The military and the foreign office both dismissed the New York Times article that claimed some Pakistani officials had knowledge of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts leading up to the May 2, 2011 attack.
The Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa termed the allegations made in the article as “baseless” and “ridiculous” in a tweet.
Later, the foreign office, during its weekly briefing, reiterated Maj-Gen Bajwa’s comments on the story to term it as unfounded and baseless. “I may add here that there are many inconsistencies in the article. The author herself talks about suppositions from sources with no direct knowledge.”
Earlier in the day, former Pakistan Air Force chief Rao Qamar Suleman said that the facts inThe New York Times article ‘What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden‘ were distorted, Express News reported on Thursday.
Pakistani intelligence officials had also rebuffed the NYT story. “It is a totally baseless story. There is no truth in it,” one official had said. “Nobody in Pakistan knew about Osama bin Laden’s presence.”
According to the article, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha knew where the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding.
The newspaper quoted a Pakistani official as saying that the US had direct evidence about the ISI chief knowing Bin Laden’s whereabouts at the time.
“He knew of Osama’s whereabouts, yes,” the official said.
According to an inside source of the paper, there was a special desk for the Bin Laden case at the ISI. The desk worked independently and was led by an officer who did not report to any higher authorities.
The New York Times also reported that the Pakistan government was providing a haven to the Taliban. Further, the newspaper alleged that former president Pervez Musharraf was involved in the conspiracy to remove Benazir Bhutto from power.
The paper also alleged that a former ISI chief and retired general, Ziaddun Butt said that he thought that former President Pervez Musharraf had arranged to hide Bin Laden in Abbottabad. However, he did not have any proof.