Video: Pakistan denies hiding bin Laden
Published 03/05/2011 | 08:31
The president of Pakistan has dismissed claims that his country harboured Osama bin Laden as "baseless speculation" as America said it was determined to find out how the figurehead remained undetected.
Asif Ali Zardari came out fighting after Pakistan was thrown into the spotlight when the al Qaida leader was found living in an obviously unusual mansion near a military academy in the town of Abbottabad, 60 miles from the capital Islamabad.
Mr Zardari denied Pakistan "lacked vitality" in its fight against terrorism. And he claimed his country was "perhaps the world's greatest victim of terrorism".
Writing in the Washington Post, he said: "Some in the US press have suggested that Pakistan lacked vitality in its pursuit of terrorism, or worse yet that we were disingenuous and actually protected the terrorists we claimed to be pursuing.
"Such baseless speculation may make exciting cable news, but it doesn't reflect fact.
"Pakistan had as much reason to despise al Qaida as any nation.
"The war on terrorism is as much Pakistan's war as it is America's."
The leader acknowledged bin Laden's assassination was not a joint operation between his military and the Americans.
But he insisted a decade of co-operation and partnership between the countries led to his elimination "as a continuing threat to the civilised world".