(WASHINGTON) — If Pakistani officials knew Osama bin Laden was living peacefully in the country, said Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani, they would have done something.
"If any member of the Pakistani government, the Pakistani military or the Pakistani intelligence service knew where Osama bin Laden was, we would have taken action," Haqqani told ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour. "Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan was not to Pakistan’s advantage."
The strength of Pakistan’s intelligence service and its cooperation with the United States have been questioned since the killing of Bin Laden nearly one week ago. U.S. forces killed the al Qaeda leader in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a military town about an hour’s drive north of Islamabad, the capital. Bin Laden’s compound was less than a mile away from an elite Pakistani military academy.
Pakistan is pursuing an investigation to understand how the al Qaeda leader could have been hiding right under the military’s nose. It is premature to reveal the details of the investigation, said Haqqani. Punishment, if warranted, will be delivered, he added.
"Heads will roll once the investigation has been completed," Haqqani said. "Now if those heads are rolled on account of incompetence, we will share that information with you, and if, God forbid, somebody’s complicity is discovered, there will be zero tolerance for that as well."
White House national security advisor Tom Donilon told Amanpour that Pakistan has in its custody all the non-combatants of the Abbottabad compound, including three of Bin Laden’s wives. Pakistani officials also took additional material from the compound.
Pakistani officials have interviewed at least one of Bin Laden’s wives.
"We understand that one of the wives never left the same floor as Osama bin Laden because they were paranoid of physical movement, they didn’t go to windows, they didn’t have any fresh air," the Pakistani ambassador revealed.
As to whether Pakistan will grant the United States access to the wives and the material in Pakistan’s position, Haqqani stuck to a diplomatic script.
"What we do, Mr. Donilon will know," Haqqani said.
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