Osama given shelter by Hizbul Mujahedeen: Report
There are indications emerging that the terror mastermind was sheltered by one of the militant groups that has enjoyed tolerance, if not support, from Pakistani military intelligence services, Globe and Mail reported.
The paper quoted a Pakistani police officer familiar with bin Laden`s compound to say the house was used by Hizbul Mujahedeen. The group`s chief Syed salahuddin is based in PoK capital Muzaffarabad.
Pakistan has denied any collusion with terrorists, saying that its leading intelligence service had been sharing information with US counterparts since 2009 about the compound where bin Laden was found.
In the wake of the raid, Islamabad scrambled to ensure that precise ownership of the compound would not become public knowledge, the paper said quoting Pakistani officials.
"The place belonged to Hizbul Mujahedeen," the police officer said.
"But the authorities have asked us not to share any information about the exact ownership."
Land-registry officials in Abbottabad, known in the local language as patwaris, were summoned to a meeting yesterday and urged to keep quiet.
"The patwaris are meeting right now," a local official said.
"They are being instructed not to say anything about the land-ownership issue."
American officials have described the owners as "brothers", and neighbours recalled seeing a pair of men, possibly ethnic Pashtuns from the rugged western frontier, who largely kept to themselves.
Their names were reported in local media as Bara Khan and Chota Khan, or Arshad Pathan and Chota Pathan.
A Pakistani official said the mystery surrounding the two men has deepened with the discovery that their national identity cards were faked.
Demands grew louder yesterday for an investigation that would determine what support bin Laden received inside Pakistan.
"If I were a prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice…I would be tempted to call a grand jury," wrote Steve Coll, a Pulitzer-winning biographer of bin Laden.
"Who owned the land on which the house was constructed?"
If the ownership were traced to Hizbul, it would mark an unusual example of co-operation between the militant group and its more extreme cousin, al-Qaeda. Hizbul has maintained a narrow focus on removing Indian forces from Kashmir, while Al-Qaeda pursues global ambitions.
"This is the first time I`ve heard of links between Hizbul Mujahedeen and Osama, but its members would probably admire him," said Kamran Bokhari of Stratfor international analysts.