U.S. investigators, who have been sifting through a huge stash of material seized on May 2 after U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in his Pakistani hideout, want to question his wives as they seek to trace his movements and his network.
A Pakistani decision to allow U.S. investigators to question the women could begin to stabilise relations between the allies that have been severely strained by the killing of the al Qaeda leader.
A U.S. official said in Washington on Monday Pakistan appeared ready to grant access to the wives who were detained by Pakistani authorities at bin Laden’s compound after the raid.
But Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said it had received no U.S. request while other officials said no decision had been taken.
“It’s too early to even think about it,” said a senior government official, adding that Pakistani investigators had yet to finish their own questioning.
Pakistan says the wives, one from Yemen and two from Saudi Arabia, and their children, will be repatriated. Pakistan was making contacts with their countries but they had yet to say they would take them, the Pakistani official said.
Bin Laden was shot dead in a top-secret raid in the northern Pakistani town of Abbottabad to the embarrassment of Pakistan which has for years denied the world’s most wanted man was on its soil. Reuters