THE house has been destroyed, but that is apparently not enough. The empty plot that marks where the world’s most wanted terrorist was found living in Pakistan is in the process of formally being declared government property. And just as the demolition of Osama bin Laden’s house in February — which was carried out mainly at night and under tight military watch — smacked of defensiveness and secrecy on the part of the state, so does this latest attempt to control a reminder of one of the most embarrassing incidents in the country’s history. It is also in line with the general paranoia with which security personnel had handled the house when it existed, harassing locals, visitors and journalists who dared approach. This despite probably having removed every shred of intelligence or evidence available in the house, and even though the structure was more of a curiosity and a tourist attraction rather than being in any danger of becoming a shrine for bin Laden supporters. In trying so hard to control the location, the authorities have only deepened the general air of suspicion about Pakistan’s role in the whole affair.

Meanwhile, reports of the government takeover of the plot are a reminder that the authorities remain much less efficient when it comes to investigating, or at least sharing, why and how bin Laden ended up living in Abbottabad. All physical traces of the man are being erased, and Dr Shakil Afridi has been detained one way or another for possibly colluding with the CIA to nab him. But though several deadlines have come and gone, no investigation report has emerged over a year after a commission was formed to carry out a probe into why bin Laden was here and why America was able to get him in the way that it did. As with the compound itself, the fear now is that the answers to these questions will remain shrouded in secrecy. Like other security failures and policy mistakes in our history, one gets the distinct feeling that this one is also being swept under the rug.

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Comments (9)

July 28, 2012 8:59 am
Is he really dead? Or was he never there to begin with?
July 23, 2012 2:18 pm
can you explain the pakistan government's demolition of that property in total secrecy then.. why it was needed and for what reasons... brother, you need to open your eyes and see the world as it is.. pakistan viewed from your closed eyes is not what you think it is... wake up.
July 23, 2012 3:21 am
How could Bin Laden even be living in this place or even alive any where? He had a serious lung disease in 2001 and was using dialysis machine. No one on dialysis lives beyond six years, at best. So bin laden must have died by 2007 or 2006, if not earlier. US government wanted a closure to bin laden affair after failing to find him.They probably even don't know where is buried.
ss verma
July 23, 2012 5:31 am
Where is the Abbottabad Commission Report? +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
July 23, 2012 6:36 am
This will always will be in Pakistan's history, no if or but.
Muhammad Faryad
July 23, 2012 12:32 pm
You are reminding me of a small tv interview of a student in Abbotabad in the aftermath of the OBL raid by a western tv channel: Interviewer: Do you believe that OBL was killed in Abbotabad? Student: NO. I have not seen his corpse, so I cannot believe if he is dead. Interviewer: Will you believe if you see his corpse? Student: Yes (then confused), NO No, I will will not believe even then.
Iftikhar Husain
July 23, 2012 12:23 pm
It is a fimiliar story all is kept seceret it may be we know in twenty years. There is nothing wrong in admitting the faliure of security which obviously is and come clean with all the information connecting with this incident.
July 23, 2012 8:18 pm
hmm... This is Pakistan who have been feeding by US. So, it has become myth. As far as above interview is concerned, It is seen that the propaganda will have not been prevailing except dialogue. Now, our government leave all matter and has to come in contact with the table talk. We have lost a lot of precious lives and money as well. Now, It is really the time to table talk. Because, Dialogue is the best source to combat terrorism....
hafeez marwat
July 25, 2012 5:04 am
as per my views its totally a drama that osama was in abbotabad and he was a high value target for america.its only a plan program of america to hide their failuer in afghanista.
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