Abbottabad Commission Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has outright rejected claims of submitting to the government a report over the circumstances that led to the death of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, officials said.
UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that the five-member commission had cleared the government and the military establishment of allegations of having protected the al Qaeda kingpin.
The retired Supreme Court judge, however, denied on Tuesday that the commission had submitted any report on the Abbottabad incident to the government, according to a junior officer associated with the office of the commission’s chairman.
“Justice Sahib wants to sue The Daily Telegraph,” another senior official told The Express Tribune.
Almost one and a half year has passed since the commission was assigned to investigate the reasons that led to the May 2, 2011 raid by US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad.
Last month, the commission stated that the report had been compiled and would be submitted to the government soon.
Another official, while giving reasons for the delay, told The Express Tribune that two members of the commission have not been available in order for the report to be finalised.
Former Punjab police chief Abbas Khan is facing heart problems and could, therefore, not attend meetings of the commission, while Ashraf Jehangir Qazi was unable to attend the meetings due to the death of his brother in Balochistan. Therefore, the commission’s secretary has yet to take their signatures on the report.
Last month, the law ministry directed the commission to prepare its report by the end of October.
Meetings with top brass
Justice Iqbal is likely to meet the top civilian leadership and military brass before submitting his report.
“Justice Sahib wants to hold separate meetings with the top civilian and military leaderships next month,” a member of the commission told The Express Tribune on Tuesday. The over 120-page report is likely to be submitted to the government in November, he added.
Justice Iqbal will take the president and prime minister and the Inter-Services Intelligence chief and the army chief into confidence over some important revelations of the report, said officials privy to the development.
Furthermore, they added that after the meetings, the commission’s chairman would take a final decision on whether or not to make the report public.
Meanwhile, the junior officer associated with the office of the commission’s chairman shared some interesting details of the report with The Express Tribune, saying, “All four members of the commission have written separate notes on the report.”
Former diplomat Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, a key member of the commission, in his separate note, has strongly recommended the government to take action against the military officials who failed to find Bin Laden’s hideouts, he added.
Lt Gen (retd) Nadeem Ahmed, in his note, recommended the report not be made public due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the official.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2012.