Bin Laden in Pakistan: ‘Rogue ISI, army men may have known of hideout’

Published: May 12, 2011
An investigation is in order and people must be punished for this big lapse, says former president.

An investigation is in order and people must be punished for this big lapse, says former president.


Former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has said that it is possible that rogue members of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the military knew of Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad.

“As a policy, the army and the ISI are fighting terrorism and extremism, al Qaeda and the Taliban. But rogue elements within are a possibility,” Musharraf said in an interview with ABC News Chief Law and Justice Correspondent Chris Cuomo. “As I said, at the lower level, somebody following a policy of his own and violating the policy from above is a possibility.”

Echoing a previous statement that he gave to Pakistani expatriates in Dubai, Musharraf said he was appalled that he hadn’t known of Bin Laden’s hideout and that intelligence operatives since then remained unaware.

“There is no excuse for this massive slip-up. An investigation is in order and people responsible must be punished,” he said. Musharraf said that he agreed with Pakistan’s refusal to allow the US back into Bin Laden’s compound. “No government can accept a violation of its sovereignty,” Musharraf said.

However, Musharraf warned that if the US continues to alienate Pakistan as they did in the Bin Laden raid, the US will lose. “The feelings of mistrust are mutual. What kind of friend does not take you into confidence?” he said.

This is not the first time the former army chief has accused ‘rogue’ members of the ISI. He has been earlier quoted in October 2006 saying that those who were at the forefront of the agency during the ‘Afghan jihad’ might be helping the Taliban. Back then it was widely believed that he was referring to the controversial former DG ISI Hamid Gul, who is considered to be the architect of the Taliban.

According to Wikileaks, Gul maintains links with the ISI and does all the dirty dealings on its behalf, a charge which he vehemently denies. Gul told The Express Tribune that Musharraf was ‘a liar,’ who was desperately trying to shift blame on others for the mess he created in the first place.

Repeatedly calling Musharraf ‘a sell-out’ and ‘a complete failure,’ he said: “The former president talks about compromising sovereignty when the fact is that he was the one who allowed the Americans to begin drone strikes in the country; he was the one who allowed US special forces and their countless security contractors to set up bases here and granted them immunity in the first place.”

Gul called for an independent judicial commission to probe the Abbottabad debacle. He added that he had nothing to hide. “I’m speaking the truth that is why I’m here among the people in my own country. Not like Musharraf.”

Additional reporting by Salman Siddiqui in Karachi

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (53)

  • Ahmed
    May 11, 2011 - 5:04PM

    Another Liar. Recommend

  • May 11, 2011 - 5:11PM

    But what happeend to all the “disciplined institution” talk!Recommend

  • Deep Thinker
    May 11, 2011 - 5:17PM

    There you go. Some part of the truth is finally out. What needs to be worked out is which part of the ISI is “rogue” and which part isn’t. I don’t think there’s too much to choose between them. It is startling to see how much Pakistan has sunk over the last decade. Don’t know if there is hope from here.Recommend

  • Fahd Shah
    May 11, 2011 - 5:21PM

    Why are all these people beating around the bush, OSAMA died in 2001. everybody knows that and even then they are blaming their own system and people just to make America happy…. Recommend

  • Aryabhat
    May 11, 2011 - 5:30PM

    This is the same Musharraf who said women in Pakistan to get Canadian Visa and then said “I never said that” and the newspaper placed the entire tape online!

    On one hand he says “that there is “a possibility that rogue lower-level members of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence and military may have had knowledge of Osama bin Laden’s location in Abbotabad.””

    On the other hand he says – “According to Musharraf, the “feelings of mistrust are mutual. What kind of friend is that you haven’t taken us into confidence?” he said.

    Who Sir, in the right mind – Spook or not – would trust ISI when you yourself are saying that it may be infiltrated by Al-Qaeda?

    With spokesman like Mr Mushrraf and Mr Gilani, ISI is doomed!!!Recommend

  • Asrar Ahmed
    May 11, 2011 - 5:54PM

    If he has evidence,he should make it public.
    He has broken the constitution,destroyed Institutions of the Country and is living between Dubai and London. I wonder where did he get money to by Penthouse and how is he maintaining himselfRecommend

  • Pakistani
    May 11, 2011 - 5:54PM

    Shame on you, Musharraf. Recommend

  • May 11, 2011 - 6:05PM

    Musharraf , No matter how hard you try , you dont have any relevance in todays pakistan.Recommend

  • Komal
    May 11, 2011 - 6:12PM

    Well done Musharraf! brilliant answersRecommend

  • Urooj Hussein
    May 11, 2011 - 6:19PM

    Musharraf has no scruples. He is irrelevant in today’s Pakistan. Don’t understand why the media consider’s his opinon worth reporting??


    U HusseinRecommend

  • khan
    May 11, 2011 - 6:24PM

    again blame it on some poor lowly and powerless isi person at the bottom. the top echelon is just too holy to be questioned.
    Hum loge nahi sudhrai gey.Recommend

  • May 11, 2011 - 6:26PM

    Good.. Mush has correctly hinted, the Heli’s received ground fire from Pakistani troops. This is why the other 2 heli’s left, without taking the living Hamza and OBL’s women/Children.

    Now, lets find the body thrown in by the SEAL’s next to the SEALS. Recommend

  • Yousaf
    May 11, 2011 - 6:39PM

    He is something, he got worth and he has better answers than any other politician in Pakistan. CNN, BBC, CNN-IBN, ABC News, Fox, ARY, GEO, DUNIYA, WAQAT, EXPRESS NEWS, he is every where and defending Pakistan very well.

    Well Done Mr. Musharraf, being out of the office even you have are worthy and done something well for Pakistan, which our incompetent Foreign Ministry failed to do. Recommend

  • Asif
    May 11, 2011 - 6:56PM

    Imran Khan and Musharraf can bring about a change in Pak!

    Last HOPE!Recommend

  • Tilsim
    May 11, 2011 - 7:08PM

    “That is very sad if your countrymen think that Pakistan is more sympathetic or more partial to the Taliban and Al Qaeda,” ”

    Why should not the world think this when yesterday Fateha was offered by certain JUI-F MNAs in parliament for OBL, the greatest terrorist the world has ever known and an arch enemy of Pakistan. There may have been some surprise but it returned to business as usual. No action was taken against the JUI-F MNAs.Recommend

  • M.Srinath
    May 11, 2011 - 7:20PM

    As Fasi Zaka put it some Sepoy Barkat will be the villain of the piece. The usual suspects. Recommend

  • May 11, 2011 - 8:43PM


    Dear ,

    cultural diversity is not permanent source of discipline.Recommend

  • mussarat Hussain
    May 11, 2011 - 8:48PM

    Musharraf, a lier of haste order starts telling truth in a piece meal just for attracting US endorsement to re-enter Pakistani corridor of power.

    Amazingly, the .former dictator still remains undecided whether Pakistan struck deal with US on the issue of Drone Attacks. If he is true and claims to be a statesman then what prevents him from returning back home to clarify his position, specially on the issue of “double-game” instead of hurling threats to pakistani politicians and accusations against prime pakisani espionage agency ISI from London or Dubai.

    Musharraf’s double-standard and changing of his stance much often is creating suspicion against entire Pakistani establishment which are in rough waters following the killing of OBL under the nose of army garrison in Abbotabad. Musharraf was “DEFINITELY” aware of the whole episode and went into self-exile after he was kicked out of the power leaving behind the entire nation to face the music.

    Of course he is a very good “Bridge Player” raised by his mother, playing his cards cautiously after witnessing “political weather” of a country which he rendered paralysed in his tenure by playing double-game with his mentors and the nation, a practice that is still being toed by his successors.

    In short Musharraf was neither sincere with Pakistan nor with his mentors. All his sympathies and sincerity were linked to his uniform that turned him a jawless lion without the uniform.


  • Lol
    May 11, 2011 - 8:57PM

    Well said. .busharaf. .Recommend

  • BruteForce
    May 11, 2011 - 9:04PM

    Well, the truth is slowly coming out.

    Musharaf is under criticism as in the past he had categorically denied Osama is in Pak when India and US’s Media asked about him. He had said Pakistan is a civilized country and there is no chance of Osama being in Pakistan.

    Now, he is embarassed and wants to save face so he is admitting the lie he had told but only partially.

    The truth will come out one day about Pakistan’s role in Osama’s stay in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Hyder Ali, England
    May 11, 2011 - 9:06PM

    The myth of “rogue elements” is a lifeline thrown by USA, the West and India to the Pak Army leaders. That does not detract from the plain fact that Pak Army leadership was fully behind shielding Osama Bin Laden, other chief Al Qaeda leaders, Taliban leaders and other terrorist leaders. Quid pro quo is they should stop sheltering the terrorists – Al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban, Haqqanis, JEM, LET, Hekmatyar Mafia, HUJI, HUM etc.Recommend

  • Cheeko Beeko
    May 11, 2011 - 9:10PM

    From 1999 i.e. from military coup and until three years back Musharraf held several positions including President of Pakistan.

    Musharraf was the one who got a call from former US President George W. Bush to confirm whether Pakistan was with US or not.

    Musharraf cannot blame the rouge elements in ISI at the lower level as he being the Chief of Staff it was his duty to know whether there were any rouge elements or not.

    When Musharraf’s convoy was attacked by the terrorists in Rawalpindi, he finally found out who were the culprits. Why didn’t he pay attention to arrest OBL whether dead or alive with full concentration?

    It was his prime duty as Chief of Army Staff to know whether there were any rouge elements within the lower ranking officials of ISI.

    In fact during Mushsraf’s regime a lot of financial aid was given by US to Pakistan to hunt the terrorists including OBL.

    It was Musharraf who was trying to clap with one hand during his entire tenure where it was the matter of hunting OBL or other policy matters in Pakistan.

    Now what about other Al-Qaeda leaders, terrorists and their accomplices? Musharraf was taking money from US and handed over lower level Al-Qaeda terrorists to US. He could have earned reputation within the country as well as abroad, if he would have been serious in hunting OBL.

    Due to Musharraf’s policies and unwarranted and uncalled-for and foolish approach in investigating OBL, Pakistan has lost its reputation internationally.

    People are laughing on Pakistan’s approach towards hunting OBL and his accomplices. One never know that how many more Al-Qaeda terrorists are hiding in Pakistan?

    The present government should resign forthwith and announce for fresh elections. Pakistan need to have a government which should be capable to protect the lives of the citizens as well as country’s sovereignty. Recommend

  • May 11, 2011 - 9:15PM

    How about we begin the accountability process by hanging you for treason?Recommend

  • hamza khan
    May 11, 2011 - 9:25PM

    i dont think president musharraf should have even made this statement, regardless of whether its true or not. no one can dare speak ill of the ISI. its an intel agency, and thus is paramount in national defence. no other spy agency gets as much prominence for absolutely no reason. its failures apart, it protects pakistan from enemies and does it quite well. this slip up cannot have had any lower level support, because of the professional nature of the organization. i dont for a second believe it. indians here need to stop trolling and go back to their nonsense websites. Recommend

  • Hasan
    May 11, 2011 - 9:58PM

    “a possibility that rogue lower-level
    members of Pakistan’s Inter-Service
    Intelligence and military may have had
    knowledge of Osama bin Laden’s
    location in Abbotabad.”

    Scapegoats for higher level officials…Recommend

  • observer
    May 11, 2011 - 10:28PM

    @Hamza Khan

    regardless of whether its true or not. no one can dare speak ill of the ISI.

    In other words no one dare speak the truth–need one say more.

    Incidentally who,if not Musharraf, can be better qualified to talk about ‘somebody following a policy of his own and violating the policy from above‘.
    He violated the stated policy of Government of Pakistan, as set by the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, by following a policy of his own in Kargil.
    And he repeated the same when he staged a coup.

    According to Gen Pasha, Mumbai 2008 was the handiwork of ‘rogue elements of ISI’.
    Now according to Gen Musharraf Osama was the product of ‘rogue elements’ of ISI and the Army .
    Earlier we were informed of the ‘rogue Dr Q nuclear network’.
    I am worried that tomorrow the entire establishment may turn out to be a ‘rogue establishment’.

  • sumeet
    May 11, 2011 - 10:42PM

    @hamza khan,why u pakistanis are always sore faced if some truth finally come out from a liar’s mouth.ulta chor kotwal ko dante.i think pakistan should change its name to “denialistan”.when will u people wake up and clean your filth.Recommend

  • parvez
    May 11, 2011 - 10:48PM

    Politics is a tough business when your out of uniform. Musharaaf is learning the hard way.Recommend

  • Anwar
    May 11, 2011 - 10:50PM

    Sepoy Barakat or Sepoy Jumma Khan? Or maybe both are guilty. What to do…oh…what to do??????Recommend

  • Cautious
    May 11, 2011 - 10:57PM

    So on one hand he admits that some elements of the ISI may have been providing aid to OBL – but non-the-less the USA should have trusted the capture of OBL to the ISI. I suppose that makes sense if killing/capturing OBL isn’t high on your priority list – which is obviously the case in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Kazmis
    May 11, 2011 - 11:03PM

    A liar game who want to put all blame on some innocent lower rank personnel. It was rather a rouge General Sir.Recommend

  • Munir
    May 11, 2011 - 11:22PM

    Dear Musharraf we are waiting for you as our last hope.Recommend

  • clean_truth
    May 11, 2011 - 11:37PM

    @Fahd Shah:

    Why are all these people beating
    around the bush, OSAMA died in 2001.

    the truth is that Osama was never born.
    every single photograph and video of him are a product of hollywood technology coming out of the area-51Recommend

  • Aamer
    May 12, 2011 - 12:24AM

    Musharraf wants to make sure that the World pulls all its guns towards Pakistan by issuing such statements. We will be much better of it this self proclaimed defendent of Pakistan keeps silent.

    A very nice saying of Georges Clemenceau, ”War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men.”

    speaks volumes about the World’s view on the intelligence of men in uniform, and musharraf is a good example.Recommend

  • Pan Mat
    May 12, 2011 - 12:27AM

    Pakistan categorize Talibans into “good Talibans” and “bad Talibans”, perhaps there is room for “good ISI” and “bad ISI”!Recommend

  • Chilli
    May 12, 2011 - 12:36AM

    Musharaf is squarely responsible for letting US in Pakistan. Shame on you..Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 12, 2011 - 12:43AM

    People have more traditional diseases but Mush has Bawaseer (piles) in his mouth. That is why he cannot keep his bloody mouth shut. Talk about rogue elements in army and ISI, all of the top layer of army and ISI are basically rogue for the nation and Pakistani people. Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 12, 2011 - 12:55AM

    You are the butt of jokes with comments and views like that. Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 12, 2011 - 12:57AM

    That’s what should be done to him and to ones before him. Their families should also disappear. That’s what the Moguls used to do to traitors. Wipe out for ever any sign of these people ever having existed. It will serve a lesson to anyone trying to ripp-off Pakistan. Recommend

  • Still_Thinking
    May 12, 2011 - 12:59AM

    The institution which is consuming 60% of the tax revenue in maintaining Mercedez, BMWs and Mansions also takes the credit of producing the best LIARS for the nation.

    The best option is to stop all aid to my dear homeland. The poor are already suffering, let the elite class suffer and then probably they will think about Pakistan sincerely. Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 12, 2011 - 1:00AM

    Can’t you stick something in his mouth so that he stops lying and blaming everybody but himself. If he was to be made a Khawaja Saraah. That might also do the trick?? Recommend

  • FactCheck
    May 12, 2011 - 2:18AM

    Pretty much everyone in the ISI are rogue, starting with Pasha. Who are the rogues he is talking about?Recommend

  • Boloch
    May 12, 2011 - 5:41AM

    Yeh with all the haters on the move and nab Musharraf these scums didn’t open their mouth when Musharraf was the only one internationally fight Pakistan’s case. Now that abc news has twisted words and anti Musharraf forces are on work!! Question was asked to Musharraf that do you believe that ISI or army was hiding obl and his answer is that I can not even imagen this at all. Knowing my institutes there is no way. I mean they have killed
    Our 30,000 people and declared war on Pakistan. How could and why ISI or army support or hide obl? Then question was but he was there for 5 years? Musharraf answer that it’s hard to say that obl was there for 5 years because some say that he was there for 6 years some say 3 some say 2 and some reports say he had just moved there and he was in and out. Now I can’t imagen if anyone can hide this news because highers wouldn’t support alqaida now come to lower ranks! Majors will be tranfored within 2 years so in most cases it’s 1 year and hiding obl location for 5-6 years is impossible. So if even if it happened then it would be on a very lower level which I doubt strongly!! Recommend

  • Munir Saami
    May 12, 2011 - 5:54AM

    The emperor did not have clothes on then, and does not have these on now. It is a pity that he lives in his own world of illusions where he has no mirrors.Recommend

  • prashanth
    May 12, 2011 - 9:49AM

    I found a couple – Sooja Pasha from ISI and Gen. Kayani from the army!Recommend

  • Shahab Khan
    May 12, 2011 - 9:51AM

    USA is not the first to be blamed for violating Pakistan’s sovereignty. OBL did not exactly come here with a visa or government permission either. And he came under Musharraf’s watch. Why are the religious zealots not making a fuss about that violation.Recommend

  • dude
    May 12, 2011 - 6:20PM

    whoever does it, topmost person has the responsibility and they must resign!Recommend

  • mussarat Hussain
    May 12, 2011 - 8:36PM


    Don’t agree with you Sir.

    It was only due to Musharraf who helped categorized the prestigious agency.

    I love my country, I love my army, I love ISI as they are the forefron defenders of Pakistan’s



    Once again I salute my nation, my army and its defenders for embracing martydom in the war

    against terror.

    O my brave army go ahead in the nobel mission of crushing terrorism and terrorists AS the

    world stands behind you. Forget Musharraf, he was stupid and a dishonest leader who pushed

    Pakistan to disgrace. You are indispensable in the global war on terror.





    God Bless Pakistan, God Bless Civilised nations, amen.


  • ani
    May 12, 2011 - 8:43PM

    “Rogue” elements of ISI and Army for how long and in how many activities? The rogue elements are the people running the ISI and Army with moral backing from the civilian leadership.
    The ‘rogue’ theory is just a canard to fool the people of Pakistan and world by vested authorities. Recommend

  • observer
    May 12, 2011 - 9:20PM


    Imran Khan and Musharraf can bring about a change in Pak!
    Last HOPE!

    And Zohair Toru too.Recommend

  • Butt
    May 13, 2011 - 1:42PM

    Kindly stand up against whoever are destabilizing Pakistan. India and USA are in an attempt to weaken PAK army, while our army is in a bid to safeguard PAK interests in Afghanistan. India and USA both are trying to destabilize Pakistan by feeding terrors working in Balochistan and elsewhere in Pakistan. Musharraf read this script very well and acted accordingly. Sorrowfully a section of the media and a few politicians are helping India and USA to achieve their objectives. Recommend

  • Salim Ansari
    May 15, 2011 - 4:48AM

    My Muslim friend from India says – change the anthem to “Rogue Sar Zamin Shaad Bad … “Recommend

  • Mahmood Hussain
    May 15, 2011 - 9:47AM

    Fahad shah!@ if usama had died in 2001 than biggest liars are alqeda & talibanRecommend

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