A growing chorus of voices within Pakistan are calling for the country’s elected leaders to resign in the wake of embarrassing revelations that al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had been living undisturbed in a compound near the capital for at least five or six years.
Pakistan’s former foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has demanded that the country’s president Asif Ali Zardari and prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to resign on Saturday, following the colossal failure in intelligence.
“This is a great violation of our sovereignty, but this is for the president and prime minister to resign and no one else,” said Qureshi, who is now a politician for the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.
The head of the parliamentary opposition also called on Zardari and Gilani to quit.
“The operation tramples on our honour and dignity, and the president and prime minister must either give an explanation or resign,” Chaudhry Nisar Ali told reporters.
“The government is keeping silent and there appears to be nobody to respond to propaganda against Pakistan.”
He added that people in the country are feeling “insecure” over the covert US commando mission.
“Those who are responsible must admit and quit,” said Ali.
Other Pakistanis are focusing their anger on the nation’s powerful military and intelligence officials, but Qureshi currently believes the two top elected government figures should be held accountable.
Qureshi was removed from his job as foreign minister in February, after he squabbled with party members over the case of Raymond Allen Davis, a CIA contractor who killed two Pakistanis in Lahore, apparently in self-defense.
Qureshi was outraged when Davis was released, asserting the American did not have blanket diplomatic immunity.
Ali, however, also criticized Pakistan’s intelligence arm, saying it had “deviated from their real role”.