Strained ties: Pakistan`s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (right) shakes hands with US Senator Joh
PAKISTAN has launched four separate probes into Osama bin Laden's life and death on Pakistani soil, US Senator John Kerry said yesterday, adding that Pakistan's intelligence chief has promised to tell him if it turns out someone in his agency knew bin Laden was there. Pakistan, in what some US officials said was a gesture to show it cared about helping the US fight militants, arrested what it claimed was a "senior" al Qaeda operative. But US officials were skeptical. Kerry, just back from a trip to Pakistan, said there were four Pakistani investigations into the circumstances of the death of bin Laden, who was living in a compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad before US forces killed him on May 2. Kerry did not know when the probes might produce results, and noted that the US was also sifting through evidence that could indicate whether Pakistan knew of bin Laden's whereabouts before his death. "I do know this, that the head of Pakistani intelligence told me that if someone at their lower level knew it, they will find out," Kerry told reporters outside the Senate. Washington's fragile ties with ally Islamabad took a beating after US special forces flew in on a secret operation and killed bin Laden, nearly 10 years after he orchestrated the September 11 attacks on the US. Irate US lawmakers wary of Pakistan's promises of cooperation against militants in the region have threatened to cut off US aid to the country. Kerry is close to the Obama administration and has gone to Pakistan before to try and tamp down crises in relations with Washington. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton said yesterday she had been in constant contact with Kerry during his trip. Clinton said she had also spoken in recent days with Pakistan's top leaders, including President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief General Ashfaq Kayani, and talks would continue when US special envoy Marc Grossman visits Islamabad soon. Deputy CIA director Mike Morell is also going on that trip, which is expected to prepare for a visit by Clinton. ends
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