ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's government on Tuesday named the members of a commission tasked with probing the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including how it come about that the al-Qaida chief was living in a Pakistani garrison city.
Parliament passed a resolution earlier this month demanding that an independent commission — as opposed to one led by the military — investigate the May 2 incursion, which deeply humiliated Pakistani leaders.
Its creation suggests the weak civilian government is using the opportunity to gain leverage over the powerful security establishment during a time when army and intelligence leaders are facing unusual levels of public criticism.
Pakistan has a poor history when it comes to holding leaders accountable for mistakes, especially if they are in the security establishment. Commissions may be formed, but their findings often are not far-reaching and may not be released to the public.
The five-member panel commission will be led by Javed Iqbal, a Supreme Court justice. Its other members include a retired lieutenant general and a former ambassador.
According to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's office, the commission's mandate includes establishing "the full facts" regarding bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, as well as details about the U.S. incursion.
The commission is also expected to figure out what security lapses were involved on the Pakistani side, and to ultimately make "consequential recommendations."
The bin Laden killing battered the already uneasy relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.
While Pakistani leaders insist they had no idea the terrorist leader was hiding in the northwest city of Abbottabad, suspicions persist in the U.S. that some elements within Pakistan's security forces may have helped hide the al-Qaida leader.
Even so, both sides are likely to do their utmost to patch things up.
Pakistan relies on billions of dollars in U.S. aid to help keep its economy afloat and its military strong.
The U.S. needs Pakistan's cooperation against Islamist militants who use its soil to plan attacks on the West. It also considers Pakistan key to prospects for a peace deal between the Taliban and the government in neighboring Afghanistan.
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