Questions for the Pakistan liveblog

May 9, 2011

Our liveblog on Pakistan and what’s next for the country after Osama bin Laden’s death starts at 10a.m. EST/3 p.m. BST tomorrow (Tuesday, May 10). We’ve already received some comments and queries for Myra MacDonald. Here is one:

  1. Myra, In Pakistan there is a lot of resentment in the relationship with USA and a sense of betrayal. Also, the troubled relations with India, means that Pakistan is besieged by many problems at different fronts at the same time. My concern and also the question to you is, is Pakistan heading towards isolation? given the strategic implications of the OBL raid and killing, will Pakistan manage to control the damage to its credibility and emerge as a normal country?

Please keep sending in your questions by posting them below in the comments section.


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Is it not entirely plausible that, the all-powerful Dictator Musharaf, under assurance from Bush-Cheney that the USA would respect Pakustan Sovereignty, ordered a refuge be built for Usama BL in the safest place he knew, within a Military Cantonment under his direct influence and control, in order to ingratiate himself with the Saudi Monarchy fretful the US would bring UBL to Trial? Indeed he was correct. How could he possibly predict that a new President Obama would ignore this pledge of Sovereignty?

Posted by Bludde | Report as abusive

First of all I would like to thank you for the good job you are doing by informing us.My question here is can Pakistan now ever be trusted given that in previous times the leadership has always been in a state of denial about the whereabouts of one of the most wanted fugitive in modern history,Osama Ben Laden who was found hiding near the capital city of Pakistan?If at all the Pakistan government does not tell the truth that there are some elements within the ISI or other figures in the government that are in a full knowledge of Osama presence in the country,what steps will the Obama government take next or will it be business as usual as long as they are in one way or the other helping to fight extremists?

Posted by Asaki | Report as abusive

Is it not entirely plausible that, the all-powerful Dictator Musharraf, under assurance from Bush-Cheney that the USA would respect Pakistan Sovereignty, ordered a refuge be built for Usama BL in the safest place he knew, within a Military Cantonment under his direct influence and control, in order to ingratiate himself with the Saudi Monarchy fretful the US would bring UBL to Trial? Indeed he was correct. How could he possibly predict that a new President Obama would ignore this “Sovereign Sanctity” pledge?

Posted by Bludde | Report as abusive

How is the US going to respond to the Pakistan Prime Minister’s speech in the Parliament in which he has posed a few questions like Who was responsible for the creation of Al Qaeda and Osama? Where was the principle of peace & justice when US officials were openly exhorting the Mujahidin to fight against the Soviets and supplying it with weapons? Is not the US creating hundreds of Osama with every drone attack on civilians?

Posted by harry69 | Report as abusive

This may sound like a good idea to new visitors and those who do not know Ms.Myra McDonald.

Ms.McDonald is a very strong sympathizer of PA/ISI and her responses are likely to be in defence of PA/ISI rather than fair or neutral observations.

I’m wondering if you are going to display this comment or if you are going to ban me.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

India would be a good ally to support NATO contentions when it comes to eliminating countries that offer a safe haven to terrorists

Posted by momg | Report as abusive

Given that Osama bin Laden was found living in Pakistan, how can the Pakistani government or its people feel indignant and offended about the elightened world view of Pakistan?

In other words, how can they defend the indefensable?

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive

Presence of Osama and other terrorists make Pakistan a safe heaven for terrorists, how can international community prevent nuclear war heads from falling into hands of terrorists and their symapthisers?

Posted by manishindia | Report as abusive

Given the now-proven complicity of Pakistan’s army and ISI in terror (not just Al Qaeda but Lashkar — Indian terror victims also count as terror victims!), isn’t it a bit disingenuous to worry about Pakistan’s nukes falling into the hands of terrorists? They’re *already* in the hands of terrorists, aren’t they? Terrorists who are holding the world to ransom even as we speak, because a nuclear-armed state has to be handled with kid gloves no matter how egregiously it behaves. What’s your take on this?

Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Question is to the american tax payers/citizens, your money is being spent on Pakistan and 80% of the aid is related to military equipment, training or covertly redirected to ISI. Pakistan Army controls ISI, which in turn builds and trains many of the Terrorist Organizations. The ISI once in a while takes head of terrorist leader to please US. In this way do you people feel guilt that your tax money is being used for or by the terrorist organization or just let it go as American Govt diplomacy to control the world…..

Posted by SPAshok | Report as abusive

My question:

Is the post-US vision for Afghanistan offered by the Pakistani military valid after Abbottabad? Regardless of whether Bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan was due to the ISI’s incompetence or complicity, how can the world trust that Pakistan can help monitor any renunciation of Al Qaeda by its Afghan Taliban or Haqqani allies?

Posted by SilverSw0rd | Report as abusive

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto wasn’t it a turning point in the Gordon Brown’s government? Labour with David Miliband in the Foreign Affairs couldn’t found the murderer! Didn’t they have choosen letting this question to the Tories?

Posted by meleze | Report as abusive

Will the video from the Bin Laden raid ever be made public, perhaps over pay-per-view? And if so, will it be in high definition?

Also, how long will I have to wait until a movie is released regarding the raid?

Posted by Cali099 | Report as abusive

Q raised by Netizen here-in implies that Ms McDonald is on the payroll of the ISI who, I know first hand, does dole out funds (part of the US aid received?) to media and others to protect its image. Can you pls comment?

Posted by Bludde | Report as abusive

Was Pakistan complicit or incompetent in its response to the US action that eliminated OBL?

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

Ok…I’ll also ask Ms.McDonald a few questions :-)

1) Paks say they don’t care for US aid money. Then why do they spend several thousand dollars to hire lobbyists in America and beg for aid money?

2)About “soverignty”. Does Pakistan violate the soverignty of other countries by hosting an assortment of global and local terrorists?

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

4)We hear from Paks that China is great friend of theirs. Why don’t we never hear from Chinese they have decided to send 3 billion dollars per year to Pakistan?

Your responses will be appreciated :-)

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

All this episode clearly expose one of the two possibilities: 1. Pakistan’s security is EXTREMELY vulnerable and its sovereignty easily violable. 2. Pakistan has been playing a double game with EVERYONE and current action by US has been in full knowledge of Pakistan establishment and since Laden was no more useful to Pakistan so let go off him.

If first is true then such a nuclear armed state is a worry for ALL world given the weakness of both military and civilian government and its people being mad about a religion so much so that Bin Laden is their Hero. If second is true then Pakistan is a grave venomous threat to humanity with US being its master. For it has been US all the way which had supported military over civilian governments in all Muslim countries worldwide as far as it could. So that makes US and Pakistan as “axis of evil”.

All in all, India’s points stands vindicated that Pakistan is a rogue state. And a probable discovery that US is no less rogue.

Would love to know Myra’s views on this.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

Bozarre as it may be at first reading, there is a theory doing the rounds that actually Pakistan wasted OBL as he had served his purpose. Without getting the limelight on them it made sense for them to finger OBL’s whereabouts killing many birds with but one stone.

Earning points with the US, maintaining the flow of badly needed aid to survive a precarious economic situation and gain a free upper hand in Afghanistan. With OBL gone, the US could declare ‘mission accomplished’ – remember they went into Afghanistan to get Osama, not the Taliban. Having accomplished that the US would feel free to leave with a clear conscience, they would be obliged to Pakistan and more or less give it a free hand in subsequent events in Afghanistan and thereby help achieve its aim of strategic depth or whatever they termed it and everybody would be happy.

The only pre-condition being that Pakistan could not afford, because of internal pressures, to be seen to be openly siding with the US in this operation. So is all this we are seeing now a well planned charade? If not why not? Personally I disagree with the hypothesis but it still is an intriguing one.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive


A small but very significant correction in your theory above:
*everybody would be happy [EXCEPT INDIA].

If my point 2 and your thesis is true and US is rogue as much as Pakistan then Indians will have to have borders of stainless steel.

How about an article on possibility that Pakistan establishment knew all about OBL operation?

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

My question: Is Pakistan, a rogue state, a failed state or a combination of both? I’d go with the combo here!

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Pakistan cannot afford to be caught sleeping with another Taliban or al Qaeda figurehead, especially in a non-tribal area. There is a history of having arrested taliban, alQaeda topguns from Karachi, Faislabad, Rawalpindi etc. There sure are more such skeletons ‘hiding’ in non-tribal areas. What will be Pakistan’s/ISI’s next move if it has to avoid Abottabad-like embarassment again ?

Posted by hopeisme | Report as abusive


Conspiracy theories abound. I doubt this one is true. Certainly, if they were going to give him up, they wouldn’t have hosted him in a garrison town, near the capital.

And the embarrasment for Pakistan, on him being found where he was, certainly outweighs any credity they get “for giving him up”.

Moreover, all the subsequent statements from US policymakers seeking to apply pressure on Pakistan, indeed, show that this was no US-Pak conspiracy.

And if it was, why take 3 days to issue contradictory statements. If you’ve planned it all, surely your lies must be better.

Conspiracy nutters like to see a bogeyman behind every curtain. In reality, the truth is often quite accurate…and stranger than fiction.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive


I more or less agree with you on everything. Yet it was an intriguing thought. My main opposition to the idea was that if they considered him such a gravy train why would they jeopardise it by something outlandish and expect the same result?

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive


Just a small correction, it is not my theory nor thesis. I thought it was bizarre to start with as I have mentioned. At the same time was curious to see what others thought.

Appreciate your giving an opinion.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive