Osama issue will raise global pressure on Pak: British author

Pakistan flag
New Delhi, May 22: British author and policy analyst Anatol Lieven, who came out with a book on Pakistan just days before the killing of Osama bin Laden, says the the Islamic country will now come under more international pressure to prevent militant groups like LeT from launching terrorist attacks in India.

"I hope that the circumstances surrounding his (Laden's) location and death will lead to more public scrutiny of the military (of Pakistan), and a real holding of senior officers to account," Lieven, who has written in "Pakistan: A Hard Country" that its military and ISI have sheltered the leadership of the Afghan Taliban and sponsored terrorism against India, told PTI in an interview.

"I also hope that in order to re-establish some credit with the US, the Pakistani authorities will make a greater effort to track down the remaining al Qaeda figures in Pakistan. In addition, I am glad to say that Pakistan will come under even more international pressure to prevent Pakistani-based groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba from launching terrorist attacks in India." Lieven''s work is based on a profound analysis of Pakistan''s history and its social, religious and political structures. He interviewed hundreds of Pakistanis at every level of society, from leading politicians and soldiers to village mullahs and rickshaw drivers.

The author does not think his book came a little too early now that Laden has been killed.

"By far the greater part of the book is about how the Pakistani state, military and political systems work, and how power is gained and used within those systems.

The final section is about Islamist extremism, but deals above all with the Taliban revolt in Pakistan, the military campaign against them, and the extent of the threat of revolution and state collapse in Pakistan. All of these aspects of the book are unaffected by Bin Laden''s location and death," he says.

"In the book, I wrote that while the Pakistani military and ISI have sheltered the leadership of the Afghan Taliban and sponsored terrorism against India, they had been generally (though by no means completely) helpful in arresting al Qaeda figures and preventing terrorism against the West - as witnessed by the arrests of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Umar Patek (in Abbottabad in January) and others.

"Obviously if writing today I would say that the location of bin Laden so close to military locations calls that help into serious question, though it does not cancel out the other arrests, and ISI complicity in sheltering bin Laden, though likely, is not proven."


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