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Pakistan Prime Minister's speech on bin Laden

world Updated: May 09, 2011 19:43 IST

Reuters
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Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday rejected in a speech to parliament allegations that the killing of Osama bin Laden by US troops in the town of Abbottabad showed Pakistani incompetence or complicity in hiding the al Qaeda leader.

Following are some excerpts from the speech.

"The obvious question that has vexed everyone is how could Osama bin Laden hide in plain sight in the scenic surroundings of Abbottabad. Lets not rush to judgment."

"Allegations of complicity or incompetence are absurd. We emphatically reject such accusations. Speculative narratives in the public domain are meant to create despondency. We will not allow our detractors to succeed in offloading their own shortcomings and errors of omission and commission in a blame game that stigmatizes Pakistan."

"It was the ISI (Pakistan's main Inter-Services Intelligence agency) that passed key leads to CIA that enabled the US intelligence to use superior technological assets and focus on the area in which Osama bin Laden was eventually found."

"Nonetheless, we are determined to get to the bottom of how, when and why about Osama bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad. An investigation has been ordered."

"Unilateralism runs the inherent risk of serious consequences. Suppose the operation had gone wrong. A US helicopter was abandoned and destroyed on the site. This is a small though important reminder of the risks in such operations."

"Let no one draw any wrong conclusions. Any attack against Pakistan's strategic assets whether overt or covert will find a matching response. Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force. No one should underestimate the resolve and capability of our nation and armed forces to defend our sacred homeland."

"We have an ongoing multi-track process of engagement with all major powers including the United States."

"Our engagement with states within our region is being intensified in the interest of shared stability and prosperity."

"Counter-terrorism is a national priority."

"Al Qaeda had declared war on Pakistan. Osama Bin Laden's elimination from the scene attests to the success of the anti-terror campaign."

"When we say that in this war against terrorism, Pakistan has lost some 30,000 men, women and children and more than 5,000 armed forces personnel, billions of dollars lost as economic costs; we do not intend to put a price or seek acknowledgement or recognition from any one."

"The war against terrorism is our own national priority. Our nation is united in its resolve to eliminate terrorism from our sacred land. Pakistan will not relent in this national cause and is determined not to allow its soil to be used by any one for terrorism."

"Pakistan alone cannot be held to account for flawed policies and blunders of others. Pakistan is not the birth place of al Qaeda. We did not invite Osama bin Laden to Pakistan or even to Afghanistan. It is fair to ask who was Osama bin Laden and what did he personify?"

"Osama bin Laden was the most wanted terrorist and enemy number one of the civilized world. Elimination of Osama bin Laden, who launched waves after waves of terrorists attacks against innocent Pakistanis, is indeed justice done.

"However, we are not so na ve to declare victory; mission accomplished, and turn around."

"The myth and legacy of Osama bin Laden remains to be demolished. The anger and frustration of ordinary people over injustice, oppression and tyranny that he sought to harness to fuel the fire of terrorism in the world, needs to be addressed. Otherwise, this rage will find new ways of expression."