The Abbottabad Commission submitted its report to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday.
According to an official statement released by the Prime Minister House, commission chairman Justice Javed Iqbal called upon the premier to submit the report and brief him about its salient features.
Pakistani officials say Ashraf will decide whether to keep the report classified or make it public, but observers have said they expect little of substance to be revealed. Excerpts leaked to the press from the yet-to-be-made-public report differed with the US account of the incident.
The Abbottabad Commission took over a year to compile the 700-page report, which lists some 200 recommendations after interviewing over 300 witnesses and scrutinising more than 3,000 documents pertaining to the May 2, 2011 raid by US special forces to kill al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. Statements from high-ranking civil and military officials along with bin Laden’s family members are part of the report.
Law ministry officials had said that the report was finalised in October 2012, but could not be submitted to the Prime Minister since one of the commission’s members, former police inspector general Abbas Khan, was undergoing heart treatment in the US and was thus unavailable.
Earlier, the government had directed the commission to submit its report before October 12. The Law and Justice Division had issued a notification according to which the commission was told to complete the inquiry and submit its report to the Federal Government within thirty days, commencing from the September 12.
The government subsequently formed a five-member judicial commission to probe Bin Laden’s presence so close to Pakistan’s premier military training facility and the circumstances leading to his death in the raid by US Navy SEALs. The commission, constituted on June 21, 2011 held investigations, examined witnesses and conducted field missions. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2013.