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.
When it comes to India, even the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), known for their terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008, are still active in Pakistan. Almost a decade back, the TIME magazine reported that the Pakistan Army through its 12th Infantry Division aids and funds members of LeT and also provides fire cover during infiltration. In December 2001, the Indian Parliament was attacked by a well trained set of terrorists, funded by agencies within Pakistan. Later, it was confirmed that the Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI) was the one funding the attack. The July 2006 terror strikes in Mumbai local trains were executed by SIMI, Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISI. Even the July 2008 attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, which killed 58, had ISI involvement as per a New York Times report and WikiLeaks. The terror group SIMI, also called the Indian Mujahideen, which was banned in 2001, has been active with the support from al-Qaeda and other extremist outfits based out of Pakistan. The icing was when Ajmal Kasab was captured alive in the November 2008 attack (which killed 130 people), that confirmed Pakistan’s complete involvement. Even after all this, Pakistan has maintained their hypocritical lip service towards handing over Dawood Ibrahim and terrorist leader Masood Azhar to India.
Lines about Osama bin Laden are seen at the new World Trade Center. Laden was killed by US special troops in Abbottabad
All of this clearly indicates that Pakistan has outgrown into a real rogue nation and is increasingly becoming a threat to global security, and India in particular. And this is exactly where we need to realize that the enemy is not just Pakistan but America as well. They have killed Osama because Osama dared to attack them only. Otherwise, one must never forget that Osama was created by the Americans to destroy the former USSR. It is common American practice to use such elements to destabilize countries.
From using Osama against the USSR to killing presidents of neighbouring countries to putting ruthless dictators in countries of strategic importance for their own gains to bombing countries shamelessly for oil, the American establishment has done it all. What they are doing right now in Libya is the worst possible act. They are taking revenge on a 40-year-old issue and settling scores with Gaddafi for having united the OPEC nations then and for having raised the oil price – something which resulted in the massive transfer of wealth from the Western nations to the Middle East. Today, in a totally undemocratic manner, America is bombing that nation and killing people for no reason but oil. The heights of it is that all this while, they knew Pakistan is the nation which is hiding Osama and supporting his terror activities; yet, since they need to use Pakistan against India, they have not been acting against the nation. They have just been cleansing it of those terrorist elements who are potentially dangerous to US – but still not declaring it a terrorist nation, at a point when the reality is very clear now. Pakistan is the terrorist nation number 1 in the world today. Such is the sham that even during the presidential address, Obama maintained that Pakistan was cooperative – while the truth is that the US didn’t even inform Pakistan of the operations, knowing fully well that they would then shift Osama away.
No doubt, the Americans have done a great job in killing Osama – for their personal interests – but getting too carried away about their deed will be only too foolish. The Osama killing has revealed only two key things. One, Pakistan is without doubt a rogue state harbouring terrorists and the most dangerous country in the world – for no country can be more dangerous than a country that could provide shelter to Osama for more than five years while acting as an ally of America. And two, America – that still supports such a rogue state and pampers them only for use against India – can’t be trusted any more. From nuclear plants to defence deals, India needs to stop selling itself to Americans and take a clear stance against Pakistan and against any country that provides direct and indirect support to Pakistan – America being at the top of that list.
- 06 May 2011 |
- Arindam On America