Al-Qaeda Returns

Source: WikiCommons

‘If you think that your sinful crime that you committed in Abbottabad has passed without punishment you are wrong’, said Hamza Bin Laden. Yes, bin laden part II has begun and yes in his first audio recording Osama’s son Hamza bin Laden is threatening Americans and their allies, announcing revenge on them for his father’s death

History has a way of recurring because human nature has not changed a bit since Adam, but that does not mean you stop learning from your past. According to a UN report, Hamza bin Laden like his father is hiding somewhere near the Afghan border area that separates Pakistan from the American and Taliban run Afghanistan. In 2011 Hamza’s father Osama bin Laden was killed in a surgical strike by US Navy SEALs. A couple of US helicopters entered Abbottabad, Pakistan; killed bin Laden Senior, took the body along with bundles of documents and computers, and just like that left. Osama’s recovery from Pakistan blurred the nation’s sacrifices during the war against terror and the West became suspicious about its Asian partner.

In this war Pakistan lost seventy thousands of its citizens, including innocent children like those of Army Public School Peshawar, the country claims to have suffered more than 100 billion USD worth damage. Bombs exploded on roads, in markets, schools and even in mosques; parents would pray for the safe return of their loved ones before letting them go out for study or work. Particularly the residents of Khyber Pakhtunkwa and those of the tribal belt along the border of Afghanistan suffered heavily.


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On Friday, March 1, Saudi Arab announced that it had revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, now a prominent figure in the terror network. Saudi decision was made public only after the inclusion of Hamza’s name in UNSC sanction list. After this designation all states are bound to freeze his assets and Hamza bin Laden won’t be able to travel legally, meaning he is trapped around Pak-Afghan border regions. Moreover, US State Department has announced a reward of 1 million USD for information leading to his identification or location in any part of the world.

During Afghan Jihad against former USSR, Osama was one of the heroes America admired but then the cold war ended and Osama went back to his home country. During the Gulf War of 1991 US deployed its troops in Saudi Arabia, this burden on Saudi resources irritated Bin Laden and he objected to American presence on Arab soil. As a result, his citizenship was revoked in 1994 and he had to flee to Sudan, and later on to Afghanistan where he announced war against American and Western Interests.

As chief of Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden managed several attacks against US interests including the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In coordination with other organizations, Al-Qaeda carried out 9/11 on American soil which led to the invasion of Afghanistan and eventually, after a decade, to the Abbottabad episode in Pakistan.

According to Thomas Joscelyn of Washington-based Foundation for Defence of Democracy Hamza bin Laden has always been interested in the fight, his father Osama bin Laden insisted on his education, he wanted to send Hamza away for study but Hamza’s centre of interest was his father’s sphere of activities. Now that the current chief of Al-Qaeda, Aiman al-Zawahiri, has made Hamza an official member of Al-Qaeda and he is the expected new chief of the organization, US has announced a bounty up to a million USD.

In today’s world, every government is focused on managing and satisfying the demands of its citizens, survival in the economy of growth is equally challenging for developing and developed countries. Osama was a favourite soldier until his actions suited American interests, as soon as he started raising his voice against the then sole superpower he became its enemy and was terminated.

China has always been Pakistan’s friend and a great defender on international platforms but during the current escalation with India it cannot stand by Pakistan because India is a huge market and China’s growth depend on unrestricted access to this market. Similarly last month Saudi Arabia announced investing 20 billion USD in Pakistan but a 100 USD in India, it’s all about survival and economy of growth. The great Victorian poet Alfred Tennyson once remarked ‘’nature is red in tooth and claws.’’ And the dominant capitalistic economy is rooted in nature.

India claims to have killed hundreds of militants during its February surgical strikes on Pakistani soil, Pakistan and the rest of the world won’t believe it as it fails to provide concrete evidence. Today Pakistani may laugh at the presentations by Indian media but whenever the Americans decide to resume their surgical strikes and drone attacks in pursuit of Al-Qaeda and whenever she signaled to Indian for renewed surgical strikes against LeT/JuD and Jaish e Muhammad, Pakistan will be sandwiched and its very survival will be at risk.

“You can choose your friends but not your neighbours, said Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The same is true for Pakistan, it shares a long border with Afghanistan which has always been a favourite battleground for the world powers. In today’s multipolar environment world peace may depend on great powers but with a little luck and cautious diplomatic maneuvering small countries like Pakistan can ensure safety for its population and may even promote win-win situation.

By Max Hassan

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