Pakistan says Osama Bin Laden's Wives may be Extradited to the U.S.
On May 11, 2011 At 8:29 am
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The Pakistani government has indicated that it might extradite Osama bin Laden's wives and children to the US. At the time of the US Navy Seals attack on Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad mansion hideout three of his wives, one of whom was Yemeni and the others Saudis, were living with him. The U.S. government wants access to the women because it believes that they might be able to give information about details of the Al Qaeda terrorist's presence in Pakistan over the years. Osama bin Laden's wives have been kept in detention by the Pakistani government since the US attack in which their husband was shot dead.
The Pakistani government had come under pressure from the US government over questions of how the world's most wanted man had been living close to a Pakistani military garrison without the knowledge of the Pakistani government. The US government suspects that Pakistani intelligence services might have been aware of Osama bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad.
Analysts see Pakistan's offer to extradite Osama bin Laden's wives as attempt to douse tension between the Pakistani and the US governments. The Pakistani government had earlier defended itself, arguing that Osama bin Laden's undetected presence in Abbottabad was a failure not only of Pakistani intelligence but of the whole world.
In a speech to the parliament on Monday, the prime minister Yusuf Reza Gilani again defended the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), denying that it had protected Osama bin Laden.
Pakistani political commentator and analyst Imitiaz Gul said in an interview with Deutsche Welle that, "People are trying to figure out what the prime minister meant. They expected a clearer policy statement but what they heard was the premier's attempt to gloss over the bitter reality that Pakistan's airspace was violated and he was kept in the dark."
Meanwhile the Pakistani government remains under pressure both at home and abroad. Militant Islamic groups in Pakistan have already vowed to avenge Osama's bin Laden's death and their resolve may only be strengthened by decision of the Pakistani government to extradite Osama bin Laden's wives. With Islamic political groups protesting, opposition parties have stepped up calls demanding that the Prime Minister Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari step down.