PARIS: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday that spy agencies around the world share the blame for his country’s failure to capture al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, killed by US forces.
“Certainly, we have intelligence failure of the rest of the world including the United States,” Gilani told reporters in Paris, where he was meeting with business leaders.
“There is intelligence failure of the whole world, not Pakistan alone.”
Separately France’s foreign minister Alain Juppe said he had dined with Gilani on Tuesday and asked him how bin Laden went uncaught living in a city near Islamabad while being hunted by the United States.
“The reply was that it was a failure of the Pakistani intelligence services, which they have addressed,” Juppe told news channel France 24.
But he moved to ease the pressure on Pakistan, a crucial ally in efforts to track extremist groups.
“In any case I think we should avoid any antagonism with Pakistan. It is a big country. We have every interest in keeping good relations with it, and it should cooperate,” Juppe said.
“I hope this will be a turning point in the right direction. The Pakistani prime minister assured me yesterday of his will to cooperate,” Juppe added.
“There will be no solution in Afghanistan, no long-lasting political solution, if we do not manage to work in trust with Pakistan.”
He added that France was considering a target date of 2014 to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, where it currently has about 4,000 serving in a Nato force.