The killing of Al-Qaeda chieftain Osama Bin Laden “deep inside” Pakistan has raised grave concerns in India about its neighbor’s harboring of terrorists and militants.
Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said: We take note with grave concern that part of the statement in which [U.S.] President Barack Obama said that the fire fight in which Osama Bin Laden was killed took place in Abbotabad ‘deep inside’ Pakistan. This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organizations find sanctuary in Pakistan.
Chidambaram added that Bin Laden’s residence near Islamabad is proves that terrorists belonging to different organizations find sanctuary in Pakistan.”
“If anyone in the world believes Pakistan was unaware of where Mr. Bin Laden was living, I just laugh at that,” said Brajesh Mishra, a former Indian national security adviser, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Pakistan has repeatedly denied it knew anything of Bin Laden’s whereabouts.
The Indian government has long accused Pakistan of being a haven for terrorists and of a cozy relationship between militants and Pakistan’s intelligence services. India has also repeatedly urged the U.S. government of demanding that Islamabad root out terrorists.
India has been making this observation for a long time, that the Pakistani establishment is providing support to terrorist groups while keeping the denial process in play, said Uday Bhaskar, former director of the New Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, according to Reuters.
They play both sides to the middle. This shows more of the same. Their support to terrorism as a strategic option vis-à-vis India and the U.S. needs to be smoked out.
New Delhi has also urged the Pakistan government to arrest militants who were responsible for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008 that killed more than 160 people. That deadly operation was directly blamed by India on terrorists who had colluded with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency.
We believe the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack, including the controllers and handlers of the terrorists who actually carried out the attack, continue to be sheltered in Pakistan, the Indian Home Ministry said in a statement.
We once again call on the government of Pakistan to arrest the persons whose names have been handed over to the interior minister of Pakistan.”
However, Pakistan has denied any official involvement in the Mumbai massacre. Since those attacks, Islamabad has arrested and charged seven men connected to the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba with the attack but their trials have not begun yet.
The death of Bin Laden may cast a pall over the two South Asian nuclear giants, just weeks after the respective leaders of India and Pakistan attended a friendly cricket match in northern India.
Meanwhile, India is gravely concerned about the future of Al Qaeda, given that it has had a home in Pakistan for years.
Indian media has already speculated that Bin Laden may have been killed in a hideout provided to him by Pakistan security or intelligence figures.
Srikanth Kondapalli, professor of East Asian studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told Reuters: Since the highest leadership of Al Qaeda is still intact, since the machinery has not been smashed, India will still be concerned about the whole issue of terrorism in Pakistan.”
Still, no one India is surprised that Bin Laden has been in Pakistan all these years. As such, the peace process might not be cancelled out entirely.
As India has been saying for 10 years, this confirms that Pakistan has been harboring terrorists, so what is new? said Gopalaswami Parthasarthy, a former Indian envoy to Pakistan, according to Reuters.
The dialogue process will carry on. It took place when Osama was alive in Pakistan, and will continue now.
In fact, during his speech announcing the death of Bin Laden, Obama praised Pakistani cooperation in the assault.
“It’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.”