Pakistan’s military and political leadership is scrambling to explain how Osama bin Laden came to be living in a house in Abbottabad, 60 miles from Islamabad, as well as trying to assuage people’s concerns about the military and intelligence apparatus’ inability to detect or challenge the U.S.’s so-called breach of sovereignty.
Under attack from all corners, Pakistan is attempting to fall back on “allies” not named America. While Prime Minister Gilani eulogized Pakistan’s ties to China in a manner most poetic, Pakistan dispatched Interior Minister Rehman Malik to Saudi Arabia for consultations. In the seaport city of Jeddah, Mr. Malik spoke to al-Arabiya, in an interview charged with rhetoric and unseemly comparisons. Below is an excerpt from Daily Pak:
Rehman Malik, in speaking with an Arabic newspaper said that Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan was an intelligence failure, in the same way that 9/11 was a failure of U.S. intelligence agencies. But this doesn’t mean that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies harbor terrorists. Mr. Malik said that there would not be any calls for resignation of anyone from the political or military establishments, just as no one from U.S.’s political or military establishment resigned as a result of 9/11. To those accusing Pakistan of connivance, Mr. Malik asks, who created Osama bin Laden? Who used bin Laden against the Russians in Afghanistan?
He said that Pakistan had never allowed Osama bin Laden to come to Pakistan. Mr. Malik also stated that the essence of the problem was the lack of trust between Pakistan and the U.S. In response to another question, Mr. Malik said that if India attempted any operations against Pakistan, it would be given a befitting reply to its misadventure. [روزنامہ پاکستان]