ISLAMABAD -- The death of Osama bin Laden in a Monday U.S. military operation in Pakistan has caused serious rift between the two close allies as both have come up with mistrust, analysts said Wednesday.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry Tuesday expressed deep concerns and reservations on the manner in which the U.S. commandos carried out the operation near the city of Abbottabad "without prior information or authorization from the Government of Pakistan".
Shortly after Pakistan's statement, CIA Director Leon Panetta said Pakistan was either incompetent or involved in sheltering Osama bin Laden when one looks at the country's role in Osama bin Laden's whereabouts.
A statement released late Tuesday by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the intelligence agency, ISI, had been providing information to the CIA and other friendly agencies about the suspected activities in Osama's compound since 2009.
The statement further said that Abbottabad and the surrounding areas have been under sharp focus of intelligence agencies since 2003 resulting in highly technical operation by ISI which led to the arrest of some high-value al-Qaida targets in 2004. As far as the target compound is concerned, ISI had been sharing information with CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009, said the statement.
But the CIA Chief was not impressed about Islamabad's quest and expressed doubts in an interaction with the U.S. lawmakers about the role of Pakistan.
Hasan Raza, a local analyst, told Pakistan's Geo television that Osama's presence in Pakistan has widened the already-existed trust gap between the two allies and now the U.S. lawmakers are even calling for aid suspension to Pakistan.
Lt. Gen. (retd) Hamid Gul, former intelligence chief in Pakistan, said that the U.S. has also conducted raids in Pakistan in the past. "The operation to kill bin Laden was not something new. It is quite unfortunate that we have permitted the United States to establish its bases and freely operate its forces in Pakistan," Gul told Duniya TV in a recent program.
It is the view of some local analysts that Pakistan and the U.S. had never been trusted allies and the mistrust caused by the U.S. operation near the country's biggest military academy has once again proved this.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry statement on Tuesday highlighted that taking advantage of much superior technological assets, CIA exploited the intelligence leads given by its intelligence agencies to identify and reach Osama bin Laden. But the American leaders have not yet acknowledged Pakistan's this role in the whole episode which led to the elimination of the al-Qaida founder in a small Bilal Town where the compound of Osama bin Laden is located.
Pakistan said that this event of unauthorized unilateral action can not be taken as a rule, adding that such an event shall not serve as a future precedent for any state, including the U.S. " Such actions undermine cooperation and may also sometime constitute threat to international peace and security," said the Foreign Ministry statement.
Many people in Pakistan believe that the U.S. has never respected sovereignty of the Muslim nation citing the U.S. drone strikes in the country, which killed many innocent civilians as well as suspected militants.
Hasan Nisar, a local senior columnist, believed that Pakistan had cooperated with the U.S. in the operation but the government is reluctant to say anything clear.
Nisar said that now Pakistan should tackle the situation with care and the Pakistani leaders must devise a prudent approach.
The recent statement by the CIA chief that Pakistan is either involved in sheltering Osama bin Laden or incompetent is likely to cause anger among Pakistani establishment, said Nisar, adding that the CIA chief's statement would pull apart the two nations, whose cooperation is thought to be key to defeat the militants in Pakistan and also in the neighboring Afghanistan.