The PJ Tatler

MEMRI: Indian media reporting on Pakistan protecting bin Laden

A Payless ShoeSource of shoes has begun to drop as news of bin Laden’s killing so near Pakistan’s military academy spreads around the world. India, Pakistan’s longtime enemy and the victim of a pair of major terrorist attacks itself, can be expected to capitalize on it. MEMRI drops this report from India Today. Its prime source is a “senior Pakistani military official.”

“The cantonment [military camp] town houses many military institutions, including Pakistan’s Military Academy at Kakul, where most of its military elite – including present [Pakistan Army] chief General [Ashfaq Pervez] Kayani – have passed through.

“The joint operation of Pakistani troops and American special forces that killed Osama bin Laden did not encounter any fierce resistance from the Al-Qaeda chief’s bodyguards. ‘There was minimal resistance and none of the troops in the operation were injured,’ the official told India Today.

“Sources say this was unusual for a high-value target like bin Laden, who was normally surrounded by dozens of his elite bodyguards. No one was willing to talk about how many troops took part in this operation. Bin Laden’s body was transported to Bagram airbase near Kabul, Afghanistan.

The evidence in our own media suggests that at least part of India Today’s report is wrong: The Pakistanis were not involved in the raid. Which raises a couple of possibilities. One, the public story is true and IT is just being misled by their “senior Pakistani military official,” or two, the Pakistanis were involved but both they and our own government are lying about that — probably to assuage the bin Ladenites in their own population. I’m not buying the second possibility, at least for now, and another Indian media report says terror groups will believe ISI was involved anyway.

“Nothing in the Af-Pak region goes unnoticed by the ISI, and if bin Laden managed to play hide-and-seek with the world all this while, it was only thanks to ISI’s patronage. Although the U.S. has claimed that Pakistan was not in the know of this operation, terror groups would not believe so.

“They are aware that nothing is possible unless there has been a certain degree of support from the establishment. Moreover, Osama was living in a place close to the army headquarters in Abbottabad, about 70 kilometers northeast of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. This is not a fact that would have gone unnoticed by the ISI.

“The Pakistan military largely depends on the intelligence provided by the ISI, and hence all these movements and operations are well known to the establishment.”

And then there’s this little kicker about just how deeply involved ISI is with terrorists.

“The biggest backlash would, however, be from the Haqqani Network, with which the ISI has been toying for some time now. The ISI had managed to get the outfit into the Al-Qaeda network. For the ISI, this move paid off as it managed to set up a very strong force. But today, both outfits feel betrayed.”

And they’re not the only ones feeling betrayed.