Washington: Notwithstanding Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani's strong words on Osama bin Laden, the US said it still had serious questions over the safe hideout of the slain al-Qaeda leader deep inside that country for over five years and that it was waiting for a response.
"We have been pretty clear that we've asked some serious questions of the Pakistan government about what kind of possible support network may have existed. We expect at some point answers (to those questions)," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters yesterday at his daily news conference.
"I think that we don't expect answers quickly. We realise that will take some time, but, you know, we'll wait till we get a response," he said.
Referring to the Obama Administration's stated policy, Toner said whenever the US has actionable intelligence against someone who's responsible for thousands of American and other deaths, other nationalities; it is going to take action.
"It's within our right to do so," he said.
"We've said pretty clearly; from the very first hours after the raid said that his (bin LadenÂs) whereabouts raise some questions about, indeed, in this administration and within Congress and within the Pakistani government, about how he could have lived for such a long time, and whether he had any kind of support there," Toner said.
In an address to Parliament yesterday, Gilani reminded the US of its own role in the creation of al Qaeda and indirectly criticised that country for bin Laden's presence in Pakistan's military garrison town of Abbottabad. "Pakistan is not the birthpalce of al-Qaeda," he had said.
Toner said the US has not jumped into any conclusions but has asked questions and expressed its concerns to the Pakistani government and will wait for the response.
He said the US is aware of the history of birth of al-Qaeda, Taliban and the Mujahedeen and that bin Laden and al-Qaeda were responsible for thousands of deaths, both in the US and elsewhere around the globe, including Pakistan, and the world's a better place now that he's gone.
"We continue to be in dialogue with the Pakistani government and let's also be very clear that our counterterrorism with Pakistan has yielded results over the years. It hasn't always been a relationship where we've seen eye to eye, but we have made progress, significant process," he said.
"We put pressure on al-Qaeda. We had the success with bin Laden last week. So we believe it's a worthwhile relationship. We want to continue this cooperation. The President said that. The Secretary (of State) said that. We believe it's in our best interests," he added.