The recent killing of Osama bin Laden has engendered speculation about the possible complicity of the Pakistani state in harbouring Bin Laden. But that speculation is misplaced and harmful to Americas future counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan, making the US less safe. America must be very clear on where its strategic differences with Pakistan lie and combating Al-Qaeda is not one of them. Of course, Pakistans strategic interests in certain areas do diverge from Americas. Pakistan has an interest in negotiating a complex series of temporary peace deals with the militant Haqqani network, which attacks American forces in Afghanistan, to ensure that it is not forced to operate on several fronts within Pakistan as it pursues the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan may also seek to leverage the Haqqani network to ensure greater Pakistan-friendly Pashtun participation in any eventual Afghan national government that looks to incorporate and negotiate with former Taliban affiliates, while simultaneously providing Pakistan with a hedge against growing Indian influence in Afghanistan. Pakistan has caught more terrorists than any country. But after three joint US-Pakistan operations since 2001 the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammad in Rawalpindi, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh in Karachi, and Abu Zubaidah in Faisalabad netting three top Al-Qaeda figures in three major Pakistani cities in operations led by Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), a narrative of Pakistani complicity when it comes to Al-Qaeda becomes unsustainable. As Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan noted, Pakistan has been responsible for capturing and killing more terrorists inside of Pakistan than any country, and its by a wide margin. Here, US and Pakistani interests are one and the same: If 3,000 American lives demanded that Bin Laden be brought to justice, so did the 30,000 Pakistanis killed or injured in the global war on terror since September 11. How can there not have been complicity when Abbottabad is only about 30 miles from the Pakistani capital, and is home to a military base, a military academy, and many retired officers? The defence against Pakistans complicity starts and should end with President Barack Obamas remarks on the subject that 'its important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to Bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Pakistans provision of intelligence leading to the discovery of Bin Laden is incompatible with allegations of complicity. Further, even after the fact, the ISI admitted it was never aware of Bin Ladens location. We were never able to put two and two together, explained an ISI official, Its unfortunate but we did not know of the people resident in that compound. To assess the credibility of this claim, and to address the ridiculous notion that the compounds mere presence, size, and structures such as its exterior walls should have tipped off local Abbottabad residents and military personnel in the area that Bin Laden was living within, its worth remembering that despite eight months of intensive monitoring by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA), and National Security Agency (NSA), nothing definitively confirmed that Bin Laden was at the compound. CIA Director Leon Panetta noted that even at the time of decision, the CIA was only 60 to 80 per cent confident Bin Laden was there at all. Because the US had forewarned Pakistan that if it had actionable intelligence on Bin Laden it would act unilaterally, it was able to take the risk that the Pakistani military would not retaliate. The way forward is not with allegations of complicity but of partnership and counterterrorism and counterinsurgency capacity-building assistance for US Pakistani partners. To echo House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, now is the time for 'more engagement, not less. Taha Gaya is the executive director of the Pakistani American Leadership Centre (PAL-C), a nonprofit political advocacy organisation representing the Pakistani American community to the US government. Gulf News