Boehner: US should not back away from Pakistan

By DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press

Excerpt:

…. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, acknowledged the frustration of his colleagues.

“But at the end of the day, if you want to create a failed state in Pakistan, one of the best things to do is sever relationships. It is not in our national security interest to let this one event destroy what is a difficult partnership but a partnership nonetheless,” Graham said. …

Read more :  Yahoo News

We can trust any one but not Pakistan, it is # 1 in the list which is not trustworthy, says John Brennan, US Counter Terrorism Adviser

White House: ‘Osama bin Laden had Pakistani support’

John Brennan, the chief counter-terrorism adviser in the US, says investigations are under way into how Osama bin Laden went six years undetected at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Barack Obama’s chief counter-terrorism adviser said: “It is inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to stay there for such an extended period of time.” …

Read more : The Telegraph.co.uk

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BIN LADEN – PAKISTAN LOSES A STRATEGIC ASSET

The curious case of Osama bin Laden

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Excerpt:

….. But then it turned out bin Laden was not hiding in some dark mountain cave in Waziristan. Instead, probably for at least some years, he had lived comfortably smack inside the modern, peaceful, and extraordinarily secure city of Abbottabad. Using Google Earth, one sees that the deceased was within easy walking distance of the famed Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. It is here where General Kayani had declared on April 23 that “the terrorist’s backbone has been broken and inshallah we will soon prevail”. Kayani has released no statement after the killing.

Still more intriguing are pictures and descriptions of bin Laden’s fortress house. Custom-designed, it was constructed on a plot of land roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. Television images show that it has high walls, barbed wire and two security gates. Who approved the construction and paid for it? Why was it allowed to be away from the prying eyes of the secret agencies?

Even the famous and ferocious General Hamid Gul (retd) — a bin Laden sympathiser who advocates war with America — cannot buy into the claim that the military was unaware of bin Laden’s whereabouts. In a recorded interview, he remarked that bin Laden being in Abbottabad unknown to authorities “is a bit amazing”. Aside from the military, he said “there is the local police, the Intelligence Bureau, the Military Intelligence, the ISI — they all had a presence there”. Pakistanis familiar with the intrusive nature of the multiple intelligence agencies will surely agree; to sniff out foreigners is a pushover.

So why was bin Laden sheltered in the army’s backyard? General Pervez Musharraf, who was army chief when bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad was being constructed in 2005, unwittingly gives us the clearest and most cogent explanation. The back cover of his celebrated book, In The Line Of Fire, written in 2006, reads:

“Since shortly after 9/11 — when many al Qaeda leaders fled Afghanistan and crossed the border into Pakistan — we have played multiple games of cat and mouse with them. The biggest of them all, Osama bin Laden, is still at large at the time of this writing but we have caught many, many others. We have captured 672 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totalling millions of dollars. Here, I will tell the story of just a few of the most significant manhunts”.

So, at the end of the day, it was precisely that: A cat and mouse game. Bin Laden was the ‘Golden Goose’ that the army had kept under its watch but which, to its chagrin, has now been stolen from under its nose. Until then, the thinking had been to trade in the Goose at the right time for the right price, either in the form of dollars or political concessions. While bin Laden in virtual captivity had little operational value for al Qaeda, he still had enormous iconic value for the Americans. It was therefore expected that kudos would come just as in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Kuwaiti-born senior al Qaeda leader who was arrested in Rawalpindi, or Mullah Baradar, the Taliban leader arrested from Karachi.

Events, however, have turned a potential asset into a serious liability. Osama’s killing is now a bone stuck in the throat of Pakistan’s establishment that can neither be swallowed nor spat out. To appear joyful would infuriate the Islamists who are already fighting the state. On the other hand, to deprecate the killing would suggest that Pakistan had knowingly hosted the king of terrorists.

Now, with bin Laden gone, the military has two remaining major strategic assets: America’s weakness in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. But moving these chess pieces around will not assure the peace and prosperity that we so desperately need. They will not solve our electricity or water crises, move us out of dire economic straits, or protect us from suicide bombers.

Bin Laden’s death should be regarded as a transformational moment by Pakistan and its military. It is time to dispense with the Musharraf-era cat and mouse games. We must repudiate the current policy of verbally condemning jihadism — and actually fighting it in some places — but secretly supporting it in other places. Until the establishment firmly resolves that it shall not support armed and violent non-state actors of any persuasion — including the Lashkar-e-Taiba — Pakistan will remain in interminable conflict both with itself and with the world.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2011.

To read complete article : The Express Tribune

Finding Bin Laden Raises Questions About Pakistan’s Complicity

By Robert Baer

Now I finally understand how Osama bin Laden eluded our grasp for all of these years — he was hiding in the open, in the backyard of one of our supposed allies. Let’s put this in context: Pakistan is a police state where foreigners do not go unnoticed, even when they’re living behind the high walls of a compound. On top of that, the compound where bin Laden was killed early Monday in a U.S. raid all but abutted the base of the Pakistani Army’s 2nd Brigade. I can’t help but suspect then that some Pakistani officials, at some level, were harboring bin Laden. And what about Pakistan itself? I don’t have a clue, but I suspect the worst on that one too.

When bin Laden first disappeared off the U.S. radar in late 2001 at Tora Bora, a lot of people entertained every foolish conspiracy theory they could imagine, ranging from the suggestion that the al-Qaeda leader was in Riyadh as a guest of the Saudi royal family to the idea that he was at Area 51, protected by the CIA. During a prolonged visit to Islamabad three years ago I asked a local American correspondent who’d been in country for five years where she thought bin Laden was. She looked out the window at the house across the street: “Maybe there,” she said. “Who knows about this country?” …

Nation’s honor not to be traded for prosperity: COAS

RAWALPINDI: (Saturday, April 30, 2011) – The Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Saturday asserted that the nation’s honor and integrity will not be traded just in exchange for “prosperity”, Geo News reported.

“What’s in national interest and what’s not is a decision only you Pakistanis have the right to make,” the Army Chief said in his address on the occasion of Yaum-e-Shuhada …

Read more :  The News

Death of Osama & Threats to Pakistan; US Operation Raises Questions on Country’s Security Apparatus; Top Brass Holds Somber Meetings

By Aijaz Ahmed

Excerpt:

Death of Osama & Threats to Pakistan; US Operation Raises Questions on Country’s Security Apparatus; Top Brass Holds Somber Meetings. It is said that US did not share any information on the raid with Pakistan but a government officer confided to Indus Herald on the condition of anonymity that a number of Pakistani commandos provided cover to the operating US soldiers…

To read complete article : Indus Herald