Osama's death no reason for India to cheer
Osama bin Laden is dead, the US has achieved what it set out to after 9/11 and Pakistan is red-faced that the world's most wanted terrorist was hiding right under the nose of its defence establishment. Osama was killed by US SEALs in Abbottabad as claimed by US President Barack Obama. With his death, the US claims it has avenged 9/11 attacks.
While Osama's death has sparked off celebrations across the world and mourning is some areas what happened on May 2, 2011 in the sprawling mansion just a few hundred meters from the Pakistan Military Academy will never be fully known.
India, too, has reacted with a sense of glee and awe at the daring operation carried by the US. While some sections in the government and military established are of the view that the US will now tighten the screws on the Pakistani establishment and force it to act against other terror groups, others view Operation Geronimo as a one-off instance and feel that the Obama Administration will now try to cut its losses in Afghanistan and claim that since the most visible face of terror has been eliminated, there is now no need of US forces to staying back in the region.
But is India any safer after the end of Osama?
The answer is a big NO!
India's headache has never been Osama and of late he was not in-charge of al Qaeda's operations. Al Qaeda has till now never targeted India directly although the way terror groups are being used by Pakistan against India nothing can be ruled out and al Qaeda could well be now used against us.
Rather we have been more troubled by Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Dawood Ibrahim and his cohorts who being sheltered and supported by Pakistan. There is unlikely to be any change in Pakistan's ideology of bleeding India through a thousand cuts and it will continue using terror groups and mafia leaders to strike at our soft spots.
Dawood Ibrahim, holed up in Karachi for many years, has been running his network in India with ISI's help, Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed - who masterminded Mumbai terror attacks is roaming free in Pakistan and spewing venom against India. Saeed's brother-in-arms - Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Abu Hamza - are also getting all the support they want in fulfilling their nefarious designs against India from the Pakistani establishment. Masood Azhar went on to establish Jaish-e-Mohammad after he was released along with two other terrorists - Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. Jaish-e-Mohammad carried out the attack Parliament in December 2001.
And going by the mindset of Pakistani establishment, none of these terrorists and their groups are likely to be abandoned. In fact following Osama's killing Pakistan is much more likely to instigate and help these terrorists in targeting India as now it does not have to spend its resources in hiding Osama.
The ISI and other agencies must have been spending both in terms of manpower and money power, running into several millions going just by the value of the mansion where Osama was killed, in hiding him from the watchful eyes of US agencies.
Pakistan may claim that it never harboured Osama nor suppressed any information about him from the US, but the truth remains that the al Qaeda chief could never ever have escaped from Tora Bora without the ISI's help and nor could have stayed just a few hundred meters away from the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad without the knowledge and active help of the Pakistani establishment including the military and political leadership.
Now with Osama eliminated, Pakistan is free to focus all its energy on its pet theme of targeting India.
With snow melting in the passes along the Line of Control, the summer in Kashmir is certainly going to be hot. Even other parts of India are not safe from the tentacles of Pakistani terrorists. These terror groups and ISI have already established bases in other neighbouring countries and have access to multiple launch pads to enter India.
ISI has also been able to infiltrate into the Northeast and other states which do not share their border with Pakistan. There are many sleeper cells of its terror groups who are capable to carrying out strikes in India.
The US is also just paying lip service to its much famed 'War on Terror' and Washington was only interested in Osama. It can brag to the world that it has finally been able to eliminate Osama after a decade long search although neither Pakistan nor the US will ever admit that the terror chief was compromised by the Pakistanis after he had outlived his utility for Islamabad.
Washington has already said that no parallel can be drawn between 9/11 and the dastardly Mumbai attacks which is a clear signal that it will never force Pakistan to act against anti-India groups.
This message will certainly be not lost on the anti-India terror groups who will now be more than eager to prove to Pakistan that they are very much active and capable of bleeding India lest they meet Osama's fate.
More about Priyarag VermaPriyarag Verma has been following all the twists and turns of Indian politics closely. He follows sports very closely and has a special liking for cricket, football, Formula One, hockey, tennis and athletics.
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