ISLAMABAD - The Abbottabad Commission Report has severely criticized Pakistan's premier intelligence agency - ISI - for its failure and inability to track down Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden while he had been lived here for many years before his death in a US operation.
According to the leaked classified report of Al Jezeera' website, the Commission concludes that for ISI to suggest that it stopped its own search for Osama Bin Laden (OBL) because it thought the US had done so showed both its naiveté and its lack of commitment to eradicating organized extremism, ignorance and violence which is the biggest threat to Pakistan.
The Commission observed that the ISI assertion that every one including US thought OBL was no longer alive was obviously incorrect. The US may at some time have believed that OBL had probably died, but it never closed the file on him. It never stopped the manhunt. It just stopped sharing information with ISI.
The report says that the Commission cannot escape the conclusion while the ISI simply took over the search for OBL after the US conquest an occupation of Afghanistan and later, the investigation of May 2, 2011, it completely failed to track down OBL. There was no real search for OBL allowing its foreign and domestic critics to allege that its operations were too close to their "assets" in the field would never tolerate a betrayal of OBL who for them was an even biggest symbol of "heroic resistance to the corrupt West", than Al-Qaeda itself.
The Commission further says that the pretence that the ISI leadership was in command was exposed by the fact that they dared not offend their most zealous operatives, gave the ISI its fearful reputation. The country suffered military humiliation, national outrage and instrumental isolation.
The Commission severely questioning the performance and competence of the premier intelligence agency says that the CIA network (how many we do not know) to locate OBL, kill OBL, to engage in other "dirty tricks" and "black ops" insinuated their presence in Pakistan under the cover of NGOs, local recruits and trained "thugs and killers" like Raymond Davis who got visas on demand-no questions asked. The handling of Raymond Davis case was itself a national disgrace in which the ISI played an inglorious role.
The ISI, no wonder, lost control over both violent Jihadi militants extremists on the one hand, and the CIA special operatives and dirty tricks killers on the other. Even after May 2, the ISI failed to reveal much about the details of OBL's network of support beyond the two dead Pakistani security guard cum couriers Ibrahim and Abrar, the OBL residence in Haripur, and the testimonies of the wives of OBL and the wife of Ibrahim. It has not even located the residences in Quetta, Peshawar, WANA, Swat, Karachi etc where OBL and/or his family members stayed during their long sojourn in Pakistan. It just prevented other authorized agencies from doing possibly a better job despite their lack of resources.
The report says that DG ISI before the Commission stated that civilian institutions were highly politicised and this had led to the ISI being "over burdened' by the responsibilities that did not fall within its Charter. The police, he said, worked in "pathetic conditions," which was why it could not do its job and the ISI had to fill the vacuum. "But with all its resources the ISI also failed mainly because it was even more involved with the political, power and "ideological" structures of the country. It had become more political and less professional and the country suffered on both counts," the Commission concluded.
The Commission observed that SOPs were apparently not strictly followed so all the HVTs (High Value Targets) who were arrested were quickly handed over to the US. As a result, the ISI again failed to obtain possibly critically important information. At a meeting, ISI informed the Commission that often enough Arab militants refused to disclose information to them, which later they readily confessed to the CIA. The Commission observed that this, of course, did not reflect well on the competence of the ISI, or the esteem in which it was held. Of course, it is also possible that because they know they were going to be handed over to the CIA, it make more sense to cooperate with the Americans.