Hussain Haqqani denies prior knowledge of Abbotabad Operation; Abbotabad Commission probe

Islamabad (December 20), Pakistan’s former convey to America, Husain Haqqani, said today that no one in Pakistan was aware of the May 2 operation that culminated in the killing of Al-Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Haqqani made the statement when he appeared before the Abbottabad Commission to answer various questions to clear his stance on the US raid.

“We vehemently protested to the US after the Abbottabad raid,” he said.

Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal presided over the session today.

Haqqani said that Pakistan’s airspace was violated by US during the raid in which al Qaeda chief Bin Laden was killed.

He said that he was at Heathrow airport when he had received the news about the US raid, adding that he was given directions to return to Washington DC immediately to register a protest.

“I faithfully and sincerely carried out the directives,” Haqqani urged.

Haqqani said the operation was a violation of international laws and that he had met with US special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan in this regard.

Speaking about the attitude of the US following the raid, Haqqani said that he had informed Islamabad about the threatening behaviour of US and their intentions of not apologising. He added that the US had demanded access to Bin
Laden’s family and had also demanded that the debris from the helicopter that crashed on the site of the raid should be returned.

Answering a questing about issuance of hundreds of visas, the former envoy denied such charges, saying that the allegation of issuing more than 400 visas was ‘baseless’. He claimed before the panel that the country’s policy and
laws were followed while issuing visas to Americans, as he never issued any visas without permission.

The statement of the former envoy to the US before the Abbottabad commission marked a crucial development as if the commission chooses to believe so, it will also help the government to dig itself out of the memogate case currently
being heard in the apex court. Moreover, Haqqani’s statement before the commission is also expected to mark an important development in the proceeding of Abbottabad raid by the US forces.