No indication of Pakistan lying about broader OBL support network: Mark Toner

Published: March 31, 2012
State Department spokesperson says US engaging Pakistan government at all levels. PHOTO: FILE

State Department spokesperson says US engaging Pakistan government at all levels. PHOTO: FILE

WASHINGTON: The US State Department, reacting to news that Osama bin Laden had lived at five different locations in Pakistan over the decade leading up to his death in the May 2, 2011 raid, maintained that they never found credible evidence which points towards a Pakistan support network for the al Qaeda supremo.

State Department spokesperson Mark Toner was asked during the daily briefing on Friday whether the Pakistan government was consistently lying to the US over bin Laden. The official responded “immediately after the Abbottabad raid, we asked the Pakistani Government the question of whether there was a larger network at play here or there was some kind of network of support, I guess, for bin Ladin when he was there.  We have not received any information that indicates that there was such a network of support there.”

Pressed on whether he believed that Pakistan had lied to the US, Toner responded, “I don’t believe so … we haven’t received any indications that indicate that there was some broader network, no.”

US drones while waiting for parliamentary review

As if to send a reminder to the political forces in Islamabad to adopt a more urgent attitude towards the Parliamentary review of ties with the US, an unmanned aerial vehicle had launched missiles in Miranshah, North Waziristan, killing at least four people.

Asked about the strike, Toner said that he did not have a comment for the early Friday morning strike, but that the US continues to await results of the review.

“That’s still ongoing.  But I think that in terms of our relations, we continue to have engagement at all levels within the Pakistani Government.  And we certainly respect the review process that’s underway and we look forward to the results, and then we’ll be willing to discuss some of the issues raised by that.  But as to this incident, I don’t have any comment.”

Meanwhile, a US government official, dispelling notions that the drone strikes were on hold till Pakistan completes its review, told Reuters on Friday that, “the United States is conducting, and will continue to conduct, the counter terrorism operations it needs to protect the US and its interests.”

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (14)

  • Cautious
    Mar 31, 2012 - 5:23AM

    I doubt you would get the same diplomatically correct answers if you asked one of the retired American Generals. You can parse words all you want but there is NO CHANCE that OBL could live outside PMA for 5+ years without some assistance from someone in your military apparatus.


  • Mr. Righty rightist
    Mar 31, 2012 - 8:05AM


    trying to patch up with Pak, eh?


  • Harry Stone
    Mar 31, 2012 - 8:26AM

    This is the purpose of the US State Department. They provide the answers others want to hear which is not necesssarily the position of the US government. There has always been a conflict in how any problem is viewed between the national security organizations and diplomatic organizations. The truth is the conflict exists in almost all western democratic nations.

    As to OBL, I have to agree with Cautious. I would dare say at this time the US intelligent agencies have names, places and dates. Not everything but they are working to get a better understanding of just how this happened..


  • thewhigs
    Mar 31, 2012 - 8:48AM

    @Cautious..there is a difference however between the govt./military sanctioning it and a few rogue personnel of the military. I think its probably the latter.


  • Zaid Baloch
    Mar 31, 2012 - 9:16AM

    American army will have to learn the system of “Supply Chain Management”.
    Ans: In supply you have partners, Contractors, Managers and Labor. So, what happens is you need to take care of all of them otherwise even a Labor class can stand up and ask for a respect.


  • MarkH
    Mar 31, 2012 - 9:57AM

    @Mr. Righty rightist:
    It sounds more like people are just bored with your crying so they’re being more diplomatically roundabout and I do mean crying. Emotional middle ground is a myth in Pakistan. It also sounds like complete disinterest with answering the questions related to Pakistan.
    Positive = patching things up
    Neutral = disinterest
    Negative = pointing out the obvious for the 100th time


  • MarkH
    Mar 31, 2012 - 10:06AM

    @Zaid Baloch:
    Where has unrealistically flattering yourself gotten you so far in the grand scheme of things? Those “partners, contractors, managers and labor.” are usually fired for not doing their jobs. If they’re not doing their jobs they’re in no position to demand respect and bonuses. Funny how the US seems to manage fairly well in their dealings outside your borders, yet Pakistan barely has any positive relationships. Maybe it’s you.


  • Sonya
    Mar 31, 2012 - 1:39PM

    All of these are pressure tactics towards getting favours from Pakistan


  • Mar 31, 2012 - 2:18PM

    i guess he lived in pentagon or still living there


  • Zeta
    Mar 31, 2012 - 2:32PM

    @Cautious: without some assistance
    from someone in your military

    ofcourse you know it more than the all knowing americans.
    the fact that illegals (drug smugglers, traders e.g.) do reside in discretely all over the world including the much your saint America, Give a country like Pakistan a break will ya?

    Even if he was there in first place, there is no point accusing the military without any substantial proof. there are possibly non state handlers but you know it just a thought which is not always right.


  • Roflcopter
    Mar 31, 2012 - 3:58PM

    Pakistan hiding Bin Laden is one of the funniest conspiracy theory I’ve heard + US officials have no credibility at all when their very own president is a proffesional liar (remember Raymond Davis was a diplomat according to Obama ;) )


  • Its (still) the Economy Stupid
    Mar 31, 2012 - 4:52PM

    Is Pakistan trying to get a certificate from US indicating no official was involved in OBL living in Pakistan since 2001 (as per his wife). Wait 5-10 years for the detailed answers in a book or two from some retired official . This way some one will make money.


  • antanu g
    Mar 31, 2012 - 11:37PM

    why… many US generals are openly blaming pakistan…so what stops this man from telling the truth…it only means tha there is no credible evidence indeed.Mr.cautious…if some US officia says pakistan is evil…it is devine word for you.however if any US official claims opposite…its not acceptable to you…why this bias?


  • j. von hettlingen
    Apr 1, 2012 - 7:59PM

    Pakistan and the U.S. should let bygones be bygones! Although both countries seem to be trying to break the deadlock in negotiations, Pakistan has no doubt the upper hand, as time is on its side! The countdown for 2014 is on and the U.S. is under pressure.


More in World