FIRST, let us go back to an earlier blog, Anne Patterson, Queen of Pakistan , at the end of which there is a quote from Roedad Khan, a retired senior civil servant who had worked closely with several Pakistani rulers:
The independence of
Bear these words in mind as you read on.
SECOND, today the British newspaper The Guardian has published a stunning report by its Pakistan correspondent, Declan Walsh, a first rate journalist with extensive contacts. You can read the full report here .
Briefly, what Walsh is saying is that some 10 years ago the USA and Pakistan had signed a secret agreement - a humiliating sell-out by the dictator Musharraf - under which the Americans had been given a free hand to launch raids into Pakistani territory in the event of the Al-Qaeda leadership being spotted in Pakistan. The term "leadership" included Osama himself, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and whoever happened to be the Al-Qaeda No. 3. If such a raid did take place, "Pakistan would vociferously protest against the incursion"! Later, in 2008, when Musharraf was still president but a PPP civilian government had been formed, this dirty deal was renewed. By then Ashfaq Kayani was the Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan's army and he would have been fully in the picture.
So, the "bravery" and "courage" of US Navy Seals is little more than a myth which has been created by the US publicity machine. The truth is that the Pakistanis knew what was taking place and they looked the other way, which made it an easy, risk-free operation for the Americans. Indeed, shortly after midnight on 1 May, men of Pakistan army had gone round knocking on the doors of people living in the vicinity of the run-down house occupied by Osama, warning them to stay indoors.
The Pakistan Prime Minister, Yusuf Gilani
This slippery, chameleon-like individual is an expert at saying contradictory things to different people and reversing his own statements without batting an eyelid. Following the US raid into Pakistan, which humiliated and stunned the Pakistani nation, this man strutted around smugly, justifying the USA's seemingly illegal action and violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. He declared that the operation was "conducted in accordance with the declared US policy"! People wondered what was Pakistan's declared policy when international laws are broken and the honour of the country is trampled underfoot. Thanks to Declan Walsh, we now know the answer.
The reaction to Gilani's idiotic statements was a rising crescendo of demands for him and Zardari, the president, to resign. Eventually, a week after the event, General Kayani was able to knock some sense into this two-headed monster, and Gilani stood up before Pakistan's National Assembly on 9 May, "to take the nation into confidence". This calculating man, who seems devoid of common sense, chose to deliver his lies in English for foreign consumption! The Pakistani nation understood only that some sort of trick was being played on it and Gilani was up to his old tricks which had been fully disclosed by Wikileaks (see "Anne Patterson, Queen of Pakistan" for full details). In a nutshell: for domestic consumption, publicly issue loud warnings to the USA but, privately, tell the Americans not to worry and go ahead with whatever they planned to do.
Ashfaq Kayani's opportunity to emerge as a hero
In 2008 General Kayani would have been aware of the humiliating terms of the deal that Musharraf-Zardari-Gilani had entered into with the Americans. He can claim that his hands were tied by that deal and he could not have stopped the American violation of Pakistani airspace. Many people think highly of him, some even consider him to be a man of honour. If he is that, then he needs to divulge the terms of the secret deal to the nation and seek a consensus on the type of working relationship Pakistan should have with the USA. Musharraf had heaped humiliation upon humiliation upon Pakistan. Does Kayani have it in him to redress the wrongs of the past and end the lopsided, demeaning relationship with the USA?
Kayani can seize this opportunity and emerge as a hero or he can sink into oblivion.
Is Osama really dead?
A lot of people - I among them - had believed that he had already died as a result of kidney failure. In view of developments over the past week, I now think that the sick Osama had survived somehow. Pakistan's ISI had handed over significant pieces of information to the American CIA, which eventually led them to Osama's hideout. The way the Americans have humiliated Pakistan and hogged all the plaudits for themselves has been an unedifying, disgusting spectacle.
I agree with the Pakistani journalist Saleem Safi, who writes for Jang newspaper, that Osama has probably been abducted by the US raid party and he is being held in secret for questioning. If he is waterboarded and tortured, no one will know since the world has been led to believe that he is already dead.
Tailpiece (added 12May)
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