ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Murky dealings

Murky dealings
Highlights

For long, the world knew of Osama bin Laden as the ‘most wanted’ terrorist. Now, it turns out, he was a sick, old man, ‘purchased’ from his tribal hosts by Pakistan’s intelligence who, in turn ‘sold’ him, to be brutally killed. Denied a decent Muslim burial, Osama’s body parts were scattered over the Hindu Kush Mountains.

Seymour Hersh lays bare role of Americans, Pakistanis and Saudis

For long, the world knew of Osama bin Laden as the ‘most wanted’ terrorist. Now, it turns out, he was a sick, old man, ‘purchased’ from his tribal hosts by Pakistan’s intelligence who, in turn ‘sold’ him, to be brutally killed. Denied a decent Muslim burial, Osama’s body parts were scattered over the Hindu Kush Mountains.


The United States that did the second ‘purchase,’ paying millions to Pakistani operatives, from the one who “walked in” with Osama information to the Generals who ran Pakistan. Deals were cut at institutional and individual levels. The title of this story ought to be ‘Osama Betrayed.’ But it comes as revelations in a 10,000 word article by noted American writer Seymour Hersh. It lays bare the role of the Americans, the Pakistanis and the Saudis who financed Osama’s upkeep in the mountains and during his “house arrest” in Abbottabad.


These are revelations that nobody is going to own up – only bland, pro forma, denials have come forth. They are like fish bones that authorities in the three nations can neither swallow nor spit out. Hersh’s account puts on its head much that was claimed in May 2011, when Osama was located and killed. Pakistan played a perfidious role to get rid of its ‘asset’ and the Americans played out ‘a political theatre’ to regale audiences across the world.


President Barack Obama, who cleared the risky operation, it is now alleged, went back on an undertaking to make it appear joint US-Pak operation. He took the credit and made Pakistan, especially its army, look nasty. After all, the US had paid the price to the Pakistanis.


Thus, while Obama ensured his re-election to White House on the shoulders of the SEALs, who had carried out the heroic operation - now dubbed as walk-in-walk-out - Pakistan faced global odium. Its polity went for a toss and its army seethed in impotent anger, ready to ‘repent its sins’ by trying to topple the hapless civilian government of Asif Zardari.


Left out of the loop, but desperate to survive, Zardari pleaded with the Americans to be saved from clutches of the angry generals, giving rise to the ‘Memo Gate’ crisis. How the US ensured his survival may be the subject of another future Hersh-like revelation.


The moral of the story lies in a question. Is the Hersh story an American way of making a clean breast about its role in Afghanistan-Pakistan, like it did in the past in Cuba, Chile, Iran, Vietnam and other bloody wars and intelligence operations? For Pakistan, the Hersh story comes along with another by another American journalist, Carlotta Gaal, stationed in Af-Pak for 13 years and should know.

She has accused Pakistan Army’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of cutting deals. More bland denials have followed. Let there be no doubt about the role that the all-powerful Pakistan Army played and shall continue to play. And of the US, to ensure hold over the region, it will continue to feed Pakistan’s military machine.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
Subscribed Failed...
Subscribed Successfully...
More Stories


Top