Islamabad: After being cornered by parliamentarians for lapses with regards to the US raid in Abbottabad  that led to death of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden last week, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha on Friday offered to resign, according to media reports.

Pasha's dramatic move came during an in-camera joint session of both houses of parliament which was briefed by military officials about the operation by US Special Forces to
kill bin Laden on May 2.

Earlier, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said Pasha had "surrendered" himself to the parliament so that he could be tried for the lapses.

TV news channels quoted their sources as saying that Pasha had offered to quit after being criticised by lawmakers from the main opposition PML-N and the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

An emotional Pasha said he was ready to resign if parliament asks him to do so, the channels reported.   

Leaders criticize Pasha

Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, a senior leader of the PML-N, reportedly had a heated exchange during the session that began at 3 pm and continued for over six hours.

Tehmina Daultana, another senior leader of the PML-N, reportedly accused Pasha of meddling in politics. The news channels further reported that some parliamentarians shouted "Shame! Shame!" as the ISI chief, a close aide of army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez  Kayani was questioned by lawmakers.

Pasha reportedly said that mistakes had been made but he had not erred knowingly. He also reportedly apologised to the people and parliament.

Ready to face consequences

Speaking to the media Information Minister Awan said: "Clearly, the Director General (of the) ISI surrendered himself to parliament and said he was ready to appear before the Pakistani Prime Minister or parliament or any commission as he considers himself accountable".

Awan quoted Pasha as saying that he was ready to face the consequences of any "negligence or intentional failure" linked to the US raid.

Awan quoted ISI chief Pasha as saying that some members of political parties were criticising the Pakistan Army and intelligence services and that this would go against
"national interests and strengthen the enemy".

She contended it was time to stand behind the armed forces like a rock and boost their morale.

The US administration has mounted pressure on Pakistan to probe allegations of complicity or incompetence following the security establishment's failure to detect bin Laden's presence.

ISI paralysed al Qaeda

Awan quoted the ISI chief as telling parliament that the spy agency had "paralysed" al Qaeda and "broken its back" even before the killing of bin Laden by shattering the entire
network of the terrorist group.

She said the briefing also addressed the parliamentarians' concerns about Pakistan's strategic assets.

A "highly sensitive and modern security system" is in place to guard strategic assets spread across the country and no one should even consider "casting an evil eye" at them, she said.

ISI chief Pasha said the US used stealth technology in its helicopters so that they could not be detected by radars, Awan told the media.

"It was due to technological superiority that they couldnot be undetected," she quoted Pasha as saying.

Pasha also told the parliamentarians that the provincial government, local police and related agencies too were responsible for gathering information about the al Qaeda chief, Awan said.

(Agencies)