The civil and military administration of Pakistan came under attack on Monday evening as television channels sat back to discuss the killing of Osama bin Laden in the heart of the country.
With the official statement released by the Foreign Office raising more questions than providing answers, the evening clamour was for a point-by-point clarification from both the civilian government and the military establishment.
A particular concern was whether the killing of Osama on Pakistani territory would push the war on terror in Afghanistan into Pakistan. While the U.S. had been indicating for long that Osama was in Pakistan, the authorities here had maintained otherwise and, in turn, sought actionable information to act against him if that were the case.
The “impunity'' with which the U.S. went on with its drone attacks on the tribal areas despite the protestations by the Pakistani authorities already had much of the society and polity up in arms. Now with the Pakistani authorities not taking ownership of Osama's killing, the U.S. penetration of the country's airspace for this operation has raised uncomfortable questions with some analysts even suggesting that the Pakistani radars had been jammed by the Americans.
As always, conspiracy theories were quick to gain currency and the haste with which Osama's body was buried — that, too, at sea — provided grist to the rumour mill. This burial without showing his body to anyone including allies of the U.S. in the International Security Assistance Force fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan was widely questioned with many wondering at the haste and secrecy. In fact, some anchors sought to project the burial at sea as “throwing the body'' into the waters.
Much is also being made of the timing of the operation as the wide perception is that it is U.S. President Barack Obama who stands to benefit the most from this development; given that he had recently announced his candidature for the next presidential elections.