Osama Bin Laden Killed. Was Hiding in Abbottabad. What Will This Mean For Pakistan?

Posted on May 2, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, Law & Justice, People
142 Comments
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Adil Najam

Late during the night between May 1 and May 2 in Pakistan there was news floating of a low-flying helicopter having blown up in the city of Abbottabad. There was much speculation, some wild rumors, but no confirmation of what had happened. Then, late night May 1 US East Coast Time (some six hours after the news about from Abbottabad had first started circulating in Pakistan), television screens in the US started flashing a notice that President Barack Obama would soon speak to the nation on a security issue. Rumors and speculation started flashing again.


(Unconfirmed – and, now, reportedly fake – photo of Osama Bin Laden’s dead body being shown on a private TV channel in Pakistan)

Soon it was confirmed that the news was that Osama Bin Laden had been killed: President Obama then confirmed that ke was killed in Pakistan, in Abbottabad, in an operation led by the US but conducted with support of Pakistani authorities (still not clear how much support, and whose). Reportedly, the US now has possession of Osama Bin Laden’s body.

This is a huge development in the War on Terror, even if Osama Bin Laden’s actual role had now become symbolic rather than operational. It is a development that also has huge implications for Pakistan, and for Pakistan-US relations.

More details are trickling by the minute. And partly for that reason it is not yet clear just what happened and which details are confirmed and which are speculation. What is now confirmed is: (a) Osama Bin Laden has been killed, (b) Osama Bin Laden was killed by US forces, (c) Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, (d) Osama Bin Laden was killed in an operation that was eventually supported by Pakistani authorities, and (e) CNN has no idea about anything that has to do with Pakistan (according to them Abbottabad is an outskirt just outside Islamabad!

As details come in and as a narrative and reactions develop both in Washington and in Islamabad, the one big – the one biggest – question that every Pakistani is thinking about is: What will this mean for Pakistan-US relations? What will this mean for Pakistan and Pakistanis? What will this mean for terrorism within Pakistan as a backlash of this incident?

What do you think?

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142 responses to “Osama Bin Laden Killed. Was Hiding in Abbottabad. What Will This Mean For Pakistan?”

  1. Aamir Ali says:

    ISI is an incompetent agency and DG ISI should resign.

  2. Meengla says:

    @Adnan,
    I am kind of amused. In another topic an American came and threatened me for having only visited a US Base almost two decades ago. In that topic you wanted to me to enjoy the Taliban ‘hospitality’. And now this from you.
    Are you losing your mind at the loss of OBL–the biggest terrorist in the world?
    OBL was intellectually and morally bankrupt. He, who ‘recruited’ so many young kids from other parents did not want his own kids to join the cursed A.Qaida. He, who had multiple wives, did not want them to remarry once he was killed.
    You need to realize that your fake Salahuddin is dead and there is very little mourning for him in Pakistan. Just come to grip with that–it could help your brain.

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