Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain also demanded a roundtable conference on the matter within a couple of days. – File Photo

KARACHI: Weighing in with the episode involving the death of Osama bin Laden in a raid by US commandos, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Wednesday criticised the country’s civilian and military leadership and asked them to apologise to the nation over the ‘fiasco’.

He also called a roundtable conference on the matter within a couple of days.

In a statement addressed to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the MQM chief said: “The government should hold a roundtable conference of all religious and political parties and heads of the armed forces and ISI within the next 36 to 48 hours and take the nation into confidence about the intrusion of American helicopters in Pakistani airspace and killing of Osama bin Laden.”

“It is still not too late and the government and the institutions responsible for the defence and sovereignty of the country should apologise to the nation on their negligence and carelessness,” the statement said.

“Every Pakistani wants to know how the US troops crossed over into a sovereign and independent Pakistan without permission,” Mr Hussain said. “How was it possible that a raid was conducted well inside Pakistani territory? How was it possible that the raiders managed to leave unhurt and undetected? How come the government and intelligence agencies remained in the dark about all this?”

He said every Pakistani was worried about the safety of the country’s nuclear installations.

Mr Hussain said the country’s civilian and military authorities should review and correct the old strategic policies, otherwise “we will not only be grieving over loss of lives… but we might be grieving for our beloved country itself”.

While the world was accusing Pakistan of providing shelter to terrorists and the situation in Pakistan was being closely monitored by the US administration, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani chose to go on a trip abroad, the MQM chief said.

The statement also assailed the expansion of the cabinet “at this critical juncture in the country’s history”.

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