Pakistan: Failure To Find Bin Laden Not Ours Alone Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the al-Qaida leader's death in a covert U.S. raid last week was "indeed justice." But in his first statement since the U.S. operation, he said Pakistan reserved the right to "retaliate" against any future "unilateral strike."
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Pakistan: Failure To Find Bin Laden Not Ours Alone

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Pakistan: Failure To Find Bin Laden Not Ours Alone

Pakistan: Failure To Find Bin Laden Not Ours Alone

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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

And as NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Islamabad, the speech indirectly criticized the U.S. for bin Laden's presence in the country.

JULIE MCCARTHY: Pakistan's prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, said Osama bin Laden's death in the covert U.S. raid last week was indeed justice. But in his first statement since the American operation, Gilani was stern with the U.S., saying Pakistan reserved the right to retaliate against any future unilateral strike.

YOUSUF RAZA GILANI: Our people are rightly incensed on the issue of violation of sovereignty as typified by the covert U.S. air and ground assault. No one should underestimate the resolve and capability of our nation to defend our sacred homeland.

MCCARTHY: The allegation gaining currency last week, in a vacuum of official silence, was that Pakistan's security establishment knew where bin Laden was hiding. But Gilani brushed aside the charge of complicity by Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, or incompetence by the military that failed to interdict the U.S. May 2nd mission.

RAZA GILANI: It is disingenuous for anyone to blame Pakistan or state institution of Pakistan, including the ISI and the armed forces for being in cahoots with al-Qaida.

MCCARTHY: Instead, in his account of the history of al-Qaida, he blamed the U.S. for having helped Islamist militants take root in Pakistan by helping support the jihad that ousted the Soviets from Afghanistan.

RAZA GILANI: Pakistan alone cannot be held to account for flawed policies and blunders of others. Pakistan is not the birthplace of al-Qaida. We did not invite Osama bin Laden to Pakistan or even to Afghanistan.

MCCARTHY: Unidentified Man: (Foreign language spoken)

MCCARTHY: At the Raja market in Rawalpindi, 62-year-old Shaikh Mohammad Aslam said he was furious over what he called government incompetence.

SHAIKH MOHAMMAD ASLAM: (Foreign language spoken)

MCCARTHY: But analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi says it appears the government has chosen to stoke anti-American passions to distract from its own shortcomings. He says it's an effective tool in a country where the United States is increasingly seen as arrogant and unyielding.

HASAN ASKARI RIZVI: You don't talk of terrorism. You don't talk of militancy. You don't talk of what Osama was saying about Pakistan. You just talk against America.

MCCARTHY: Julie McCarthy, NPR News, Islamabad.

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