Pakistan Talks Tough After Bin Laden Hit
Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said in a public statement Thursday any county attempting a raid in its territory like the one US conducted to kill Osama Bin Laden on May 2 would "face military consequences. "
"We feel that that sort of misadventure or miscalculation would result in a terrible catastrophe," Bashir said. "There should be no doubt Pakistan has adequate capacity to ensure its own defense."
"Any other country that would ever act on the assumption that it has the might and mimic unilateralism of any sorts will find ... that it has made a basic miscalculation."
The raid by US special forces that killed Washington's public enemy number one in Pakistan's garrison town of Abbottabad was conducted without informing Islamabad and has exposed Pakistan's military to sharp criticism at home.
It has also brought to bear pressure on the US ally to explain how it was possible for Bin Laden to live so close to the Pakistani military's main academy without its security services knowing.
"We don't really have any intelligence that indicates that Pakistan was aware that bin Laden was there, or that this compound was a place where he was hiding," CIA Director Leon Panetta told CBS Evening News.
"But having said that, this was a location that was very close to a military academy. It was close to other sensitive military sites. It had been there since almost five years ago. It was very unusual as a compound. I just think they need to respond to the questions about why they did not know that that kind of compound existed," Panetta said.
Bashir dismissed any suggestion the Pakistani military, or Inter-Services Intelligence, Islamabad's premier spy agency, had been involved with al-Qaeda and issued a blunt warning against any further intrusions.
While many observers suggest Bashir's comments were primarily intended for India, which is at loggerheads with Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region, and with whom Pakistan has warred several times, others suggest the message may also be intended for the United States.
"Any repeat of Abbotabad-like violation of Pakistani sovereignty would warrant a review on the level of military and intelligence cooperation with the United States," Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani told a Corps Commanders Conference on Thursday
"The Corps Commanders were informed about the decision to reduce the strength of US military personnel in Pakistan to the minimum essential," said the statement.
"While admitting own shortcomings in developing intelligence on the presence of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan," the statement continued. "It was highlighted that the achievements of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), against Al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates in Pakistan, have no parallel."
Meanwhile the Pakistani air force claims the US disabled its radars during the raid, and local TV stations are broadcasting ads lauding the nation's security forces. Pakistan's military has also barred access to bin Laden's fortified complex – apparently in to keep away admirers.