Trying to fight away allegations that Pakistan sheltered Osama bin Laden, interior minister Rehman Malik on Monday said it made no sense for his government to harbour the now slain al Qaeda chief who was linked to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. In an interview with Arab channel Al Arabiya, Malik downplayed reports of his government’s role in harbouring bin Laden who was killed by US commandos in a secret raid in Abbottabad. “It makes no sense. How can we do that to a person we believe is involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto?” the channel quoted him as saying.
Malik in his interview also claimed he had received information on the bin Laden operation, “15 minutes after it had begun.” However, the report did not say who informed Malik. Ever since bin Laden was found living in the heart of Pakistan, the government is facing a volley of embarrassing questions regarding the role of Pakistani elements in supporting the al Qaeda chief. Pakistan’s envoy to the US Husain Haqqani had argued on similar lines last week, when he said that it was not in Pakistan’s interest to protect bin Laden, a man who ordered terrorists attacks in Pakistan, killing Benazir Bhutto in one of them, killing several Pakistani military officers, and actually blowing up ISI offices in some towns.