Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday appeared to have distanced itself from the operation that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, with authorities saying that it was a US intelligence-driven operation.

But an official statement said his death was a ‘major setback to terrorist organisations’ across the world.

“In an intelligence-driven operation, Osama Bin Laden was killed in the surroundings of Abbottabad in the early hours on Monday morning," Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said.

“This operation was conducted by the US forces in accordance with declared US policy that Osama bin Laden will be eliminated in a direct action by the US forces, wherever found in the world,” she said.

In a statement issued hours after US President Barack Obama announced the killing of bin Laden in a television address, Janjua said the al-Qaeda chief's death “illustrates the resolve of the international community, including Pakistan to fight and eliminate terrorism. It constitutes a major setback to terrorist organizations around the world.”

President Obama telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari on “the successful US operation which resulted in the killing of Osama Bin Laden”, she said.

The spokesperson contended that Pakistan has "played a significant role in efforts to eliminate terrorism".

She said Pakistan had "extremely effective intelligence sharing arrangements with several intelligence agencies, including that of the US" and will continue to support international efforts against terrorism.

(Agencies)