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Abbottabad Commission report

July 24, 2013

THIS is apropos the news item ‘Agencies investigate who spilled the beans’ (July 12). The Abbottabad Commission was formed to investigate and find out how US forces entered Pakistani air space and landed in Osama bin Laden’s compound, killed him and took away the body.

They were also tasked to fix the responsibility of this huge lapse in the defence system of the country.

Now after a delay of half a year or so the agencies are going to investigate how the foreign media got hold of the report and made it public.

Therefore, without mincing words, I can say it is a failure over a failure. Now the agencies will be investigating the commission report leak, which was prepared on the first failure -– the lapse of security in the country’s defence system.

Pakistani institutions are so il coordinated, both civil and military, that an invasion occurred in the middle of the night so deep that invaders reached the cantonment area in the vicinity of a reputable military academy without being detected by the defence apparatus. They completed a 35-minute operation and flew back without being intercepted.

Afterwards the investigation report on the incident, compiled by a high-profile group of people and submitted to the government in confidentiality, goes public without any knowledge of the authorities.

With authority comes the responsibility. Of late, whatever goes wrong on the governance and coordination, the people in the civilian setup blame frequent military interventions as the cause of weak institutional coordination.

I wonder how long this excuse will be used to pass the buck. Where is responsibility when you desire to have authority?

By the same token, the military high command shifts the onus to the civilian setup, stating the democratic institutions should take the responsibility and issue directives for the military to act.

After all, the armed forces are only an institution of the government and not a ruling setup. In this case, however, according to some media reports, President Asif Ali Zardari, who happens to be the supreme commander of the armed forces, was not available for the army chief until the morning.

There should be an institutional authority under which all matters should be coordinated. It is a good omen that a new security policy is in the offing with all stakeholders on board.

ANAS A. KHAN Edmonton, Canada