedly killed innocent Pakistanis, but NOT Usama Laden – was managed by the US JSOC Commander, US Navy Vice Admiral William H. McRaven, and by Pakistan Army’s ISI Chief Lt. General Ahmad Shuja Pasha. Pasha must resign now because he authorized and supported the US CIA, US JSOC and US Navy Seals to illegally attack a home of Pakistanis in Pakistan.

    Pakistan Military Knew About Usama bin Laden Raid Well in Advance of Attack:

  • farhan aziz
    May 7, 2011 - 8:42AM

    if our government & authorities didn’t support,fund & promote the religious savages in our country no one would need to attack our sovereignty or cut off our aid.our state has been too scared of taking on anyone with a beard.the ppp govt. allowed the people behind salman taseer’s murder to throw rose petals on his murderer,the ministers in the govt. grovelled before the religous barbarians & have been trying eversince to appease the lunatic religious groups.

    Why don’t the powers that be realise that promoting religious bigotry & intolerance has only led this country into the abyss.Schoolbooks teaching the most vile things about hindus,jews & anyone non-muslim basically, have led to a generation growing up learning “bay for bandook” & ” jeem for jihad” .this glorification of violence & murder in the cover of religion has destroyed our social fabric.

    we kill anyone who dares have a fair debate about religion,we brand as blasphemer anyone who talks rationally or logically.Recommend

  • muhammad faizan
    May 7, 2011 - 8:48AM

    no one needs to obsess or care about pakistan if we didn’t have so many religious terrorists in our land.This fear of ours that amreeka & the kafirs want to take over our country has driven us mad.In our society we have no concept of self-examination or self-analysis,why cant we see that over the last 30 years our country has gone more & more towards being a state only for the religious extremists:the increasing number of girls made to feel ashamed of their gender,made to feel ashamed of their bodies has resulted in increasing numbers of hijabis & burqa clad women in our colleges,universities & offices;the forced saying of terms in a foreign language in each sentence like mashallah,inshallah,subhanallah & if someone doesn’t say these words then they are branded as lesser humans.

    Why did khudahafiz become allah hafiz??? why this insistence on rattafying religious texts in a foreign language?? why a person mindlessly performing repetitive dogmatic relgious rituals daily is regarded as good & honest while a person refusing to give into religious dogma is branded as a kafir,amreeki agent or qadiani????Recommend

  • rofl
    May 7, 2011 - 8:55AM
  • General Kiya-Nahi
    May 7, 2011 - 9:01AM

    Mr.Gilani, you’re so naive. Ask Mr.Pasha and Kayani why the US didn’t trust the Pakistani establishment. They will have plenty of tales to tell. Informing the ISI would have been like telling Osama in advance that there is an operation being conducted to capture him.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    May 7, 2011 - 9:13AM

    “USA shouldn’t have bypassed JI, JUI, Hameed Gul, Imran Khan, Hafiz sahib etc etc etc”. According to a report in leading English News paper Mr. Pasha is leaving for USA on some mission, well all know it so nothing to add more but surely all heads in our country must now learn to remain on the same page and that is “How to live with dignity and Truth”.Recommend

  • abdul rafay
    May 7, 2011 - 9:15AM

    As long as you have millions of people believing that they will be rewarded with 72 virgins in heaven for murdering non-muslims you can never really have peace.

    killing of people cannot & should not be “rewarded” with anything,much less offering women as rewards demeans women to just sex objects.such degrading of 50% of the entire world population is not right.Recommend

  • Akbar Ali
    May 7, 2011 - 10:41AM

    Pakistan is how,what,when,where,MR Zardari thinks,feels and acts.Perhaps,the most obedient Prime minister meant to say that [if]USA bypassed (which is not probable although so claimed by another liar,Obama),The virtual king blessed by higher judiciary is endowed to his cursed coalition of most opportunists and hopeless opposition now awakened but for CH Nisar while the Sharif ‘GOOGOOGORAS’ have miserably disappointed the nation with their myopism,selfishness and thick skinned,hare brained,passionless,visionless policy only focussed in last three years to built up their business empire and befool people.GOD curse them all for ruining the poor.. Who believes what you or your government says?there is no foreign minister now for months and government was only bothered to destabilize Punjab and form government of new coalition partners joining for their personal vested interests.You,your your president,the real power behind every deal,move should accept his responsibility and his party government for failing the nation and adversely impacting our national welfare and dignity and leave enblockeRecommend

  • All Pakistani
    May 7, 2011 - 11:55AM

    Time to part ways has come. Delay will be disastrous.
    Soon Pakistan will find a web being woven around it. If necessary, UNO will be used for pimping and India will soon be on board faster than imagined.
    That the way our great friend operates. Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    May 7, 2011 - 12:08PM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is not first time when the USA has violated Pakistan’s integrity and sovereignty and as usual our beggars leaders are just protesting and condemning before their worldly master USA only verbally.The greatest shame,curse and woe be on you many times.Being a muslim you have to trust only Allah Almighty instead of any other advanced Western countries.Have you forgotten that in Ghazwa-e-Badr the muslims were just 313 with limited resources of war and weapons but the pagans were 1000 have much more weapons than the muslims and due to strong and stable belief,faith and trust Allah Almighty the Almighty Allah helped the muslims and sent 70000 angles against the pagans and the pagans were badly defeated.If you can’t protect Pakistan’s and its nation’s honor,grace,dignity,ego,sovereignty,integrity and self-respect then sell whole Pakistan to USA because if no sovereignty and integrity then no country.Stop begging and live in this world like a brave and courageous nation with honor,grace,dignity,ego and self-respect so that you could set an example of real Islamic Welfare State before the world.Allah Almighty has bestowed upon you His greatest and endless blessings and favors but has shortened your economy because you have chosen the ways of success in the world appointed the by the advanced countries instead of Quran and Sunnah and you have made ideals for you only the Western countries’ leaders as a live example of success and prosperity.This is why Allah Almighty has handed over you to Western countries.Recommend

  • Royal
    May 7, 2011 - 12:09PM

    Mr. Gillani and Mr. Kayani are making fool of their own people they are running away from main issue of OBL in lap of Pak army and US raping their so called ghairaat by killing OBL without knowledge of their radars.Recommend

  • parvez
    May 7, 2011 - 1:51PM

    Lets be honest here. It’s better to receive the loose change they keep dropping into your pockets (the people get nothing) for looking the other way, because the other option requires strength and resolve which you’ll lack.Recommend

  • FactCheck
    May 7, 2011 - 2:46PM

    @muhammad faizan:

    Good questions. Well said sir.Recommend

  • chineserules
    May 7, 2011 - 3:27PM

    Can some wise pakistani tell me how much percentange of pakistani population are having opinions like @ahmer Ali —” 70000 angels were involved in a battlefield to win against enemy”…China needs to know what we are dealing with when we are a close ally of pakistan .Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    May 7, 2011 - 6:58PM

    @muhammad faizan: Well said. NFP who writes in DAWN is also of the same view on our mindsets and behaviors. Recommend

  • malik
    May 7, 2011 - 7:10PM

    I request, nay, beg our leaders not to say anything about the US.

    If you say anything, the next day, they respond with a deadly Drone Attack !!

    This pattern is going on for quite some time..So, will you all please keep quiet?Recommend

  • hin
    May 8, 2011 - 7:29AM
    May 11, 2011 - 2:58AM

    We would not bypass you if only your army and ISI were trustworthy. They have failed the trust test many times before. When they cannot keep their own army oath to protect the country and Pakistani constitution, how can they be honest to America? Trust is earned and not giving in charity.
    Our US army not involved in politics and money making? Here a colonel makes much less money than a common doctor. That is why our country is what it is!Recommend

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