Post-Osama World

The killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of US forces inside Pakistan has expectedly made headlines around the world. However we should not forget that the September 9, 2001 terror attacks masterminded by Osama bin Laden was a bigger tragedy and one should not celebrate too much over the demise of its mastermind. In fact the international community must give serious attention to make sure that people like Osama do not emerge. Obviously this will also require that we go to the root of the grievances and why some within the Muslim community carry so much hatred towards countries like the US, Israel and their allies. Now that the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks has been killed, all other options, beyond the military, must be pursued, so that some kind of healing and reconciliation can take place among communities, leaders and nations. The US and in particular the western powers should use this occasion to appraise themselves on the decade long war on terror. As is being widely commented, Osama may have been killed but the ideology that he nurtured may well continue. How can the global powers led by the US deal effectively with the post-Osama jihadi world order is a vital question that will require some serious re-thinking. This should go well beyond the current military strategy. As already mentioned, there are known grievances in the Muslim world and these must be looked into by the world’s only superpower the US. It becomes obvious that peace, stability and progress must return to the Middle East region. Importantly, the question of Palestine must be addressed with urgency and sincerity. It goes without saying that the governments and its policy must start to move away from conflict management and instead focus on conflict resolution.
The other focus of the war on terror must necessarily be on Pakistan. While all this time, it was believed that the top Al- Qaeda leaders were hiding in the caves of Afghanistan, many are not surprised that it was the military and intelligence agencies in Pakistan which was sheltering Osama bin Laden in a compound just next to the country’s premier military academy. It is so obvious that bin Laden was being given protection. The Pakistan establishment is denying that it knew about bin Laden’s presence. This is a complete lie and the double face role of Pakistan in the war against terror stands completely exposed. Besides, the recent tensions between Washington and Islamabad go to show that the latter can no longer be relied upon or trusted. This is also proof enough that the so called ‘terror infrastructure’ exists in Pakistan and terror groups operate from here with both covert and overt support of the establishment in Pakistan. The US should now seriously consider changing track in the war on terror and put the onus on Pakistan to dismantle all terror infrastructures within the country and also ensure that Islamabad puts an end to State sponsorship of terrorism. While the international community must continue to support and engage with Pakistan in whatever manner in so far as assisting the latter to grow economically, pushing for reforms, ensuring political stability and peace, yet greater vigil must be kept so that inimical forces are not allowed to sabotage peaceful co-existence and a return to the violent ideology of the Osama bin Laden years.