Pakistan- Perceived Complicity in Terrorism

If it weren’t clear how weak Pakistan’s political infrastructure was, evidence that Bin Laden had lived in Pakistan undisturbed for six years, in a house that stood within plain sight of a “prestigious” Pakistani military academy, made it all transparent. No doubt, such arrangement was complement of high level of corruption and unfortunately at the peril of a fully developed Pakistan and the well being of millions of human beings who are simply hostage of those circumstances.

At this point, the complicity of either the Pakistani government or that of Pakistani military is irrelevant.

Of importance, is the level of corruption that made it possible for Bin Laden to have lived in Pakistan for six whole years and that he remained undisturbed for so long. I wonder if it would vex anyone, if questions arise as to whether the terrorists are smarter than the established Pakistani government and its military since the terrorists were able to outsmart both parties because Bin Laden was right under their nose, basically in their cleavage? While former Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani, without hesitation, reassured the world that Bin Laden was nowhere in Pakistan. It is wrong to ask if it ever occurred to either Musharraf or Gilana of the minute possibility that Bin Laden could be in Pakistan?

Without accusing any of those who commented, I can conclude that it is poor judgment to guarantee anything when there is no logic behind it and when it can easily be proven wrong as it did when Bin laden was found in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In this case, it does appear as if either the Pakistani government and or military establishment wanted to keep the search for Bin Laden outside of Pakistan and both or one of them is somehow complicit.

Based on the proximity where Bin laden live, it would not be far-fetched to assume that the establishment protected him, even if those who commented, had no knowledge of Bin Laden’s exact whereabouts? An even worst conclusion, is that Pakistan lacks capacity to sustain itself. If terrorism is increased because of Bin Laden’s death, Pakistan will bear the blunt because Pakistan showed its vulnerability and perceived tolerance by having proclaimed that Bin Laden was no where in Pakistan.

Knowing that Bin Laden was kept in Pakistan is the equivalent of laying a red carpet for terrorists. In so doing, Pakistan proves itself unstable and incapable of realistic assessment of a very possible reality. Was it cause by shame, corruption, or poor leadership? Either answer is a giant challenge for Pakistan and an implication for its larger foreign donor-the U.S.

The perception that a realistic assessment of a political situation will be seem negatively by others, put many developing, underdeveloped and impoverished nations behave to their detriment- a typical behavior of former colonies. In Pakistan’s case, it is apparent that somebody’s lying, somebody ashamed, somebody is afraid or somebody is simply clueless. Who’s doing what? And which is which? And unless Pakistan is realistic and comes clean, it will never develop to its full potential and poses a challenge to its allies. Even it means that Pakistan will switch to China as it ally.

The reality that Bin Laden was able to remain in Pakistan for as long as he did, and within proximity of the Pakistani government and its military, is clear of institutionalized corruption in Pakistan. That level of corruption is indicative of an ineffective leadership or the unwillingness of the leadership to do what is morally right. This reality is even more dangerous than any religious militant group poses to the continued development of Pakistan because it’s the corruption that facilitates those groups and foreign assistance to corrupt establishment does nothing but reinforces the circle. Unless Pakistan officially declares war of terrorism and cooperates with every country that fights terrorism that includes India, Pakistan will remain a fertile ground for terrorists.

Alan Kronstadt, in a Congressional research service written on February 6, 2009 reported that “Pakistan is among the world’s leading recipients of U.S. aid,” and that Pakistan received “more than $5.3 billion in overt assistance since 2001, including about $3.1 billion in development and humanitarian aid.” In addition, “Pakistan also has received about $6.7 billion in military reimbursements for its support of counter terrorism efforts.” Yet, the man who claimed responsibility for the worst terror attach in U.S history that killed thousands, lived undisturbed in that country for six years while the U.S searched for him?

Transparency and real cooperation in fighting terrorism is Pakistan’s only savior. Without such, Pakistan’s potential will remain untapped and millions of Pakistani will continue to live lacking the basics. For now, Pakistan looks incompetent, complicit and lacks the capacity to be a viable and workable nation that does not yet understand what is necessary to build a secure, prosperous, and free society.

The political reality is that Pakistan is a country with institutionalized corruption. It’s dysfunctional and it is a reality that severely slows down and restricts further development. Rather than criticizing the U.S for sending troops inside Pakistan, the establishment needs to address corruption for the persistence of which will further staunch Pakistan’s development and its hinder its capacity to continue building a stable, workable and economic vibrant country.