ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the army’s top brass at the General Headquarters on Tuesday, a day after the media published the classified Abbottabad Commission report, had that déjà vu feel to it.
The May 2, 2011 US raid at Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s hideout near a premier military training institute in Abbottabad had dented the military’s pride. But when the generals gathered at a corps commanders meeting five weeks after the incident, they lashed out at their critics and accused them of trying to deliberately run down the army because of their perpetual bias against it.
But 25 months later they found themselves meeting against the backdrop of a media disclosure of the commission report that more or less endorsed what was then being publicly said — a failure of the security and intelligence agencies in tracking the long running global fugitive and then not being able to detect or resist hostile US raid, which has been described by the commission as a national humiliation. But there was this time no public censuring by the generals of the criticism of military institutions.
A brief statement by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said: “The conference was part of routine monthly meetings. The forum dwelt at length on various professional matters.”
The commission report was discussed, a military official said, but insisted that it was not the main point of the agenda. The generals pondered over how the secret report was leaked to the media and may have felt intrigued about the timing of the revelation.
The disclosures in the report were news also for some of the generals who, despite having a broad view of the findings, were not familiar with the details, particularly critical remarks of the members of the commission.
Some found solace that the commission did not find abetment of military personnel with the terror group or collusion with the US in the raid.—Staff Reporter