Government asks Abbottabad panel to submit report in 30 days -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Government asks Abbottabad panel to submit report in 30 days

By: Syed Irfan Raza

ISLAMABAD: The government has given 30 days to the Abbottabad Commission to submit its report on the 40-minute US air raid on May 2 last year in which the world’s most wanted man, Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed.

“The Abbottabad Commission shall complete the inquiry and submit its report to the federal government within 30 days commencing from September 12, 2012,” said a notification issued by the law ministry on Tuesday.

The commission, formed in the aftermath of the raid, was tasked with ascertaining facts about the presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

It was mandated to investigate circumstances and facts about the US operation, determining the nature, background and causes of lapses of authorities concerned and making consequential recommendations.

The commission held thorough investigations examined witnesses and conducted field missions and its report is much awaited.

Nargis Sethi, secretary of the commission, said the release of the report would not make any difference. “What will happen even if the report is made public,” she told Dawn.

She said that all aspects of the US operation had already been highlighted in the media.

The government felt the need to issue the notification apparently because the commission headed by former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, has remained silent and no exact date has been given about the release of its report.

The report was expected to be completed in December last year because its chairman had said in a press conference on December 11 that it would be released by the end of the year.

Justice Javed Iqbal was reluctant to comment on the issue.

It is learnt that a claim by a US commando that Bin Laden was already dead when Navy Seals barged into his room has created some confusion for the commission.

“When new things are reported in the media or in biographies the commission also investigates such things to ensure accuracy in its report,” a source close to the commission said.

Media reports said the wife and other members of the Bin Laden family had informed the commission that they had witnessed the killing at the hands of US commandos.

According to Justice Iqbal, the commission examined more than 1,500 witnesses, including officials, surviving members of OBL’s family, surviving members of the family of the two Pakistani brothers who were protecting OBL, secretaries of government ministries, civilian officials concerned in Islamabad and local officials, notables, neighbours, journalists and military and intelligence personnel.

The commission conducted five field missions and met people of Toor Ghar town and also visited Kala Dhaka.

Dawn