OBL’s death and our convoluted policies
May 7, 2011 § 11 Comments
Nearly all that could have been possibly speculated about Osama Bin Laden’s death has already been said. From conspiracy theorists forming vague opinions about the notion of ‘framing Pakistan’, ‘accusing ISI’ and other such unfounded claims to those hailing his death to those offering his death prayers without any shame, there is a lot and yet nothing that is very clear. What does come out as clear are only very few things and I will throw in my two cents based upon such facts.
First of all, the alleged whereabouts of OBL have been reported as at Abbotabad, right in the apex centre of different sensitive army and intelligence facilities and right next to Kakul Academy. If that is true, and increasingly more resources are starting to confirm this sinister piece of information, that means only two things: an intelligence failure of epic proportions on the part of the ISI. Or that ISI itself was collaborating in letting OBL make himself at home here under high security.
The first possibility is very improbable, considering the fact that our intelligence is well gifted with ‘inside sources’ which provides it the valuable information it needs about Jihadi groups. These inside scoops are also possible because of ISI’s not-so-old strategic depth in all jihadi factions. Considering this, it is very hard to believe that ISI was unaware of OBL’s presence and never knew that the world’s most wanted man was lying quiet so close.
The second possibility, unfortunately very probable given the past record of ISI’s double-game, is one that quite makes one shudder. ISI, with a past of being extremely pro-jihad and pro-Taliban, still contains many such elements which hold deep sympathy for these past alliances. And a number of recent incidents have clearly demonstrated that no matter what the stakes are, they will support the Taliban and their allies. I would say that at least the top brass, both in the army and ISI, doesn’t regard Taliban as strategically relevant anymore. Yet, some very powerful elements in both do hold them so and the recent episode affirms that they can protect a man like OBL from anything within Pakistan. Either way, important hands in ISI and the army protected the guy.
Here it is important to note that so far, the Pakistani government or the Pakistani army have not denied the presence of OBL at Abbottabad. The nagging from our quarter has only been that whether or not we had collaborated in the operation, with the army and the intelligence desperately trying to show that they were part of the plan. Statements from US representatives, however, clearly indicate that no Pakistani links were taken in confidence out of the fear that this will lead to Osama’s removal from the mansion before the operation could take place.
Surprisingly, the US hasn’t come down as hard on Pakistan as many anticipated. After all, this is a huge intelligence failure if, for a moment, we dismiss the nefarious possibility of under-the-table collaboration. But this becomes understandable when we view different analysis reports that US may be using this as a tool to push Pakistani authorities to further flush any other militant leaders that are hiding within Pakistan.
The million dollar question is: as per the greatest probability, our intelligence knew it all along. Then why this? Why, after spending billions in war again terror, after laying hundreds of lives and ruining entire valleys over operation, was the army hiding this man? Was it yet another convoluted, twisted logic of strategic usage that the army has been applying since ever and failing ever since? Was it another idiotic decision made by the generals sitting at the top who can barely make sense of things, a fact which our history speaks of?
The sad part is, rather than asking these, the questions are very different in Pakistan. Some are questioning the fact that why did US launch such an attack without Pakistan’s knowledge and that this is an attack at our sovereignty. Even Noam Chomsky, in his article, came up with a similar logic. I agree that this does fall within international violations. But let me produce a counter-logic to Chomsky’s exemplification: if a terrorist who has killed millions and has ambitions of doing so again, and is regarded as a terrorist by all international organizations, is resting peacefully in a nation which is gulping billions on the name of war on terror against that very person, would not the country which has suffered the most take action? That is only very natural. If someone killed thousands of Pakistanis in some blast and then sneaked to India, our Jihadi Mullah brothers would be more than glad to launch stealth operations to kill him. Jamat-ud-Dawa should know that! Then why the pretentious surprise? It certainly is contrary to our sovereignty but the double-game of our own authorities is contrary to humanity, contrary to our dignity and contrary to any human measure that shall apply in this case! So it’s time for our Chief and others to stop the vociferous statements in an attempt to hide the embarrassment their pathetic policies has incurred us. And start doing what they claim to do!
At the end of the day, OBL is dead and we have come out of this episode as incompetent fraudsters. And it’s time to ask ourselves that do we want to continue being so or pay for the sins we have committed in the past.