Pakistan faces big questions, says Cameron

David Cameron stoked diplomatic tensions with Pakistan last night after he said Osama bin Laden must have had a "support network" in the country to live undetected for several years.

He said the Pakistani authorities would have to face "searching questions" over the al-Qa'ida leader's comfortable existence in the fortified compound stormed by US troops.

The Prime Minister also raised the prospect of accelerating the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan if the Taliban took the opportunity to lay down their weapons and join talks on the nation's future.

He said he did not want a "flaming great row" with a Pakistani leadership which was committed to tackling terrorism. But Mr Cameron made clear he suspected officials within the country of helping Bin Laden to hide from view.

He said in a statement to MPs: "The fact that Bin Laden was living in a large house in a populated area suggests that he must have had a support network in Pakistan. We don't currently know the extent of that network, so it is right that we ask searching questions about it – and we will."

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