South Asia

‘Obsession with India facilitated Osama raid’

U.S. Navy SEALs were able to sneak into Pakistan covertly to kill Osama bin Laden because of advanced American stealth technology and the Pakistani military’s obsession with India, according to a Pakistan report on the May 2, 2011 raid.

The leaked report of the Abbottabad Commission said India remained the focus of Pakistan’s military “despite a growing American threat including actual border raids, drone strikes, special operations, the spread of a hostile spy network” among others.

“Given the negative developments in the U.S.-Pakistan relations in recent years, there was no basis to limit defence planning to only one front in the east (with India), while ignoring the border and airspace in the West,” it said.

It noted that apart from tensions with the U.S., there were also differences with Afghanistan and a developing strategic relationship between Afghanistan and India on one hand and between India and the US on the other.

“All this should have been taken into consideration instead of leaving the western borders exposed to the increasingly ‘kinetic’ and threatening policies of the U.S. which were directed against Pakistan,” the report said.

No tax

Another reason why Osama’s presence was not detected was that his Abbottabad abode, which flouted construction norms, was bought using a fake national ID card and the occupants did not pay taxes. The report says: “Either OBL was extremely fortunate to not run into anyone (committed) to doing his job honestly, or there was complete collapse of local governance.

According to the report, after he slipped into Pakistan in mid-2002, Osama lived in at least five different places including Peshawar before finally settling down in Abbottabad in 2005.

He stayed in two places in the tribal areas of western Pakistan (South Waziristan and Bajaur), as well as Peshawar, Swat and Haripur.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 4:55:05 pm |