Osama’s discovery in luxury compound near Islamabad huge embarrassment for Pak, ISIMay 3rd, 2011 - 2:30 pm ICT by ANI
London, May 3(ANI): Elusive Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s discovery by the United States, in a luxury compound 35 miles from Islamabad, is a dangerous embarrassment for Pakistan and its premier spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
The extraordinary discovery that Bin Laden had been living in a compound in a popular summer resort near Islamabad, possibly since 2005, is an enormous and dangerous embarrassment for the Pakistan government, which has long denied knowledge of his location, the Guardian reports.
In Washington and New York as in London and Delhi, relief that Bin Laden has been killed will be tempered, and may yet be overtaken by deep anger that he was apparently living not in some freezing mountain cave, as many assumed, but freely, undisturbed and untroubled by the authorities, in comfort in a desirable Pakistani neighbourhood, the report said.
Officials from President Asif Ali Zardari downwards have consistently maintained that the 54-year-old most wanted terrorist was not sheltering on Pakistani soil, suggesting instead that the Americans look for him elsewhere, particularly in Afghanistan.
The Pakistani stance was part of a wider policy of denial, dating back to the 9/11 attacks, premised on the argument that Pakistan was not the source and springboard for Islamist-inspired terrorism, but rather its principal victim, the report said.
Islamabad’s head-in-the-sand position, as it is seen by some analysts in the west, has led to intensifying friction with Washington in recent months, as the Obama administration struggles to bring an ordered end to its 10-year involvement in Afghanistan, it added.
There have been furious US-Pak rows about unmanned cross-border drone attacks, the arrest of a CIA contractor in Lahore on double murder charges, and Pakistani criticism of US failure to open peace talks with the Taliban, but all that is as nothing compared with what may now follow, the report said.
The policy of official denial in this regard has also hampered Pakistan’s efforts to deal forcefully with its own violent Islamists, the so-called Pakistani Taliban, with which al-Qaida is said to have links.
Tens of thousands of people have died in Pakistan as a result of terrorist activities since 9/11, more than all the European and American victims combined.
Given this context, and amid predictions by western commentators of possible terrorist retaliation against US and British targets, it is Pakistanis, along with Afghans, who are most likely to pay a blood price in terms of revenge attacks for the slaying of a man who is seen by some in the Muslim world as an iconic figure, the report said.
Tellingly, the Pakistani government was not informed beforehand of the American special forces’ raid, said the report, adding that the truth is that US officials would simply not have trusted their counterparts in the ISI with such sensitive information.
Pakistan will now face possibly strong reactions not only from the Americans, but also from home-grown militants- plus possible spillover from Afghanistan, where fighting is in any case expected to intensify as the weather warms. (ANI)
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