Change in Afghan situation unlikely: analysts
KABUL(PAN): Though the death of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden would not lead to a change in the regional situation, it has proved the existence of terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan, Kabul-based political analysts said on Monday.
Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind behind the devastating 9/11 attacks in the United States, was killed in his luxury mansion in Abbottabad city of Pakistan. Islamabad confirmed the 'intelligence-driven military operation'.
The world's most wanted individual, the multimillionaire Saudi citizen was killed on Sunday night during a firefight with American forces, US President Barack Obama announced late on Sunday night.
"His death may be a setback to the Al Qaeda network, but it will have no impact on the situation in Afghanistan," said Nasrullah Stanikzai, a teacher at Kabul University. He added not only Al Qaeda but several other terrorist groups and foreign spy agencies were active in Afghanistan.
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence had a permanent role in destabilsing Afghanistan, he alleged. "Osama's death shows terrorism has deep roots in Pakistan," he remarked.
Afghan officials and political analysts have long been accusing Pakistan of fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan, a charge Islamabad vehemently dismisses as baseless.
Another analyst and former member of the Wolesi Jirga, Abdul Kabir Ranjbar, also believed Osama's demise would have no visible impact on the situation in Afghanistan. However, he said the presence of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was one of the reasons behind the country's instability.
A weak central authority, non-enforcement of law and the yawning gap between the government and people were the principal reasons contributing to instability in the country, he added.
He said they had long been telling the international community that militant hideouts were located in Pakistan. "Leading members of Al Qaeda are being protected in that country."
Pakistan's denials of supporting Al Qaeda and Taliban militants had never been credible, Ranjbar said. "Islamabad can no longer deny Taliban leaders' presence on its soil," he continued.
Waheed Muzhda, another political analyst, accused Islamabad of seeking "strategic advantages" from the presence of Al Qaeda. "It is the reason why Pakistan is isolated," he said.
Muzhda said Pakistan might have opted to change its regional strategy after Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and the ISI chief visited Afghanistan. He acknowledged Pakistan's involvement in the killing of Osama.
Opposed to a long US presence in the region, Pakistan helped Americans reach Osama to leave the US with little justification for staying put in Afghanistan, he said.
President Hamid Karzai said the killing of Osama had vindicated Kabul's oft-repeated stance that the Al Qaeda chief was not hiding in Afghanistan.
Some Afghan parliamentarians called for shifting military operations against militant hideouts to Pakistan.
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