Commentary Magazine


Another A. Q. Khan Case?

As suspicions rise that segments of the Pakistani government were aiding Osama bin Laden, the Obama administration is pressing Pakistan to allow it to interview the terror leader’s three widows. So far the Pakistanis haven’t cooperated, and their obstructionism is drawing comparisons to the Abdul Qadeer Khan case from early in the Bush administration. “Our guess is that the wives knew just who was keeping Bin Laden alive for all these years,” an unnamed American official told the New York Times. “It’s the Khan case all over again.”

On Sunday morning, White House National Security adviser Tom Donilon said that the Obama administration had requested interviews with bin Laden’s wives. But on ABC’s This Week, the Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani wouldn’t say whether Pakistan would allow the interviews.

At the moment, it would be difficult—if not impossible—for us to cut ties with Pakistan and still be able to fight the war on terror as effectively. The U.S. should continue to call on Pakistan to launch its own investigation into the bin Laden incident, but obviously we can’t expect the Pakistanis to cooperate on this issue. The documents collected by the SEAL team from bin Laden’s compound, and the two phone numbers sewn into his clothing when he was killed, could provide sufficient clues to which government officials were giving him support.