Pak military was aware about Osama: US General
General James Jones says Osama bin Laden hiding in Pakistan "raises a lot of questions".
Washington: Pakistani intelligence and military were "certainly probably" aware about the hiding place of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad near Islamabad where he was killed by US special forces, America's former national security advisor General James Jones has claimed.
"My personal view is that they certainly probably were aware of it. For whatever reasons, they chose not disclose it until perhaps recently. I don't know because I left the White House about six months ago. But it does raise a lot of questions, no doubt about that," Jones told the MSNBC.
It was Jones who had shaped the Pakistan policy of the Obama Administration from the White House and he himself had travelled to Islamabad several times to deliver letters of President Barack Obama to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and deliver tough messages to the Pakistani leadership.
"The administration, since they won was Pakistan, has really bent over backwards to build trust and confidence between our two countries. We've taken a regional and strategic approach to Afghanistan, Pakistan and even India," Jones said.
"We've been, I think, good interlocutors with all three countries. We've paid for our efforts with our most precious treasure, that's the blood and sweat of our young men and women in uniform and serving in our civilian capacities and our contractors," he said.
The Obama Administration has taken the approach to convince the Pakistani government, and especially the military, that the US is a trusted ally; it has a strategic vision; and wants better days for the people of Pakistan.
"We've been generous in our military hardware but also generous in our humanitarian aid when required. It just seems to me that it would be a good time for Pakistan to finally decide to turn the corner and grasp the hand of friendship that's been extended to them in so many ways," Jones said.
"If they don't (change their policy towards terrorism) it makes life a little bit more difficult. It certainly makes Afghanistan a little bit more difficult. If there's another attack on our shores and in our cities and perhaps even those of our allies that stem from Pakistan has been talked to politely, firmly, decisively, convincingly that this is the interest of Pakistan to make sure that these safe havens that cause so much concern for all of us are liminated. And they can do their part," he said.
"And I thought, actually, about a year ago in South Waziristan that they had started. But they have to do more, and they have to embrace the idea that there's a much better future not only with us but with the rest of the world if, in fact, they conclusively join the war against terrorist bases on their soil," Jones said.
He said Pakistan hasn't crossed that threshold to make that commitment.
"We all understand some of the reasons why or why they think that is, but it really is, I think, a moment in time now where Pakistan, for its own good, should make that decision and grasp the extended hand that the administration and other countries have offered them over the last couple of years," Jones said.
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