New Delhi: BJP and Congress today hit out at Pakistan for its "duplicity" after former Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar reportedly claimed in a TV interview that its top civilian and military leadership knew about Osama bin Laden's presence in the country much before the US Navy SEALs killed him.
"Pakistan's duplicity has been exposed time and again. They should do their duty before they speak against India or anybody else," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said. The Pakistani establishment, the country's powerful army chief and the intelligence agency ISI were aware that Osama was living in Abbottabad, Mukhtar, who was defence minister between 2008 and 2012, said in an interview to CNN-IBN.
Mukhtar, however, later denied making these remarks. "Regarding the interview being shown on CNN-IBN, and having been the defence minister, I categorically deny and consider these statements utter nonsense and totally misquoted," he later told Geo News.
"It's indeed grossly serious. We will request not only the US president as also the UN General Assembly but also the entire world community to take note of a state that protects terrorists and terrorism," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
The former defence minister's admissions are contrary to what Pakistan has been claiming so far that it was unaware of Osama's presence in the country until the US Navy SEALs killed him in a daring raid on his Abbottabad compound on May 2, 2011.
"I am not supposed to comment on selective appearance of real truth which has an uncany habbit of appearing with alarming regularity... Pakistani establishment encourgages terrorism. It is the root cause of this war. The international community is equally concerned. Today what their former defence minister has said is only an affirmation of that," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.