The last couple of days have been eventfully immense. The guy who figured central in the security turnarounds in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the last 20 years or so, someone been dubbed as the most wanted person to the USA, the enigma called Osama Bin Laden is said to be killed and ‘taken out’ from a house in Abbottabad in a Sting operation conducted by the US Army. The US civilian and military leadership pronounced the news to be a great victory and ‘justice’ to the victims of the twin towers in New York. The US military took all the credit of the operation terming it their own and that they were in surveillance of the hideout for quite some time.
The details of the event as they poured in and swelled through the idiot boxes in Pakistan, made the masses bamboozled much like Osama did the world media and leadership at large. Our ‘democratic’ and military leadership were caught unawares leading the former, the PM of Pakistan to issue an abrupt statement much in the tone of Obama.
The military are still keeping mum as to what exactly transpired. The significance of the event is such that the Pakistan Army might find itself between a rock and hard place. If it confesses a role in the operation, it in effect invites the wrath of a wounded enemy; if it denies an involvement, serious questions arise over its ability to defend the national borders.
The operation itself looks dubious. The haste it involved, the city the location and the very presence of the person who suffered renal failures almost a decade ago. Somebody told this scribe that Osama had a dialysis session at the CMH Rawalpindi in the late nineties and that he was gifted a dialysis machine by the hospital administration. How on earth could an aged dialysis patient survive without constantly been treated, especially when no such equipment was found in the house that is said to have been constantly monitored and whose inhabitants are said to be aloof and isolated? Why such haste to dispose the body of the most wanted criminal on earth? And why the waters when he could be showcased to the world for the fate he met? The more one probes the matter the more deceitful the story appears. We haven’t yet forgotten Donald Rumsfeld’s confession of the false grounds Iraq was invaded on.
However twisted the story seems, the US of A delivered a decisive punch to floor an ‘ally’. The points it aimed to score are;
- To send a message that it can strike anyone, anytime and anywhere
- To salvage something of a war it is finding hard to win
- To keep its ‘strategic partner’ under pressure to ‘do more’
- To legitimize its claims of a ‘double-game’ the Pakistani spy agencies play
- To further alienate the Pakistani masses from an erstwhile trusted Army
- To legitimize drone insertions
These are tricky times for an energy short, ill governed Pakistan. The confidence of the people ever dwindles. The civil and military leadership need to come out firm and erase the layers of ambiguity around this whole OBL episode. We could always start afresh if the sincerity and will is there.