Why Arrest Dr. ShakilAfridi? Pakistan Has
Some Explaining to Do (Khaleej Times, UAE)
Pakistan always supportive of facilitating the capture of dreaded terrorist
Osama bin Laden by U.S. authorities? … Why has it veered away from this course to
prosecute a mere civil servant that cooperated in pointing out the suspect - who
for years conveniently resided a stone’s throw from a military base?”
Dr. Shakil Afridi, a surgeon who helped the CIA identify Osama bin Laden: His conviction on treason charges Wednesday, and his sentence of 33 years behind bars, is sending yet another shock wave through U.S.-Pakistan relations.
Pakistan -U.S. relations are getting into a stern territory.
The instant reaction U.S. lawmakers have taken in over the jailing of a CIA operative
who helped locate Osama bin Laden in the form of a suspension of aid to
Islamabad reflects that there is a serious flaw in understanding over a list of
dos and don’ts.
A local doctor named ShakilAfridi, who has been sentenced by a Pakistan court to 33
years in prison for breaking the law by helping a foreign agency, is now at center-stage.
U.S. authorities promptly reacted to his jail term by cutting $33 million of
aid. A perfect quid pro quo!
But what’s so alarming is the tone of U.S. House members and
senators who have taken up the question of the legitimacy of America’s dealings
with the terror-scared country, while in Pakistan’s view,
the U.S. is indulging in double-standards.
Similarly, calls for a more categorical effort to push
Pakistan to the wall by downgrading diplomatic, political and military
relations could end up rewriting the outlook for the region.
This bad blood comes just as U.S. and NATO forces are on the
verge of withdrawing from Afghanistan, which cannot be properly choreographed
without the active cooperation of the country’s next-door neighbor, Pakistan.
Moreover, the snub issued against Islamabad at the NATO
Summit in Chicago, with Pakistan demanding a barefaced price of $5,000 per
truck in order to reopen the transit facility to stranded Coalition forces in
Afghanistan. This seems to have undermined the cordiality and understanding
that the allies once enjoyed on the controversial war on terror.
Nonetheless, there are questions that Pakistan should
answer: What prompted the country to take such a public stand on sentencing a
[CIA] operative? Islamabad was quite obliging and went out of its way to release
Raymond Davis, another CIA operator who, in a sting operation, killed three
people in Lahore.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
The second important question is: Wasn’t Pakistan always supportive
of facilitating the capture of dreaded terrorist Osama bin Laden by U.S. authorities?
And hadn’t Islamabad literally risked peace and sovereignty to attain that
objective? Why has it veered away from this course to prosecute a mere civil servant
that cooperated in pointing out the suspect - who for years conveniently resided
a stone’s throw from a military base?
Last but not least, Islamabad and its military authorities have
yet to answer a slew of questions about who enabled bin Laden to live so safely
on its soil; and what cooperative arrangements were in place when U.S. Navy Seals
landed in Abbottabad to flush him out?
Such questions and many intricate issues - like future intelligence
sharing and the delivery of aid and assistance, will continue to reshape their relationship.
What’s needed at the moment is restraint, cool heads and rational action.
Because a cut for a cut isn’t a workable
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