The allegedly leaked report of the Abbotabad Commissionhas created a storm in the world media. Details of the Osama bin Laden episode have drawn vast public attention but also divided opinion. Some consider it a great ‘American achievement’ and blame Pakistan for not knowing that bin Laden had been in the country and for nine years and the US navy SEALs’ raid; others label it  as an act of dubious nature conducted to draw international applause. The commission finds that ‘this was a case of nothing less than a collective and sustained dereliction of duty by the political, military and intelligence leadership of the country’, indicating that the story is real and not made up.

Pakistan may not have been aware of bin Laden’s presence, but as I said in an earlier letter the US action to attack the OBL’s abode was conducted with the cooperation of Pakistan government, which provided it ground support. The opinion was based on the following factors: The Nation of May 4, 2011 carried a report, that ‘On Sunday night selective units of Pakistan army, that were not given the weekly holiday, were asked to stand alert for an operation against a militant’. Secondly the news filtering out of some residents of the city revealed that on Sunday afternoon about 100 military vehicles were deployed to block all roads leading to Osama’s compound. This is indication enough that it was a joint US-Pak operation. In addition, an Aviation expert confirmed to me that the Black Hawk helicopters used by America could not take off from Jalalabad (Afghanistan), reach Abbotabad, keep flying over the objective for 40 minutes and return without refueling which means that the services of a Pakistan air base were acquired.

As for variation in public opinion, I saw a panel discussion on a TV channel in which one of the analysts was adamant about his view that Osama bin Laden was killed or dead many years ago; the Abbotabad operation was just a drama staged by USA to gain publicity. His contention, that if this operation was real why his dead body was dumped in the sea and not presented before the world should raise eyebrows?

RAFI NASIM,

Lahore, July 17.