Osama bin Laden, the devil of 9/11 U.S. attacks was killed in an operation “Kill Osama bin laden” by US security forces in Abbottabad nearly 60 kms from Islamabad, capital of Pakistan. Media reports point out on proximity of Osama hiding place to Pakistan military academy. Isn’t it ironical that devil stayed few yards away from Pakistan army base? Was Pakistan military sheltering the devil?
These questions do not produce any irony for us in South Asia but in fact reiterates nature of Pakistani state whose power centres are: Pakistan army and ISI. Political leadership has nominal say in managing security affairs of the country; it is either retired military generals who call shots or serving Pakistan army officers who have made terrorism as a biggest sanctuary for their own survival and integrated it with governance model in Pakistan. In such a case, existence of Pakistani nation state comes into question as propounded by the father of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
It may amuse analysts’ or any naïve person in the West double face of Pakistan, but for us in South Asia, this is bare reality. Indian authorities have been talking about double face of Pakistan army and intelligence agencies that have been from a decade participating with Western forces in counter-terror operations, side by side helping non-state actors to flourish for known reasons. As and when these non-state actors become a headache for them, Pakistani army is quick to join barrage of Western nations in fighting war against terrorism and seek more aid from them. Strategic location of Pakistan has worked in their favour that sees them as an ally in the fight against terrorists in Afghanistan and secure badlands, which were un-governable in past and remain so in the present.
The death of devil has exposed their nefarious designs, as rightly said, “Osama killing has embarrassed Pakistan”, this emanates from fact that Osama was found and killed near Islamabad and not rocky terrain of Afghan-Pakistan mountains, by US security forces in an operation which was managed by the Americans with very little help from Pakistani forces who were mute spectators to the 40 minute cleanup operation on Labour day.
The operation shows a clear trend, schism has widened over the years between US-Pakistan in fighting counter terror operations in a coordinated manner. This led to courage from US to act in its own interests in the sovereign territory of Pakistan. Now Pakistan can point out fingers at US for not informing them before carrying out operation of this nature, but the truth is death of Osama has send tremors to the top echelons of Pakistani security establishment.
Now, Pakistan has choice to either cooperate fully with US on catching reminder devils in the terrorist syndicate or join the gang of feudal jihadi lords to make situation deplorable in Pakistan. Osama is buried in the sea, but his ideology is still alive and kicking. As rightly said, “One Osama is dead, millions more are born, if socio-economic texture of Arab world is not reformed.” next task for the Americans is to not let this ideology take up its roots back, otherwise it will come back to haunt them in few years from now. This may be due to faster indoctrination of Muslim youth in the Arab world who are ready to take up fight of Al-Qaeda from where Osama has left.
“Justice is done” as said by Obama in his speech to announce Osama killing, but a lot needs to done from US side to ensure that they do not produce new terror hubs in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and support righteous democratic forces, instead of forging short term alliances with tyrants as they have done in the Cold war era.
Future holds more challenges than the present because the danger is from devils originating from Western countries that are ready to adopt Jihadi ideology of Al-Qaeda and seek reprisals of Osama killing in Abbottabad. Al-Qaeda may be down as an organization, but it is very active in the form of sleeper cells who function at low key level and attack at the opportune time, when nations are caught unaware.
Role for India
Role for India is to now keep up international pressure on Pakistani democratic government to punish those responsible for 26/11 Mumbai attacks and dismantle terrorist infrastructure directed at India, in form of ban on Lashkar-e-Toiba activities. This does not translate into India ceasing its engagement on other issues of cooperation with Pakistan, nevertheless stressing on resolution of issues of terrorism which concern India through tacit support of U.S and using India’s clout as a non-permanent member at the UNSC.