WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein charged Monday that slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden could not have lived as he did in Pakistan without some official “complicity.”
“I just don’t believe it was done without some form of complicity,” Feinstein told reporters as she delivered a stark and scathing warning to the troubled US ally to do more to battle Islamist extremists or risk souring ties.
“I think either we’re going to be allies in fighting terror, or the relationship makes less and less sense to me,” said the senator, who indicated she foresaw cuts in billions in US aid absent a course correction in Islamabad.
While some US lawmakers have called for stepping up help to Pakistan, “I feel a little differently,” said Feinstein who complained that “we provide funds, we try to help the government wherever we can” and get little in return.
“It’s becoming increasingly problematic,” she said. “I thoroughly agree with the administration’s request that Pakistan take a good look at what the support services were for bin Laden.”
Feinstein said it was “incomprehensible” that bin Laden could live unperturbed for six years in “a military community” in Pakistan before the May 2 raid in which elite US commandos shot dead the elusive Al-Qaeda leader.
While Pakistan has denied knowingly allowing the world’s most hunted man to live in relative luxury, “I just don’t believe it,” said Feinstein, who stressed “that level of complicity is really a problem.”
Feinstein charged that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have been “essentially favoring the Haqqani network, who attacks our troops in Afghanistan,” while denying US forces access to their bases in remote North Waziristan.
“You have them not turning over both the inspirational head and the operational head of LeT, following the Mumbai bombing, to India,” she said, referring to the Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“Now you have this,” she said, referring to bin Laden.
© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license