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Osama sought to destroy Pakistan, says Jilani

By Our Correspondent 2016-07-13
WASHINGTON: The slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden considered Pakistan an enemy and made every effort to harm the country and its people, says Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani.

In a letter to a Republican congressman, Ted Poe, Mr Jilani informed the lawmaker that his country was `a victim` and not the perpetrator of terrorism, as Mr Poe claimed.

Mr Poe, who is known in Washington for his strong anti-Pakistan views, is holding a provocative hearing `Pakistan: Friend or foe` on Capitol Hill, which seeks to highlight the country`s alleged support for terrorist groups.

In his letter to Mr Poe, the Pakistani envoy in Washington, however, focused on a recent article the congressman wrote in The US News regarding Pakistan`s role in the fight against terrorism.

Mr Jilani wrote that the views expressed in the article were based on incorrect information and speculative media reports that have been consistently proven false over a period of time.

He pointed out that since the killing of Osama bin Laden five years ago, `it has been established beyond doubt` that he was hiding in Pakistan without information or any help by the state.

`No evidence to the contrary has ever surfaced and the US leadership involved in the specific operation at that time has clearly rejected any insinuation of Pakistan`s complicity.

He also mentione d a statement by Admiral William McRaven, who supervised the US operation to kill Osama bin Laden, and later said that there was no evidence that Pakistani government knew aboutOsama`s whereabouts.

He noted that last year, the White House once again debunked media accusations that sought to implicate Pakistan.

`Documents collected from the Osama bin Laden`s compound tell another story. A brochure `Jihad in Pakistan` reportedly written by bin Laden and released by office of US Director National Intelligence in March this year lists the reasons why bin Laden considered Pakistan as an enemy and outlines Al Qaeda`s elaborate strategy to destroy Pakistan,` the ambassador wrote.

Mr Jilani said that Congressman Poe`s another claim that Pakistan poisoned a CIA station chief in Islamabad was also based on unsubstantiated and sensational media reporting.

`This claim is as fictional as it is ridiculous,` said Mr Jilani, adding that Pakistan had raised this matter with the US government as well.

The ambassador reminded Mr Poe that Pakistan had helped the United States capture key operatives involved in the tragic 9/11episode.Theseincludedthemastermind of 9/11, Muhammad Khalid Sheikh, and alleged 9/11 organiser, Ramzi Binalshibh.

During the last two years, Pakistan has also cleared a vast swath of a territory that was previously used by many militant networks, including the Haqqani network, Mr Jilani wrote.

He reminded the US lawmaker that during this operation Pakistan killed 3,500 militants while almost 500 soldiers of the Pakistan Army also died fighting these militants.

`Being the worst victim of terrorism and having lost thousands of innocent citizens and soldiers to this menace, our own resolve to defeat this threat can never be doubted, the ambassador wrote.