23:23 GMT22 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik):  Years after his country remained tight-lipped and in denial mode about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed it was his country’s spy agency, the ISI, which ultimately facilitated the efforts of the CIA to reach the then acting Al-Qaeda chief’s hideout in Pakistan.

    Prime Minister Khan said that the covert US Navy SEAL operation to kill Bin Laden in 2011 "hugely embarrassed Pakistan", as Islamabad felt that "as an ally of the US, had we been given the information about Bin Laden, we would have taken him out".

    "It was the ISI that provided the information which led to locating Osama bin Laden...If you ask the CIA, it was the ISI which gave the initial location through the phone connection," Pakistan Prime Minister Khan revealed to American Fox News channel while undertaking his three-day official US trip.

    Asked if his country would accept US demands to release jailed Dr Shakil Afridi, who helped the CIA locate Osama bin Laden in 2011, Khan said: "This is a very emotive issue because Shakeel Afridi in Pakistan is considered a spy."

    When it was pointed out that Bin Laden was a terrorist who killed over 3,000 Americans, Khan said: "We were fighting this war for the US, and we lost all these people fighting this war. So there was obviously a lot of anger about the way this whole thing was done. But you know that's all in the past".

    Bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist, was killed on 2 May 2011, in Pakistan's Abbottabad area near the country's military headquarters, by US Navy Seals. The mission was codenamed Operation Neptune Spear.

    Over the years, Pakistan had maintained there was not an iota of truth behind speculation that elements within Pakistan's military were aware of the location of Bin Laden's hideout.



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