By S. M. Hali

Amidst the crescendo of Pakistan bashing following the US Navy Seals’ successful elimination of Osama bin Laden, China is the only country, which has come to Pakistan’s support. The world is on the one hand mocking Pakistan that its intelligence agencies remained oblivious of Osama’s presence in Abbotabad and on the other they are taunting its armed forces that they were caught napping while the US Navy Seals sneaked in stealthily, carried out their operation and exited silently. The term being used by Leon Panetta the CIA Director is that either the ISI was complicit or it is incompetent.

Pakistan is being hounded by the USA after its violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as well as extra judicial killing of Osama bin Laden. UK, France, Germany and a host of other nations are parroting the US claims that Pakistan needs to get its act together and come clean on its harbouring the world’s most wanted person, although the US has itself admitted that ultimately, it was the ISI that had provided exclusive leads, which ultimately led them to reach Osama.US has gone to the extent that if it gets actionable intelligence regarding other terrorist leaders hiding in Pakistan, its forces will take similar action. Moreover, lawmakers in Washington are calling for review of financial assistance in the wake of Osama bin Laden's killing. Some US leaders like Leon Panetta and a host of senators and congressmen are being downright rude and accusatory. Under the circumstances, China’s call on the international community to support Pakistan is the lone voice of sanity. Whereas the west is being highly critical of Pakistan’s efforts to tackle terrorism following the killing of Osama bin Laden at Abbotabad, China has asked the critics to support Pakistan instead.

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China has mounted a strong defence of its “all-weather” strategic ally and neighbour, describing it as being “at the forefront of international counterterrorism efforts”. “The international community should understand and support Pakistan,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu. China has declared that it supports Pakistan's position, and understands and welcomes Pakistan formulating and implementing a counterterrorism strategy based on its own national conditions. China also appreciates Pakistan's active participation in international counterterrorism efforts. This Chinese vote of confidence comes against a rising tide of criticism from the West. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the Pakistani government had “a lot of questions” to answer.

Amidst the barbs and taunts on Pakistan’s air defence system as well as its security and intelligence agencies, the US is forgetting one important fact that despite its sophisticated security system and state-of-the-art technology in detecting intruders, the perpetrators of 9/11 hoodwinked the system and committed their heinous crime. Should the world then consider the US complicit to the crime against humanity or to be just incompetent?  After all a handful of Arab expatriates, with little or no flying training managed to board four different civil airliners with firearms, overpowered the crew, hijacked the planes and smashed two in the twin towers, one into Pentagon, while a fourth went down, missing its target. If the US has any sense of maturity, first of all it should stop cackling like a hen which has laid an ordinary egg but makes so much racket as if it has laid an asteroid. Indeed Osama bin Laden was a high value target, but after eliminating it at a cost of over 100,000 lives in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, having sacrificed nearly 7,000 US armed forces personnel and spending 12 trillion dollars, is the world a safer place? Al-Qaeda is an ideology; killing Osama has not killed the ideology. Even if the US has eliminated Osama, it needs a reality check, since it has not even dented the ideology of Al-Qaeda; unless it eradicates that ideology, the world will not be safe.

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As Pakistan and China are observing 60 years of establishing diplomatic relations and China has once again proved that it is Pakistan’s most reliable ally and true friend. It is high time that Pakistani leadership realizes that the US is no friend of Pakistan. It uses it whenever a need arises and once the need is fulfilled or ceases to exist, then not only it dumps it Pakistan but to add insult to injury, sanctions are slapped against it. Under the circumstances, there is only one option for Pakistan, to look East (towards China) for support and friendship. Business relationship with the US can continue but Pakistan’s true friend is China and only China.