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Pakistan-US ties post-bin Laden kill

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The operation to kill bin Laden without Islamabad's knowledge has thrown up many difficult questions for Pakistan, as a strategic partner of the United States in the War Against Terror.

As further details emerge from Abbottabad, questions are being raised about the reality of their diplomatic relationship.

Pakistan is still reeling from the revelations that are continuing to trickle in about the American military operation to hunt and kill Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.

The latest details from US sources reveal that the CIA had established a safe house in Abbottabad to conduct extensive surveillance on the bin Laden compound over a period of months.

Local informants were employed to track activities in and around the building to help build a picture of daily life there.

That ultimately led to a spectacular coup that ended the world's biggest manhunt.

In spite of this audacious breach of it's sovereignty, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir was adamant in a press briefing on Thursday that it would not set a precedent for similar actions in the future.

But the issue of the presence of US intelligence services in Pakistan has been contentious for some time.

Back in January, CIA contractor Raymond Davies caused a storm by shooting dead two Pakistani nationals in eastern city of Lahore.

His evasion of the Pakistani justice system, served only to further inflame concerns about US involvement in Pakistani affairs.

The killing of the Al Qaeda head in Abbottabad on Monday has soured an already difficult relationship.

It was immediately revealed that the CIA had pointedly not informed Pakistan's ISI of the operation beforehand; putting the relationship between the two under the spotlight once again.

But political analysts in Pakistan are less shocked than many.

They say that the very perception of a relationship between the two agencies is false.

"The issue of shared intelligence is just one of the many controversies surrounding the US operation on Osama bin Laden.

Not least of all because of the pains to which Islamabad and Washington have gone to to cultivate a strong public image.

And while Pakistan is now engaged in a damage limitation exercise; what's being said behind closed doors is anybody's guess. Farzana Fiaz, CCTV, Islamabad. "

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