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Accusations, Anger in Pakistan After Abbottabad Raid

May 9, 2011 at 12:00 AM EST
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RAY SUAREZ: And we go next to Pakistan, where already fragile relations with the U.S. are strained further after Osama bin Laden was killed in a Pakistan hideout.

From Abbottabad, the site of the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound last weekend, to the capital, Islamabad, anger is raged on Pakistan’s streets in recent days over the U.S. action on Pakistani soil.

But today, Pakistan’s prime minister called the killing of bin Laden justice done and rejected claims that Pakistani authorities were incompetent in searching for bin Laden or complicit in hiding him.

YOUSUF RAZA GILANI, Pakistani prime minister: Pakistan alone cannot be held to account for flawed policies and blunders of others. Pakistan is not the birthplace of al-Qaida. We didn’t invite Osama bin Laden to Pakistan or even to Afghanistan.

RAY SUAREZ: Pakistan’s civilian government has faced mounting domestic criticism following the U.S. mission to kill bin Laden.

Yesterday, former Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi said Prime Minister Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari, and the chief of Pakistan’s military, Gen. Parvez Kayani, should all resign following the operation in Abbottabad. Meanwhile, Gen. Kayani has argued that parliament should craft a national response to security issues.

Officials in both Pakistan and the United States have acknowledged the U.S. didn’t inform Pakistan about the raid in advance, for fear bin Laden might be tipped off. But questions about just what Pakistani officials knew about bin Laden’s whereabouts have fueled new tensions in the already fragile U.S.-Pakistan tie, strained by U.S. drone missile strikes and the killing of Pakistanis by a CIA contract employee.

Stirring tension further, today, a Pakistani television station and a newspaper made public what they claim is the name of the CIA station chief in Islamabad. Wire service reports say the name is incorrect.

So far, Pakistan has denied U.S. investigators full access to bin Laden’s compound. And even President Obama has waded into the speculation of how much some Pakistani officials knew of bin Laden’s whereabouts.

Yesterday, in an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” President Obama expressed suspicions that bin Laden had a support network inside Pakistan.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: But we don’t know who or what that support network was. We don’t know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government. And that’s something that we have to investigate and, more importantly, the Pakistani government has to investigate.

RAY SUAREZ: The president’s national security adviser backed up that call for a more robust Pakistani investigation.

TOM DONILON, U.S. National Security adviser: We have had differences with Pakistan. The harboring — there was some support network in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which — that supported bin Laden. We haven’t seen evidence that the government knew about that. But they need to investigate that. And they need to provide us with intelligence, by the way.

RAY SUAREZ: But some key congressional leaders warn the U.S. should deal cautiously with an important ally.

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR, R-Ind.: As a matter of fact, Pakistan is a critical factor in the war against terror, our war, the world’s war against it, simply because there are a lot of terrorists in Pakistan. There are al-Qaida still. There are many Taliban.

RAY SUAREZ: Comments from the White House and Congress followed the weekend release of five Pentagon videos recovered in the raid, some showing bin Laden wrapped in a blanket watching television coverage of himself.

U.S. officials said they were part of a treasure trove of intelligence about the al-Qaida organization. At the White House today, the spokesman echoed the comments of Prime Minister Gilani that the U.S.-Pakistani tie remains strong.

JAY CARNEY, White House press secretary: Our relationship with Pakistan remains very important to us. Our need for cooperation remains very important. We will work with the prime minister and the president and other government leaders in Pakistan to work through our differences and continue the cooperation that we have had in the past that has led to so many successes in the fight against terrorism and terrorists.

RAY SUAREZ: But the Pakistan issue will be front and center this week, especially when Secretary of State Clinton goes before key committees to face questioning.

Late today, a U.S. official said Pakistan has agreed to grant access to Osama bin Laden’s wives, something the White House had requested. The three women were in the compound when bin Laden was shot.