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US senators want answers from Pak army, ISI

world Updated: May 03, 2011 17:18 IST

Pakistan Army and its powerful spy agency ISI have a lot of questions to answer, as Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was hiding in a mansion close to an Army Academy in Abbottabad, a top American senator said on Tuesday.

"I think that the Pakistani army and intelligence have a lot of questions to answer, given the location, the length of time and the apparent fact that this facility was actually built for bin Laden, and its closeness to the central location of the Pakistani army," Senator Carl Levin, told reporters at a joint news conference in Washington, alongwith the senate majority leader Senator Harry Reid.

Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the army and the intelligence of Pakistan have plenty of questions that they should be answering, and hopefully they are being asked by the Pakistani government.

At the same time, Levin appreciated Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, saying this was very reassuring. "I do think that the Pakistani president's statement today was a very reassuring statement, when he very specifically said that he thinks that it's a great victory and that it's a success and that he congratulates us on the success of the operation," he said.

"So, reassured by his statement, not necessarily suspicious that he knew or that the civilian leadership knew, but I must tell you I hope that the President of Pakistan, will follow through and ask some very tough questions of his own military and his own intelligence. They got a lot of explaining to do," Levin said.

Senator Reid said the successful operation against Osama was mainly due to President Obama's efforts to refocus on Afghanistan and Pakistan as a central battleground in the fight against terror.

"Over the past two and a half years, the Obama administration has significantly escalated our military, diplomatic, intelligence and economic efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al- Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan and around the world," he said.