Lest we forget, not very long back, Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan told in an interview to CNN, “I think now, frankly, he [Osama bin Laden] is dead for the reason he is a kidney patient. I don’t know if he has been getting all that treatment in Afghanistan now. And the photographs that have been shown of him on television show him extremely weak. I would give the first priority that he is dead and the second priority that he is alive somewhere in Afghanistan.”

Cut to 2011, Osama bin Laden was hunted, and killed, not in any remote hideout in any tribal area of Pakistan but in Abbottabad, which is just a few kilometres away from the Pakistan Military Academy and merely 60 miles from Islamabad. So much so, the entire region is known to be a hotspot and boiling epicentre of terrorists, particularly al-Qaeda. This March, an Indonesian terrorist, Umar Patek, having links with al-Qaeda, was captured from this region. He was the one behind the Bali bombings and was an important agent of Jemaah Islamiya Tahir Shehzad (an al-Qaeda facilitator) who was also spotted in the same region.

The series of incidences and the proximity to Islamabad and Pakistan Military Academy suggest nothing else but how the Pakistan government always knew about the whereabouts of Osama and also provided him a safe haven. Otherwise, how else could have Osama stayed safely right under their nose? In spite of his members being found and killed, he never got spotted. It is normal military and anti-terror routine to sanitize the vicinity of such strategically sensitive locations and check for other such terror elements, even after a single capture. Moreover, the military academy near Osama’s hideout was visited just a month back by the Pakistani military chief General Asfaq Parvez Kayani. All these clearly indicate the fact that the Pakistani government always knew about Osama, and similarly they know about all such other such extremist leaders and groups, about whom they habitually and perpetually feign ignorance.

And it is not just about al-Qaeda or Osama, but even masterminds like Abu Zubaydah (found in safe house in Faisalabad), Ramzi bin Al Shibh (key facilitator of 9/11, caught in Karachi) and Khalid Shaikh Mohammad (cornered in Rawalpindi) were all hunted down in Pakistan. Call it coincidence, but all these terrorists were found not in any remote locations of the Afghanistan- Pakistan border, but in urban cities of Pakistan. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was captured on February 8, 2010, from Karachi while so many more were captured in Quetta, a prominent city in Pakistan. Not just this, WikiLeaks has time and again provided information in terms of how Pakistan has gone about harbouring terrorists! It has pointed out that a Pakistani general Hamid Gul was linked with al-Qaeda operatives. And to hit the final nail on the coffin, on May 4, 2011, WikiLeaks revealed how Pakistan’s security services tipped Osama whenever US troops approached and “smuggled al-Qaeda terrorists through airport security” to ensure they escaped capture.     Read More.....


09/08/2011 11:41pm

I am left with the conclusion that there was some level of state support for al Qaeda. It may not have been at the highest levels. It may have been just certain elements of the state. It’s difficult to tell. But the idea that you could have the kind of compound necessary to house bin Laden in the middle of a Pakistani city near a concentration of Pakistani officers suggests that there was some state involvement in protecting bin Laden.

Vijay kumar
09/08/2011 11:43pm

09/08/2011 11:45pm

The United States remains, by far, Pakistan’s biggest financial benefactor, it is reviled among Pakistanis, many of whom genuinely believe that Americans are set on their country’s destruction. What little trust existed before the killing in May, by American special forces, of Osama bin Laden, is disappearing fast. The Americans gave Pakistan no warning; Pakistanis, especially the armed forces, felt humiliated. On July 12th Pakistan’s spy chief went to Washington, DC, for the first time since Bin Laden’s death.

09/08/2011 11:54pm

Mr Zardari said that although the US and Pakistan had not worked together on the operation, there had been "a decade of co-operation and partnership".

09/08/2011 11:58pm

The pessimists point to the failure - for whatever reason - to find Bin Laden, and to the Taliban's immediate threat of revenge attacks. They wonder just how close are the links between Pakistan's security establishment and some elements of the Taliban.
And they ask how could the death of Bin Laden, the man who inspired so many suicide attacks with such dreadful results in Pakistan, provoke not celebrations - but angry, anti-American protests in Karachi.


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