Perhaps they realized that stonewalling outright on the issue proved America’s point about their non-cooperation and validated keeping them out of the loop on the bin Laden raid all over again.
That said, Pakistan has left itself plenty of room to move the goalposts. Don’t be surprised if someone has to cut down a tree with a herring and bring a shrubbery or two in the process.
Just yesterday, the quotable Interior Minister Rehman Malik said “the United States could only question bin Laden’s wives if their ‘country of origin has been asked for permission’.” The country so outwardly obsessed with its sovereignty (largely abdicated to jihadists and their sympathizers anyway) in the wake of the bin Laden raid is telling us to go ask a third country for permission. It is a stalling tactic, of course, so that Pakistan can continue to play the double game and stick it to the West while taking all the aid they can get. Some people even call it a “partnership.”
Abbottabad, Pakistan (CNN) — The United States will be given access to Osama bin Laden’s wives, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told CNN on Tuesday.
On Monday, a senior Pakistani intelligence source had said the United States could only question bin Laden’s wives if their “country of origin has been asked for permission.”
Malik, in an interview Tuesday with CNN, did not give a timeline for when U.S. officials may speak with the wives and did not say where the access would take place.
Recalling the link above: “Ni!”
Pakistani officials have said bin Laden’s family members will be repatriated to their home countries after initial interrogations. One of bin Laden’s wives is from Yemen, the official said, while a well-placed U.S. official who would not speak on the record said the other two are from Saudi Arabia.
All three were taken into Pakistani custody after the May 2 raid by U.S. commandos that killed bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda terrorist movement.
The 29-year-old Yemeni wife, Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, was wounded during the raid. The U.S. official identified the other two women as Khairiah Sabar, also known as “Umm Hamza,” and Siham Sabar, or “Umm Khalid.”
While U.S. officials have raised questions about how bin Laden could have hidden for years in a compound in a city with heavy Pakistani military presence, Malik denied any suggestions that the world’s most wanted terrorist may have had a support network in the Pakistani government, military or intelligence services.
Militants against whom Pakistan has been battling would have been the ones providing support, Malik said.