WASHINGTON/ ISLAMABAD: The independent judicial commission formed to determine who knew about Osama bin Laden’s presence in the northern town of Abbottabad before he was killed in a unilateral raid by US forces last year, has found that no one knew of the al Qaeda leader’s presence, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.
Citing an unnamed senior government official, the report stated that no one in Abbottabad knew about bin Laden’s presence in a large mansion situated a few hundred yards from Pakistan’s Westpoint, the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul.
It further absolves the military and government of any involvement in his hiding bin Laden.
The five-member commission had been formed last year and has interviewed several high ranking military officials in addition to the widows and children of bin Laden. The al Qaeda number one was believed to have been residing in the compound for as many as five years.
The senior government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they expected little new information from the commission’s reports. “At the end of the day it really doesn't tell us much more than we already knew,” he said.
“It's a disappointment for those who thought this episode might represent a turning point for Pakistan's relationship with extremist groups.”
The commission had completed and submitted its report to the government last week, but it has yet to be made public.
US wants report to be made public
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner says that while the US has not yet seen the Abbottabad commission report, but believes it is important for the Pakistani and American public to see the report.
In response to a question at the daily press briefing, Toner said that they had only seen reports in the Pakistani press about the Abbottabad commission report.
"We share a profound interest in what kinds of support networks Bin Laden may have had." The spokesperson added that when such a report does get finalised and is made public, it would be important for the American and Pakistani people to know about the results.
He added that he could not comment on the report's findings since they had not seen the report.