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Pakistan Bin Laden Report Blames State Institutions, Officials

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Pakistan Bin Laden Report Blames State Institutions, Officials
A labourer works at a house in front of the site of the demolished compound of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in northern Abbottabad, Pakistan. Photographer: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

July 9 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s judicial commission investigating the presence and killing of Osama bin Laden held responsible state institutions and officials who failed to perform their duty, its chairman said.

“We have identified institutions and individuals responsible for this failure,” Javed Iqbal, the former judge who headed the commission, said in live comments on GEO television today. “We have not given any clean chit to anybody.”

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani set up the commission to probe the circumstances surrounding the May 2011 U.S. commando raid that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, a garrison town about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the capital, Islamabad. The report blames politicians and the military responsible for “gross incompetence,” leading to “collective failures” that allowed bin Laden to escape detection and the U.S. to perpetrate an “act of war,” Al Jazeera reported on its website yesterday, citing the findings.

“They have diluted the responsibility among many institutions and individuals and I don’t think you can make anybody accountable on the basis of these findings,” Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad, said in a phone interview. “This isn’t the priority of this government, nor there is any public pressure to make people accountable.”

It’s the government’s responsibility to release the report, Iqbal said. “We have finished it and submitted it to the government in January.” Pervaiz Rasheed, Pakistan’s government spokesman, didn’t reply to calls on his mobile phone. The report remains confidential.

The 336-page report cites complete collapse of governance and law enforcement for lack of intelligence on bin Laden’s nine-year residence in Pakistan, and the country’s response to the U.S. raid, Al Jazeera reported yesterday.

The failure to detect a CIA network seeking bin Laden was “sustained dereliction of duty by the political, military and intelligence leadership of the country,” the website said, citing the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Haris Anwar in Islamabad at hanwar2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net

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