“”¦In the past, the Pakistani military has objected to U.S. ground forces entering areas that share the border with Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, this incident raises the allegation of a violation of national sovereignty to the next level”¦”
“With each passing day, the scale of the consequences of the raid is becoming clearer. Reports that the operation undertaken to kill Bin Laden involved backup plans for an armed confrontation with Pakistani forces highlight the decidedly dangerous nature of the raid. The operation threatened direct military hostilities between U.S. and Pakistani troops well inside Pakistani territory, and in close proximity to Pakistani military facilities. Yet, the Obama administration has shown no signs of remorse about breaching Pakistan’s sovereignty by carrying out the raid mere miles from the capital without any prior consent from the Pakistanis. Since the operation, Obama and other senior administration officials have not only defended the risky raid and celebrated Bin Laden’s killing, but have also made it clear that the U.S. was prepared to initiate more such actions inside Pakistan.
“Bin Laden’s assassination ostensibly came as a shock to Pakistani authorities, who admitted to not being part of the operation to kill the al-Qaeda leader. Furthermore, Washington immediately confirmed that there was no Pakistani involvement in the mission whatsoever. According to the U.S., the Pakistani government was only informed of the raid after the event had occurred. However, in an article in the Washington Post, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari stressed his ‘satisfaction that the source of the greatest evil of the new millennium has been silenced.’ Moreover, he dismissed claims that Pakistan had been sheltering terrorists.
“The 2 May U.S. operation in Abbottabad was deeply embarrassing for the Pakistani military, which rationalizes its bloated budget and control over national security policy by asserting that it is the nation’s most organized, disciplined, and powerful institution. Undetected, U.S. forces completed a 45-minute military incursion in a military garrison town not far from the capital or from the Pakistani military’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
“In the past, the Pakistani military has objected to U.S. ground forces entering areas that share the border with Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, this incident raises the allegation of a violation of national sovereignty to the next level, as American helicopters and special forces were not only able to breach Pakistani defences to enter Pakistan, but also carry out the assassination of Bin Laden a kilometre away from the Pakistan Military Academy in what is virtually a distant suburb of the capital, Islamabad.
Several Pakistani analysts implied that Osama bin Laden was really not a threat and that the American action was instead triggered by the Obama administrations perception of domestic political necessity.
“In another sign of the Pakistani military’s growing bitterness towards the U.S., Major General John Campbell, the senior commander of U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan, disclosed that Pakistan’s armed forces had halted all contact with the U.S. and NATO for a few days after the U.S. raid, though communication has since been re-established. There has been great anxiety within the U.S. military that Pakistan could once again interrupt supply lines from the port of Karachi to the Khyber Pass through which the bulk of the food, fuel, weapons and other vital supplies for the 140,000-strong U.S.-NATO forces in Afghanistan must pass.
“Several days after the raid, Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani finally ended his silence by giving a stern warning to the U.S. He asserted that ‘any similar action violating the sovereignty of Pakistan will warrant a review of the level of military/intelligence cooperation with the United States.’ Kayani characterized the U.S. operation in Abbottabad as a ‘misadventure,’ and promised a rapid military response to any such raids in the future. He also said that U.S. military personnel presence in Pakistan would be curtailed ‘to the minimum essential,’ without elaborating further.”
In conclusion, Ahmad noted, “The Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir also reminded the U.S. that ‘there are red lines in Pakistan’s cooperation with the U.S. and other members of the international community, which should be observed.’”
Former Pakistani diplomat Asif Ezdi expressed concern over the nature of the raid that killed bin Laden, questioning “whether our nuclear deterrent is safe from a similar U.S. assault.”
Several Pakistani analysts implied that Osama bin Laden was really not a threat and that the American action was instead triggered by the Obama administration’s perception of domestic political necessity. They claimed that the Osama killing would enable Obama to rebrand himself as a wartime president, detaching himself from the pledge of “change” emphasised in his 2008 presidential campaign, bringing his administration ever closer to the military, the intelligence agencies and influential sections of the U.S. ruling elite.
There were some among Pakistani political analysts who related the killing to a growing U.S.-India relationship designed to hurt Pakistan. Professor Junaid Ahmad argues that the United States has evidently balked at taking Islamabad into its confidence with regard to its strategy for a political settlement in Afghanistan, a country that the Pakistani establishment has always considered essential in giving it strategic depth in challenging India. “Moreover, Obama has continued with the Indo-U.S. ‘global strategic partnership’ initiated by George W. Bush, supporting India’s aims in Central Asia and the Middle East.”