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Pakistan launches Bin Laden inquiry

Pakistan's government has named the members of a commission tasked with probing the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including how it come about that the al Qaida chief was living in a Pakistani garrison city.

Parliament passed a resolution earlier this month demanding that an independent commission - as opposed to one led by the military - to investigate the May 2 incursion, which deeply humiliated Pakistani leaders.

Its creation suggests the weak civilian government is using the opportunity to gain leverage over the powerful security establishment during a time when army and intelligence leaders are facing unusual levels of public criticism.

Pakistan has a poor history when it comes to holding leaders accountable for mistakes, especially if they are in the security establishment.

Commissions may be formed, but their findings often are not far-reaching and may not be released to the public.

The five-member panel commission will be led by Javed Iqbal, a Supreme Court justice. Its other members include a retired lieutenant general and a former ambassador.

According to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's office, the commission's mandate includes establishing "the full facts" regarding bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, as well as details about the US incursion.

The commission is also expected to figure out what security lapses were involved on the Pakistani side, and to ultimately make "consequential recommendations".

Pakistan relies on billions of dollars in US aid to help keep its economy afloat and its military strong.

The US needs Pakistan's co-operation against Islamist militants who use its soil to plan attacks on the West. It also considers Pakistan key to prospects for a peace deal between the Taliban and the government in neighbouring Afghanistan.


From Belfast Telegraph