Dawn News

Truth will out

SO then, Osama bin Laden has been killed by American Navy Seals in Abbottabad Cantonment, Pakistan, in an operation directed and run by the Americans themselves in a helicopter-borne assault from Afghanistan.

Whilst we will ask where the ghairat of the ‘Ghairat Brigades’ was, when four foreign helicopters crossed our border and after flying for an hour over our ‘sovereign’ territory, swooped onto Abbottabad; whilst we will definitely ask where our ‘self-respect’ is; now that the Americans have done what they said they would do if they had the intelligence — go after who they consider their enemies no matter where they are holed up — it is more important to ask why our much-vaunted Deep State didn’t know Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad Cantonment all these years?

And to ask why everyone and Charlie’s aunt in the security establishment went blue and red with anger when told that Osama and his close advisers were hiding in Pakistan?

Why, yours truly has been called a traitor deserving of death when I suggested that only given what the establishment itself told us about Osama’s failing kidneys and need for regular dialysis there was no way he was living in a cave on some remote mountain. Why indeed, did the Commando puff out his chest and glare at Hamid Karzai when the Afghan president suggested that Al Qaeda’s top leadership was hiding in Pakistan? Why the stout denial all these years?

From news that is filtering out, CNN with the help of Google maps, already told us early on Monday morning London time, that Osama was living with his youngest wife and some other members of his family and tens of armed guards in a house eight times bigger than all the other houses in the area: walls 12 feet high; no telephone connection; no cellphone signals emitting from the house, et al.

I mention this because the quite preposterous house should have stuck out like a sore thumb and been the subject of some suspicion on the part of the Mother of All Agencies which routinely bugs people’s telephones and has the equipment to pinpoint a cellphone to within 10 metres.

However, we are being told to believe that no one in Pakistan, not the Hazara police, not the IB, not the ISI, not MI, had the slightest idea just who lived in that absurd house located not far from the Pakistan Military Academy where officer cadets, the future leaders of the Pakistan Army, are trained. (Incidentally, where, not a week ago, the COAS asserted that the army had broken the back of the terrorists!) Indeed, one should have thought that a cantonment with not only this academy but three regimental centres which train recruits and turn them into soldiers should have been a most sensitive station. I can only say if they didn’t know, why didn’t they know? The truth will out one day.

The American government denies, as some claimed, that our security state was aware of this operation and that our intelligence agents were part of it, and the Pakistan government has confirmed the US stance. Indeed, President Obama’s statement made in Washington DC clearly said that he was briefed in August, almost nine months ago, that Osama’s trail was getting hotter and that it was on last Friday night that he was told Osama had been positively tracked down to a location in Abbottabad in Pakistan, at which point the US president ordered the operation.

According to Mr Obama, he telephoned President Zardari with the news of the operation after he had been informed of its success.

At the time when 9/11 happened and my own son disappeared on me for four agonising hours during the aftermath of the tragedy (he was working in World Trade Centre Building 4 at the time), I had condemned the Al Qaeda leader for only using Afghanistan to further his own agenda of taking over Saudi Arabia (and then the ummah) and not having done anything for the poor of that desperately poor nation.

There was no Bin Laden hospital or school or clinic or dispensary or road or welfare project built in Afghanistan with his hundreds of millions. Indeed, it was only the bribes he paid the Taliban that ensured their protection for him.

But back to the operation and my hope that what we are being told is not another lie. The end-game is here, sirs, and will now quicken with Osama bin Laden’s elimination. Calls for a withdrawal from Afghanistan before 2014 will increase in tenor and frequency.

However, the Americans will simply not leave Afghanistan to the wolves: for fear of strengthening the cousins, the Afghan and the Pakistani Taliban. But they will ask for more cooperation from us because they will simply not take more casualties, inflicted on their troops from terrorists from our side of the border travelling by way of Parachinar and other routes.

We should be aware that Osama being run to ground in Abbottabad will heighten American suspicions of us, regardless of what we might say. We should also take very serious note of what American leaders are saying about us. While some people might be right in characterising congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s saying we have been playing the Americans for suckers as the view of just one conservative, we must recall Secretary Clinton saying: “I’m not saying that they’re at the highest levels, but I believe that somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda is, where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is, and we expect more cooperation to help us bring to justice, capture or kill those who attacked us on 9/11.”

Truth will out, only this time it will bring great peril to us if we don’t shape up.


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