By: Yasmeen Ali
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on her recent visit to Pakistan that she believed Osama bin Laden was still in Pakistan, in a television interview between high-level talks in Islamabad.
“I believe (bin Laden) is here in Pakistan and it would be very helpful if we could take them (al-Qaeda leaders),” Clinton said. The US secretary of state sought tougher action from Islamabad to combat militants ahead of a key conference in Afghanistan.
The information that Osama Bin Laden is dead, first came from sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan many years ago,the fugitive died in December  and was buried in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan.
With an ego the size of Mount Everest, Osama bin Laden would not have, could not have, remained silent for so long if he were still alive. He always liked to take credit even for things he had nothing to do with. Would he remain silent for nine months and not trumpet his own survival? [New York Times. July 11, 2002]. Bin Laden has often been reported to be in poor health. Some accounts claim that he is suffering from Hepatitis C, and can expect to live for only two more years. According to Le Figaro, lin  he ordered a mobile dialysis machine to be delivered to his base at Kandahar in Afghanistan. [Guardian]. FBI: Bin Laden ‘probably’ dead; The US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, says he thinks Osama bin Laden is “probably” dead. [BBC]. The editor-in-chief of a London-based Arab news magazine said a purported will it published in the year  by Osama bin Laden, and shows “he’s dying or he’s going to die soon.” [CNN]. Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader. “The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead,” the source said. [FOX News].
Yet, Secretary Clinton, has decided, to claim, that not only Osama Bin Laden is alive and kicking, but in Pakistan. Yet, Secretary Clinton gives no proof as to why, suddenly, she thinks he is alive. If there are clues, they must surely be shared with Pakistan for them to not only ascertain the veracity of the claim but to help them “find” Osama.
Secretary Clinton is in a position where irresponsible statements can be ill afforded.
Many claim, this desire to revive Osama is to justify the continuation of the War on Terrorism. Gordon Duff, Senior Editor Veteran News, USA, in a recent article states,” Has the United States established exactly what its strategic interests are in the region? Oil is flowing freely as is heroin. Money is flowing into the region by the plane load and back out, into banks in Dubai, Tel Aviv and Switzerland. Is $500 billion a year being spent to defend Israel from invasion by, well, we aren’t sure? What is being spent to secure Israel, or empower Israeli recklessness, is nearly one third of America’s entire budget. Wouldn’t it simply be cheaper to give Israel the United States or do they own it already? “
The Pakistani public is wary of these statements, as issued by Secretary Clinton, and are widely interpreted as self serving and nothing to do with ground realities.
Pakistan is a country that has suffered tremendously in this War on Terror. If America has a genuine appreciation of the sacrifices made by Pakistan, she should make an effort to solve the issues being faced by Pakistan. One of the foremost is to intercede and stop India from violating the 1960 Indus Water Treaty. To this, Secretary Clinton has given her flat denial.
The West needs to review its arrogant policies followed in this part of the world. They need to answer some questions: what has been the ratio of suicide attempts since the invasion of Afghanistan? How sharply have the terrorist attacks risen since then? How many US soldiers have actually been killed on ground as compared to the soldiers, civilians: women, old people and children from other side of the fence?
At the end of the day, what political and military victory has USA achieved by attacking and invading Afghanistan? USA is once again contemplating reaching an understanding with the Taliban in Afghanistan. So what were these eight years all about? Or is, Gordon Duff, right after all?
(The writer is a lawyer and based in Lahore).