The U.S. might cut-off billions of dollars of Pakistani military aid after Osama bin Laden was found living next door to Pakistan’s version of West Point, leading many to conclude that Pakistan was obviously hiding the Al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, vice chairman of Homeland Security appropriations:
“Until Congress and the American public are assured that the Pakistani government is not shielding terrorists, financial aid to Pakistan should be suspended.”
Former high commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy:
“Pakistan stands exposed having harbored the most wanted terrorist in the world. The elimination of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan will now increasingly become an international priority.”
White House counterterrorism adviser Tom Brennan:
“…it’s inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time.”
Carl Levin, chairman of Senate Armed Services committee: “it’s almost impossible to conceive” that Pakistani army and intelligence officials didn’t have suspicions or inside knowledge about who was in the million-dollar, fortified compound.
“Did nobody else notice this? I don’t know how it could go unnoticed.”
Former CIA officer Bob Baer said it was “impossible” that Pakistani authorities didn’t know bin Laden was there, considering the location and how they operate.
Intelligence experts also believe Pakistani army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani must have known of bin Laden’s presence. Embarrassingly, just last month Kayani visited Abbottabad and proclaimed that Pakistan had ‘cracked’ the forces of terrorism.
Since 2001 the U.S. government has approved about $20 billion for Pakistan in direct military payments, making it one of the top recipients of U.S. aid according to the Congressional Research Service. The aid was supposedly earmarked for Pakistan to root out Al Qaeda and Taliban militants.
The U.S. decided not to trust Pakistan in advance with sensitive information on bin Laden’s whereabouts when they found evidence last August that he was residing in Abbotabad in a compound “custom-built to hide someone of significance”.
Pakistan wasn’t informed of the SEAL raid that killed bin Laden on Sunday until it was over. Some analysts have suggested the U.S. must have jammed Pakistani radars to invade the country’s airspace to accomplish their task.