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The Frontier Post, Pakistan

Osama Episode Places Safety of Pakistan's Nuclear Assets in Peril


"First of all, it has given tremendous grist to our detractors, who are campaigning to paint Pakistan as the epicenter and state sponsor of global terror. Secondly, it has opened the gates to the Americans, to not only intensify their drone incursions, but to mount ground raids on our territory."




May 3, 2011


Pakistan - The Frontier Post - Home Page (English)

Supporters of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Nazaryati Party shout anti-U.S. slogans in Quetta, after Osama bin Laden was killed, May 2.

AL-JAZEERA NEWS: Live coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden.RealVideo

The doing in of Osama bin Laden is certainly a momentous episode, although it's highly questionable that it will enfeeble al-Qaeda. He was long ago reduced to a spiritual inspiration, cloaking his blood-soaked campaigns in religious garb. In reality, the movement has never been monolithic. It has always been a conglomerate of regional and national groups, each with its own agenda, and all given to violence and bloodletting to perpetuate their designs.


Even the commonly repeated legend of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri's role is a stretch. He may be known as al-Qaeda’s military commander and chief of operations, and he may be considered an existential threat to Pakistan for openly calling for its destruction, but each group that runs under the generic name of al-Qaeda has its own mastermind, commanders, cadres, sources of funding and weapons, and chain of command and control.


So even if al-Zawahiri is eliminated, al-Qaeda's bloody movement will continue unless the causes it feeds on are removed, such as the Palestinian and Kashmir imbroglios, Western anti-Muslim hate campaigns and the bolstering of repressive regimes in the Muslim world by the West. This would marginalize the extremists from the national mainstream.


Nonetheless, Osama’s killing is a huge prize for President Barack Obama. Notwithstanding the doubting Thomases, unwilling to believe it was Osama that was killed, the death of the terrorist mastermind gives a tremendous boost to Obama's bid to recapture the White House. For the most part, the American people have joyously accepted their government’s claim.


But be that as it may, the bin Laden episode puts Pakistan in dire straits both domestically and externally. Domestically, it has triggered very disturbing questions in the minds of the people. First, they are deeply flabbergasted as to why our intelligence agencies were so ignorant about his location: he was holed up not in a secluded area, but in a densely populated residential area of a bustling city - Abbottabad - and for as long as three years.


Also, Pakistanis are horrified that American Special Forces - Navy SEAL commandoes - flew unmolested deep inside our territory in four helicopters, and were engaged in battle for about two hours. Their raid on bin Laden's hideout was just a stone's throw from an army garrison and Pakistan's premier training academy. And yet the intrusion drew no response either from the Army or Air Force.


Perhaps the American raiders or their controllers jammed Pakistan's radar. With a military budget greater than the entire planet's combined, they possess the state-of-the-art in weaponry and technology. But what so disconcerts people is that while the U.S. raid continued for hours - in such close proximity to our military installations - there was no reaction. So while this episode has seriously dented the military’s public image, it has simultaneously stirred fears regarding the security of our precious nuclear assets, and the possibilty of foreign assault. Externally, the episode has created gigantic problems.    




El Pais, Spain: Obama 'Decapitates' the al-Qaeda Hydra
Folha, Brazil: Bin Laden's 'Second Death'
Folha, Brazil: Death Won't Kill Osama's Violent Ways or Speech
Dawn, Pakistan: The Urgent Importance of Showing 'Mutual Respect'
The Independent, U.K.: Killing of bin Laden 'Huge Blow' to Islamist Terror
The Telegraph, U.K.: OBITUARY: Osama bin Laden
Telegraph, U.K.: Taliban Commander Vows to Avenge bin Laden's Death
Guardian, U.K.: Hamas Praises bin Laden as Holy Warrior
Telegraph, U.K.: Death of bin Laden is Rough Justice, Wild West-Style
Dawn, Pakistan:
Pakistanis Hold Rally in Honor of bin Laden
Dawn, Pakistan: Pakistan Asks U.S. Envoy to Avoid bin Laden 'Spin'

Xinhua. China: Six Children and Two Wives of bin Laden Arrested By Pakistan
Daily Star, Lebanon: Prime Minister Hariri: 'Bin Laden Got What He Deserved'

Daily Star, Lebanon: Lebanese Muslim Preachers Hail Osama for U.S. Attack


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First of all, it has given tremendous grist to our detractors, who are campaigning to paint Pakistan as the epicenter and state sponsor of global terror. Secondly, it has opened the gates to the Americans, to not only intensify their drone incursions, but to mount ground raids on our territory wherever and whenever they want. Furthermore, as they assert that North Waziristan has become a hotbed of activity and launching pad for attack on U.S. and allied forces for al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban of the Haqqani Group and that Quetta is a base for the Afghan Taliban leadership, it should come as no surprise if both places now come under such assaults. Thirdly, this U.S. raid will undoubtedly serve to embolden others to make similar incursions into our territory.


So, our political and military leadership must put their heads together and figure out how to cope with the aftermath of this raid and its severe fallout, because what appeared impossible until yesterday has now become possible. A joint session of Parliament must be convened immediately and a huddle with top military and intelligence officials commence to formulate a common strategy. Even political leaders outside Parliament must be invited to this special session. This matter is extremely grave and must be treated as such.


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US May 3, 3:08pm]


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