Thursday, May 19, 2011

U.S.: "No evidence" that Pakistan knew the whereabouts of Bin Laden

Washington. .- The Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, has stated that "no evidence" that the Pakistani authorities were aware of the presence of al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden in the country. However, considered that this ignorance has been a "humiliation" for his forces. In a press conference at the Pentagon, Gates has argued that "no evidence" that Pakistan knew bin Laden's presence in its territory, but rather "there is evidence otherwise." Consequently, the defense secretary has ruled out the possibility of imposing sanctions on China.

"If Pakistani officials did not know, is difficult to ask for this responsibility," he stated. However, he noted that the assault by U.S. special forces to the residence of bin Laden Pakistan has highlighted weaknesses in their security forces. "If I were in the shoes of Pakistan know that I paid a price, I've been humbled, (that) we have shown that Americans can come here and act with impunity," he noted.

In the same line, said the chief of the U.S. Army, Mike Mullen. "His image has been tarnished and they are very concerned about that. They are a very proud army," he said, while also underlining the importance of this experience. In this context, both Gates and Mullen have highlighted the need for continued bilateral cooperation in combating international terrorism, while recognizing that relationships have been damaged by the operation against bin Laden.

"The region continues to be critical and our relationships continue to be critical. I think it would be very bad that our relationships are broken," said Mullen, who has expressed doubts about the ability of Pakistani forces to go after the Taliban and Al Qaeda . In this regard, he recalled that at its last meeting with Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, this he said his country intended to continue operations against the Haqqani terrorist network, based in neighboring Afghanistan.

"But I think we both know that is a very difficult time," he asserted. Despite this willingness to cooperate, it seems that China prefers in principle, continue this struggle individually to demonstrate its operational capability. "It is their desire to do so themselves. I really think it's important," Gates pointed out, considering it an opportunity to address the "frustration and skepticism."

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