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Osama bin Laden's hideout and the Pakistan question

What did Pakistan know about bin Laden's whereabouts? Lawmakers in Congress demand an answer, and threaten aid restrictions. But for better or for worse, America must support Pakistan.

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How could at least some Pakistani officials not have known about the hiding place of Osama bin Laden, right under the nose of that country’s military establishment?

It’s the question ricocheting in Washington, as incredulous lawmakers again point to a “double game” by Islamabad over terrorism. Members of Congress now threaten to restrict billions of dollars in US aid to Pakistan – a move that would worsen one of America’s most troubled, yet important, relationships.

The United States is probing to find out what kind of support system Mr. bin Laden had at his compound deep in Pakistan before he was killed by US Navy SEALs in a raid on May 1.

The Pakistani government said it was surprised – and embarrassed – to find out this week about bin Laden’s compound – near the nation’s capital.

But it’s also important not to let the US-Pakistan relationship sink further. The stakes for America are tremendous. Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and Islamic terrorists seek to overthrow the weak democratic government. That’s a direct threat to the US, as well as Pakistan’s neighbors.

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