WASHINGTON, July 11: Former Pakistan ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani has rejected the Abbottabad Commission’s suggestion that as ambassador he issued visas without authorisation or was responsible for CIA agents coming into Pakistan in large numbers.
Mr Haqqani said in a statement that the US Navy SEALS who found Osama bin Laden did not come with visas and the entire controversy over visas had been manufactured to distract attention from the two vital questions. “The first question is, why Pakistan’s bloated security agencies failed to find OBL for nine years and the second, how were the US SEALS able to come into Pakistan without detection by our security forces,” he said.
The former ambassador said the commission interviewed him on Dec 19, 2011 in Islamabad and he informed it that he did not have access to official records for visas at the time but the commission had not recorded that point in its report. He added that the figures for visas were provided by officials at the embassy and the foreign ministry after he had resigned and to say that these came from him was “an absolute falsehood”.
Mr Haqqani also said that giving a visa to a person does not make him invisible within Pakistan. “Entry of that person is still recorded at the airport and he can be followed like thousands of Pakistanis and foreigners are followed by intelligence agencies,” he said.