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'Someone in Pak knew of Osama's hideout'

world Updated: May 19, 2011 07:26 IST
HT Correspondent

In perhaps the first public rap yet for Pakistan, the US said on Wednesday that though there is no evidence yet of anyone in the top leadership in Pakistan knowing about Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad, but "someone knew".

It's a supposition - and one shared by many in the administration - that someone in Pakistan knew of bin Laden hiding there, said US secretary of defense Robert Gates at a Pentagon briefing on Wednesday.

He also said the Pakistani leadership had committed itself to finding other senior al Qaeda operative on their own in exchange for a US commitment to not repeat an Abbottabad-style raid, which was very humiliating for them.

This was the farthest the Obama administration has gone yet in publicly accusing Pakistan of complicity. But again the US has no evidence of who that was - a low- or middle-level functionary or a retired personnel.

Many retired Pakistani Army and ISI officers are known to have been used to work with al Qaeda and the Taliban to give the government the deniability and distance required for just this kind of an eventuality.