Pakistan to Allow US Officials Access to Bin Laden Widows

Bloomberg | Pakistan will allow the U.S. to question the three wives of Osama bin Laden who were with him in the compound where American commandos killed the al-Qaeda leader last week, granting a measure of cooperation amid tensions following the raid.

The Obama administration expects to get access to the women soon, based on a response from the Pakistani government, a U.S. official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The specific timing of the access wasn’t set, the official said.

The decision followed verbal skirmishing between the two countries. Pakistani officials have said that the U.S. should have informed Pakistan of the operation in advance. U.S. officials have questioned how much Pakistani authorities knew about bin Laden’s presence in their country.

The Obama administration said yesterday that it wouldn’t apologize for entering Pakistan to raid bin Laden’s compound, as the South Asian country’s prime minister tried to counter domestic criticism over the military’s failure to detect and stop the U.S. attack.

“We obviously take the statements and concerns of the Pakistani government seriously,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said yesterday, speaking after Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, addressed the Parliament in Islamabad. “But we also do not apologize for the actions that we took.”

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