Osama bin Laden files: How al Qaeda bullied Pakistan

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The al Qaeda had virtually bullied the Pakistan establishment and ensured that Osama Bin Laden remained protected at all times. The al Qaeda had developed close contacts with the Tehrik-e-Taliban and also the Haqqani Network which they had used to their advantage in ensuring that their cadres and chief was protected.

At the trial of Abid Nazeer at the court in Brooklyn several documents which were seized from the hideout of Osama Bin Laden at Abottabad were released which went on to suggest that the Pakistan was always in the know about the whereabouts of Bin Laden.

How al Qaeda bullied Pakistan

Be patient with us, the ISI had told al Qaeda

One of the most crucial letters that have been revealed suggest that the ISI while negotiating a deal with the al Qaeda had told them to be patient. An al Qaeda operative Mahmud had attended a meeting which comprised the then ISI chief Hamid Gul and also leaders of the Haqqani Network.

The al Qaeda had become particularly close to the Haqqani Network chief Siraj Haqqani at whose behest this meeting was held.

In a communication between Mahmud and Bin Laden, an assurance made by Hamid Gul was quoted. The al Qaeda had told the ISI that they want to be left alone and none should harm them. Further the al Qaeda had told the ISI that they would get together with the Haqqani Network and bomb Pakistan.

Gul is alleged to have told the meeting that they would work something out. Be patient and we will try and convince the Americans, Gul is said to have told the meeting.

The alliance with the Tehrik-e-Taliba

It was also found that the al Qaeda had developed close ties with the Tehrik-e-Taliban. Where this outfit was concerned, Pakistan had become extremely desperate. It was unable to tame the group and had faced several terror attacks on its soil.

Bin Laden had decided that they would need to forge an alliance with the TTP and use this as a bargaining tool. Lade had told Mahmud to get in touch with the Punjab (Pakistan) Chief Minister and strike a deal.

In a letter that was written to the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharrif, Mahmud seeks protection for the al Qaeda and its leader Bin Laden. It speaks about the close ties that it has developed with the TTP. The coming together of the TTP and the al Qaeda could spell doom for Pakistan and they would only have an additional headache is what the al Qaeda tells Sharrif.

Sharrif on the other hand agrees to the proposal. It directs Mahmud to speak with the Tehrik-e-Taliba. Further protection is also ensured on the condition that the TTP does not execute any strikes in the Punjab region.

Pakistan knew all along

The fact that Pakistan was unaware of Osama Bin Laden hiding on its soil is probably one of the biggest lies that mankind has ever heard. Right from the early part of 2000 the ISI was well aware of what Bin Laden was up to.

When the Americans began hunting desperately for him, he was moved to Tora Bora. It was at this time that the ISI set up a Osama desk comprising 10 officers who would keep a tab on every movement of Bin Laden.

Time to time updates relating to intelligence about Laden and also possible moves by any-other nation attempting to capture him was picked up by the Osama desk. Towards the beginning of 2006, Laden was moved to the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan before permanently being shifted into Abottabad where he lived till he was killed.

Bin Laden was initially nurtured by the ISI as he was an asset who could keep terror groups under control. He was a charismatic leader who exercised immense control over several groups including the Haqqani Network and also the TTP.

However his location was given up by Pakistan when they found that he no longer served their purpose. Moreover the pressure from the Americans was getting stronger and the ISI was left with no option which eventually led to his death in an operation called Neptune Sphere.

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