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But as a reply to why bin Laden was discovered living in relative comfort in the heart of Pakistan, not by the country’s own military or intelligence agencies but by the U.S., Prime Minister Gilani’s account falls far short of an adequate explanation. His characterisation of this failure as that of “all the intelligence agencies in the world” comes across more as an attempt to deflect blame than as a response born out of honest introspection by the Pakistan state. Even as a history lesson, Mr. Gilani’s statement was incomplete. No one pushed Pakistan into the first Afghan war; Pakistan’s military under General Zia ul Haq made a calculated choice to participate in it. Aside from the U.S. support, Saudi Arabia generously poured money into Pakistan to create a culture of jihad. After the war, the same military and its intelligence agencies decided to deploy some of those jihadists to establish a pro-Pakistan regime in Afghanistan, while others were despatched for the task of ‘liberating’ Kashmir from India. No Pakistan army chief has ever made an attempt to institutionally repudiate the Zia legacy.
The agreement is said to have been renewed in 2008, when the present Army chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, was in charge. While the full truth about how OBL managed to hide in Abbottabad may never come out, it is time for the Pakistan military to face up to some truths about itself — and about its role in bringing the country to its present state.
The funeral prayer for Osama at the Makka Masjid in Chennai is highly deplorable. How can a person who is responsible for besmirching the reputation of Muslims globally be given even a semblance of respectful homage? This is notwithstanding the acts of aggression committed by the Americans. Would not conducting prayers for such characters send a wrong message? I hope that responsible sections of the community would roundly condemn this failing on the part of the mosque authorities concerned.
He alleged that a conspiracy was on against Pakistan and that the powers had an eye on nuclear bombs in that country. He prayed for the safety of Pakistan. People shouted pro-azadi and pro-Osama slogans.
Protests erupted in the Batmaloo area soon after the funeral prayers. Masked youth clashed with police and CRPF personnel soon after Mr. Geelani addressed the gathering. The crowd called Osama a “martyr,” who sacrificed his life for the cause of Islam.
India is unlikely to make the mistake of allowing Osama bin Laden to sabotage this win-win process from his watery grave in the Indian Ocean. Apart from economic gains, greater trade will gradually enlarge the constituency of those in Pakistan who have a stake in the normalisation of relations with India.
What the U.S. did on Monday may have been effective but it remains a second-best solution to tackling terror on Pakistani soil. The fight against the entire syndicate of terror has to be waged by the Pakistani police and security forces, acting under the complete control of the civilian government there. This is a message India needs to emphasise to the U.S. and other allies and friends of Pakistan and it will be most effective if delivered with tact and restraint.