Abbottabad commission meeting: ‘US, Afghanistan never considered a direct threat’

‘All civilian, military institutions were oblivious to the May 2 incident’.

Express August 21, 2011


None of the Pakistani civilian or military institutions ever considered the US or Afghanistan a direct threat to the country and thus, remained oblivious to the covert US operation in Abbottabad on May 2 that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

During the fourth meeting of the inquiry commission probing the incident, Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Athar Ali provided a detailed statement explaining the salient features of Pakistan’s defence policy.

“He apprised the commission that none of the government departments including the ministry of defence, the Joint Staff Headquarters or any military service ever considered the US or Afghanistan a direct threat,” said an official handout issued after the meeting.

The secretary further said that the country’s defence policy is formulated on the basis of a policy approved by the defence committee of the cabinet, headed by the prime minister.

He explained that the defence policy directs the Joint Staff Headquarters (JSHQ) to formulate a Joint Strategic Directive (JSD). The JSD was issued in 2007 following an extensive debate within the armed forces and acts as the main document for everything, including composition, structuring, development plans, training, methodology, employment strategy, and so on. The JSD also issues specific instructions to the armed forces to prepare for countering an identified threat.

The secretary further apprised the commission that the May 2 incident has left a very deep imprint on the entire nation, the armed forces in particular. He said that the armed forces are now better prepared to respond to any such threat.

The defence secretary also explained that unlike an undefended civilian compound, our strategic assets are well protected and an elaborate defensive mechanism is in place.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2011.


Mirza | 10 years ago | Reply Of course Pakistan never considered USA as a direct threat. In fact they have been close friends till US found OBL in Abbottabad. There were two stealth helicopters and several regular ones. On the way back the US had only one stealth helicopter left the rest were visible to radar. The fact is ISI knew about the US mission, except the minor details. It was supposed to be announced as a drone attack not the actual raid by US. However, one of the helicopters crashed and the US had to tell the truth. This is the reason Pakistani establishment is so angry and feel betrayed by their US friends and CIA.
Aftab Kenneth Wilson | 10 years ago | Reply

Which "Strategic Assets" is our Defense Secretary talking about ???? Why he failed to go further and say that the threat is only from "Within" our own home made Assets. What we need is only to bring our own house in order right from the grass root level. We need to remove all doubtful characters from our systems at early stage. Later when these monsters reach higher ranks they become more dangerous than Weapons Of Mass Destruction.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ


Most Read