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Osama, and the India-USA-Pakistan relationship

Osama, and the India-USA-Pakistan relationship

Yesterday, American soldiers swooped into a million-dollar mansion in the resort city of Abbotabad, Pakistan, far from the rough frontier area where Osama bin Laden was supposedly hiding.  In fact the mansion, surrounded by high walls was just half a mile from the Pakistan Military Academy.  The British Newspaper  Daily Mail published the satellite image below, with the note that is seemed Bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control.

Annotated image published by The Daily Mail, Osama was close to Pakistan Military Academy!
Annotated image published by The Daily Mail

The city hosts three different Pakistan regiments, and a unit of the Army Medical Corps. The compound and its elaborate walls and security gates were apparently built as recently as 2005, and it is hard to believe that the Pakistani officials were totally unaware of its purpose. Bin Laden was supposedly on dialysis for years so care for him would not have been a minor matter and many, many people in town must have known or suspected that something unusual was going on inside.  Abbotabad   has also been in the news recently: in January, Umar Patek an Indonesian believed to be an Al Qaeda staffer was captured by Pakistani intelligence operatives there.

In separate reactions India’s Home Minister P Chidambaram and its Foreign Minister, Dr. SM Krishna emphasized that bin Laden was killed by U.S. commandos “deep inside Pakistani territory” and hoped this embarrassment would now compel Islamabad to effectively prosecute those involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.  Mr. Chidambaram expanded on the location of bin Laden’s killing to highlight the Indian security apparatus’ “concern that terrorists belonging to different organizations find sanctuary in Pakistan’’ as also to urge civilian Government in Islamabad to deliver on Indian demands for prosecuting those accused for the Mumbai attacks.

Earlier today at the White House, John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, seemed to echo the Indian point of view “I think it’s inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time.”

Impact: The circumstances of Osama bin Laden’s located and killing should make it plain to any thinking person in the United States that working more closely with India is in the American interest. India has suffered from Pakistani-sponsored terrorism for decades. The fact that Osama had safe haven in the middle of a major Pakistani city, makes it very plain that the two largest democracies in  the world face the same common enemy and that conquering the enemy requires Pakistan to change.

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