12.16.2003

Looking For Osama

Much has been said about the capture of Saddam, but how different is the search for Osama?

India News provides some commentary:

Officials here say that one of the main reason that Osama has yet not been caught is because, unlike Saddam, the 9/11 mastermind has the infrastructure of a nation working with him. This isn’t just an Indian claim to bash its neighbor in the international forum to gain some brownie points vis-à-vis the USA. Several reports in the recent past have vouched that Pakistan has established official links with the al-Qaeda, which has made the task of tracking Osama that much difficult.

Indeed, experts say, that it is in the interest of the Pakistan military establishment to keep the ghost of Osama as well as the al-Qaeda alive, as it gives them that much more leverage to be seen on the side of the US in its fight against global terror as well as justify its own existence.

"It is a double edged weapon", says a government official, "By taking a public posture of gunning for the al-Qaeda, Pakistan keeps the interest of the US on its side and at the same time nurturing and keeping the al-Qaeda alive becomes one of the strong reasons of its existence as the US feels it could do with some help from the Pakistan military."




Reuters carried this interview with a Pakistani cleric:

Saddam Hussein's capture leaves two household names on the U.S. "terror" wanted list. But unlike Saddam, neither al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden nor Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is likely to be taken alive, a top Pakistani cleric with close ties to Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime warned.

And even if either were to be captured, it would do little to stem violence blamed on the groups, said Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, who knew Omar and called for a jihad, or holy war, against the United States during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"From what I know about these people you cannot arrest them alive," Shamzai told Reuters in an interview late on Monday in Karachi.


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