Saturday, May 14, 2011


Pakistan's parliament condemns U.S. raid, threatens sanctions

(CNN) -- Pakistan's parliament threatened Saturday to cut off access to a facility used by NATO forces to ferry troops into Afghanistan, signaling a growing rift that began when U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on a Pakistani compound.

A resolution adopted during a joint session of parliament condemned the U.S. action. It also called for a review of its working agreement with the U.S., demanded an independent investigation and ordered the immediate end of drone attacks along its border region.

Failure to end unilateral U.S. raids and drone attacks will force Pakistan to "to consider taking necessary steps, including withdrawal of (the) transit facility" used by the NATO's International Security Assistance Force, according to the resolution.

U.S. lawmakers have questioned how the world's most wanted terrorist managed to live in plain sight for years in Pakistan -- near the country's elite military academy -- without being detected.

Pakistani and U.S. intelligence officials have said there is no evidence that any active members of Pakistan's military or intelligence establishment knew about or actively protected the al Qaeda leader.

Publicly, leaders in both countries have downplayed a rift.

But the unanimous resolution made clear there was a growing dissatisfaction among Pakistani lawmakers.

The resolution also ordered a review of its counter-terrorism cooperation agreement with the United States.

The government is deeply "distress(ed) on the campaign to malign Pakistan, launched by certain quarters in other countries without appreciating Pakistan's determined efforts and immense sacrifices in combating terror," the resolution said.

It also said more than 30,000 Pakistani civilians and more than 5,000 military personnel had been killed in its fight against terror "and the blowback emanating from actions of the NATO/ISAF forces in Afghanistan."

Anger over U.S. drone strikes has mounted during the past year after it stepped up efforts along the Pakistani-Afghan border.

On Friday, a suspected U.S. drone strike killed four suspected Islamic militants in the Datta Khel region of North Waziristan, according to two Pakistani intelligence officials. They said an unmanned aircraft fired four missiles at a militant's vehicle on the border area.

The demands by the Pakistani civilian government come as new details emerge about the raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad compound.

Members of the U.S. Navy SEAL team that attacked the compound were wearing helmet-mounted digital cameras that recorded the mission, a U.S. military official told CNN on Friday.

The official described the digital recording as hazy, fast-moving and subject to poor lighting in the rooms. The source also said it is hard to get clear images from the footage.

"This is not movie-quality stuff," the official said.

An official familiar with the material seized from the compound said Friday that Navy SEALs recovered a stash of pornography. The official would not discuss exactly where it was found, what it was or whether it is believed to belong to the al Qaeda leader or to someone else living at the site, such as bin Laden's couriers or his son.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Bin Laden's compound is also undergoing intense analysis, and U.S. officials say he apparently enjoyed a support network in Pakistan that allowed him to stay in one location for the past several years. He had no escape plan or means to destroy his reams and gigabytes of documents in the event of an enemy assault, according to the U.S. sources.

Two U.S. lawmakers joined a public chorus for the release of photos of bin Laden's body after seeing the images themselves.

"These are very graphic, gruesome pictures," said Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado. But seeing them "gave me a sense of finality and closure."

A conservative legal watchdog group has filed the first lawsuit seeking the public release of the video and photographs of the raid and its aftermath.

Judicial Watch is asking the Department of Defense to comply with a Freedom of Information request for the material, especially photos of bin Laden's body. The legal complaint to force compliance was made in federal court in Washington on Friday.

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