Pakistan's parliament warns U.S. over bin Laden raid

ISLAMABAD Sat May 14, 2011 1:27pm EDT

1 of 18. Members of paramilitary forces are seen through a damaged vehicle at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Charsadda, northwest Pakistan May 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fayaz Aziz

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's parliament condemned on Saturday the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, warning Pakistan might cut supply lines to U.S. forces in Afghanistan if there were further military incursions.

According to one legislator, Pakistan's intelligence chief told a closed session of MPs he was ready to resign over the bin Laden affair, which has embarrassed the country and led to accusations Pakistani security agents knew where the al Qaeda chief was hiding.

There has been criticism of the government and military, partly because bin Laden had apparently remained undetected in Pakistan for years, but also because of the failure to detect or stop the U.S. operation to get him.

"Parliament ... condemned the unilateral action in Abbottabad which constitutes a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty," it said in a resolution issued after security chiefs briefed legislators.

The covert raid by U.S. special forces on bin Laden's house in the garrison town of Abbottabad, 50 km (30 miles) north of Islamabad, has strained already prickly ties with the United States and prompted revenge attacks by his supporters.

On Saturday, a bomb ripped through a bus in Khairian, a small garrison town in central Pakistan, killing at least five people and wounding more than a dozen, police said.

The attack came a day after two suicide bombers attacked a military academy in a northwestern town killing 80 people in what Pakistani Taliban militants said was their first act of revenge for bin Laden's death on May 2.

Pakistan has dismissed as absurd any suggestion that authorities knew bin Laden was holed up in a high-walled compound near the country's top military academy.

The U.S. administration has not accused Pakistan of complicity in hiding bin Laden but has said he must have had some sort of support network, which it wants to uncover.

U.S. Senator John Kerry said the United States wanted Pakistan to be a "real" ally in combating militants but serious questions remained in their relations.

"But we're not trying to find a way to break the relationship apart, we're trying to find a way to build it," said Kerry, a Democrat close to the Obama administration and who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters in Afghanistan.

Kerry is due to visit Pakistan in the coming days.

Members of the two houses of parliament said the government should review ties with the United States to safeguard Pakistan's national interests and they also called for an end to U.S. attacks on militants with its pilotless drone aircraft.

They also called for an independent commission to investigate the bin Laden case.

SUPPLY LINES

Pakistan officially objects to the drone attacks, but U.S. officials have long said they are carried out under an agreement between the countries.

The legislators said U.S. "unilateral actions" such as the Abbottabad raid and drone strikes were unacceptable, and the government should consider cutting vital U.S. lines of supply for its forces in Afghanistan unless they stopped.

Earlier, a U.S. drone fired missiles at a vehicle in North Waziristan on the Afghan border killing five militants.

It was the fourth drone attack since bin Laden was killed.

Police in Charsadda said they had recovered for analysis body parts of the two suicide bombers who killed at least 80 struck at a paramilitary force academy.

A Taliban spokesman said on Friday the attack was in revenge for bin Laden's death and vowed there would be more.

The killing of bin Laden could trigger a backlash from his supporters across a giant area surrounding Afghanistan, the Shangahi Cooperation Council (SCO) regional security body said.

Dominated by China and Russia, the SCO also unites the mostly Muslim ex-Soviet Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"Craving for revenge, the supporters of al Qaeda, the Taliban movement and other terrorist and extremist organizations may cause a new wave of terror," Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzgan Kazykhanov told a meeting with his SCO counterparts in Almaty.

CIVILIAN CONTROL

Pakistani intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of the military's main Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, told parliament in a closed-door briefing he was "ready to resign" over the bin Laden affair, a legislator said.

Pasha, who was asked tough questions by some members of parliament, told the assembly he did not want to "hang around" if parliament deemed him responsible, legislator Riaz Fatyana told reporters.

"I am ready to resign," Fatyana quoted the ISI chief as saying.

Opposition leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said civilian leaders, not the security agencies, should be deciding policy toward India, the United States and Afghanistan.

"The elected government should formulate foreign policy. A parallel policy or parallel government should not be allowed to work," Sharif told a news conference.

(Additional reporting by Dmitry Solovyov, Bashir Ansari; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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Comments (15)
Robert76 wrote:
Let me see. These evil people do what they have already been doing (murdering innocent people) and claim it is revenge for killing Bin Laden. So what was their excuse before this animal was killed?

Guess logic does not come easily to rabid animals.

May 14, 2011 1:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
brian-decree wrote:
Reuters can you provide evidence of how the ‘pakistan taliban’ bombing is connected to Bin Laden please?

Can you give us the direct quote and a name so we know what actually happened?

May 14, 2011 5:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Alfred.Brock wrote:
It is time for the United States to leave Afghanistan. Obama made a serious mistake by prosecuting the war in Afghanistan while the target of our efforts was sitting in Pakistan – a nation Obama called ‘friend’. I want to point out a serious problem with the aid provided to Pakistan and I am going to expose myself to possibly being called a racist – but it is clear that the Pakistani Army has been conducting operations against ‘terrorists’ and ‘insurgents’ that are of a different race than the soldiers and government of Pakistan (which is made up mostly of emigrants who fled India because of religious differences). The people of Pakistan and the people of Afghanistan and China mark the border where Caucasian, Asian and Southern Asians races mix. The Chinese have been encouraging Pakistan (an enemy of their enemy – India) to operate against the Caucasians (Afghans) in the area to destabilize them so that China’s western border lacks political support from outside. Add to the mix the Arabs of Tajikistan and Osama Bin Laden’s Saudi Arabs and you’ve got a tidy little race war going on. …and whom did President Obama back? It’s an ugly scene and don’t count on anyone talking about it in public. It is past time to leave Afghanistan and pray to God that this does not become apparent to more people than just the few who have taken the time to study the situation. God bless you all.

May 14, 2011 7:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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