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The OBL report: Cover-up or expose?

Published Jul 13, 2013 05:40pm


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Osama bin Laden. — File photo.
Osama bin Laden. — File photo.
With the Abbottabad Commission’s report finally out in the open (with the exception of page 197), there has been much analysis, and new speculation to determine goings-on on May 2, 2011 – the day the Osama bin Laden raid took place.

Firstly, the publication of the report took [far longer]3 that it should have. The report was not made available to the public during the previous government’s tenure, when it was completed in January this year. In addition, the report was never officially made available. It was leaked.

The general theme running through the report is that the failure of the state to intercept US encroachment into Pakistani territory, in order to carry out the raid, was the result of political, military, and intelligence incompetence and failure.

On the other hand, however, while institutions have been blamed across the board, there seems to be no fingers pointed out at any individuals involved in the entire debacle. Not one single person appears to have been held accountable.

At the same time, an alternative theory is that it wasn’t a matter of incompetence – rather, according to some observers, it was a matter of complicity. Many are convinced that there is no way the ‘Most Wanted Man in the World’ could escape unnoticed without someone knowing about it.

The Abbottabad report, however, has steered clear of this theory.

Many questions, therefore, are still unanswered in people’s heads. Should any individual be held accountable and made an example of? Was it a matter of ignorance, or connivance that bin Laden managed to live in Pakistan for so long? Has the Abbottabad Commission’s report been satisfactory for readers in terms of information dissemination? Have they not subsequently addressed any public concern over the US raid on that fateful night? invites its readers to share their views.

Comments (18) Closed

Mir Jul 13, 2013 06:01pm

It is a deliberate leak to humiliate army. dirty politic

Agha Ata Jul 13, 2013 06:43pm

Being "Incapable" is more acceptable label than being a "betrayer."

mike ghaous Jul 13, 2013 09:55pm

very simple, the Pak administration had full knowledge of OBL whereabouts all the time, they were just 'Cashing' him till US decided to do something about it....

Feroz Jul 14, 2013 08:18am

The report states many facts but refuses to draw any conclusions. It gives the benefit of doubt to all the VIP's whose actions led to the act of humiliation heaped on the nation. The tone of contempt by the Military for elected rulers is astounding. The fear of the Agencies is making both the Politicians and Police forget the job they are supposed to do. Sympathizers of the Establishment are everywhere, however none have been named and shamed. No serious effort was ever made to try and ascertain OBL's support network that allowed him to live in Pakistan with his harem for a decade. Therein lies a very important story that effectively buries every other story. The real issue is about how for years the State told the World Pakistan is fighting terrorism and received substantial Aid too, however elements connected to the State protected many --- causing humiliation.

umer Jul 14, 2013 08:49am

The Report is a whitewash and waste of tax-payers' money. One wonders why the security establishment is so concerned about its leakage to the press. I guess it signifies the lengths these agencies are prepared to go to in order to keep the public in the dark.

Khan Jul 14, 2013 09:52am

In the recent history of Pakistan have any son of the soil politician or General specially from Punjab be held accountable for the harm they brought to country?

sammer Jul 14, 2013 11:09pm

pakistan is so used to humiliations,OBL senerio should not bother them at all.

jaffri Jul 15, 2013 02:02am

worst incompetency is that they estabish a commission paid out of public money and fail to bring commission's report to public notice

Imran Jul 15, 2013 05:36am

Why there is no Responce from the sitting PM??? Or the President who was heading the country at that time and also reports from US press that Pakistan top leadership was aware of the US attack then why this was not shared in the Report??

Farhan Jul 15, 2013 10:23am

@Khan: It's unproductive to point fingers here, but: Ayub & Yahya were from KPK and Zia & Musharraff were Urdu-speaking Muhajirs. None of them were Punjabi.

Ahmer Jul 15, 2013 10:38am

There was a high level of competence in hiding Osama for nine years without the world getting an inkling about where he was. There is no question of incompetence there.

fazalpai Jul 15, 2013 04:49pm

@Khan: judiciary is only responsible for dragging the country into disasters,instead of going home they VALIDATE the martial laws, and feel sorry after retirements. enjoys full benefits during service and after.

Muhammad Jul 15, 2013 04:55pm

No doubt, this report has uncovered many hidden things including failure of our leadership, role of our defense forces in sensing danger and threat to our security and intelligence failures on all grounds, from police to the higher security organizations. But, on the other hand it clears some of the liabilities in the shape of allegations of sympathies with the militants on our security organizations as well. it was alleged that Pakistan is playing double role in war on terror and is not sincere. now, when the security lapse has unfolded the mystery of our weaknesses, it would be unfair to charge us with double game but incompetency and ineptness. we are so weak and the structure of intelligence is so fragile that we don't even know that a cobra is metamorphosing under our bed. those who blame ISI of harnessing terror beyond our borders are living in fools paradise. imagining it the way it is alleged is a big joke. people who cannot take care of themselves can purport terror, is simply unimaginable.

fazalpai Jul 15, 2013 04:57pm


George Jul 15, 2013 05:04pm

Many findings in the report are already known to a few key personnel and/ or assumable to many. So there is no surprise when the report was leaked to the public after keeping in secrecy after its submission to the government in January. But it is important for the present government to analyse the report by an expert team and come out with conclusions for booking persons behind the undesirable and unwanted creations and what precautions are to be taken for avoiding such events in future. This would help improve country's image at large and bring confidence among people.

s.khan Jul 16, 2013 02:21am

The commission couldn't find evidence of complicity after interviewing 201 witnesses. People who suspect complicity should know that the intelligence agencies also failed to find any suspicious American activity - vaccine campaign, education project in the house across from OBL compound, landcruisers with the tinted glass spotted in the area,etc. It is not just the officialdom but no neighbor living there 24/7 suspected anything .Were they all complicit? How could they- two brothers, their wives
and seven children lived there and everyone assumed that these eleven are the residents. They were in an out of the house, children went to school, men went to the mosque. How do you see the invisible- OBL, his wives and children who never ventured out. Incompetence ,negligence and corruption seem to be plausible explanation. If there was a conspiracy it had to involve large number of people- building dept. giving license on fake ID ( not demanding CNID) not inspecting the house despite violation of rules by constructing third story, department of revenue not collecting house tax, people in Haripur and Swat where OBL lived for sometime,policeman who stopped the speeding car with OBL( clean shaven) in the back seat.This vast conspiracy is a figment of imagination. It is along the same line as President Kennedy assassination. Despite the inquiry commission report , people suspected conspiracy and never changed their mind or people believing in UFOs despite lack of evidence. Americans seized vast quantity of documents and would have disclosed if Pak army or ISI were found to have any involvement. Commission did a good job and pointed out serious flaws in military and civilian systems and the performance of duties. Any one who claims that the govt. institutions work well should step forward and make a case.

sameer Jul 16, 2013 04:07am

@mike ghaous: exactly,pakistan govt was playing dumb,till US led force took the matter in their own hand and execute the plan,this report is just a white wash to pakistan's poor people.common take a blame and say yes we were well aware of every thing,and we were helping the OBL who was the hero of the Muslim world.

M. Ahmed Jul 16, 2013 10:20am

9/11 was an inside job carried out by CIA/Mosad to achieve several strategic objectives including: 1) Discrediting US muslims as a political force (remember for first time in US history muslim voters played a role in electing US president). 2) Expanding US military bases in middle-east and circling Iran. 3) Eliminating Osama bin Laden, a real threat to rule of corrupt king's in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, to name a few. Remember, all these terrorist outfits are supported by agencies, be it CIA, Mosaad or RAW.