Washington, May 3: The United States’ decision to find and eliminate elusive Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden without even informing its ‘ally’ Pakistan until the end of the top secret operation has laid bare its deep distrust of Islamabad.
The Saudi-born terrorist, who had evaded capture for a decade, was killed Sunday night in a top secret operation involving a small team of US Special Forces in Abbottabad city, located 50 kilometres northeast of Islamabad and 150 kilometres east of Peshawar.
Not only were the Pakistanis not involved in the operation, as some Islamabad officials have tried to suggest, but jets were belatedly dispatched to rebuff the Americans, The Independent reports.
Obama informed his Pakistani counterpart, President Asif Ali Zardari, about the operation only after the US commandos had left Pakistani airspace after killing Osama.
At the White House, Obama''s top counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, almost described Islamabad in terms that one would reserve for an adversary.
Brennan said it is "inconceivable" that Bin Laden was without a support system inside Pakistan- a claim that the US has made for several months now.
"I''m not saying that they''re at the highest levels, but I believe that somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden, and al-Qa''ida, is," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on a visit to Pakistan in May 2010.
For Pakistan, a role in the future of Afghanistan is crucial. It fears encirclement by India in the region, and it would also like to see its allies among the Taliban-inspired Afghan factions, chiefly the Haqqani network, play a role, the report said.
So far, Washington has ignored Pakistan''s entreaties and is keen to press on with the surge in the hope of at least achieving a stalemate, it added.
According to the report, paradoxically, Pakistan''s powerful security establishment is also keen to maintain the US as an ally, keep it involved in the region and continue to receive much-needed largesse to maintain what is one of the world''s largest armies.
To that end, the report said, Bin Laden could have been useful because he could have been a card to play at the right time, for the right leverage, but now they have been denied that opportunity. (ANI)