Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Bin Laden is Dead but the Legacy Exists

At last, yesterday early morning US president Barack Obama announced the official news of Osama Bin Laden's death. No doubt, it is big news for the affectees of Bin Laden's terrorist activities in Afghanistan and abroad, as well as a big achievement for all the stakeholders of the War against Terror. The congratulatory messages from head of states and important people occupy more space than the news itself.

Many believed after the middle of July 2005 that Osama Bin Laden no longer existed physically. However his occasional messages and some unconfirmed video footages kept him alive for around next six years. Reportedly, US Special Forces after conducting the operation took the body of Bin Laden along with them and then it was disposed to the sea. Yesterday morning, Two Pakistani private TV channels showed footage of the dead Bin Laden but later in the day the authenticity of that footage came under question and it was not seen again. Setting these elements of ambiguity aside, the official report of Bin Laden's death sends a couple of strong messages and will have consequences.

Let us start from Pakistan where he was found and killed. Pakistan took more than ten hours to announce its reaction over this issue. Officially Pakistan hails this success and marks it as a milestone achievement in the War against Terror. But on the other hand, the long presence of Bin Laden in Abbotabad, the military cantonment where the Pakistan Military Academy is situated, must be very embarrassing for them. It might question their capacity and commitment as a reliable partner on the rough and tough path of War against terror.

It has also given a chance to President Karzai to again artfully seize on Pakistan. He said that the presence of Bin Laden in Pakistan has confirmed our assertion that the real sanctuaries of terrorists are not inside Afghanistan. He also took the opportunity to challenge the American way of dealing with insurgency in Afghanistan. But he should not forget that there is a difference between the Taliban sanctuary and the shelter used by Bin Laden. The real question is why Taliban could not yet escape Bin Laden's legacy and are still entrapped in the ideological net of Al-Qaeda. This strange brotherhood means they continue to create tragedies one after another and are still committed to the path of Barbarism.

For the US the news brought a great joy, thousands celebrated the success across the country. President Obama seemed to be very confident in announcing that Bin Laden was brought to justice at last which was one of his promises while taking office. Regardless of the issues unleashed in the media, it will have a remarkable impact on the overall public opinion in the US. The growing public trend against the US military mission abroad and in Afghanistan in particular will be changed drastically. The confidence of an ordinary American in the capacity and capability of their armed forces will be boosted. Their concern about the wastage of blood, time and money in Afghanistan and Pakistan will be relieved and any future roadmap about the US security will be welcomed. Ultimately the support for military missions abroad will be strengthened.

But the core message which should never be forgotten is that physically Bin Laden was nothing but an ill man. He was rather a symbol for all the religious extremists. It might be the end of his physical existence but the challenge to deal with terrorist led insurgency will still remain as the greatest challenge for Afghanistan and rest of the world. Now it will remain to be seen whether the US government decides to pull out after eliminating Osama Bin Laden physically or whether it will further increase its determination and commitment for the final victory against the terrorism.