Conflict & Justice

Did Osama raid signal a shift in Pakistan's military?

As most of India cheers the comeuppance Pakistan's military has received as it became almost indisputable that at least some parts of its military and intelligence community had helped hide Osama bin Laden for years, another view has emerged. Assuming that at least some elements in that same "deep state" knew of the US raid--even if that knowledge didn't come until after it was underway--the decision to give up Osama signals an important shift in the Pakistani military, according to the Calcutta Telegraph.

The surrender of Osama signals nothing less than that "the army faction that supports a deep alliance with the US has won out and proved its loyalty to Washington," claims K.P. Nayar.

Where's he getting his info? From China's Xinhua News Agency, which he says "has no pretensions to media freedom unlike its American counterparts."

Here are the press reports that have Nayar looking for wheels within wheels. Make of it what you will:

Xinhua says electricity was cut off to Abbottabad as the operation to kill Osama began. That shows complicity with the Americans not only within the Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi but down the line to the local administration that controls the electricity switching stations.

Xinhua says security forces cordoned off the entire area near Osama’s safe house before the Americans attacked it and no one was allowed to enter or leave the operational surroundings during the attack.

That only means the Pakistanis knew what was going to take place, although it is only logical that reasons for sealing off the area would not have been communicated down the line to the local police or paramilitary units.

Xinhua also says residents of Abbottabad took videos and cellphone pictures from their rooftops as the spectacular helicopter landing and firefight was under way.

But Pakistani security forces went round from house to house collecting memory cards from cameras and seizing videos from residents soon enough so that the pictures were not transmitted freelance by what modern TV would call citizen journalists.