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Government commission report into OBL raid still remains classified on 4th anniversary

By Raza Haidery

It has been four years since US Navy SEALs commandos flew from Afghanistan to Abbottabad and killed Al-Qaeda Chief Osama Bin Laden at his compound, not far from the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA). However, the report of the Government of Pakistan’s Commission set up to probe this incident remains classified to this date. However, a version of it was leaked by Al Jazeera in July 2013.

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Former Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden

In the wee hours of 2nd May, U.S. Marines raided a house in Bilal Town area of Abbotabad not far from the PMA and claimed to have shot dead the world’s most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden’s wife was also said to be gravely injured in the raid whereas one U.S. helicopter had also reportedly crashed during the crackdown.

Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad

The debris of the helicopter which crashed during the raid at Osama Bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad

On May 6, Al Qaeda in its statements confirmed that their leader was indeed killed during the raid and vowed to carry out attacks. It should be noted that United States leadership had publicly stated that they had not informed the Pakistani authorities about the raid.

US President Barack Obama (2nd left), former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd right) and officials look on as US SEALs raid Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan’s city of Abbottabad.

The news of Osama Bin Laden’s killing was on the front-page of every news channel in the world.

The Pakistan government formed a commission, under the supervision of then Supreme Court judge Justice Javed Iqbal, to investigate the incident. The investigation team recorded the eye-witness accounts but never made the report public.

On the other hand, a person named Dr. Shakeel Afridi was arrested over charges of keeping contacts with banned groups and organizing fake polio campaign in Abbottabad to facilitate finding out Osama bin Laden. In 2012, a court sentenced Dr Shakeel Afridi to 33 years in prison but this was overturned in 2013 and a retrial was ordered. In 2015, an additional case of murder was put on Dr Afridi, linked to the alleged death of a patient. On March 17, 2015, his lawyer, Samiullah Afridi, was shot dead by unknown assailants in Peshawar.

Dr. Shakeel Afridi arrested over charges of keeping contacts with banned groups and organizing fake polio campaign in Abbottabad to facilitate finding out Osama bin Laden.

The compound where Bin Laden lived was demolished by the authorities after the investigation and the land was transferred to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government. The property is now a playground for children.

Authorities demolish Osama Bin Laden’s compound

However, several people in the country believe that Osama was not residing in Pakistan and the raid was staged to defame the country.

After four years, the raid of Osama Bin Laden still remains a mystery today. The real facts still remain hidden as the report, containing the eye-witness accounts and statements, were never revealed in front of the nation which stills makes us ask that “what happened on 2nd May, 2011 when the US troops raided Abbottabad?”

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