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Make May 2 report public

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  • Make May 2 report public

    A five-member judicial commission set up to investigate the US actions which led to the capture of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May last year has submitted its findings to the government. But even a year after that dramatic sequence of events took place in the quiet hillside town of Abbottabad, we as citizens, have still not been provided with any detail regarding a major event in our national life. What we know comes from the Western media with a UK-based newspaper recently reporting that in the final days before the raid, which removed him from Pakistani soil, Bin Laden had retreated entirely into his home, refusing to step out even to exercise in the compound after an internal security lapse in which he was apparently spotted by the daughter of one of his couriers who had visited the house for lessons with one of his wives.
    The report appears to emphasise that the Pakistan government and military officials, perhaps, did not know of Bin Laden’s presence in that non-descript white bungalow. But experts on Pakistan in the West believe his whereabouts were known to some key officials in the military establishment, making it possible for Bin Laden to remain in Abbottabad for a prolonged period of time. It is also relevant that the judicial report focuses more on the US invasion of Pakistan rather than on why the world’s most wanted militant was able to hide out in a garrison town undetected. This is an odd focus, given the need to improve our own intelligence network. If it was really oblivious to Bin Laden’s presence, then it is clear it has become practically non-functional.
    All these matters need to be explored in more detail. However, what is most important of all is that the cover of secrecy over events be lifted and this important report put before parliament and the public. As citizens of a democracy, we need to know more about what happens in our country and the factors which lead to events of this kind unfolding in such an unexpected fashion.
    Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2012.