Give us bin Laden, Britain tells Pakistan

November 30, 2009

It’s the kind of language, or perhaps more accurately the tone, that can test the patience of any nation.

You have had eight years,  you should have been able to catch Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri,  British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is reported to have said about Pakistan in an interview with the BBC following a conversation with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari over the weekend.

“We have got to ask ourselves why, eight years after September 11, nobody has been able to spot or detain or get close to Osama bin Laden. Nobody has been able to get close to Zawahiri, the No 2 in al-Qaeda. And we have got to ask the Pakistan authorities and security services, army and politicians, to join us in the major effort the world is committing resources to, not only to isolate al-Qaeda, but to break them in Pakistan,” he said.

Quite apart from the fact Brown chose to go public with his frustration with Pakistan just days after a U.S. senate report said that U.S. forces had bin Laden “within their grasp” in Afghanistan back in 2001, it comes when Pakistan is in the middle of an offensive in South Waziristan which has triggered a wave of retaliatory attacks on its towns killing hundreds.

As the Times reports, Brown’s intervention upset Pakistan which shouldn’t be much of a surprise. ”We are doing what we can. We have carried two very big operations at enormous cost to the country,” the Times quotes Pakistan’s envoy Wajid Shamsul Hasan as saying.  Bin Laden, according to Pakistani intelligence was in Afghanistan, and if the West had information about him being in Pakistan, they should share it, the Pakistanis say.

Pakistan had captured or killed 700 al Qaeda members over the past eight years, a Pakistani foreign office spokesman said, adding nobody should have doubts about its resolve to fight them.

Indeed, some Pakistanis feel that Britain is not doing enough to fight terrorism. The Guardian ran a piece a couple of months ago quoting Pakistani officials as saying their country had become the “whipping boy” for Britain. ”

“Sometimes for our British friends the truth is bitter. We have somehow turned out to be a whipping boy, there is a long history to that. The British need to search their own house. Britain has to take responsibility and they have to look into the issues which are driving these youth to extremism, which is the third-generation British – they weren’t born and bought up in Pakistan,” the paper quoted a Pakistani diplomat as saying.

Pakistan has doubtless been selective in its targets, going after the Pakistani Taliban  with far greater purpose than it has with the Afghan Taliban. But is a public admonishment of a country of more than 160 million people necessarily the best way to get things done ?

India hasn’t stopped saying Pakistan isn’t doing much to bring all those responsible for the attacks on Mumbai last year to a court of law, producing an angry stream of words from Islamabad. The United States has repeatedly urged Pakistan to do more, both in public and in private.  The question now is how does a nation under such intense and unrelenting pressure react ?

(Photograph of Gordon Brown with Pakistan’s President Asif Zardari and his daughter Asifa in London in August 2009)

Comments

@Keithz

Keith, Pakistan needs an awakening. Pakistani’s generally claim statehood and sovereignty, while they allow and enable China, Saudi Arabia and outside foreign Islamic Militant fighters to operate on their soil to commit terrorism on others.

@AhmedS,

With regards to India taking of Pakistan’s right arm in 1971, yes we did to that, but your Punjabi Mafia Army, for which you will not admit on this blog, gruesomely raped and genocided 3 million Bengalis. Anything India may have done, sure it bruised your national EGO, but India did not do something so unforgiveable as systematic and organized racist mass slaughter of unarmed civilians, with the main target being Hindus.

Any grievances of Kashmir or 1971, are so miniscule compared to the Bengali Genocide. That is why the world is not going to listen anymore about Kashmir or 1971, as Pakistan has no moral ground.

Pakistani’s only saving grace now, is that it must fully and wholeheartedly deliver Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban, AQ and Kashmiri Proxy War assets on a platter, if it wants to have any semblance of integrity or believability as a stable, peaceful nation that is against terrorism.

There simply is no legal or moral human justification for any sort of “strategic depth” terrorists against Afghanistan or India.

Pakistan has this one and only last chance to save it self and turn the page on militant-ism, otherwise the world will converge on Pakistan, militarily and politically and force terms on Pakistan. Pakistan will be trapped and not have any wiggle room.

At the end of the day, India wants a stable and friendly Pakistan, but in its current lackluster show, the Indians an the world are still doubtful as Kashmir proxy terrorists continue to operate against India and Afghan Taliban continue to butcher NATO and U.S. soldiers.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

Are we still debating about India and Pakistan and forgot about Gordon Brown’s worries. Perhaops we should ask Alcapone 2 if his new team has made any progress?

Posted by rexminor | Report as abusive
 

The only way in the direction of understanding & resolving these interwoven complex world problems is the real education of new generations, and empowering of the young generations as a start. Building of new institutions and replacement of the 30 plus generation with the young generation of 30 minus. This is not easy but not impossible. I believe that within 10 to 20 years, the fruits of empowering young generations will be evident all over the world.
I am working on a project based on my experience of transforming an educational institution of 520 kids from extremist/fundamental sentiments to liberal attitudes. I believe this is a step towards world peace by investing in the coming generations. I expect those they have a desire to help change the world can send me an email at khizar1@gmail.com. I am positive that someone is somewhere that can help change the world, but they just need to be reached and I am trying to reach them. Thanks.

Posted by khizar1 | Report as abusive
 

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