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OBL’s death: Did the US threat work? Is it going to reap benefits in near future?

Not many people like The Friday Times’ editor Najam Sethi especially on LUBP. I am not too much of a fan of his commentary but his weekly paper does come up with some information that gives insights to the thinking taking place. This Friday’s edition contained a small passage in their column called “Such Gup”, which raised quite an eyebrow. It goes like this:

In his own words

A close advisor of President Obama addressed a seminar in London recently where officials from the Pakistan High Commission were also present. The advisor spoke about threats emanating from Pakistani soil to the US and Americans, as in the case of the botched bombing of Times Square, New York, by Faisal Shehzad, a Pakistani-American. The official from the Pakistan High Commission said that much discontent had to do with Drone attacks in the Tribal Areas and the killing of civilians. Obama’s advisor would have none of it. The US will do whatever it takes to protect Americans, he said. Then added, “Your military have admitted that most targets of the Drones are terrorists” and went on to state that “we will destroy you” if there is a successful terror attack in the US emanating from Pakistani soil. “We will destroy you”. Those were his words.


Now let’s link a few of the recent events in our strategic alliance. The appointment of General David Petraeus as CIA Chief, General Kayani’s speech at the Martyr’s Monument that echoed “protection of our Ghairat” and then today’s killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Has our Army and ISI begun to realize that this dilly dallying will not go on for long? If the threat in a public forum in London by an Obama Advisor to officials of Pakistan High Commission (with my understanding that Defence Attaché being the target of the very open threat) is to be taken seriously by those who manage our security, then we can expect the war on terror to progress at a fast pace going forward with more and more result oriented actions taking place.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, my Arab friend asked me this morning if Pakistan is going to suffer because of OBL’s killing? I simply responded, we have been suffering when he was alive but we have shown resilience throughout. Maybe this will be a tipping point in the war on terror and we are able to get somewhere.

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Ahmed Iqbalabadi

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  • ‘Like 9/11, serve ultimatum to Pakistan’

    Observing that the CIA doesn’t trust ISI because it has demonstrated repeatedly that it isn’t trustworthy, a top American daily today said that Pakistan needs to be a given an ultimatum on the same lines as it was immediately after 9/11.

    “In the wake of 9/11, the Bush Administration famously sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to Islamabad to explain that the US was going to act forcefully to protect itself, and that Pakistan had to choose whose side it was on. It’s time to present Pakistan with the same choice again,” The Wall Street Journal said.

    Noting that relations between Washington and Islamabad historically have never been easy, and now they seem to have reached something of a watershed, the journal said Pakistan’s behaviour hasn’t exactly been exemplary.

    “Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, has longstanding links to terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Haqqani network,” it said.

    “The government and military have made no move against the Quetta Shura, the operational nerve center in Pakistan of Taliban leader Mullah Omar,” the daily said, adding that Islamabad’s US cooperation has also been double-edged.

    “The government of President Asif Ali Zardari allowed the US to increase the number of drone strikes. Yet it has made a point of complaining about them publicly, playing a particularly cheap form of politics to shore up its waning popularity with a domestic constituency smart enough to see through the hypocrisy,” it said.

    “The Pakistani army was also happy to cooperate with the US when the targets of the strikes were members of the Pakistani Taliban who had their sights set on Islamabad. But the army has been less cooperative when the targets were the Afghan Taliban based in Pakistan or the ISI’s terrorist partners,” the journal said.
    The Journal’s opinion piece ‘The Pakistan Ultimatum’ comes within days of the meeting between the spy chiefs of the United States and Pakistan.

    “So Pakistan now demands that the United States withdraw hundreds of American intelligence operatives and special-ops trainers from its soil and stop the CIA drone strikes on al Qaeda, Taliban and affiliated terrorists. Maybe the Obama Administration can inform its friends in Islamabad that, when it comes to this particular fight, the US will continue to pursue its enemies wherever they may be, with or without Pakistan’s cooperation,” the daily said.