Anyone who believes that Pakistan is in any way an ally in the fight against terrorism after Osama bin Laden’s death in Abbottabad is truly gullible, but denial can be contagious. Pakistan claims it did not know that the reclusive bin Laden was living adjacent to the Pakistani equivalent of West Point. And while Pakistan clearly supports the Taliban as the Afghan group targets Americans and their allies in NATO and Afghanistan, those inclined to talk can dismiss the Taliban merely as insurgents fighting occupation rather than terrorists.
The latest news from Pakistan shows just how complicit Pakistan is in sheltering and supporting terrorists who target not military officials but civilians:
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai and founder of militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), led the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Friday morning. The 64-year-old militant group leader is a free man in his home country Pakistan though he is wanted by India and United States for his terror activities. His posters were seen all over Lahore and tweeted Eid greetings on Friday besides anti-India messages… Saeed has been accused of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans. India has repeatedly requested Pakistan to punish him and US has announced a bounty of $10 million on him but nothing has been done. He is still a free man, giving public speeches often smeared with anti-Indian messages, appear on television talk shows and organize public rallies. He had claimed in an interview earlier this year that he moves freely in Pakistan ‘like an ordinary man’… He had earlier mocked US over the bounty on him, telling reporters “I am here, I am visible. America should give that reward money to me. I will be in Lahore tomorrow. America can contact me whenever it wants to.”
Perhaps it is time that America does just that, with a predator and a hellfire. The outrage in Pakistan would be more than offset by the celebrations in India. And when it comes to a choice between the two countries, it’s time to choose sides unequivocally. Saeed’s presence—and his protection by the Pakistani government—should also put to rest any notion that Pakistan will do anything but radicalize and terrorize Afghanistan once U.S. forces depart.