WASHINGTON - The United States Thursday brushed aside as entirely wrong a statement by the former ISI chief that the spy agency "most likely sheltered" Osama bin Laden, the slain al-Qaeda leader.

The State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, was quite categorical in rejecting Gen (rtd) Asad Durrani's suggestion he made during a recent interview with al-Jazeera television that ISI might have known about bin Laden's location before the US special forces raided his compound in Abbottabad in 2011, saying there was 'no reason' to believe that Pakistan government knew about his whereabouts.

"As we've stated in the past, and the President (Barack Obama) and Secretary (Hillary) Clinton at the time stated, we don't have any reason to believe that the government of Pakistan knew about the location of bin Laden. That remains our belief," Psaki told reporters at her daily news briefing.

"Correct", Psaki responded when asked what Durrani is saying is entirely wrong.

The ex-ISI chief Durrani, in the interview, said that most likely ISI sheltered Osama bin Laden and hoped to use the al-Qaeda chief as a bargaining chip with America to strike a deal on Afghanistan.

“I cannot say exactly what happened but my assessment…was it is quite possible that they (the ISI) did not know but it was more probable that they did,” Durrani said in the interview. “The idea was that at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been, when you can get the necessary quid pro quo – if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States,” he said.