In Pakistan, bewilderment

May 6, 2011

Cyril Almeida at Dawn has written a powerful and anguished column about the bewilderment among many Pakistanis on discovering that Osama bin Laden had been hiding in Abbottabad, a garrison town in the heart of the country and home to the Pakistan Military Academy.

“It’s too frightening to make sense of. The world’s most-wanted terrorist. A man who triggered the longest war in American history. The terrorist mastermind the world’s only superpower has moved heaven and earth to track down. A decade of hunting. Hundreds of billions of dollars spent. The blood of countless Americans and others spilled. And when he was finally found, he was found wrapped in the bosom of the Pakistani security establishment.”

“Did they know he was here? Surely, they knew he was here? Nobody has come out and said it openly yet. It’s too early, the story still unfolding. Ask the question in private, though, and with hand on heart, no one will say anything but, yes, they knew he was there,” he wrote.  “Grim questions are etched on anxious faces, but so is fear of the answers. Proud men and women, people who love and serve their country, have cried as they connect yet another dot in the horrifying trajectory this country is on.”

The mixed messages given out in public or private after President Barack Obama announced on Monday that U.S. forces had flown unnoticed deep into  Pakistan and killed bin Laden, have left many dazed about what really happened. Had Pakistan at least helped in some way by providing the intelligence that  led to bin Laden? President Barack Obama had specifically mentioned counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan.  Or did Pakistanis have to face up to the possibility that the Americans had acted entirely alone — hoodwinking the country’s powerful army — and that perhaps, as Almeida writes, “they knew he was there”.

A government statement said that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency ”had been sharing information with CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009″ about the compound where bin Laden was killed. But that statement, described by columnist Ejaz Haider as “nonsense at its most nonsensical” was even more confusing — if the ISI knew about the compound in 2009, why did it not take action?

Towards the end of the week, the “authorised” version of events filtered out from a briefing given by Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani to senior Pakistani journalists.

Pakistan had not known in advance about the U.S. plans, but nor had it known that bin Laden was there, wrote Time magazine’s Omar Waraich, who had spoken to some of those present at the briefing. “Kayani was adamant that the Pakistanis had no idea that bin-Laden was hiding in Abbottabad. “We had no clear, actionable information on Osama bin-Laden,” he told the journalists. “If we had it, we would have acted ourselves. No one would have questioned our performance for ten years. It would have raised our international prestige.”

Najam Sethi at The Friday Times in his account of what appeared to be the same briefing, gave the first properly coherent explanation of how the United States and Pakistan had managed to square the circle of saying they had shared intelligence while acting alone.   It’s worth quoting at length, since in the weeks and months ahead, this is likely to be the story that will have to survive scrutiny if the two countries are to carry on working together — something both countries need to do in their own interests, irrespective of the distrust.

“Sometime in 2009, an ISI wiretap picked up a conversation in Arabic between a Sim card in Nowshera and another in Saudi Arabia. The conversation was brief and hinted at financial matters. This transcript was passed on to the CIA for processing. Three months later, in 2010, the same Sim woke up to another conversation in Arabic, this time from Peshawar to Saudi Arabia. Again, the transcript was passed on to the CIA. There were four other occasions that year when the same Sim was used, once from a location in Waziristan and the last one actually from the compound in Abbotabad, and all the transcripts and location details were passed on to the CIA. The ISI took the view that its Intel apparatus was focused on the Pashto or Punjabi speaking Taliban in FATA and elsewhere in the country and Arabic speaking Al-Qaeda terrorists were the responsibility of the CIA.

“Meanwhile, the CIA analysed the transcripts and followed all the clues until the last one led them to the compound in Abbotabad. When the CIA homed in on it in February via ground and satellite surveillance in 2011, it was convinced that a very high value target was living in it, possibly OBL. They found it unbelievable because of its location in the military’s backyard. The consensus view was that an exclusive and secret operation should be launched to get their man because the ISI couldn’t be trusted with a joint operation. The CIA just wasn’t sure whether the ISI was hiding OBL because it was the ISI that had provided the lead to the Sim card and transcripts that led the CIA to the compound in Abbotabad.

“This explains two statements made by senior US officials. President Obama said the operation benefited from “counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan’s Intel agencies that led the CIA to the compound in which OBL was living”. The CIA chief said they couldn’t mount a joint operation because they didn’t want leaks in the ISI by rogue elements to jeopardize it.”

The explanation has an internal coherence and brings together the U.S. and Pakistani narratives that they had shared intelligence, even as the United States later acted alone.  It does not begin to give all the answers, but it does provide some useful details to work on.

 In 2010, for example, the ISI, according to this explanation, picked up a conversation in Arabic from a particular SIM card.  That same SIM card was used “once from a location in Waziristan and the last one actually from the compound in Abbottabad”.  It’s terribly easy to criticise other people’s mistakes in hindsight, but what would you conclude if you had a link between an Arabic speaker, Waziristan, and the compound?  Leave it to the CIA?

Or was this a question of an overworked junior officer failing to join the dots? With every new explanation we get, more questions need to be asked.

Comments

@kEiThZ,

How r u old friend! I called it months ago! I said the real war on terrorism will be within Pakistan. Lo and behold, the mastermind OBL was there all along!

I bet, others like Zawahiri and top AQ guys are protected in other urban centers, as well, for deep storage.

Whether duplicity, or incompetancy is involved here, as Leon Panetta says, none are a good place to be.

Although many Pak Army soldiers have lost their lives, its all suggesting now that there are severe fractures in these institutions, especially the ambivalent dont’ ask and don’t tell attitude, which all comes from the top. Billions of Dollars of AID, and this guy was sitting in luxury all along.

Top U.S. brass have alluded to Pakistan’s mentally unhealthy obsession with maintaining enmity with India. The excuses, double games and lying are about to come to an end. A top general was quoted as saying, that Pakistani’s have their heads buried in the sand, choosing to maintain a 50 year old war that doesn’t exist anymore.

I think the repercussions are going to be quite severe. The blackmail is being called out directly now. I don’t think the Pindi boyz want to end this dog and pony show, they don’t want to catch anybody big and they want to maintain a facade by continually making token Taliban or AQ catches. Don’t put it past these guys if they are even creating half of these guys, only to catch them later and claim that they are fighting the war on militancy. Its not in their interest to end this militancy, it is lucrative, very lucrative, judging by the luxurious homes in the Abottabad district, the establishment has found a lucrative niche on the heads of U.S. taxpayers and therefore, they truly have no interest in ever ending the billions of AID that keeps flowing, that is their bread and butter. Do you agree with me now? It really is that simple. If the Pak Army cleans up house, there is theoretically no more aid required from the U.S. There is no incentive for the Paks to end this game. As I said, there will always be token arrests and eliminations to maintain the facade and protract the milking of aid from U.S. taxpayers.

Posted by G--W | Report as abusive
 

@Keithz

I don’t think the U.S. will back down, if they are blackmailed by the Paks.

All I gotta say, is that Obama has got bxlls of titanium!

The highest level fish, caught using stealth copters, and the best trained specialists on earth.

The shame and embarrassment is mythic and uncontainable. I also predicted that would be the case, that they would be embarassed and the Obama the lawyer, would systematically dissect and corner the Paks, that he did.

@Umair,

Sorry Umair, you failed on all counts, especially on principles. The pants are around their ankles, w-addling around with wet p-alms and still claiming that there was no wrong doing…PLEASE stop it already…people are not fools.

Indians are laughing all the way to the bank. I would not be surprised, if they try something with India, just to salvage their damaged pride.

This is far worse than 1971, many times worse, more shameful and embarassing. The lies have come out.

Posted by G--W | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

A direct question to you. I find it incredible that in this whole episode you find no fault with your establishment. Do you not have any questions yourself about why and how Bin Laden was found in Abbottabad? Do you not care?

You seem more offended by the US action than the failures of your establishment in tolerating the world’s most wanted terrorist on Pakistani soil. Surely, the presence of Bin Laden was a much bigger threat to Pakistan than the raid that took him out. If you disagree, I’d like to know your reasoning. I’m genuinely interested in hearing your opinion.

I’d like to know more about Pakistani public opinion on this. Do your fellow citizens share your opinion? Are they more offended by the raid than the presence of Bin Laden? And why aren’t there more demands for the resignations of the ISI Chief, the CoAS and the Chief of the Air Staff? Had this happened in any other democracies, the men would have resigned themselves within hours. I am trying to understand why this is not happening in Pakistan? Is the sense of honour and professional pride different in Pakistan?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

@Keithz, How childish, tossing the CIA stn chief under the bus.

If Mr. K ayani and P asha knew nothing, or had no clue whatsoever, its clear their underlings are rogue and are operating under their own ambitions. Hypothetically, if this is the case, their underlings have made them into cheap props with clown uniforms. Sorry for the metaphor, but its true.

Or the alternative, if these two had a don’t tell policy, then that can only mean one thing, that being, there is an intent to protract this facade to milk the cash cow for as long as possible. If this is hypothetically true, then this working relationship had come to an end some time ago, Obama, just didn’t know it.

Posted by G--W | Report as abusive
 

@keithz,

I have read that most people r too scared to talk public-ally. They use generic sugar coated words like
“the agencies” when talking.

Nobody is going to resign, when this falsly protracted war on militancy is the only source of income for the Pk Army.

The purging and surfacing of truth we have seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and now in Syria. One wonders if that will have chance to see the light in Pk.

Rest assured, so-called “rogue” elements are probably trying hard to create the next new boogeyman to be chased. There are a lot of jobs and paychecks on the line here. Nobody has any intention of telling the truth, or resigning. The scapegoats will be found soon enough.

When you tell one lie, you need to tell 10 more to make the first lie work…and so on.

Posted by G--W | Report as abusive
 

@Keithz, Obama said:

“We’ve got a chance to, I think, really deliver a fatal blow to this organization, if we follow through aggressively in the months to come,” he said.

Let me loosely translate lawyer talk, in other words, the Navy Seals likely found a treasure trove of more embarrassing information.

Obama went for high lying fruit and I think has in fact been rewarding with a bounty of low-lying fruit.

Posted by G--W | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

There’s an excellent piece here by Prof. Mead:

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/w rm/2011/05/08/high-noon-in-pakistan/

He perceives this raid as the ‘moment of truth’, so to speak. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you perceive that we are entering a period of strong divergence in US-Pak relations? Is Prof. Mead right about China’s reservations vis-a-vis the triangular calculs between Pakistan, the US and India? There’s a lot of questions that come up. And that makes for some very interesting discussions.

We live in interesting times.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

We have tried to explain to the Pakistanis that India is not their enemy. But they want to keep India as their bogeyman at all costs. And it has led to their current status. This is the time the US, China and other powers have to take Pakistan’s military and political leaders for a summit and tell them that India is not the enemy. There is no motive for India to get into conflicts at this time. Only then will the Pakistani war lords will be able to let their country focus on peace and growth. And the US should promise itself and the world that it will never manipulate other countries to their detriment. To a large extent, the US has pampered and spoiled Pakistan’s military. They had turned a blind eye to the dangerous development in South Asia and kept supporting the military in Pakistan. And it has turned into a blow back for the US itself. Pakistan can be corrected very easily if its India obsession is relieved. It is time to move on.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

KP, if the Pakistanis had a fraction of your wisdom, their country would not be in the mess it is in today. Don’t waste your breath showing them the truth. They don’t seem to be interested. There is no sign *even now* that they are willing to take the necessary steps to fix the problem. There is only delusion and more conspiracy theories. Truly, those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

I think their only hope now is a coup from within the army itself that overthrows the short-sighted generals currently at the top and brings to the fore a more pragmatic lot that can stop the jihadist agenda and embark on genuine peace. It will cause the military establishment to shrink, but will save the country. Are there any officers around who are patriotic enough to do that?

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Imperial Pakistan’s Rules of the Game are as follows:

1) India remains an enemy by simply existing.

2) India making ecnomic progress, gaining international stature by hardwork is proof of Hindu Bania evil.

3)At a minimum India should bend down and punch below its weight, and Imperial Pakistan should punch above its size.

4)Afghanistan should be a colony under the foot of Imperial Pakistan.

5) Concept of “Soverignty” applies only to Imperial Pakistan.

6)Imperial Pakistan can host an assortment of global terrorists, and local terrorists who should be allowed freely to violate the soverignty of other nations.

7)In return rest of the world should pay jiziya tax to Imperial Pakistan.

8)Imperial Pakistan will collect ransom money, so that PA/ISI can live off other people’s money.

9)Anything constructive, productive for any one inside Imperial Pakistan or for the outside world? Forget it.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

I used to wonder why Americans persisted in saying, “There is no alternative but to continue working with Pakistan”, after each episode where the divergence of interests was made obvious. Prof Mead’s article now makes it very clear. Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie” until you can find a stick. If a Stuxnet-like virus can be used to take out Pakistan’s nukes, the game will be over and the “Nice doggie” routine will come to an abrupt end.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

I think the US will pressure Pakistan into making some changes at the top. Kayani, Zardari, Shuja Pasha etc will be forced to resign and be replaced by yet unkown people that are favorable to the US. This way they can help Pakistanis wipe the egg from their faces to some extent. They will do this by black mailing them with “facts” discovered in the Bin Laden’s den. Thye might get the Pak military to deliver Mullah Omar, Zawahiri and Haqqani. In return Pakistan under a new leadership will get to keep their “dignity” in tact, whatever that means. Or else, they can trigger the final slide of Pakistan so that they can never get to control their own country, let alone others. Obama wants more done before the 2012 campaign starts. He has scored a goal already by taking out OBL. Pakistanis should get worried.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Personally I feel that we are laying too much store by the likes of Umair and the views that appear under this name so often here. This voice is most certainly not the voice of the average Pakistani. There is, from what I see elsewhere a lot of soul searching going on in pakistan and there have been open calls for resignations and taking on responsibility by the unseen Pak Army hand and the puppets they throw up for the public to tear apart.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/08/smokers-c orner-not-my-faith-really.html

http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/08/time-for- heads-to-roll.html

http://majorlyprofound.wordpress.com/

I completely agree with G-W, this is another Dec ’71 moment for the Pak Army if not worse. It is also in our combined interests that Pakistan comes out of it without violent upheaval.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Dara

What makes you think and how you can base your opinion on a couple of articles in the newspaper. Sure, in Pakistan the media is free and press writes against the Army. That is democracy, but the respect of the Armed Forces is still in place. Public sensitivities are involved, surely questions are being asked from the military high command and political leadership as well. I can tell you there is a lot of public pressure on the Armed Forces to take on the intruding drones as well as any future incursions.

Keith:
” Do you not have any questions yourself about why and how Bin Laden was found in Abbottabad? Do you not care?”

-Yes I do, definitely the presence of a most wanted man in the middle of a Pakistani city is truly shocking. So too the discovery that CIA watched him over from a nearby safe house. Terrorists watching over terrorists, both CIA’s clandestine network as well terrorists need to be eliminated from Pakistani soil, both have a mission to destablize Pakistan. On the first one, Pakistan Army has already ordered to reduce it to “bare minimum level”. Certainly, the media has criticized the establishment and government, the uproar has still not settled, PMs statement in the parliament stopped short of satisfying either the opposition or general public, tough questionsa re being asked and inquiries are being launched, intelligence failure has been accepted.

“You seem more offended by the US action than the failures of your establishment in tolerating the world’s most wanted terrorist on Pakistani soil. Surely, the presence of Bin Laden was a much bigger threat to Pakistan than the raid that took him out. If you disagree, I’d like to know your reasoning. I’m genuinely interested in hearing your opinion.”

-When Pakistan soverignty is breached it is something that offends, given the public sensitivity in Pakistan, neither the government nor the military can now openly support US policies in the region or assist in US regional objectives after the raid. Atleast, there could have been an effort to take Pakistan onboard and share intelligence on the matter. The raid might have been a hollywood style bravado shown by the Navy SEALS but in the long term implications it was a big blunder. Pakistan military has a long tradition of defending the nation and proudly boasts its record, this raid severely damaged the credibility. I can assure next time even there could be an attempt to deliberately draw the US special forces in such an op and there will be an attempt to intercept them to establish credibility. If anything, the raid only reinforces the notion that US and Pakistan are not allies. It will add to mistrust, jeopardize counter-terror cooperation, and further fuel apprehensions on both sides. It helps in nothing, US might have won the battle in Abbottabad, but may loose the war in Afghanistan.

“I’d like to know more about Pakistani public opinion on this. Do your fellow citizens share your opinion? Are they more offended by the raid than the presence of Bin Laden? And why aren’t there more demands for the resignations of the ISI Chief, the CoAS and the Chief of the Air Staff? Had this happened in any other democracies, the men would have resigned themselves within hours. I am trying to understand why this is not happening in Pakistan? Is the sense of honour and professional pride different in Pakistan?”

-When the 9-11 happened in New York, did CIA chief resign? did US president resign? did heads rolled in the US military? Intelligence failures do take place, but certainly the way in which the raid was carried out, lack of confidence shown about ISI and it was not entrusted with intelligence sharing, joint raid not sought speaks a lot that US doesnt give 2 cents about its cooperation with Pakistan. And Pakistani public do not care about such an ally. I can tell you there is a lot of resentment in Pakistan vis-a-vis its relations ith US. General impression is that Pakistan is always used by US to attain its regional interest and abandoned later. Public pressure is on the government and Army to stop such a relationship with US.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

And just to add, as per emerging new details, US president authorized the special forces team in the raid to be large enough to fight their way out of Pakistan in case there is a confrontation with Pakistani forces.
Do you really think after this the standard operating procedures will be similar in PAKMIL, I am sure there have been new directives issued to forward bases and units deployed on the border.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

US support for Pakistan, A Long Messy History

The Double Game

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/ 05/16/110516fa_fact_wright?mbid=social_r etweet

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Wait a minute luxury? I have seen pictures of Osama’s home, and it is big and largeness in most places means expensive, but luxurious it was not, unless you mean luxury by very poor third world country luxury.

His television was old and out dated, and his house was decorated trailer trash style. The inside decor was also trailer trash. This was probably by choice rather by need. If the mansion cost a million dollars then the cost went into bribes, lot payment, the basic material like concrete, the cost of the electrical grid which according to reports was not hooked up to the local power sources directly, but not labor because we all know what they pay laborers in third world countries.

Why is this important because when our politicians stand in front of pictures of the inside and outside and call this place luxurious, many people, including me, ask the question of themselves, “Are they blind? Or who do they think they are trying to fool? Or aren’t they overstating things by calling this place luxurious?” Osama’s home was by no means, luxurious, unless you are comparing it to a cave in the mountains where people are sleeping on the ground and cooking by open campfires.

If we see things as they are and don’t fool ourselves by calling things what they are not, we may find more intelligence clues which will help us end Osama’s terrorist organizations for good. This will not not end terrorism for good because there will always be some one that will use terrorism to get what they want, but if people’s needs are meant by democracy, there may be fewer terrorists in the world and fewer people who will help them.

Of course in the United States today a millions dollars doesn’t not buy the house it used to, but it will be better constructed and decorated than Osama’s dump.

Posted by Myche | Report as abusive
 

The US has begun to push Pakistan towards changing its attitude towards India. They have come to the realization that belligerent stance towards India is unnecessary.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/10/us-expect s-pakistan-to-redefine-security-preferen ces.html

ISI might get Isfandyar Khan Pataudi as its next chief. This guy is the first cousin of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi that Indians are familiar with. Mansur’s dad Ifthikar Ali Khan and Isfandyar’s dad were brothers. Isfandyar might change the outlook of the ISI and dilute the anti-Indian venom built up in the ISI. A similar change at the military’s top position can do wonders for the region. I think the US is slowly forcing Pakistan to get out of its addiction.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

The US is already zeroing in on Bin Laden’s successors:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42965337/ns/ world_news-death_of_bin_laden/

Justice will be served.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Umair, read what I have said carefully. I am not talking of respect for the army. I am saying that people in Pakistan do have the good sense to see through its failings and incompetence also. Your voice is the one that seems to be the lonely one which sees nothing but everything good in everything that the army has and will do.Here too, instead of looking at events of the raid you are talking of pressure regarding drones, just a red herring.

There are many many others who take a more rational view and are open to introspect instead of just plain flag waving which you seem to revel in. It fools no one.Thats why I am sure. I simply refuse to believe that your view of view represents the view of most average Pakistanis because I read differently. Its just not articles but the responses to those articles which I find reflect the true pulse. I wish some more of them would come here and give their opinions too it would make for a more rational and balanced discussion. YOur views are simply unilateral – the army is perfect – period! Nothing to discuss.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

About Paks c;aim about “soverignty”

1) Does Pakistan violate the soverignty of other countries by hosting an assortment of global and local terrorists? who bomb and maim people of other countries.

2) If Pakistan doesn’t respect the soverignty of other countries why should other countries respect Pakistan’s “soverignty”. (Thanks US of A!)

3)Or do paks feel only Imperial Pakistan is entitled to “soverignty”?

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

http://www.frumforum.com/pakistans-marke ts-unworried-about-rift-with-us

Pakistan’s Markets Not Worried About Rift With U.S.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Frum forum is a good site. Full of useful information.

http://www.frumforum.com/pakistan-pariah -state-to-investors

$50 million in equity investment in the first four months of 2011 for all of Pakistan?

In the depression year of 2009, Bangladesh – long thought of as the basketcase of Asia – attracted $700 million, down from over $1 billion before the global economic crisis began.

We are familiar with the problem of rogue states. Pakistan seems in danger of turning itself into a pariah state.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

The situation Room pic, watching live feed of the raid

http://yfrog.com/gzlctaoj

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Dara

@ Army is perfect. Well I never stated Army is perfect, what I am stating is that Army and ISI have over the years extended far too much cooperation to US and there is a need to curtail that now. :)

and BTW, while this is Pakistan’s internal matter, but if you really want to know the public voices, let me assure you the corrupt Zardari government has absolutely no credibility in front of the public. Common Pakistanis know if someone will take a stand on important national matters, it will be the Army. Somehow this lack of unified command led the US to exploit the situation in Pakistan and violate Pakistan’s soverignty. But now even the PM, civil govt. have come out in full support of Army and ISI.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umair this is not what we are discussing here. What I am saying is that you are not the sole voice of the average Pakistani. There are enough people in Pakistan who are now crying out that someone has goofed up and goofed up badly and someone needs to take responsibility. No one is owning up, its all being buried under this smoke screen of sovereignty. No one is standing up. Everyone wants authority but no one has a sense of responsibility it seems.

It isn’t just Pakistans internal matter anymore; and are they forever going to maintain their plausible deniability? It does effect the stability of the entire region.

Here’s one more voice for you:

Mother of all embarrassments by Ayaz Amir

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDet ail.aspx?ID=45440&Cat=9&dt=5/6/2011

Why dont you read what many of your own countrymen are saying and rebut them with logical debate instead of going off at tangents talking of how much sacrifice and how much co-operation you have extended. Just plain denials carry no more weight any longer. let them be backed by logical and pertinent explanation.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

My heartiest congrats to Pakis for losing a great leader, mentor and soldier of Islam. Further thanks for letting rest of the world know that your country is the place to look for all kinds of Islam related terrorists and related activities. And thanks for letting everyone know how incompetent your forces are. But then what else can one expect from a nation whose majority people are so mad about religion that even for educated lot like Matrixx and Umair, Islam comes before Pakistan despite that Islam has only given them humiliation till date. All this info will be very helpful in future fights against terrorism and further exploitation of your country and its people, to core in name of Islam. I agree with Ganesh that people of Pakistan want to see only what lenses of Islam make them enable to see and not the whole truth.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

Lots of words. Yet, not an answer in sight. You dodged my question and I’m calling you out on it. Let’s see if you have the temerity to actually give me a clear answer.

In your opinion, is the presence of Bin Laden, hours from Islamabad, a greater threat than the US raid that killed him?

Yes or no. There’s no need for an essay format answer. Answer the question directly.

Second question: How common is your opinion among your fellow Pakistanis? Answer honestly.

Lastly, this crap about a “Hollywood style raid”. Geez. There was nothing Hollywood about it. That’s how SOF works. They go in, get their target and get out. The entire thing was over in less than half the time of most Hollywood movies and a significantly smaller body count than most Pakistan Army operations. Would you rather they have dropped a Daisy Cutter from a B-52 and take out the whole neighbourhood?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

keithz: “Would you rather they have dropped a Daisy Cutter from a B-52 and take out the whole neighbourhood?”

Be careful who you are talking to! You are challenging a nuclear armed nation with 200 million sitting ducks. What if they dropped a nuke on themselves to save their pride and then blame the Americans for smuggling the nuke in the form of a drone? You guys need to think of long term effects. Do you think there will be enough stock of 72 vegans, sorry virgins in the heaven if a nuke or a daisy cutter falls on them? Not many boys are left. Most have been molested already in the Madrasas so much that they want to be suicide bombers to get out. Understand the sensitiveness and sensibility of the people and the military of Pakistan. :-)

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

-When the 9-11 happened in New York, did CIA chief resign? did US president resign? did heads rolled in the US military? Intelligence failures do take place, but certainly the way in which the raid was carried out, lack of confidence shown about ISI and it was not entrusted with intelligence sharing, joint raid not sought speaks a lot that US doesnt give 2 cents about its cooperation with Pakistan. And Pakistani public do not care about such an ally. I can tell you there is a lot of resentment in Pakistan vis-a-vis its relations ith US. General impression is that Pakistan is always used by US to attain its regional interest and abandoned later. Public pressure is on the government and Army to stop such a relationship with US.

Posted by Umairpk
=====

Yeah. It’s not like they had a Congressional commission which led to a complete re-work of the US intelligence community or anything like that.

And I wasn’t aware that the 9/11 hijackers had taken up residence down the street from Westpoint or the US Naval Academy. And for all their failures, the Americans have caught various plotters since then.

But what truly makes your answer absurd, are all the denials by Pakistani officials for years, that Bin Laden wasn’t in Pakistan.

The ISI possibly coddling Bin Laden, would be like the CIA harbouring terrorists who kill Americans. If that happened, I sincerely doubt the American people would be satisfied with mere resignations from the top brass. I can’t believe that you don’t think the leaders of the ISI and the Army deserve their walking papers after likely harbouring an individual who killed many Pakistanis…including many brave Pakistani soldiers.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Keithz has point. I think this mission has set the bar now, on rooting out terrorists, no matter what country they are in. The entire intelligence establishment has taken a huge reaping in terms of their capabilities and credibility, quite the opposite for the Pakistani counterparts.

People naturally get rattled and upset when there is collateral damage and innocents in the crossfire. This by far is the best example of how a much cheaper, surgical take out is effective. In this one, the U.S. used AssymetricaL warfare against an enemy, who ever they are and won big.

I think in the future many conflicts will be settled by extremely competant crack commando teams that infiltrate and complete their mission in secrecy with lethality. I think there will be victories known and unknown.

I bet there are much more actionable targets like Geronimo sitting, hiding in that or other cities. This is definitely fodder for hollywood. I for one would like to see the Gurkha Rifle sitting on those modified Stealth Blackhawks.

We have to remember here, this all started with 911, the U.S. WAS the victim here. The mastermind was sitting in Pakistan. Naturally, the world is watching and wondering if the rest of his lower level commanders are there as well. Rest assured the capture of Geronimo is not the first, nor the last intentioned mission.

Posted by G--W | Report as abusive
 

G-W: “I think in the future many conflicts will be settled by extremely competant crack commando teams that infiltrate and complete their mission in secrecy with lethality. I think there will be victories known and unknown.”

Pakistan has already proved this capability by launching the Mumbai attacks. They could do it so well that none of their “soldiers” were real soldiers. They came in plain clothes and took on India’s entire system. Bravo Pakistan! You are ahead of even the Americans.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

I find the sovereignty argument used by the Pakistani public and state officials to be incredulous.

On the one hand, they get all worked up about US drone strikes and this SOF raid. On the other, there’s scarcely a peep about what cause those US forces to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty in the first place: the Haqqanis, Al Qaeda, Taliban, etc. Where’s the anger and protest in Pakistan, when those groups violate Pakistan’s sovereignty? Or is a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty only a problem when it’s not in Pakistan’s perceived interest? Why the double standard?

I’d suggest that once a state allows so-called non-state actors to violate their sovereignty, you’ve made it fair game for anybody else (including other states) to follow suit. Post-9/11 this seems to be par for the course.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Or is a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty only a problem when it’s not in Pakistan’s perceived interest? Why the double standard?

Posted by kEiThZ
==

Imperial Pakistan has one set of rules for itself and one for others.

It comes from a supremacist mindset, and a sense of entitlement. It is a myth that only PA/ISI subscribe to such notions, most of pak civilian population are like that. That’s why “moderate” paks are opposed to Taliban terrorists ruling Lahore but are strongly in favor of Taliban terrorists ruling Kabul.

Pak civilian population with PA/ISI feels they are destined for some sort of Islamic Glory. It is like Third Reich all over again.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

@G-W:
“I think in the future many conflicts will be settled by extremely competant crack commando teams that infiltrate and complete their mission in secrecy with lethality. I think there will be victories known and unknown.”

I think overall its a dangerous trend for humanity in general. Such operations might be used and will be used to gain personal or national interests which may not be morally correct. This whole thing takes us back to Babylonian days when Alexander accused Darius of financing his father’s death and waged a war on Persia to eventually become king of whole middle east. So in case of Pakistan and OBL it is fine but where do you draw the line? Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, where do you draw the line? By the way such operation are nothing new. Ask Israelis about operation Wrath of God and operation Spring of Youth. But what is worrying is that now Israel may feel a kind of free hand to carry more Wrath of God upon middle east. Will Pakistan the saviour and warlord of Islam be able to defend middle east when its own house is in such mess despite having all the nukes.

“I for one would like to see the Gurkha Rifle sitting on those modified Stealth Blackhawks.”

Gurkha rifles/Sikh regiment/Rajputana rifles/NSG on Stealth Blackhawks is an extremely lethal combination, a super deadly weapon that would demand extreme caution before even thinking of using it.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

Those who (repeatedly) violate the sovereignty of others by unleashing their “non-state actors” on them, have absolutely no right to demand their own. If you don’t respect the rights of others, you can’t claim any, either.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Keith:
“Lots of words. Yet, not an answer in sight. You dodged my question and I’m calling you out on it. Let’s see if you have the temerity to actually give me a clear answer.

In your opinion, is the presence of Bin Laden, hours from Islamabad, a greater threat than the US raid that killed him?

Yes or no. There’s no need for an essay format answer. Answer the question directly.

Second question: How common is your opinion among your fellow Pakistanis? Answer honestly.”

-Keith, in first place I am under no obligation to answer any of your questions, but still I will answer them and this is based on the understanding that you will also share the links, your personal opinions about how the west percieve pakistan from policy making point of view. below is my answer:

“In your opinion, is the presence of Bin Laden, hours from Islamabad, a greater threat than the US raid that killed him?”

-Honestly, OBL presence was a greater threat, no one shed tears for him, also when Baitullah mehsud was killed in a drone strike that too was good riddance. However, unilateral action by US caused a public backlash, anger in the Pakistan Army and the level of future counter-terror cooperation appears to go down. These unilateral raid/drone strikes destablize Pakistan.

“Second question: How common is your opinion among your fellow Pakistanis? Answer honestly”

-I think the general opinion in Pakistani public too is very much in favour of getting rid of Bin Laden. PA came under rare public criticism since it could not detect the US intrusion and did not confront the intruding forces. That is a different thing, but generally tell you, OBL and his ideology has no place in Pakistan.

“Yeah. It’s not like they had a Congressional commission which led to a complete re-work of the US intelligence community or anything like that.”

-Yeah, United States is now a Police state, its citizens have no more civil liberties, everytime the government is watching them. This is what an American tourist told me, the life in US after 9-11 is much more difficult than before. Now you have a dozen intelligence agencies, a huge Army of Defense contractors and private mercaneries. Good job, keep it up!

“The ISI possibly coddling Bin Laden, would be like the CIA harbouring terrorists who kill Americans. If that happened, I sincerely doubt the American people would be satisfied with mere resignations from the top brass. I can’t believe that you don’t think the leaders of the ISI and the Army deserve their walking papers after likely harbouring an individual who killed many Pakistanis…including many brave Pakistani soldiers.”

-You know the case of Jaycee Dugard she was kidnapped as teenage girl, kept for 20 years in a backyard in California and when discovered her kidnapper had children with her. Things happen, the world is too small a place yet to big to live in. How OBL managed to be in Pakistan, certainly there is no justification. People of Pakistan reject terrorism and terrorists, be they Al-Qaeda or CIA. two sides of the same coin. And tell me what happened after the Iran Contra-affair, what happened whenever CIA overthrew a foreign government? Did Americans ever felt any shame? When US Army did the Abu Ghraib prison abuses in Iraq? did the Americans came out in streets? Were the perpetrators fired from their jobs? And what about the chopper film where people are fired upon from a gunship helicopter who turn out not to be insurgents? I am not giving any excuses and justification here ok, sometime you accused Pakistan of becoming like Nazi Germany? I am asking you if it is true that CIA has ‘black sites’ across Europe, they conduct torture? or not? After all this, I support Pakistan should strictly adhere to UN security council resolution 1373, eliminate all non-state actors and terrorists if found in their territory. But don’t think we are evil and you are angels, ok.

“I find the sovereignty argument used by the Pakistani public and state officials to be incredulous.”

-Sure, it is ridiculous for a third world country to stand up to a super power and demand that its soverignty to be respected. But when that third world country turns out to be a Muslim nation of 200 million people and a nuclear power, i think that means its time to seriously respects its soverignty or risk backlash. Sir, you argue that US forces violate Pakistan’s soverignty becoz of HQN, LET, AQ, TALIBAN present here, don’t forget it was CIA whinvited AQ back in 80s to take on Soviets on Af-Pak soil. Yesterday US supplied all of them including ISI, today what we see are the fallout of those years.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Keith,
I have a few brief questions and would appreciate if you answer:

1. What is your position on Kashmir, do you think that dispute with India causes all the strategic depth/nurture terrorists argument against Pakistan’s security establishment? Do you think resolution of disputes with India will make Pakistan a better country?

2. What is your position on India, do you agree they are Pakistan’s enemy no. 1 posing an existential threat?

3. Given CIA’s clandestine network, its adversareial relations with ISi, is it true there is an outside hand in destabilizing Pakistan? To put it bluntly, is CIA working against Pakistan?

4. Despite all of Pakistan efforts, if the war is lost in Afghanistan, will Pakistan be punished? If yes in what way (diplomatic isolation, sanctions etc.) ?

5. Lets suppose Pakistan gives up its strategic depth/harboring terror/double game policy etc. Pakistan accepts all demands placed on it. In return will the US and west force India to settle Kashmir dispute?

Lets see if you can grasp my questions, interpret correctly and answer them, ofcourse you are under no obligation though. And remember, my questions are because of a fundamental problem faced by Pakistan. I will elaborate further when you give me the answers.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s Government Remains Defiant in Face of bin Laden Criticism

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0  ,8599,2070632,00.html

Ambassador fends off doubts about Pakistan’s role

http://networkedblogs.com/hHEnN

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

The Vexing U.S.-Pakistani Relationship Heads South, Post-bin Laden

http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2011/05  /10/the-vexing-u-s-pakistani-relationsh ip-heads-south-post-bin-laden/

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@Umair

First step to improving is to accept the mistakes. But when you guys cannot accept your mistakes then how will you improve? All hope for Pakistan is lost.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

LOL. I was wondering when the Kashmir angle would be interwoven into this discussion and by whom.

I will repeat, Pakistan and India have a Kashmir problem since 1947. The Afghan situation and 9/11 were decades later. Yet they never tire of trying to get it in somehow or other in any context. When there was no Afghan problem, when the terrorist problem was not so compounded, Pakistan still started hostilities over Kashmir. Why didn’t things stay calm and get sorted out? Is Pakistan in such a mess because of Kashmir alone? If so, how did India manage to move on and develop? It has taken decades of stupidity and no one thought of changing course? Its the same old story, we are never at fault. Its always someone else, poor us!

BTW just a thought. Bashir, the Pakistani foreign secretary mentioned the other night that asking Pakistan to deliver justice over 26/11 is outdated….in other words history, so lets forget it and move on. Well then Kashmir is pre-historic by the same standards. Yet if its Pakistan, then they will not only bring it up whenever they want but will also change their stand whenever they want!

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

I know your questions were addressed to Keith, but maybe you can give an answer to this one:

1. If India refuses to settle the Kashmir dispute, will Pakistan refuse to quit its current trajectory?

(Who loses from this, BTW?)

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

I think the common man of every country in the world suffers in this power struggle.They seem to lose their limbs hands & legs in the most selfish pursuits of personal glory tossed between a terrorist, a corrupt army & a super power country. Mankind seems to rejoice this guys killing in Newyork just like 10 years back people danced elsewhere when the twin tower was hit.The photo ops of Obama’s victory is just as much disgusting as much as Osama watching over himself in the TV.I hope the God who created these men & women is really worthy of worship.

Posted by Abardaijan | Report as abusive
 

1. If India refuses to settle the Kashmir dispute, will Pakistan refuse to quit its current trajectory?

I will answer.

The problem is with your question. Seriously.
you think Pakistan is going down.
He thinks Pakistan is going up.

Down is up and up is down in irrational, delusional “thinking”.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

(unfortunately) rational arguments will not solve irrational aggression,

US should cut aid drastically. Pak economy is in such bad shape, it is being propped up in a fake manner.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

“Nobody cares about Bin Laden or America’s war. Nobody gives a damn. Pakistanis are more worried about inflation.”

—Posted by d3v

Are you serious ? When did you see Pakistanis coming out on streets against hike in Petrol prices.

But they do came out on “Shahadat” of their Beloved Sheikh OBL.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

In general Paks give quite a bit of “damn” while in public saying they don’t give a “damn”.

Like collecting money from Americans and then training suicide bombers to go and kill American soldiers.

Or they give a “damn” like this also…

Pakistan paid £135,000 to British MP for promoting its Kashmir case

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/pakist an-paid-135-000-to-british-mp-for-promot ing-its-kashmir-case-105022

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

@umair,

you keep reminding us that Pakistan is a country of 200m Muslims and a nuclear state. So what does that mean? Does that mean you are exempt from acting and behaving responsibly and incoherently, does it give you a blank cheque to misbehave, blackmail, lie, carryout duplicitous policies? Does it also exempt you from civilized, stately behavior, should provide immunity to you from being questioned and cross-examined by the outside world?

Pakistan has abused its nuclear status to such a horrible degree that it has undermined its ally USA in Afganistan and carried out assymetrical warfare against India and h as in fact used its nuclear status as a heel to carry out all manners of dirty nefarious activities against India and has also falsly protracted this war against militancy, to milk the cash cow as long as possible.

So please excuse the rest of the world, if they seem, just a little dismayed and a little annoyed. Perhaps you should step outside of it all and see our POV. There is not quarrel with the citizens of Pakistan. The USA taxpayers have a quarrel with your double dealing pindi boys, their continual evasion and now the top AQ boss being right under your noses for so long…please tell us how to interpret this, tell us what to think, give us a reasonable explanation for the billions of USD? The optics are far beyond horrible. You have to admit that. Please don’t dredge up the soviet era past, it just starts to sound like more hollow excuses.

I told you a year ago, Obama is a lawyer and will eventually corner you guys into honesty. The time for honest is here. It time your establishments got cleaned up and send a whole bunch of guys packing and dishonorable discharges. There must be accountability anything else will not be acceptable.

Posted by G--W | Report as abusive
 

“United States is now a Police state, its citizens have no more civil liberties, everytime the government is watching them. This is what an American tourist told me, the life in US after 9-11 is much more difficult than before. Now you have a dozen intelligence agencies, a huge Army of Defense contractors and private mercaneries.” Posted by Umairpk

This is grossly exaggerated & false. I can’t imagine that even you, believe in some of your hyperbolic comments. I agree that security & vigilance has been drastically heightened since 9/11 but americans have the same civil rights, they had prior to 9/11 & that includes muslims. If you are suspected to be involved in terrorism related activities, you’ll be watched but if you are clean, you have nothing to worry about. There are no spies & mercenaries hanging around. Maybe your “tourist” got in trouble due to suspicious behavior.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

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