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Pakistani Leader: 'Allegations Of Complicity Or Incompetence Are Absurd'

Pakistan's prime minister today rejected speculation that intelligence or military officials in his country helped al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden hide there for five or six years.

"Allegations of complicity or incompetence are absurd," Yousuf Raza Gilani told his nation's parliament, noting that "hundreds" of suicide bombers have struck in his country and at its political leaders — a sign, he said, that Pakistan is at war with al-Qaida, not in cahoots with the terrorist network.

"Yes there was an intelligence failure," Gilani conceded. [But] it is not only ours but of all the intelligence agencies of the world. The al-Qaida chief, along with other al-Qaida operators, had managed to elude global intelligence agencies for a long time."

Gilani said his nation is determined to "get to the bottom of how, why and when" bin Laden got to Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was found and killed by U.S. forces.

The Associated Press adds that while "warning against unilateral actions by outsiders on his country's soil," Gilani has also used his address to say that Pakistan's relationship with the U.S. remains strong.

And, AP writes, "Gilani said bin Laden's killing [by U.S. forces last week] was proper justice."

Last week, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told Morning Edition that while he does not think there was complicity, he does believe it's likely that incompetence allowed bin Laden to live in a compound within a city that is home to Pakistan's equivalent of West Point and to many active and retired military personnel.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.