Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. said “heads will roll” after his country finishes its investigation into how Osama bin Laden managed to hide out near the capital city of Islamabad in the compound where he was killed by U.S. forces.
Once the investigation is complete, “if those heads are rolled on account of incompetence, we will share that information,” Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “And if, God forbid, somebody’s complicity is discovered, there will be zero tolerance for that.”
Haqqani told CNN he didn’t know whether the al-Qaeda leader had help from his country’s government or military to stay concealed in Abbottabad, Pakistan. U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said today that he hasn’t seen any evidence that Pakistani leaders knew about Bin Laden.
“What we need now is for Pakistan’s elected leaders to exercise the leadership and get to the bottom of the matter,” Haqqani said, during an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” program.
The U.S. is in the midst of assessing its relationship with Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan. U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed bin Laden on May 2 in the Abbottabad complex where he had been hiding out. Bin Laden “had an operational and strategic role” in running al-Qaeda, Donilon said on CNN’s “State of the Union” today.
U.S. intelligence forces are currently examining computer equipment found at the house for leads on additional al-Qaeda figures and their plans. The U.S. has released five video clips of the al-Qaeda leader at the compound in Abbottabad that were seized during the raid.
Haqqani urged patience, and said the U.S. shouldn’t rush to judgment about whether to withdraw military aid or to put undue pressure on the Pakistani government.
“Maybe it’s time to just stay the course,” he said. “It’s not fair, not fair to hold the democratically elected leadership that came in only three years ago responsible for everything that has happened in Pakistan in the preceding many, many decades.”
The U.S. is suspicious about how much Pakistan knew about bin Laden’s whereabouts, said Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
“At best, we’re a limited partner and often the emphasis should be on the word ‘limited’ rather than ‘partner.’ It makes the American military and the American intelligence services incredibly suspicious of their Pakistani counterparts,” Haass said on GPS.
Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committees, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program that “it is extraordinarily hard to believe that he could have survived there for five years or more in a major population center without some kind of support system and knowledge.”
Pakistan may not be best served by even more U.S. pressure and threats of withdrawn aid, Haqqani said. “Could the pattern of bullying and then trying to give a lot of honey after having served a lot of vinegar, is that partly the reason why the patient is unwell?” he said.
Bin Laden’s killing will put the al-Qaeda terrorist network through a “succession crisis,” retired General Michael Hayden, the former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, said on GPS.
Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the highest-ranking al-Qaeda figure behind bin Laden, would probably take over the al-Qaeda’s operations, Hayden said on Zakaria’s program.