Osama, US humanitarian aid and a helpless world
"The people of Afghanistan, with their blood, courage and faith, are an inspiration to the cause of freedom everywhere" This was President Reagan in February 1985 to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia after he had been briefed about the humanitarian work undertaken by the Saudis on the Pakistani frontier where refugees were poring from Afghanistan. The quote has been pulled out from Steve Colls wonderfully written book: The bin Ladens. Behind the humanitarian work that President Regan was referring to was Osama bin Laden and the evidence on the basis of which this statement was made was filmed in Pakistan by Osama's half brother Salem bin Laden. Osama was then working for the Saudi Secret Service that had assigned him the task of recruiting mujahideens for taking on the Soviets. Saudi and American money was available in plenty.
The Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989 but Osama stayed back crisscrossing the Afghan-Pakistan border only to show the successors of President Regan on September 11, 2000, how best he had utilised their resources. The entire world saw America getting the taste of the "humanitarian work" as the twin towers crashed, leaving over 3000 dead.
Monday, May 2 brought the news of Osama's end, New York streets chanted "USA" Abbottabad, a little known city about 100 km north of Pakistani capital Islamabad emerged on the world scene. The specially designed mansion in which Osama was staying was perhaps built from the humanitarian aid that Pakistan has been getting from America all these years. After all the mansion was just 800 meters away from the Pakistani Military Academy
Vehement denials of Osama's presence on Pakistani soil had come from all its rulers since 2000. The Pakistani Intelligence agency ISI that works closely with the CIA perhaps needs to be commended for the extremely wonderful job that it did all these years while America was out on the hunt for its most hated man.
In between the year 2000 and 2011 thousands were killed and maimed by the US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Osama tried to position himself as someone fighting for Islam,
The massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan provided Osama some legitimacy and with his end that appears tragic for Pakistan has come the question: Will it bring an end to terrorism or will there at least be some respite?
Nothing will change till American "humanitarian aid" stops to all the Osamas across the globe. I hope America has learnt its lessons. And if not, only god save the USA and the lesser mortals in India and elsewhere.
More about Hemender SharmaA chance reporter, reporting for CNN-IBN from Bhopal. Has reported for the Sun Magazine, Delhi MidDay, Hindustan Times, Asian Age and Sahara Samay in the past.
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