The May 2 Osama incident was bound to unfold fresh challenges for Pakistan every day, leaving it wide open how things finally settle down between Pakistan and the US. Islamabad maintains that the presence of bin Laden at Abbottabad took it unawares, while Washington has its reservations about this claim unless it could be established with some credible evidence. From within the country, Pakistan security forces have been accused of being caught napping, as the US Navy Seals carried out their mission on its soil, or of being complicit in the operation. Whatever the actual position, the ISI has come in for a lot of flak, cutting a sorry figure at its failure. CIA Director Panetta, forgetting his agency’s disastrous lapse to unravel the plot to brig down the Twin Towers, has virtually sneeringly talked of ISI’s “incompetence” to detect that Osama was living in that compound or its “complicity” in his stay.
There have been calls for stopping aid to Islamabad or putting it under further scrutiny and, on the other hand, attempts to silence these voices by asserting that it is an important ally in the war on terror that has suffered more than any other country and should continue to receive all required help.Now, a week after the event, it appears that Mr Obama’s promised visit to Pakistan has been put on hold, with the White House saying that he has no such visit scheduled this year. Mr Obama and some other influential American officials and Congressmen have started asking probing questions from Pakistan. Mr Obama’s call for a probe into a possible support network, whether located in government circles or outside, for Osama in the country would be, even without his demand, on the agenda of any investigator. On the other hand, US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, while maintaining that he had not seen any evidence “as yet” that Pakistan’s civil or military authorities were aware that bin Laden was living there, the country’s knowledge of his whereabouts “needs to be investigated”. – Nation