A member of the commission empowered to probe the May 2 incident of Abbottabad, Lt General (retd) Nadeem Ahmad, said that the commission’s findings might take time to be released to the public.
Talking to the media after a flood relief seminar held at the American Pakistan Foundation, Ahmad said that the chairman of the commission, Justice Javed Iqbal, reserved the right to determine the appropriate time to reveal the findings of the commission, adding that the process could take longer as more witnesses were being questioned.
Ahmad also took the opportunity to clarify that he had been misquoted during an interview by the Australian Broadcasting Corp, where he was quoted as saying that he did not believe Pakistani military or intelligence supported Bin Laden’s presence in the country. “The statement was purely out of context,” Ahmad claimed, adding that cooperation with the commission was necessary and since its job was to find facts surrounding the incident, it was the court’s right to take it forward.
Refusing to comment on the involvement of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the Abbottabad operation, Ahmad said that the May 2 incident was purely an American operation. He told reporters that his meetings with the Pakistan army and air force were classified.
Ahmad, who is the former chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), was the chief guest at the flood relief seminar. He told the attendees that Pakistan was now in the Early Recovery and Reconstruction Phase after last year’s devastating floods. He claimed that the need to prepare for future natural disasters was greater now, saying that Pakistan had faced nine major natural disasters in the past five years.
Ahmad added that the capacity of the government to cope with the floods was well proven in 2010, adding that out of a total of Rs10.5 billion in funds that were pledged for the floods only Rs1.5 billion were received by the government. “We are still suffering and struggling, someone should have strategised for the reconstruction”.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ahmad said that one of the reasons for the failure of flood relief and rehabilitation programmes was the handover of operations to the planning commission. “What needs to be understood is that reconstruction is not development,” he added. The former chairman stressed the need for funds to upgrade
the country’s risk aversion to natural disasters.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2011.
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