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Pak refused to help apprehend Osama before 9/11 - SRK - 05-06-2011

As the discovery of al Qaeda chief in Pakistan raises fresh questions about US-Pakistan relations, newly released declassified documents have showed as early as 1998 American officials concluded that Islamabad "is not disposed to be especially helpful on the matter of terrorist Osama bin Laden".

The National Security Archive said that according to previously secret US documents, Pakistani officials repeatedly refused to act on the Bin Laden problem, despite mounting pressure from American authorities.

Instead, in the words of a US Embassy cable, Pakistani sources "all took the line that the issue of bin Laden is a problem the US has with the Taliban, not with Pakistan."

The documents in this compilation – part of the National Security Archive's developing Osama Bin Laden File – were obtained by the Archive through the Freedom of Information Act.

They reveal a history of "disappointment that Pakistan... a good friend of the US, was not taking steps to help with Usama bin Ladin (UBL)."

The National Security Archive said as an ally to both the Taliban and the United States, Pakistan was balancing conflicting policies towards the Bin Laden question.

Islamabad continued to support the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, an organisation protecting the al-Qaeda leader, while simultaneously promising US leaders it was "taking the bin Laden matter very seriously" and would cooperate with US counterterrorism efforts.

Portending momentous events to come, US officials in 1998 lamented that getting Pakistani help in apprehending bin Laden would be "an uphill slog".

In a cable dated May 29, 1999, as Taliban "chargé d'affaires" Syedur Rahman Haqqani describes Osama bin Laden as a "bomb" waiting to explode, US government officials grow increasingly frustrated with Pakistani and Taliban officials who have little to offer on the issue of Osama bin Laden.

Read more- IndianExpress