Following the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist, I blogged a few thoughts [Read] about why the Al-Qaeda threat still looms large simply because of the time taken by the United States of America to hunt down Osama Bin Laden.
Moving the stream of thoughts towards Pakistan, one has to say that it is unimaginable that the country’s leadership was unaware of a hiding Bin Laden in Abbottabad, the home of Pakistan’s very own military academy and several retired Army officers (according to news reports). Clearly, it makes sense to believe that the Pakistani Army and the country’s intelligence bureau, ISI, were somewhat aware and indirectly aided the survival of Bin Laden. Even the Americans must have realized this – which could be the reason why they kept the Pakistanis out of the operation they undertook to kill him.
Abbottabad, as a simple query for directions on Google Maps proves, is approximately 88 miles away from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad by road. This indicates that Pakistan may be a safe abode for several other terrorists. The likes of Hafiz Saeed roam around freely in the country giving hate speeches in favour of the Kashmiri ‘freedom movement’, anyway. [See video]
The Pakistani military and the ISI are the two (single-most?) most powerful entities in the country that the whole world will now suspect to be the root of terrorism (not Afghanistan, not anymore). It is very likely that they offered covert protection to Bin Laden and waited in the hope that the Americans would take some time to locate him. And the Americans did take time. They took so much time that the death may not have much significance, except on the streets of New York and other American cities where people are rejoicing. All along, Pakistan has stocked up ‘aid’ in terms of arms, ammunition and other military hardware. For a decade, and counting.
There is so much uncertainty that one is compelled to believe that a clear double game is being played and has been played all along. Pakistan claims to be helping the Americans clean up the terror trail, while we remain unsure about how much of a bonhomie there exists between the Pakistani military/ISI and the Al-Qaeda/Taliban. It is up to the world’s foremost superpower, now that they got rid of a man they so desperately sought, to grind Pakistan regarding Bin Laden’s resort-like mansion in Abbottabad. How he survived for so long? How did he manage to live in the middle of a township, when word all along had been about caves and mountains? More importantly, how did nobody know?
Or maybe, somebody did.