May 24, 2012
By James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
In 2006, then-President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan offered a startling revelation. A senior US official, he claimed, had “said that after the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States threatened to bomb his country if it did not cooperate with America's war campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan.”
Lots of things have changed in Washington since 9/11, but being serious about waging war on Al Qaeda is not one of them. But apparently some in Islamabad didn’t get the memo.
According to several news organizations, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate Usama bin Laden has been sent to prison.
The New York Times reports “[a] tribal court sentenced Shakil Afrid to 33 years in jail and fined him $3,500….”
“Outrageous,” declared Heritage Foundation analyst Lisa Curtis, who has been following the US-Pakistani relationship closely for many years. “Pakistan should be finding and prosecuting the individuals who helped harbor Usama Bin Laden all of those years, NOT the people who helped us track the world’s most wanted terrorist.”
This outrage is particularly galling coming on the heels of the debacle at the NATO summit in Chicago. President Obama decided to play nice and engineered a last minute invitation to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.
The White House had hoped to use the occasion to trumpet an agreement to reopen the supply lines into Afghanistan, but at the last minute the Pakistanis decided to up the price and reportedly demand up to a thirty fold increase in transit fees.
The U.S. balked.
Nothing happened, and Obama looked pretty silly.
These slights would not be so serious if they did not come at the end of long list of gripes.
Pakistan has done little to rein in the Al Qaeda affiliates in the country who not only keep bin Laden’s dream alive, but organize attacks to kill Americans in Afghanistan. Further, Pakistan still can’t explain why their country is the preferred vacation destination for high-level Taliban leaders.
Rather than make amends for bad behavior, Pakistan is demanding more from the U.S. while it delivers less and less.
If President Obama is serious about leaving Afghanistan and not having the whole thing melt down in a bloody mess, he is going to have to get Pakistan to become a constructive regional player. That won’t happen if Islamabad thinks it can continue to play Washington for a patsy.
President Obama will have to go to the mat for Shakil Afrid and his family—and not just because it is the right thing to do. If America lets this insult and injustice stand, where will it all end?
First Appeared on FoxNews.com.
James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, E. W. Richardson Fellow, and Director
Read More >>
Request an interview >>
Please complete the following form to request an interview with a Heritage expert.
Please note that all fields must be completed.
Heritage's daily Morning Bell e-mail keeps you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.
The subscription is free and delivers you the latest conservative policy perspectives on the news each weekday--straight from Heritage experts.
The Morning Bell is your daily wake-up call offering a fresh, conservative analysis of the news.
More than 200,000 Americans rely on Heritage's Morning Bell to stay up to date on the policy battles that affect them.
Rush Limbaugh says "The Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell is just terrific!"
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) says it's "a great way to start the day for any conservative who wants to get America back on track."
Sign up to start your free subscription today!
The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s most broadly supported public policy research institute, with hundreds of thousands of individual, foundation and corporate donors. Heritage, founded in February 1973, has a staff of 275 and an annual expense budget of $82.4 million.
Our mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Read More
© 2014, The Heritage Foundation Conservative policy research since 1973