WASHINGTON: Former president Pervez Musharraf Friday blamed incompetence by the country’s intelligence agencies for allowing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to live undetected in Pakistan for years.
"One can draw only two conclusions," Musharraf told National Public Radio.
"One is complicity from our intelligence agencies. The second is incompetence and I strongly believe in the latter," Musharraf said.
"I cannot imagine that there was complicity."
Pakistan has come under fire for failing to track down the world's most wanted man, who was shot dead in a US commando raid on Monday in a compound in Abbottabad.
Reports have said the architect of the September 11, 2011 attacks on the United States may have been living for five years in Abbottabad, in the shadow of a top military academy, and close to the homes of many retired generals.
Asked whether he was upset that he did not know that Bin Laden had been sheltering in Pakistan during his presidency, Musharraf said: "Frankly, yes."
"It is terrible," he replied, adding he wanted to ask intelligence officials "why the hell did you not know?"
But he ruled out any complicity, saying that even US President Barack Obama had praised Pakistani intelligence services for providing vital information which led to Bin Laden.
"If there was complicity, why would anyone pass on such intelligence?" he asked.