Seminar: Pakistan after Osama bin Laden

Speakers at the seminar titled “Pakistan after Osama bin Laden: Options for Pakistan” urged the rulers not to conceal facts from the nation about Abbottabad operation rather than holding secret meetings like parliament`s joint session.

The seminar was organized by Mashal Books, at the Dorab Patel auditorium of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Tuesday, May 17, 2011.

“The situation has become very serious after the Abbottabad operation and it is time to restructure the state rather than discussing the post-Osama circumstances,” rights activist and HRCP director I.A. Rehman said while speaking on this occasion. He said Pakistan was a state which had always been governed by the armed forces and not by the so-called democratic governments. The nation is surprised that the rulers first declared the operation a right step, but then started issuing pro-military statements when the army intervened by calling it an attack on the country`s sovereignty.

“Actually, our so-called democratic governments not only lost their own identities but also the prestige of the state by bowing before the United States and other developed nations,” he said, adding the government should have exposed those who were actually responsible for providing shelter to Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad for a long time.

He said everyone should know that the government had lacked public support, and a government that lost the public support could never resolve major issues. He said as the Abbottabad operation had revealed many facts, it was the right time for the government to review its policies to counter terrorism for the sake of peace and development of the country with real democratic norms.

Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy said the government should have identified those involved in protecting Osama by questioning the army officials concerned rather than following their dictation after the US operation.

“You can also see the behaviour of our religious parties as none of the religious leaders, including Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, who always presented Osama as hero of Islam, did not use the word Shaheed for him. It means they were playing a drama and befooling the nation,” he added.

He said actually the country`s armed forces had earned United States dollars and the so-called Jihadis took `Riyals` in the United State`s war against the then USSR. That is why the religious leaders are silent on this issue, he added.

Dr Hoodbhoy said that rulers had always blackmailed the nation in the name of Islam and Kashmir by creating anti-US and India sentiments among the masses. “We must know that such tactics of the governments have left Pakistan far from a real and sustainable development,” he added.

Analyst Khaled Ahmed said as the government had actually lost its writ in North Waziristan, Kurram Agency, Mohmand Agency, Bajaur, Kohat and Hangu, Talibans were controlling these areas. He said that Ayman-al-Zawahiri had planned to occupy Pakistan by writing its new constitution.

He said various investigations and studies had proved that Talibans were used to loot banks, houses and citizens to run their affairs. He urged the rulers to see the ground realities and evolve a strategy to get rid of terrorism.

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