Pakistan military on Friday denied it tipped off terrorists helping them escape the purported Improvised Explosive Device (IED) factories in Waziristan after the US reportedly shared intelligence about the militant-run facilities.
“This assertion is totally false, malicious and the facts on the ground are contrary to it,” said a statement issued by the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR).
It said the intelligence information was received regarding four compounds suspected of being used as IED making facilities. However, the Army would not say if the intelligence was provided by the US.
The operation was launched against the suspected sites as a result of which two were found to be used as IED making facilities, which were destroyed.
“Information on the other sites proved to be incorrect. Some persons have been arrested and they are under investigation,” the statement added. However, it did not say where and when this operation took place.
American officials told The Associated Press in early June that they had shared satellite information with Pakistan about two militant bomb-making factories and that within 24 hours; the militants cleared out the sites, raising suspicions that the Pakistanis shared/leaked the intelligence information. The story appeared just hours before CIA Director Leon Panetta was due to hold crucial talks with Pakistan’s military and intelligence chiefs last week. However, military sources insist that such news items are part of a well-thought-out campaign to discredit the country’s security forces.
Relations between the two countries have been tense since the Abbottabad operation on May 2 in which Bin Laden was killed.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2011.