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JC submits report on Osama bin Laden to PM

January 03, 2013

Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal presides over a meeting of judicial commission on Osama bin Laden. – File Photo by PPI

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan judicial commission submitted findings Thursday from its investigation into how Osama bin Laden lived in the country undetected for years until his killing by US special forces, officials said, but the report might never be revealed.

The commission was appointed 18 months ago, in what was welcomed as a chance to get to the bottom of one of the most embarrassing episodes in Pakistani history, but its findings could remain classified.

The government set up the five-member panel after US Navy SEALs conducted a secret raid on a compound in the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, killing bin Laden without informing Islamabad until afterwards.

The Parliament demanded an independent investigation into how bin Laden had been able to hide and whether there was any government or military collusion.

The commission's chairman, retired judge Javed Iqbal, submitted the report to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday, a statement from Ashraf's office said.

Pakistani officials say Ashraf will decide whether to keep the report classified or make it public, but observers have said they expect little of substance to be revealed.

The commission interviewed senior civilian and military officials and the three widows of bin Laden before they were deported to Saudi Arabia in April last year.

Pakistani-US ties drastically deteriorated over the bin Laden raid, which prompted accusations of incompetence or complicity against the military.

Relations slumped to a fresh low after botched US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011, but diplomats say the relationship improved after Pakistan re-opened its Afghan land crossings to Nato goods after a seven-month suspension.