ISLAMABAD: The judicial commission investigating the May 2 raid by US Commandos in Abbottabad will meet here on Monday.
Although the commission appears to have made little headway in the probe so far it is expected that in its second or subsequent meetings it will hear from intelligence agencies whether they were aware of the presence of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and about the US raid.
A member of the commission told this correspondent on Sunday that the statements of senior officials of ISI or another intelligence agency might be recorded on Monday and the information might clarify a few points.Mystery shrouds the raid because many questions raised about it are yet to be answered, including the presence of Osama in the three-storey mansion in Abbottabad and 40-minute action of the US commandos the statements may throw light on the role of Pakistani security and the role of security and intelligence agencies in the whole episode.
The commission is required to look into security deficiencies, if any, and make recommendations on how to prevent such incidents in future.
The terms of reference of the commission require it to ascertain facts about the presence of Osama in Pakistan; investigate circumstances and facts regarding the US operation; determine the nature, background and causes of lapses by the authorities concerned, if any; and make recommendations.
The member, who did not want to be named, said the statement made by Lt-Gen (retd) Nadeem Ahmed in an interview would also be taken up in the meeting.
“The issue will be raised and he will be asked to avoid giving statements regarding investigation,” he said.
The retired general, who is a member of the commission, had said in the interview with a foreign radio channel that the ISI had not been aware of Osama’s presence in Abbottabad.
“The commission chief has issued a general instruction for all members that they should avoid their appearance in the media by any means till the investigation is completed,” the member said.
The remarks of Gen Ahmed trigged a controversy that compelled the head of the commission, Justice Javed Iqbal, to come out with a clarification by saying that those were Gen Ahmed’s personal views and not the finding of the commission.
Talking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the retired general had said he did not believe Pakistani intelligence services or military had helped shelter the Al Qaeda leader.“Irrespective of what the US says, I have absolutely not an iota of doubt on this, that no government in Pakistan, no military in Pakistan, no intelligence organisation in Pakistan would do such a stupid thing,” he said.