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Updated: May 10, 2011 03:49 IST

Who was responsible for the birth of al-Qaeda, asks Gilani

Anita Joshua
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Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani. File photo
AP Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani. File photo

The United States was reminded of its own role in the creation of the al-Qaeda by Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday while picking up cudgels in Parliament for the armed forces and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), which are under attack from all quarters for the presence of Osama bin Laden in the country and the covert American operation that killed him.

Stating that Pakistan alone could not be held accountable for “flawed policies and blunders of others,” Mr. Gilani provided a crash course in history: “I talk of a bygone era. However, it is perhaps necessary to remind everyone about that era, which has been so well documented, including in the CNN series on the Cold War showing video footage of high ranking U.S. officials exhorting the Afghans and the Mujahideen to wage jihad, to go back to their homes, to go back to their mosques, in the name of Islam and as a national duty…

“It's necessary for us to remind the international community of the decade of the nineties, which saw the Arab volunteers who had joined the Jihad mutate into the al-Qaeda? Who was responsible for the birth of the al-Qaeda? Who was responsible for making the myth of Osama bin Laden?

“To find answers to today's question, it is necessary to revisit the not-so-distant past. Collectively, we must acknowledge facts and see our faces in the mirror of history.''

Borrowing a quote from U.S. President Barack Obama's May 2 announcement regarding Osama's death, Mr. Gilani said his elimination was indeed “justice done,” but cautioned against declaration of victory. “The myth and legacy of Osama bin Laden remains to be demolished,” he added, elaborating that the anger and frustration of ordinary people over injustice, oppression and tyranny that Osama sought to harness to fuel the fire of terrorism in the world need to be addressed. “Otherwise, this rage will find new ways of expression.”

Battling the charge that Pakistan was complicit in Osama's presence here, the Prime Minister said it was “disingenuous” for anyone to blame the country or its institutions, including the ISI and the armed forces, for being in cahoots with the al-Qaeda. Rejecting the charge of complicity, he asserted that detractors would not be allowed to succeed in “offloading their own shortcomings and errors of omission and commission in a blame game that stigmatises Pakistan.”

I do agree that what mr. Gilani has said,but he cannot prove it wrong that Pakistan was involved in sheltering Osama. He should confess that Pakistan is producing the terrorist for india and for the rest of the world. Because of the country like Pakistan the image of Islam has got detiorated. Indian madrassas (educational institutes) has never been pointed out but why it is the case with Pakistan? Global leaders should understand that Pakistan has always a soft corner for the terrorist.Apart from this USA knows everything but he always try to escape .When he needed, he use Pakistan as a tool and then pays for it in the form of dollars .USA is also equally responsible for terrorism because of his double standerd.USA never wants that brothehood should established in India and Pak ,that's why always supported the Pakistan.

from:  Shadman A. Ansari
Posted on: May 11, 2011 at 00:09 IST

>On July 2005, Mr. Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary, made a famous statement which is hardly to be heard anywhere. In the context of Bin Ladin's assassination, I present here a part of his speech related to Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda. It needs to be emphasize that Mr. Cooks Foreign Office portfolio included control of MI-6 and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The comments of such a high profile office bearer cannot be discounted lightly. Mr. Cook stated that "Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally 'the database', was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Inexplicably, and with disastrous consequences, it never appears to have occurred to Washington that once Russia was out of the way, Bin Laden's organisation would turn its attention to the west".
Mr. Cook adds "Osama bin Laden is no more a true representative of Islam than General Mladic, who commanded the Serbian forces, could be held up as an example of Christianity. After all, it is written in the Qur'an that we were made into different peoples not that we might despise each other, but that we might understand each other."
In the preceding passage, in the context of London bombings, Mr. Cook states "In the absence of anyone else owning up to yesterday's crimes, we will be subjected to a spate of articles analysing the threat of militant Islam. Ironically they will fall in the same week that we recall the tenth anniversary of the massacre at Srebrenica, when the powerful nations of Europe failed to protect 8,000 Muslims from being annihilated in the worst terrorist act in Europe of the past generation."
Osama Bin Ladin had been named as the perpetrator of 9-11 whereas he had never claimed responsibility for it. 9-11 world trade centre destruction is one event that changed current history of the world, on the basis of which, wars on Iraq and Afghanistan was started. Yet, the whole 9-11 event is mired in controversy and government cover up. So many American patriots have pointed out the evidence opposing the government story and have been unsuccessfully calling for a re-investigation, much to the government's refusal and opposition to open up 9-11 investigation. So much of evidence exists which points to a clear cover up by Bush and his associates. It is very important that 9-11 case is reopened and an independent inquiry is carried out, which will bring the truth out to the world. The world deserves to know the truth.

from:  Riaz Hashimi
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 19:37 IST

At least we know that there are multiple fathers for al-qaeda, not a single parentage surely. Also, try as we might, if the intention is to disprove, it is wide open to debate and we can keep arguing till cows come home, or will they? Politics and power institutionalise crimes on some basis and later on they become the frankenstein....we have good amount of historical records to prove this - dont we?

from:  Raghavan
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 18:25 IST

Very thought-provoking discussion.In the end,both countries are responsible.India has to learn a lesson to correct her mistakes and plan for future not to be too inclined any one side.

from:  Ashok
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 16:56 IST

Whatever it might be, the US did not force rape Pakistan to produce Taliban and Al-Qeida. It was Pakistan that willingly shared the bed with the Americans for some money (AID), which, in any case, is still flowing uninterruptedly. The US and world at large are well aware that Pakistan cannot survive without a steady flow of US aid; they need it badly even for stiching the coats of both the civilian and military leadership. So, all this cacophony is just for public consumption, it is bound to die down over a period of time.

from:  KVSKumar
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 15:04 IST

PM Gillani, Thank you very much for telling the truth however bitter it might taste. America has made it a habit to overstep in the global arena on account of its being the lone super power. It stepped in playing the role of the global headman following the disintegration of the Soviet Union and since then, it started crossing the limits in every possible way, by fair or foul means. It created Suddam Hossain, it created Husne Mubarrak, it helped Parvez Mosharraf topple a democratically elected govt in Pakistan, it created Ben Laden and many others in different places across the world. It however created these spooks with certain purposes and when those are achieved, it disowns them, and sometimes make them pay heavy prices. For liquidating Suddam, America destroyed Iraq; For Laden, it has ruined Afganistan. Who knows Pakistan may be its next target for destruction. What appears to me is that America can't be a trusted friend of any country, as if a country has a friend like the USA it doesn't need any enemy. It can play both the role very efficiently and effectively. Pakistan is now enjoying the taste of real American friendship. Pakistanis have probably started getting the feeling that the American friendship is too warm to bear. But what recourse they have got to get out from the American sphere? Time has come for them to think and act properly. Wishing them all the best.

from:  kamal
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 15:03 IST

Why he is raising the question of creation of al-qaeda and Osama now. Pakistan should have raised this in the beginning when US wanted their partnership to fight al-qaeda nad capture Osama. If they went so strongly about the creation of both as the pak PM feels now they should have said 'no' for the cooperation. The took billions of dollars in the bargain. Now this is not the answer to the question how could Osama reside in Pakistan and that too so close to the Capital and Military conclave for 5 years. There must have been a support system in Pakistan and that needs to be investigated. This is what US wants and Pakistan should seriously devote it's time and energy in the investigation instead of raising acadamic questions which are not relevant to the issue to be investigated.

from:  Sridharan
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 12:45 IST

Mr. Gilani is trying very hard to sound logical and he even has a point in this one. But the actual thing is, he is just trying to justify Pakistan's cover for Osama. The other day on a news channel, former general of Pakistan army was asked why they were not doing anything against Dawood Ibrahim, he replied that India was not doing anything about their list of wanted RAW agents and he laughed. I think that he accepts Dawood being there in Karachi and also the fact that he funds most of terrorist activities and uses his extensive network against India. So most of these things are just a cover up and mere justification of wrong doings.

from:  Abhishek Tyagi
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 10:36 IST

It is India's responsibility to understand the piquant situation Pakistan has gotten into. It may be wiser for India to show some understanding and respect for the civilian government not only as a strategy but as a necessity to strengthen them. Putting pressure on Pakistan which is already in doldrums leaves them no room for clear vision or thinking but to pick the easy retaliatory target as a diversion, which can be none other than India.
By aligning and working through the civilian government and by extending them necessary recognition and respect, India should at least foster good ties with one section of Pakistan - though they may not be all so powerful at present. Real power corridors will slowly lose their shine owing to their own folly and will be blunted further in course of time by USA. So it is the responsibility of India to see that the civilian government gains strength and support. Also it is in the best interests of Pakistan to make their civilian government strong so the country's management improves. It is a fact that Pakistan cannot and will not prosper or develop until India starts supporting their civilian government vigorously. USA will have to blunt the notorious Army and ISI as a big brother.

from:  A.S.Kumar
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 10:21 IST

That's true that western politics is based on protecting their interest by creating swirling situation in their country of their personal interest. At the time of cold war Osasma is forwarded by USA for the control of Russian power in Afghanistan and after successful completion of his mission in Afghanistan that Osama swirl extended his effect to other countries including USA in the form of so called jihad .That time also Pakistan played role of 'Wind behind the curtains' with the thinking of using this jihad (which is actually terrorism in the name of divinity) against India.And as earlier discussed Pakistan again perfectly played a role OF 'CURTAIN' to conceal Osama in his safe heavens.But it is worthy to remember that friendship of ant and elephant is always runs in accordance to elephant's postulates(in reality). Here ant tried to bite inside the elephant nose and with anger elephant devastated ant's own burrow. And USA did the same.
With end of Osama now throne of world terrorism is vacated and before accession of this throne it is essential for world community to finish of this terrorism chain completely by whatever means deployed and from wherever spots it present.

from:  Shyam Solanki
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 09:50 IST

Let us remind this great historian that it was the Taliban, not the Al Qaeda that was supported by the USA at the height of the cold war. The Taliban exist to this day, and as a separate entity from Al Qaeda, quite clearly, although there are links between the two. The Taliban have hardly stepped outside of their region, while the Al Qaeda has been attacking all over the globe. Let us remind this great historian then, of who is responsible for the various nefarious terrorist groups other than the Al Qaeda that wage war against India today. It is in the company you keep, Mr. Gilani, that you will be judged, not just your words. Right now, you're not exactly in the company of Mother Theresa.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 09:45 IST

What a half baked argument. After the Soviet Union had been defeated in Afghanistan, it was Pakistan and only Pakistan, that cultivated al-Qaeda and Taliban to terrorise India and control Afghanistan for future attacks on India. It is Pakistan and ISI's strategy of using terrorism to wrest Kashmir from India that is responsible for the rise of islamic terrorism. Pakistan is solely responsible for post-1989 rise of al-Qaeda and Taliban.

from:  Ravinder
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 09:00 IST

Mr Gilani is right in painting the US as the culprit in the whole Osama saga. Well done Mr.Gillani. Sauce for the goose and gander are the same. The cross border terrorists, Dawood Ibrahim, the butchers of Indians in the Kandahar Hijack and the Mumbai massacre protagonists were nurtured by the Pakistani establishment. So start practicing what you are preaching. Hand over the culprits, dismantle the madrassas which breed the terrorists and leash the army and ISI. Above all create a just society.

from:  Mani sandilya
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 07:53 IST

Pakistan has now bared itself to the world through its specious arguments put forward by Prime minister Gilani in its Parliament. This line of argument that the AlQueda and Osama were Monsters created by the US to drive away Soviets from Afghanistan is a well documented truth which should be understood in the context of that era and the necessity to involve indigenous Afghan content in the uprising against the Soviets. The expectation after the Soviets left atleast from the US was, that these guys would go back and enjoy their freedom, and get back to improving and making Afghanistan a democratic and progressing Nation. It was at this point, that Pakistan stepped-in to exploit these gun-totting 'freedom fighters' as assets to turn them against their own state in order to gain influence in the region to compete with their nemisis India, and give them employment as 'Terrorists' to erase the unstable fledgling and evolving democracy in Afghanistan, aiding the 'Talibanisation' of that country, besides outsourcing them to places such as Kashmir.
Pakistan is therefore, primarily responsible in preventing the development of a progressive Afghanistan to suit its own agenda in the region and turning the freedom fighters to 'terrorists' who were unwilling to work hard, but found killing easy and a continuity of what they were doing, besides providing them safe sanctuaries in their own country.Pakistan and ISI have started using these people as 'Assets' and others like Lasker and JUD followed since they saw use of these assets to bleed Afghanistan and India. This is an undeniable fact of history which Pakistan and its leaders conviniently ignore and camoflauge thinking that the rest of the world consist only of mentally unsound people. The world must re-assess Pakistan in the light of these unconvincing and specious arguments of its leaders and seriously consider, if such a country is worth even being treated as a part of a civilised comity of Nations. The presence of these Terrorist Assets inside Pakistan must be taken out by the world community ,if Pakistan dont act on their own , and strict time lines should be set by the UN for this, by way of passing an unanimous resolution by the World community.
The argument of trying to take Pakistan 'on board' to fight terrorists is absurd, since most of them are in safe havens inside Pakistan, and must be construed ,in a way to succumbing to terrorist threats. There is also an urgent need to consider giving an ultimatum to Pakistan, that if they dont act on their own, which i doubt they will, the world community must isolate them and consider declaring them a 'terrorist' state, something which at least some informed sections in India were calling on the US and West, and which does seem to have some merit.
It is distressing to see the people of Pakistan and some sections of the Arab world and even sections in India, support the likes of Osama bin Laden, if the processions and prayers happening on his behalf, is taken as some yardstick. The people of Pakistan should desist from this , else they may have the prospect of having to face very hard times being isolated by the world at large, including loss of AID and possibly slapping of sanctions by the world community. Instead, they must pressurise their Govt. and Military/ISI to turn away from the suicidal path they are taking Pakistan and hand-over or kill all terrorist elements inside their country.Only this will earn them respect and appreciation of the world community and will usher in peace in the world. We hope 'reason' and better sense dictates the Pakistani people at this critical period of their country's history.
India has a special role here in educating and creating awareness amongst the people of Pakistan that better future lies in getting rid of the terrorist infrastructure in their country, and good relations and economic trade can follow for mutual benefit.

from:  K.S.Ranganathan
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 07:26 IST

Behind every evil that exists today, the Americans are wholly responsible. The Americans are arming Pakistan with aircraft and ships to defeat the terrorists while Pakistan is harboring a terrorist like Osama bin Laden with impunity next to their Military Academy.They fought against Iraq, blaming them for WMDs which never existed; they started a war in Afghanistan for Al Qaeda which really existed in Pakistan.Their so-called intelligence is always founded on wrong assumptions and they use their might to crush others. Yet our PM supports them until his eyes are opened when they attack us. The Americans cannot be trusted at all, but a dinner and a few words of praise were enough to buy the support of our PM.

from:  S N Iyer
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 06:50 IST

I wonder - isn't there a difference between fighting for liberating one's motherland (as the Taliban was encouraged to do in Afghanistan in the 1980's) and engaging in destroying civilian lives and property in the name of any cause that comes handy (as the same Taliban does now in Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan)? The true statesman will not confuse one for the other. India covertly encouraged and later, openly aided, the Mukti Bahini in then East Pakistan. Was Mrs. Indira Gandhi a promoter of democracy and human rights or was she a terrorist? And what about the free world? Did it commit an act of impropriety by praising Mrs.Gandhi? And what about M. K. Gandhi, whose call led to shedding of British blood?

from:  N. Subramanian
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 06:47 IST

PM Gilani has put the whole affair in proper perspective.Congratulations! The whole mess world wide has a common denominator that is USA. It tends to bulldoze its way in every pie and brings suffering on countless innocents and upon itself. US must stay within the perimeters of international law otherwise, current mayhem will be part of our lives for umpteenth years.

from:  Dr.Rajel Bedi
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 06:30 IST

Mr. Gilani,--America may have fathered some of the militants and extremists in the region: but your country adopted them, sheltered, nurtured, and reared them; it is too late to disown them. If you care about your country, own up to your mistakes and deal with the crisis that is tearing your country apart, instead of continuing to be in denial about the past and the present.

from:  Leo Caddy
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 06:28 IST

Ultimately, you are responsible for what happens in your back yard. So stop yammering and fix it.

from:  Schmitty
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 06:20 IST

As Indian, I would say that it would apply to Pakistan also. He keeps complaining US being responsible for start of Al-Qaeda and then how about creating the group in his country to cause trouble in India. Kashmir is integral part of India and any so called abuses and oppression of rights of the people in that areas are India's problem to deal and solve. No other country especially Pakistan, has any right to interfere. He should follow what he preaches first. The record of finding terrorists in Pakistan speaks for itself. All of them are trained in that area. Is US or India responsible for it?

from:  PC
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 04:00 IST

"Who was responsible for the birth of the al-Qaeda? Who was responsible for making the myth of Osama bin Laden?" Mere bravado of words cannot shroud complicity of successive generation of Pakistani myopic leadership in lending their shoulders for US cold warriors to shoot at USSR as one up man ship over India. The entire external policies of the country was designed based on a single agenda of pathological hatred for India . Pakistan cannot now complain of whirlwind sweeping the country having sown the wind. It tragically clear that the country has learnt nothing. Not a day passes without the Pak leaders crowing of China being 'all weather friend' forgetting that all nations without exception have only permanent interests - devil take the ethics. It seems that like Karl Marx who observed that ' History repeats itself , first as tragedy , second as farce'.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 02:36 IST

Well said Gilani Saheb. American do everything and at the end when that turns on to themselves, in name of justice they kill millions of innocent people. Who is responsible for million killed in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, when their few thousands died its war on terrorism, actually who created them? This is not to justify killing of those who died in 9/11 , death of anyone and everyone is sad event. But America as a nation creates monsters and then bombs people in name of saving others, what kind of policy is that!

from:  Aditya
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 00:43 IST

What is he talking? It is their country and they were doing all wrong from the beginning for dollars. Though I agree with him that the policies of his country and support to US during cold war escalated the issue so much now that it is difficult to control ISI.

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 00:40 IST

This is the most thought through and sensible statement that Pakistan has issued so far on this matter of Osama. The statement issued is late to be consumed by the American media outlets.

from:  Kurien Joseph
Posted on: May 10, 2011 at 00:32 IST

What politicians speak in public specially after an important event has little meaning. They have to be politically correct and they have to choose the path of least resistance to move forth if at all they can. America should not give much importance to what Pakistani Prime Minister is saying. It should go by its own intelligence and judgement. But most of all if it can it should go by what I will call wisdom. And that is that for one, as one battle-hardened wit said, "when you have cornered an enemy and inflicted the desired strike, better give him a little room to escape, for otherwise he can fatally hurt you." You know you cannot kill Pakistan so let them be brave with words but you keep your silence. And for an other, and this is almost other worldly, don't gloat over your success. As Krishna of Bhagvad Gita said, "A wise being neither gloats much in his success nor gets dejected much in failure." Here is a bit detail from a slightly different angle from my blog if one is interested:

from:  Harbhajan Singh
Posted on: May 9, 2011 at 23:59 IST

Throughout his entire speech, Mr. Gilani conveniently avoided answering all the questions as to how Osama got to live within a mile of the Pakistan Military Academy without anyone's knowledge. All he's doing is returning to the well planned alibi of Pakistan-is-suffering-a-lot-from-terrorism to try and get out of this mess.

from:  Supratim
Posted on: May 9, 2011 at 23:22 IST

In the end, wasn't it Pakistan's decision? After all if they opened the gates for Americans, choosing an easier way of nation building (if there was an intent at all), they are to be blamed for their country being on the edge of precipice. I wish good sense still prevailed them and they start the work they should have, 60 years ago

from:  Shinjan
Posted on: May 9, 2011 at 23:10 IST
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