Zardari: Pakistan ‘Did Its Part’ in bin Laden Sting

Hit was result of a decade of cooperation, he writes in op-ed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2011 7:42 AM CDT
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari meets with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – As suspicions mount against Pakistan in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, President Asif Ali Zardari insists his country did its part. "The events of Sunday were not a joint operation," he acknowledges in a Washington Post op-ed, but "a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden," and Pakistan also takes credit for giving "early assistance in identifying an al-Qaeda courier" who proved to be integral to the plan.

Politico notes that Zardari's piece comes amid conflicting reports of Pakistan's role; one Pakistani official even called Sunday's effort "a joint intelligence operation." Zardari does not explain how Pakistan overlooked bin Laden's compound, but concludes that the terrorist "was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be, but now he is gone." Concerns that Pakistan has been protecting terrorists are nothing but "baseless speculation," he insists. Now that bin Laden is gone, Pakistan "can become everything that al-Qaeda and the Taliban most fear—a vision of a modern Islamic future."

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