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US snubs Gilani, says it still has unanswered questions on Osama

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Washington: Hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani addressed his country's Parliament on the Osama operation in Abbottabad and said the US had violated the country's sovereignty, the Obama Administration said it won't apologize for entering Pakistani territory to raid Osama's compound as it was "within its right to do so."

The US also said it was still waiting for a response from Pakistan on the questions it has raised about how Osama bin Laden safely lived in his hideout in Pakistan's garrison city of Abbottabad for over five years, and whether he had any kind of support there.

"We have been pretty clear that we've asked some serious questions to the Pakistan government about what kind of possible support network may have existed. We expect at some point answers (to those questions)," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.

Speaking in Pakistan Parliament on Monday, Gilani had said he regretted that "unilateral action was taken without our concurrence." He said Pakistan was a proud nation and would defend its sovereignty and warned that "any attack, overt or covert, will get a matching response."

Reacting to Gilani's remarks, Toner said, "I am not going to praise his words. I am aware of his remarks. The President also spoke on 60 Minutes, as you know, last evening and spoke on some of these issues. And I believe he said that whenever we do have actual intelligence against someone who is responsible for thousands of American and other deaths, other nationalities, we're going to take action and feel it's within our right to do so.

"We've said pretty clearly...from the very first hours after the raid....that his (bin Laden's) whereabouts raise some questions - indeed in this administration and within Congress and, frankly, within the Pakistani government - about how he could have lived for such a long time, and whether he had any kind of support there," Toner added.

He said the US has not jumped to any conclusions but has asked questions and expressed its concerns to the Pakistani government and will wait for the response.

"I think that we don't expect answers quickly. We realize that will take some time, but, you know, we'll wait till we get a response," Toner said.

Toner said the US is aware of the history of birth of al-Qaeda, Taliban and the Mujahedeen and that bin Laden and al-Qaeda were responsible for thousands of deaths, both in the US and elsewhere around the globe, including Pakistan, and the world's a better place now that he's gone.

"We continue to be in dialogue with the Pakistani government and let's also be very clear that our counter-terrorism (efforts) with Pakistan has yielded results over the years. It hasn't always been a relationship where we've seen eye to eye, but we have made progress, significant process," he said.

"We put pressure on al-Qaeda. We had the success with bin Laden last week. So we believe it's a worthwhile relationship. We want to continue this cooperation. The President said that. The Secretary (of State) said that. We believe it's in our best interests," he added. (With PTI Inputs)

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/us-snubs-gilani-says-it-still-has-unanswered-questions-104655?cp

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