The Pakistan government and its army were not just aware of the presence of Osama bin Laden in the country, but the al-Qaeda founder was in fact a state "guest", a leading Indian TV news channel has reported quoting the country's former defence minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar.
In an interview to IBN Live, Mukhtar admitted that the government, including the then President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani knew about it.
"The people who were part and parcel of the whole action like the President of Pakistan, the Armed Forces Chief, the Joint Chief of Staff and the agency people, they were all activated and they were all waiting for orders for them to come out with their teams and provide all the information which they should have done earlier," Mukhtar told the channel.
"Some people knew, people in the Pakistan Army as well as people in the other forces they also knew it and they were on the lookout for somebody of the stature of Osama Bin Laden," he said.
It comes as a big disclosure by the man who headed the crucial ministry of defence during the tenure of the then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani between 2008 and 2012, because Pakistan has always denied having information about Osama's presence in the country.
The man responsible for one of the world's biggest terror attacks – 9/11 attack at the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 – was hunted down by the American Navy Seal commandos at his fortress in military town Abbottabad, about 100 km from Islamabad, and killed in a very secret operation on 2 May, 2011.