The US State Department, reacting to news that Osama bin Laden had lived at five different locations in Pakistan over the decade leading up to his death in the May 2, 2011 raid, maintained that they never found credible evidence which points towards a Pakistan support network for the al Qaeda kingpin.
Speaking at a daily briefing on Friday, spokesperson Mark Toner said, “After the Abbottabad raid, we asked the Pakistan government the question of whether there was a larger network at play here or there was some kind of network of support, I guess, for Bin Laden when he was there. We have not received any information that indicates that there was such a network of support there.”
Pressed on whether he believed that Pakistan had lied to the US, Toner said, “I do not believe so. We have not received any indications that show there was some broader network, no.”
As if to send a reminder to political forces in Islamabad to adopt a more urgent attitude towards the parliamentary review of ties with the US, an unmanned aerial vehicle had launched missiles in Miramshah, North Waziristan, killing at least four people.
Asked about the strike, Toner said he did not have a comment for the early Friday morning strike, but that the US continues to await results of the review.
“That is still ongoing. But I think that in terms of our relations, we continue to have engagement at all levels within the Pakistan government. We certainly respect the review process that is under way and we look forward to the results, and then we will be willing to discuss some of the issues raised by that. But as to this incident, I do not have any comment.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2012.