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I would have apologised for Abbottabad: Musharraf
Published on 9 May. 2011 12:34 AM IST
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The presence of Osama bin Laden deep in Pakistan was “embarrassing”, said former president Pervez Musharraf, adding he might have apologized for failing to track down the Al Qaeda if he was in power.Speaking to CNN-IBN’s Karan Thapar, Musharraf also said it was “incompetence” that the Al Qaeda chief’s hideout in Abbottabad city did not come to the knowledge of the Pakistani authorities. “Yes, it is indeed embarrassing,” he said in the interview.
“Pakistan needs an explanation to itself how did this incompetence and failure occur? I think we should answer that to ourself first...“I strongly believe that is incompetence and not complicity. Therefore we need to find out who is incompetent.”
On May 2, helicopter-borne US Navy SEALs swept into a compound in Abbottabad, just over an hour’s drive from the capital Islamabad, and killed Osama, the world’s most wanted terrorist. He said if any section of the Pakistani establishment was complicit in hiding Osama, then US President Barack Obama would not have thanked Pakistani intelligence agencies. He admitted the lapse was as big as that which led to 9/11, as well as the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. “Well as big as maybe Mumbai, as big as 9/11, it is incompetence, yes.”
Asked if he felt that Pakistan Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha should resign over the Osama affair, Musharraf said: “Well, I leave it to them to decide.” Asked what he would have done if he had been in their position, the former army chief said he would have apologized.
“I may have apologized on behalf of the intelligence agencies because this is a great slip up, this is a great embarrassment, to that extent...” he said. But Musharraf underlined that the US should not repeat the kind of commando raid that killed Osama.

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