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Afghanistan Paid A Heavy Price In Search For Bin Laden And Must Not Be Abandoned Now

By Edrees Kakar
Senior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
KABUL, Afghanistan – The news of Osama bin Laden’s death the morning of Monday, May 2 astonished everyone in Afghanistan.
The day started with a confusing and thrilling news report by the media channels, though initially, it was too early for the public to believe if the world’s most wanted suspect had been killed.
The news of his death became credible only when the president of United States, Barack Obama, announced it with assurance in a televised speech.
His death was quite unpredictable in recent years because bin Laden had become a ghost over the last 10 years, escaping all U.S. efforts to find him. He moved about undetected by all the secret technological devices that are said to have the capacity of monitoring objects as small as nails.
Whether photos of his dead body are released or not, by now almost everyone believes he has been killed by U.S forces in the heart of Pakistan. They found him near a major military academy in the city of Abbottabad, which is around 50 kilometers from Islamabad, the capital city.
The hunt for bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, and for his Al Qaeda network, has caused the deaths of thousands of innocent Afghan people in various operations over the last 10 years.
These losses have been devastating.
In the last couple of years, it has been strongly believed and claimed by the majority of Afghan people that Osama – Afghans refer to him by his first name –was hiding somewhere outside Afghanistan’s borders.
The Afghan government in the last couple of years has been also pleading with the international community to search and eradicate the terrorist bases outside the borders of Afghanistan, usually referring to Pakistan, rather than in the villages of Afghanistan.
But democracy has been violated by its proponents as the international community has not been listening to the voice of the Afghan people over the years.
Speaking to a gathering in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on national television, “Osama bin Laden paid for his actions.”
Karzai also said, “Again and again, for years and every day we have said that the war on terror is not in Afghan villages, not in Afghan houses of the poor and oppressed.
“The war against terrorism is in its sources, in its financial sources, its sanctuaries, in its training bases, not in Afghanistan,” the Afghan president said.
It is unethical to enjoy the death of any human being, but many hope the death of Osama bin Laden will provide relief for the Afghan conflict. It should also support the Afghan government’s reconciliation process with the Taliban, which is believed to be separate from Al Qaeda.
Additionally, it should stop the 10-year lethal operations of international forces around Afghanistan, who were searching for bin Laden and his allies.
Though the terrorist organization is weakened, most believe bin Laden’s death is not the end of Al Qaeda. The organization will continue to operate in our region unless there is a true international commitment to fight its loyalists and stabilize Afghanistan.
U.S. Federal Bureau
 of Investigation file photo
The death of bin Laden surely puts our thoughts with the victims of 9/11, when approximately 3,000 innocent lives were taken. They all must be remembered with honor and condolences should be shared with their families.
The same sympathy and remembrance must also go towards the thousands of innocent Afghans whose deaths have been forgotten in the decade-long, ongoing conflict.
The Afghan people still do not have security and stability in their country.
In Afghanistan, many analysts have doubts, but the people hope Washington won’t abandon Afghanistan, leaving promises unkept, now that bin Laden is dead.
Bin Laden’s sanctuary, so close to one of Pakistan’s biggest military academies in Abbottabad, has enormously disgraced Pakistan’s reputation around the globe and called into question that nation’s commitment to fighting terrorism.
Almost any argument made by Pakistan’s government following the U.S. action has failed to impress the public. People find Pakistan’s supposed unawareness about the whereabouts of Osama on their soil in the recent past hard to believe.
Complete with choppers and under the nose of the Pakistani military academy, was this dramatic, 40-minute U.S. operation carried off without Pakistan’s knowledge, or did Pakistan agree to this mission in exchange for a bounty of funds and strong pledges of support for its country from the U.S.?
Today, after 10 years of the international community’s presence in Afghanistan, a fragile government fraught with corruption and instability around the country has made the Afghan people terrified for the future of their country.
Some here are skeptical of the loyalty of the international community in building up Afghanistan and many Afghans worry if their country will once again be left alone to pay the huge price of this great game.