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Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari defended his country on Monday against accusations it did not do enough to track down Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but made no direct comment on alleged intelligence failures.
"Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilised world," Zardari said in an op-ed for The Washington Post.
Underneath a headline reading "Pakistan did its part," he added: "we in Pakistan take some satisfaction that our early assistance in identifying an Al-Qaeda courier ultimately led to this day."
But Zardari provided no detailed explanation on how bin Laden managed to live for years undetected in Abbottabad, a hillside retreat popular with retired Pakistani generals just a few hours drive from Islamabad.
"He was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be, but now he is gone," Zardari wrote.
Earlier Pakistan's envoy to the United States, Husain Haqqani, promised a "full inquiry" into any intelligence failures, while angry US lawmakers demanding to know how a man blamed for killing thousands of Americans lived unperturbed in a country that receives billions of dollars of US aid.
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