US, Pakistan struck deal on Osama raid in 2001

May 10th, 2011 - 12:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf London, May 10 (IANS) Pakistan had given the US permission to carry out unilateral assault inside its territory if Osama bin Laden’s hideout was found, a media report said Tuesday. In the deal struck a decade ago, Pakistan was to “put up a hue and cry” about the raid.

The Guardian reported that the secret deal was struck in 2001 between then Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf and US president George Bush. It was renewed in 2008.

The deal, which is akin to the May 2 raid that killed Osama, was struck when the Al Qaeda leader escaped US forces in the mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001, the media report said, citing serving and retired Pakistani and US officials.

The terms of the deal were clear - Pakistan would permit US forces to carry out a unilateral raid inside Pakistan for Osama, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the Al Qaeda No3.

Later, both the countries had agreed, Islamabad would strongly protest the incursion.

“There was an agreement between Bush and Musharraf that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him,” a former senior US official was quoted as saying.

“The Pakistanis would put up a hue and cry, but they wouldn’t stop us.”

Following the US raid in Pakistan’s Abbottabad city, Islamabad maintained it knew nothing of the raid.

Musharraf, who is now in exile in London, too termed it a violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan.

The media report said that though Pakistan may not have been informed of the assault, they had agreed to it in principle.

A senior Pakistani official said: “As far as our American friends are concerned, they have just implemented the agreement.”

The former US official said protests from Pakistan were the “public face” of the deal. “We knew they would deny this stuff.”

Gilani Monday called the country’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) a “national asset” and said trashed claims that Pakistan was “in cahoots” with Al Qaeda.

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