ISLAMABAD - Pakistan had reached an understanding with the United States on drone strikes targeting militants and these attacks can be useful.

These remarks were attributed to former ISI director general Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha in the leaked report of Abbottabad Commission published by Aljazeera news network.

Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who headed Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency at the time of bin Laden’s killing in 2011, told investigators that drone strikes had their benefits. “The ISI DG said there were no written agreements. There was a political understanding,” the report said.

“The Americans had been asked to stop drone strikes because they caused civilian casualties, but it was easier to say no to them in the beginning, but now it was more difficult’ to do so,” it quoted the former spymaster as saying. “Admittedly, the drone attacks had their utility, but they represented a breach of the national sovereignty. They were legal according to the American law, but illegal according to the international law,” the report quoted the ISI chief as saying.

He also confirmed that Shamsi Airbase in southwestern Pakistan was being used for US drone strikes against the people in the country. Pakistan ordered the US personnel to leave the base after US airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011.

His interviews also laid bare extraordinary levels of distrust between Pakistan and the United States, particularly in 2011 when relations plummeted over the US raid that killed bin Laden and a CIA contractor who shot two Pakistanis dead.

Pasha said the US arrogance ‘knew no limits’ and accused the Americans of waging ‘psychological warfare’ over the whereabouts of Taliban leader Mullah Omar and bin Laden’s successor Ayman al-Zawahiri.

He quoted a US intelligence officer as saying, “you are so cheap. We can buy you with a visa.” He himself said that systemic failures showed Pakistan was a ‘failing state’.

The leaked report of Abbottabad Commission says that it is not clear if the unscheduled electricity loadshedding in Bilal Town at the time of the start of the raid was coincidental or deliberate, suggesting possibly connivance. The report says the US navy sales had night capability. But Osama bin Laden and his family were fumbling in the dark. The power returned after the killing of Ibrahim. But it is not clear if the light had returned by the time bin Laden and others in the main house had been killed.

Agencies add: The report is also fiercely critical of the “illegal manner” in which the United States conducted the raid. It chastises Pakistan’s leadership for failing to detect CIA activities on its soil, and does not rule out the involvement of rogue elements within the Pakistani intelligence service - a sensitive issue even to touch on in a high-profile inquiry. “The US acted like a criminal thug,” says the report by the Abbottabad Commission.

“But above all, the tragedy refers to the comprehensive failure of Pakistan to detect the presence of OBL (Osama bin Laden) on its territory for almost a decade or to discern the direction of US policy towards Pakistan that culminated in the avoidable humiliation of the people of Pakistan.” It was Pakistan’s ‘greatest humiliation’ since East Pakistan seceded in 1971, it said.

The report offers insights into the dramatic night of his death and paints a picture of a restless and paranoid man who often hit the road to avoid being caught.

“All the places in Pakistan where OBL stayed are not fully known,” the report says. “But it included FATA (South Waziristan and Bajaur), Peshawar, Swat and Haripur.” It found that he probably crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan’s Tora Bora area, where US forces were hunting him, sometime in 2002. His family moved from Afghanistan’s Kandahar to Karachi shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“They kept a very low profile and lived extremely frugally. They never exposed themselves to public view. They had minimum security,” the report says.

“OBL successfully minimised any ‘signature’ of his presence. His minimal support group blended easily with the surrounding community ... His wives, children and grandchildren hardly ever emerged from the places where they stayed. No one ever visited them, not even trusted Al-Qaeda members.”

His wives, in their testimonies, said bin Laden was not fond of personal possessions and had very few clothes.

“Before coming to Abbottabad he had just three pairs of shalwar kameez (traditional dress) for summer, and three pairs for winter,” the report says.

“Whenever OBL felt unwell (unofficial US accounts indicate he suffered from Addison’s disease), he treated himself with traditional Arab medicine ... and whenever he felt sluggish he would take some chocolate with an apple.”

The report offers fascinating details about life on the run for the world’s most wanted man, who, it says, wore a cowboy hat to avoid being spotted from above.

Written by a judge-led commission, the 336-page report is based on interviews with 201 sources including members of Osama’s family and various officials.

In one testimony showing how close bin Laden came to being captured, “Maryam”, the wife of one of his most trusted aides, recounted how his car was stopped by police in Swat.

“Once when they were all ... on a visit to the bazaar they were stopped for speeding by a policeman,” the report says. “But her (Maryam’s) husband quickly settled the matter with the policeman and they drove on.”

To avoid detection from the sky, bin Laden took to wearing a cowboy hat when moving about his compound in the city of Abbottabad, his wives told investigators.