OSAMA IS DEAD, GHOST IS ALIVE
So far Osama bin Laden has continously been used by the US and some western countries as a scapegoat to malign Pakistan which is their target for ‘de-nuclearisation.’ Sometimes, bogey of Bin Laden is raised by their rulers to achieve their goals of external policy, and sometimes to pacify their public including the opposition. In this regard, in its latest report, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee admitted that in December 2001 Osama bin Laden was within the reach of US troops in Tora Bora when American military leaders did not pursue him, and opened the door for his escape to Pakistan. In fact, the main aim of the report, after eight years was to get favour for President Obama’s decision who has recently announced an increase of additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in wake of severe domestic pressure.
As regards Osama, on November 13, 2009 a Reuters report quoting Labeviere’s book “Corridors of Terror” points to negotiations between Osama bin Laden and the CIA, which took place two months prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks-at the American Hospital in Dubai, UAE, while Bin Laden was under a kidney dialysis treatment.
The Christian Science Monitor in its February 06, 2002 edition, while describing the battle at Tora Bora, concluded that Bin Laden escaped to Iran. It had coincided with the US concerns that Iran is harboring Al Qaeda refugees. Most of the political experts agree that the US had deliberately provided Osama a chance to flee.
Bin Laden’s last genuine video appeared in the late 2001 when the CNN in February1, 2009 indicated that he was aged 97-he got diabetes and kidney problems. On December 26, 20001, Egyptian newspaper, Al-Wafd disclosed that a prominent official of the Afghan Taliban movement announced that Osama bin Laden died a natural death. He was buried in Tora Bora.
Meanwhile, while making Osama as a scapegoat, a number of fake video messages were telecast on various TV channels and websites by some elements in order to achieve their political aims. For example, during the November 2004 elections in the United States, a fake video tape helped the ex-president Bush to get lead over John Kerry.
It is well-known that in a tape released on December 27, 2001, the authenticity of which is not in question, Osama denied any involvement in the September 11 tragedy. However, later, two video tapes appeared to validate his guilt in relation to 9/11 because the main aims of the Bush administration were to provoke American public against the Muslims and Arabs to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to possess energy resources of Central Asia and Iraq—and to get their support for a propaganda campaign against a ‘nuclearised’ Pakistan, and a prospective atomic power, Iran. Besides other actions of Bush era such as persecution of Muslims through torture, detentions and arrests, CIA and FBI-operated facilities, radicalising the Americans against Muslims protected the real architects of the 911 attacks, while still there is no evidence that Al Qaeda was behind that catastrophe, though this organisation is responsible for a number of terror-attacks.
To what extent Osama could be used to gain political purposes can be judged from the statement of British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown who revealed on November 29, 2009, “We believe, he is in Pakistan.” As a matter of fact, in line of Obama’s new Afghan strategy, Brown wanted to justify 500 additional troops for Afghanistan in face of demestic pressure. Meanwhile, the US National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones has also expressed similar view.
In the past, some foreign sources had pointed out that Osama bin Laden is in Chitral area of Pakistan. Recently, American and British high officials have been blaming that Osama and top leadership of Al Qaeda have taken shelter in Pakistan’s tribal areas and Balochistan.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit while refuting these allegations, remarked that the US and UK should share evidence with Islamabad regarding bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, but they did not provide any proof in this respect.
Now, again Osama has become a scapegoat of the foreign elements to implicate Islamabad. But Bin Laden cannot take shelter in Pakistan where CIA-operated drone strikes have killed many top commanders of the Taliban, especially Naik Muhammad and Baitullah Mehsood. Moreover, since 9/11, Pakistan’s security agencies also captured many masterminds of Al-Qaeda, namely Khalid Sheikh, Abu Faraj and a computer engineer Naeem Noor Khan including other militants. Owing to these ground realities, Taliban leaders had already fled to Afghanistan where they have control over more than 70 percent of the territory. Especially, during the successful Swat-Malakand military operations, the Taliban commander, Maulana Fazalullah escaped to Afghanistan who was recently seen in a video-tape, telecasted by some TV channels. Since the recent military action started in South Waziristan, remaining leaders of the insurgents have also gone to Afghanistan. In this respect, question arises as to how Osama could be hiding in Pakistan, while Al Qaeda or Taliban commanders prefer to live in Afghanistan where they are more safe, and where they have been fighting against the US-led NATO forces, and where level of militancy has increased in 2009 as admitted by western high officials and military commanders.
On July 12, 2009, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik clarified that Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and its other top operatives were hiding in Afghanistan, probably in Kunar area.
Even if Osama is alive, and is in Afghanistan, he cannot hide himself from Indian secret agency, RAW which has expanded its clandestine networks everywhere in connivance with the Indian army and additional consulates which are also working covertly. India has spent millions of dollars in Afghanistan to strengthen its grip. New Delhi which wants to get strategic depth against Pakistan, and has also been acting upon anti-China policy—is determined to keep its security agencies there permanently under the cover of the US-led allied forces. Under the pretext of Talibinisation of Afghanistan and Pakistan, India has already been fulfilling its secret stragic goals by supporting insurgency in Pakistan’s Frontier Province and Balochistan. RAW has been sending militants along with arms to Pakistan so as to attack the security personnel including western nationals. During the Swat-Malakand and South Waziristan operations, ISPR spokesman, Maj-General Athar Abbas has shown to the media, huge cache of arms and ammuniton, entering Pakistan from Afghanistan. Recently, Pakistan’s prime minister and foreign minister have disclosed that India is backing the militancy in our country.
While American high officials and British prime minister are hinting at the whereabouts of Osama in Pakistan to achieve their covert goals, but RAW might have already kidnapped him from Afghanistan so as to fulfill Indian sinister aims against Islamabad and Beijing, besides prolonging occupation of Kashmir—and also to distort the image of Pakistan in the western capitals by keeping their hostile propaganda alive.
Now, Osama Bin Laden could better serve Indian shrewd diplomacy of entrapping the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan permanently because the US President Obama has announced the withdrawal of forces from that country from July 2011. In this context, prior to his recent trip to America, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called for the US pressure on Islamabad to curb extremists. He also said that he would encourage the US leadership to stay in Afghanistan. No doubt, by setting aside Pakistan’s successful military operations against the militants, and Islamabad’s offers for resumption of dialogue, the major aim of Singh’s trip was to indoctrinate American high officials through Indian propaganda that Pakistan has been sponsoring terrorism against Afghanistan and India as pointed out through his statements before American media.
If US-led NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Karzai regime will fall like a house of cards due to the Taliban insurgency. Therefore, New Delhi wants to get the US entangled in Afghanistan to achieve its secret aims at the cost of American interests by implicating Pakistan and China—and thus wants to get further benefits from America and other developed countries so as to become a superpower of Asia.
Sometimes surprises happen in world politics which is an arena of great complications, and states’ shrewd strategies are followed by all unfair means. In this regard, renowned thinker, Morghenthau, while echoing the thoughts of Machiavelli remarks that sometimes rulers have to act upon immoral activities like falsehood, deceit and theft.
In this connection, India is determined to obtain its inter-related aims to dominate other regional countries. Particularly, it considers Pakistan an obstacle in its way. So New Delhi might have decided to use Bin Laden a scapegoat to fulfill its all designs. If Osama is alive, he could definitely be under the custody of Indian RAW because New Delhi knows that western countries can never suspect it regarding his whereabouts.
Sajjad Shaukat writes regularly for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.