The people of Pakistan have condemned the brazen violation of the country’s sovereignty by the US during its May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad. They have demanded that the superpower send an unconditional apology for the operation along with the check for the next tranche of the promised annual aid.
“Obama must stop killing his fellow Muslim brethren,” said a trader, who was part of a rally in support of the military and a sensitive intelligence agency. He praised the army chief for his statement that honor is more important than welfare, and criticised the civil government for the growing inflation and for failing to fulfill its obligation to provide all basic amenities to the people at their doorstep. “Nobody could have stopped a revolution,” he said, “if it wasn’t this hot.”
The crowd was generally peaceful, but there were unconfirmed reports that a passer-by was manhandled after he provoked the crowd by saying the sensitive intelligence agency was not intelligent enough to know where Osama lived but sensitive enough to be hurt by his killing. “However, the politicians have also made a lot of mistakes,” the passer-by said, while putting his torn clothes back on.
The rally follows an unprecedented move by the military establishment to surrender itself to Pakistan’s elected representatives and show them some actual glimpses of Pakistan’s foreign policy. The last time the military briefed the civil government about the foreign policy was through a press release criticising the US move to make aid conditional to the army’s non-intervention in politics.
Diplomatic sources told this scribe that the world recognised Pakistan’s key role in the war on terror. Other experts said the diplomatic sources were being diplomatic.
Military leaders told the parliament that Pakistan had lost thousands of civilians to terrorism, and the country had sent its troops into the tribal areas suffering more deaths than NATO in the war on terror. During this time, the world’s top terrorist was living in his million dollar house close to the military academy in Abbottabad. “America,” they said, “is an unreliable ally.”
A defence expert who is a retired military officer said it was not surprising that Osama was living in Pakistan because the nation had historically always welcomed guests from the West. Asked if that was why Pakistani radars did not see American helicopters coming to get the Al-Qaeda leader either, he said he could not hear this scribe because the voice was breaking up. He strongly criticised his mobile phone company.
Pakistan has named several of its missiles after guests from the West. Sources said that naming a missile after Osama was not likely because of concerns about its fate, amid reports that the US could take control of Pakistan’s nuclear warheads in an Abbottabad style raid.
The defence expert praised the Pakistani government’s respect for privacy of people’s homes and its openness to foreign investment in the country’s housing sector. Asked if this policy had led to extremism in the society, he replied, “A people who cannot fight each other cannot fight the enemy.”
Bin Laden was America’s number one enemy. Sources in Washington said that after his death, it was time to deal with America’s new number one enemy: America itself. Documents seized from the compound reveal Al-Qaeda’s plans to destroy America’s infrastructure. While trying to control their laughter, sources in the American capital said the terrorist network was unaware that the country had already destroyed its infrastructure in the last decade.
They said the US had been observing the house in Abbottabad. Infrared imagery had shown that one of the people living there hardly ever moved, ordered people around, and never left the compound: characteristics of a high-value target.
Sources privy to this scribe said if that was true, this scribe might also be mistaken for a high-value target and killed.
The writer is a media critic and the News Editor, The Friday Times. He can be reached at [email protected]