ISLAMABAD, Pakistan--Amid growing U.S. and Pakistani suspicions, Pakistan's prime minister on Monday dismissed as "absurd" U.S. allegations that the nation's powerful military was "complicit or incompetent" in the case of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who was killed a week ago by U.S. Navy SEALs in a compound 35 air miles from Pakistan's capital.
Even as Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani spoke, however, some U.S. officials expressed anger that once again the name of the top U.S. spy in Pakistan had been disclosed by Pakistani news organizations in what some say might have been retaliation for the raid.
In his first address to parliament since bin Laden's death, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said a three-star general would lead an inquiry into the "how, when and why" of bin Laden's years-long stay in Abbottabad, home to Pakistan's most prestigious military academy and the headquarters of two Pakistan army regiments.
But he left it clear that he did not expect the investigation would find that the military or Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, had conspired to keep bin Laden's presence a secret.
"It is disingenuous for anyone to blame Pakistan or state institutions of Pakistan, including the ISI and the armed forces, for being in cahoots with the al-Qaida," Gilani said. "It was al-Qaida and its affiliates that carried out hundreds of suicide bombings in nearly every town and city of Pakistan and also targeted political leaders, state institutions, the ISI and the General Headquarters" of the military.
Whether the results of the investigation will be made public wasn't clear.
In an interview Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes," President Barack Obama said bin Laden must have had a "support network" in Pakistan, though U.S. officials have said they have yet to find any evidence tying the Pakistani government to bin Laden.
CIA Director Leon Panetta reportedly told members of Congress in Washington last week that the Pakistani government either knew of bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad or was incompetent because it was unaware of it.