There is a big wave of victorious joy among all those who wanted to see the death of Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world who carried a $ 25- million bounty on his head and the one who institutionalized killing of one man by another under his peculiar interpretation of faith.
Although certain angles of the special operation in which Bin Laden was killed remain obscure, there is no doubt that he survives no more. Those who witnessed their beloved ones being killed by bin Laden's plans are relieved. The joyful statement of bin Laden's death by President Barack Obama after a tiresome period of 10 years was received warmly by his fellow Americans, whose confidence in the capacity and capability of their armed forces was boosted manifold. Also, the falling graph of public opinion in favor of US military mission abroad — particularly in Afghanistan — has reversed overnight.
But the people who have an eye on the overall development of religious terrorism are not sure if even the demise of bin Laden may bring a true sense of security.
Afghanistan, which has been in the shadow of terrorism for almost two decades, was jubilant after it received the news of bin Laden's death. Residents of the areas which suffered the most under the Al-Qaeda and their domestic Taliban allies, such as those from Hazarajat, Kabul as well as from the northern parts, cheered the most.
Now the most important issue is the probable impact of the death of bin Laden on Afghanistan: will it help to improve the nations deteriorating condition or will the situation worsen? The questions need to be answered for the better understanding of the overall pace of political and security developments of Afghanistan.
Bin Laden had not been seen for long — many believed he was already dead. It has also been a long time since any of his authentic video footage was seen. Rather, Aymen al- Zawahiri, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Mulla Omar and Mulla Baradar had become the news-making figures of the Taliban and the Al- Qaeda. But no one can deny Bin Laden's symbolic role as the godfather of all those who were inspired by religious fanaticism.
He may remain a legend for precisely this reason. Practically also, the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban (on both sides of the border) never relied on Bin Laden as a person but as a thought. That is why the premature conclusion that the death of Bin Laden means the end of Al-Qaeda seems a euphoric rather than a rational one.
The second reason for irrelevance between Bin Laden's death and the insurgency in Afghanistan is the ethno-religious nature of the Taliban, which adds to the complexity of the overall development.
The Pashtun- dominated strip on both sides of the Durand line is seen as a Taliban stronghold.
Since the Al-Qaeda and Taliban philosophy has deeply influenced the faith, tradition and lifestyle of the people, it has been provided a favorable group of Taliban maneuvers, where they can fight a bigger war with minimum resources thanks to local support.
The people living in these areas do not worry about the reemergence of Taliban. But the rest of Afghanistan — who rejected their interpretation of religion — are still not in the mood to align themselves with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. They might resist once again against any scenario of the Taliban coming back to power.
On the other hand, the Afghan government has been inclining to the Taliban. President Hamid Karzai's reconciliation efforts are creating discomfort among the non-Pashtun communities, who blame him for the restoration of Pashtun domination in Afghanistan. So, Bin Laden's death does not seem to be affecting the course of events in Afghanistan. A better vision for coexistence might be a better option for the Afghans instead.