Pakistan: A mixed reaction on Osama bin Laden`s death. By Xavier Patras William, Modern Tokyo Times
05 May 2011
At night between May 1 and May 2 in Pakistan there was news of a low flying American helicopter having blown up in the city of Abbotabad, Khyber PukhtunKhawa. Three loud blasts were heard near the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul. There were reports that these helicopters were carrying out an operation on a compound in Abbotabad.
The American CIA initiated an operation and succeeded in killing Osama Bin Laden, the Chief of Al-Qaida. The Americans have reportedly taken the body into custody and the American President Barack Obama has also confirmed the killing. According to the American media the operation was completed in 40 minutes and the compound was rented by 2 Afghan nationals. The Pakistani intelligence played a vital role in the operation because the compound had been monitored for the past several months.
Surprisingly, while the rest of the world is celebrating the news of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Pakistani Government was quiet for some time. No military official has issued any reaction or statement on the incident as the operation was carried out on Pakistani soil. The defense analysts expect a worst type of backlash in Pakistan over the incident.
The liberals are celebrating because they welcome the news. Some students at a local university in Islamabad started celebrating the news and other liberals are celebrating in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. But the situation in Abbotabad is different because the city is deserted and only army officials are on the streets.
The local media is showing a biased reaction because they seem to be glorifying Osama bin Laden.
Ameer Jamat-e-Islami Syed Munawar Hasan, has denied the reports, he came on the media and said that this is all propaganda against Pakistan. Another MNA (Member National Assembly) Marvi Memon criticized the Pakistani government; she said, “Where is our President? Where is our Prime Minister? Where is our sovereignty? Why was an operation authorized on our soil without taking the parliament into confidence? President Obama is the President of America, not Pakistan, where is our President? Why didn’t he address the nation? Our men, women and children have been killed in the so called war against terror.”
The Prime Minister in a meeting with the cabinet, military officials and the intelligence agencies termed the killing of Bin laden as a victory in the war against terror.
Therefore, Government officials will be issuing a balanced statement to avoid a backlash. The Pakistani extremist school of thought is not happy about the news. The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Taliban has said that this is all a false operation; we still believe that Osama is alive and the Afghan Taliban has rejected the reports.
Retired Brig. and Ex Chief ISI ( Inter Services Intelligence) Hameed Gul has said, ” The statements by the Americans dont seem a reality, in the visuals of Osama, he seems much younger and they claim that no American was killed in the helicopter crash, I doubt all this. Obama is a smart person; this is a great start to his election campaign. The time is tough for Pakistan now.”
Pakistani Government officials and Military officials have refused to comment on the situation. ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) has also not issued any statement on the operation. Some Analysts think that the Al-Qaida Network in Pakistan and Afghanistan will become weak, but others think that they will respond more aggressively.
There are reports that America and other allies are having a meeting regarding closing down the Embassies in Pakistan for some time to avoid any backlash. The Pakistani nation is awaiting an official statement from the Prime Minister and the President because Political parties are reluctant to comment on the matter.
Many Christian institutions have closed their offices and several schools across Pakistan have been shut down to avoid any reaction.
Xavier Patras William is based in Pakistan and he is a writer and human rights activist.