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Probe into Osama death PM likely to receive report this week

Published Dec 31, 2012 02:55am

Osama bin Laden—File Photo
Al Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The much-awaited report of the investigation into the US attack in which Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was killed has been completed and is likely to be presented to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf this week by the Abbottabad Commission’s chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.

The report prepared in more than one and a half years is expected to generate a fresh debate on the killing of Osama in a 40-minute midnight air raid by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad on May 2 last year.

A private TV channel quoted Justice (retd) Iqbal as saying that the report had been completed and was likely to be presented to the prime minister on Monday.

However, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Shafqat Jalil said no meeting between Justice (retd) Iqbal and the premier was scheduled on Monday.

According to sources, the 400-page report contains the statements of more than 300 people and references to over 7,000 letters and other documents relating to Osama bin Laden.

The terms of reference of the commission were “to ascertain the full facts regarding the presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, to investigate circumstances and facts regarding the US operation in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011. Determine the nature, background and causes of lapses of the concerned authorities, if any, and to make consequential recommendations.”

According the commission’s chief it examined more than 1,500 witnesses, including, surviving members of the families of Osama and two Pakistani brothers who were protecting him, secretaries of ministries, civilian officials concerned in Islamabad, and local officials, notables, neighbours, media personnel and military and intelligence personnel of Abbottabad.

The commission conducted five field missions, met people of Torghar town and also visited Kala Dhaka.

It also examined the extent to which systemic dysfunction, including lack of policy planning and democratically approved frameworks of national policy with appropriate implementation, oversight and review mechanisms, were responsible for the incident, as well as several serious developments preceding and following it.

On Dec 11 last year, the commission’s chairman had said in a press conference that the report would be released by the end of that year.