Original Articles

Take a Bow Mr President

Where President Zardari said to Americans he wanted the big fish *. He was right on money.

He knows better than anyone else that his Military is more independent than the post war German army in Weimar Republic. He knows that real threat to Pakistan lies in extremism and radicalisation, which seeks to make Pakistan a battle-field, and not as much as imperialism, that seeks to make Pakistan a capitalist haven.

Given the option between Iraq/Afghanistan and South Korea/Israel, its not surprising, that President considers latter less onerous options.

On the 2nd May, at 1 am local time an operation was conducted by the US army that killed the FBI’s most wanted man, on PAKISTANI SOIL. He was a ‘stone throw away; from a Kakul. The very fact that he was found in Pakistan makes people like Hameed Gul, Imran Khan and all liars – but we knew that.
Fact that he was so close to our Army training school shows how blatantly fearless he was about his place. It was a fortress with walls and barbed wires, a huge mansion in which he lived a life of luxury. NEAR OUR ARMY BASE.
This is a worrying thought. It means either our Agencies are incompetent or complacent. Neither bode well for us. Amount of money we spend on them, they have proven to be highly bad value for money.

In any case, Zardari’s decisive action to say, kill them all, shows at least clarity of thought. Kiyani and others were literally told about these operations and 3000 CIA men and they begrudgingly accepted. comparing the two men with so many decisions to make, it is clear who has a clear sight and resolve to solve the problem. Americans understand this which is why they reportedly informed only the President of the action and why they only thanked him for his support.

Yes detractors would call him a baby killer, for allowing actual baby killers to be killed. But its a tough decision and he, in my view, took the right call.
What this operation also showed how swift operations can AVOID drone attacks. Be they done by US or Pakistani army. Attacks like so can leave little collateral, be quick and clean. It took 45 minutes and we have been rid of an evil man.

If you want rule of law, then yes, ask your army why isn’t it committing such operations? why are they not brining in evidence that can prosecute terrorists in courts? Why aren’t our courts convicting these murderers?

I for one truly believe in fair trial, but there are a reason why constitutions allow emergency provisions. While many of commentators would disagree with me, I think what we have is a war on our hand. A war to protect a right to debate, right to think, right of equal right to our citizens – that are so in danger is the wave of radicalisation wins through gun and insidious propaganda.

In the circumstances, a man has to make a choice, even as ruthless as allowing a collateral damage. President Zardari has made that, call him what you will –

* as narrated in Obama’s war, Bob Woodward

About the author

Sindhyar Talpur


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  • @ sindhyar Talpur

    King Abdullah firmly believes that Asif Zardari is the primary obstacle to the government’s ability to move unequivocally to end terrorist safe havens there (“when the head is rotten, it affects the whole body”).


  • Am I inclined to believe Osama’s business partner? King Abdullah at best gets his information from his advisor, who are obviously not happy with the Shia President, who is an impediment in Wahabising the country.

    Fact is, even Zardari’s detractors in Pakistan don’t argue that is not sincere about finishing Talibans. Question really is how much power he has and how much can he utilise.
    I think he should be more pro-active. Confer with US and come out with a statement, condoning and advising the world Pakistan’s role in this operation. Change the narrative in Pakistan and abroad.

    He is worried of the backlash, but TTP and others have already promised attacks..

  • Stand up for the President of Pakistan! Feel proud indeed to be his devotee “MORE POWER TO ZARDARI”. What the dictators couldn’t do in decades, the PPP proved it in factual terms that we need to place a conclusion to terrorist & extremist thoughts + not to provide flower beds for those, who deserve hell! “PPP FOREVER”. “PAKISTAN KHAPPAY”!

  • Bruce Riedel: Obama Should Signal Support for Democracy in Pakistan
    Writing for The Daily Beast, former CIA officer, presidential advisor, and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Bruce Riedel, says that the US should follow the successful operation against Osama bin Laden by signaling our support for President Asif Ali Zardari and democratic forces in Pakistan.
    Obama was right to call his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, to thank him for help in the chase. Zardari’s wife Benazir Bhutto was murdered by al Qaeda in 2007; the death of the country’s most popular and capable leader was perhaps the group’s biggest triumph since 9/11. Pakistan has yet to recover from her demise. Al Qaeda has been focused like a laser beam on Pakistan for the last decade. It rightly judges Pakistan to be both uniquely vulnerable in the Islamic world to jihadism and equipped with the ultimate strategic prize, the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. With allies like the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, al Qaeda will remain a threat to Pakistan’s nascent democracy and to peace in the Indian subcontinent.
    Obama should schedule an early Zardari visit to Washington and his own visit later this year to Pakistan to signal our support for democratic forces there.


  • Dear President Asif Ali Zardari,
    Job well done! You have made us proud. You took away one of the most evil yazeed men of this century away from this world. I salute you.

  • Pakistan did its part

    By Asif Ali Zardari, Tuesday, May 3, 12:53 AM

    Pakistan, perhaps the world’s greatest victim of terrorism, joins the other targets of al-Qaeda — the people of the United States, Britain, Spain, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Yemen, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Algeria — in our satisfaction that the source of the greatest evil of the new millennium has been silenced, and his victims given justice. He was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be, but now he is gone.

    Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilized world. And we in Pakistan take some satisfaction that our early assistance in identifying an al-Qaeda courier ultimately led to this day.

    Let us be frank. Pakistan has paid an enormous price for its stand against terrorism. More of our soldiers have died than all of NATO’s casualties combined. Two thousand police officers, as many as 30,000 innocent civilians and a generation of social progress for our people have been lost. And for me, justice against bin Laden was not just political; it was also personal, as the terrorists murdered our greatest leader, the mother of my children. Twice he tried to assassinate my wife. In 1989 he poured $50 million into a no-confidence vote to topple her first government. She said that she was bin Laden’s worst nightmare — a democratically elected, progressive, moderate, pluralistic female leader. She was right, and she paid for it with her life.

    Some in the U.S. press have suggested that Pakistan lacked vitality in its pursuit of terrorism, or worse yet that we were disingenuous and actually protected the terrorists we claimed to be pursuing. Such baseless speculation may make exciting cable news, but it doesn’t reflect fact. Pakistan had as much reason to despise al-Qaeda as any nation. The war on terrorism is as much Pakistan’s war as as it is America’s. And though it may have started with bin Laden, the forces of modernity and moderation remain under serious threat.

    My government endorses the words of President Obama and appreciates the credit he gave us Sunday night for the successful operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. We also applaud and endorse the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that we must “press forward, bolstering our partnerships, strengthening our networks, investing in a positive vision of peace and progress, and relentlessly pursuing the murderers who target innocent people.” We have not yet won this war, but we now clearly can see the beginning of the end, and the kind of South and Central Asia that lies in our future.

    Only hours after bin Laden’s death, the Taliban reacted by blaming the government of Pakistan and calling for retribution against its leaders, and specifically against me as the nation’s president. We will not be intimidated. Pakistan has never been and never will be the hotbed of fanaticism that is often described by the media.

    Radical religious parties have never received more than 11 percent of the vote. Recent polls showed that 85 percent of our people are strongly opposed to al-Qaeda. In 2009, when the Taliban briefly took over the Swat Valley, it demonstrated to the people of Pakistan what our future would look like under its rule — repressive politics, religious fanaticism, bigotry and discrimination against girls and women, closing of schools and burning of books. Those few months did more to unite the people of Pakistan around our moderate vision of the future than anything else possibly could.

    A freely elected democratic government, with the support and mandate of the people, working with democracies all over the world, is determined to build a viable, economic prosperous Pakistan that is a model to the entire Islamic world on what can be accomplished in giving hope to our people and opportunity to our children. We can become everything that al-Qaeda and the Taliban most fear — a vision of a modern Islamic future. Our people, our government, our military, our intelligence agencies are very much united. Some abroad insist that this is not the case, but they are wrong. Pakistanis are united.

    Together, our nations have suffered and sacrificed. We have fought bravely and with passion and commitment. Ultimately we will prevail. For, in the words of my martyred wife Benazir Bhutto, “truth, justice and the forces of history are on our side.”

    The writer is the president of Pakistan.