No surprise here even though the global press bet on a younger man. Al Zawahri is rumoured to be holed up in Pakistan’s northern provinces. So, too, Bin Laden, we heard. In the end the al Qaeda leader was living in an upmarket villa in Abbotabad before he was assassinated by a US Seals team.
So can we rely on such rumours? They may be true, and then again, they may not. One thing is sure, among the 11 top Pakistani generals who misrule Pakistan, some or many or all may know where he really is. And they ain’t telling. In fact, Kiyani, to save the seat of his pants after the killing of Bin Laden, is throwing out all CIA agents in the country and going after the US spy agencies informants.
It has long been known that the Pakistani military’s intelligence arm–ISI– has given aid and comfort to al Qaeda, as it does for Mollah Omar in Baluchestan. Such protection has not shielded Pakistan from its own Taliban and suicide bombings and the like.
Pakistan has proven itself to be a duplicitous ally, in a pissing contest with India. The US has encouraged the military from an early date, owing to competition with the Soviets. GuamDiary keeps suggesting reading Mohammed Hanif’s ‘Exploding pineapples’ as an ‘apercu’ of the ISI, the influence of the US embassy, and Islamisation begun by Zia al Haq.
Ronald Reagan hastened the process by arming militant Islamists to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, and then once they withdrew, he left them to their own devices as the world watched the rise of and the Khmer rouge like mindlessness as Afghanistan returned to ‘l’annee zero’.
And after 9/11 Bush intervened, overthrow the Taliban, but lost interest as he lied his way into war in Iraq. And relying upon Pakistan to help in his abandonment of Afghanistan, among other reasons.
The US cannot dump Pakistan, stop billions in aid for a simple reason: Pakistan’s atomic weapons. So the US has to take out Al Zawahri and face an insurrection in Pakistan among ‘allies’ who will do everything to keep the man and al Qaeda alive!