Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama’s death – what next?

The death news of Osama Bin Laden that surprised the world is stale now. It is now very clear how the OBL resort in Kakul, near the city of Abbottabad was identified by the intelligence agencies of Pakistan after the capture of Patek, the Indonesian terrorist with the help of two French terrorists, put under surveillance under months and finally the shared information led to the US operation.

It is wrong to conclude that Pakistan was no board for many indicators. For one, the locals of the area were asked by the police on the fateful day to restrict their movement at night and keep the lights switched off. Why would such an order be given by police if something unusual was not to happen?  Secondly, a neighbour living close to the targeted compound told a local news channel that within five minutes of the crash of one of the helicopter countless number of army and police vehicles along with the fire tenders reached the area. This makes it evident that “everyone” was sitting in high state of readiness and was ready to reach the zone of operation within minutes. Otherwise such ready action groups take 10-20 minutes to react when not in absolute readiness or alert state.

Despite emerging information and evidence both the civilian and military hierarchy, till as late as 8 PM on 3 April, were adamant to confess their knowledge of the operation and were pretending to be surprised by the US action. And if this is really so, then what about those claims of impregnability of the defence of the country?

Now that the ordeal is over, one wonders what is next. Of course now there would be stepped up drone attacks “well deep inside” Pakistan with more ferocity and NO MERCY with bigger collateral damages than before. There will be more bloodshed both as result of the US drone attacks and the retaliation by the militants to avenge the death of OBL. This means Pakistan will be bathed in blood for an unforeseeable future.
The incident also casts a big question mark on the ongoing operations against the militants which has consumed thousands of men in uniform and civilians over the past one decade. Should we take it these sacrifices have gone waste? The entire US focus was on OBL and our failure to hunt him down and capture him before the US operation is a mother of all embarrassments, for which the nation surely wants credible answers.

The post US led operation scenario now wants from us a clear road map of our future strategy. We have to come out with clearly drawn lines for our part in the War against Terror. Any such mishap, that has embarrassed us in the eyes of the world community, will not only be disastrous but would also make us a rogue nation for ever, for no fault of the common citizens. The policy makers have to now think out positively to draw a well thought out plan that represents the aspirations f the nation and not few individuals.

Having said that, the thing that worries me now is the Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Like OBL, the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan is big worry for the world, specially the US. If a surgical operation by the US marines and Naval SEAL can be undertaken deep inside Pakistan, one can dread to think that in days to come an adventure of a much bigger magnitude can be launched against the Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal on the pretext of it falling in the hands of the militants.

Obviously after the death of OBL, there will be unprecedented hike in militant attacks in Pakistan, making the already fragile law and order situation in the country more alarming and disturbed. Under such conditions, one can safely presume that the world will show its concern on the possibility of the Pakistan’s nukes falling in the hands of the militants for use against the western countries. Such concerns have already been raised many a times by the West and the US. Such a situation can prompt a Libya like UN resolution against Pakistan and allowing the Special Forces under the ambit of UN to launch operations to take control of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal and shifting it to some “safer” places.

I hope and pray that we have made extra security arrangements to safeguard our nuclear arsenal against any “outside” misadventure. Our false claims of impregnable defence died down with the death of OBL. Let not tomorrow our government and all concerned tell the nation that the taking possession of our nuclear arsenal by some foreign country was in the best interest of Pakistan.

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