Osama bin Laden (OBL) is finally dead and this time it should be authentic because the President of the sole superpower of the world has announced it worldwide. The jubilation and happiness in the USA and the western world is understandable. He was the arch terrorist, Al-Qaeda boss, the mastermind behind the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the cause of USAs attack on Afghanistan. Though many people worldwide might be wishing him dead, but his claimed death at Abbottabad, a garrison town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, may carry bad tidings for Pakistan. For the last nine years, the American military, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its top civilian leadership has been accusing Pakistan, its military and the Inter-Service Intelligence Agency (ISI) of hiding and sheltering bin Laden. Pakistan, on the contrary, has constantly denied this accusation. Now that the US President has announced his death at the hands of the American special forces inside Pakistan, and that also close to the Pakistan armys premier institution, vindicates Washingtons claim and declares our country as unreliable which its high ranking officials have been saying at all forums. Also, the absolute silence on the part of the Pakistani government and its military for a considerable long time after the conclusion of the operation is surely disturbing. Many a times in the past OBLs death was announced and later denied, but this time it was announced by the President of the USA and sounds credible. The immediate reaction by political and media experts was that till his dead body was displayed nothing could be believed. Finally, they did display a dead body. The sceptics immediately said that the dead person had a jet black beard whereas Osama in his late 60s wore a grey beard. Indeed, bin Laden for the last nine years has shown remarkable resilience. A man suffering from acute kidney failure, surviving on dialysis and on the run from the most powerful army of the world had survived all odds till now. There were doubts that he may be dead since long, but now he is officially dead His death in a Pakistani garrison town puts the country in the ranks of unreliable allies. Now the USA hunting for the Taliban leaders, Al-Qaeda fugitives, Haqqani Group operatives and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives will confidently mount pressure on Pakistan for their locations and ultimate take out operations. The Western media, which hurls blames and accusations at Pakistan for all the terrorist acts committed anywhere in the world, will have a field day on this operation. In the next few days, there will be a constant media blitz against Pakistan and its alleged abetment of terrorism. How will our government, politicians, political analysts and diplomats tackle this onslaught is yet to be seen, but it will not be easy. For Pakistan, this event has occurred at a worst time. The CIA direction has been handed over to General David Petraeus - a hawk military general with neocon thinking. He has displayed his contempt against the Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular. With the neocon mindset, he is wary of Pakistans nuclear capability and will go to any length to destroy this capability. When the general was in command in Afghanistan, he had advocated hot pursuit ground attacks on Pakistan and in reality launched some attacks in Angoor Adda area. These attacks stopped only when Pakistans Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani gave Admiral Mike Mullen the toughest possible warning, as to what would happen if these were repeated when he met the Admiral aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on September 19, 2008 (Pakistan: A hard country by Anatol Lieven). Now that General Petraeus is going to command the drone attacks on suspected terrorists hideouts in Pakistan, he will do so with full backing from his government. The USA has proved contrary to the Pakistani claims that such elements are not present in the country. With the freedom to mount drone attacks anywhere in Pakistan, our nuclear installations and assets are now exposed to the US aggression. Such free and unchecked assaults on our territory will demand an appropriate response from the army in defence of their motherland. If Pakistan army and security forces retaliate, it will be an open war with the USA. And if America does not respond in full measure, it will face demoralisation, unrest and a possible revolt from within. In both cases, Pakistan is up for difficult times ahead. It will need political, diplomatic and military sagacity to handle the situation that looms large on the national horizon. Needless to say, Osama bin Ladens death brings good news for Barack Obamas election campaign managers. The fact that his death was announced by him personally points to this reality. His popularity ratings were down and his re-election was becoming doubtful. This will boost his political ratings. He chose words like American justice and America can do what it declares in his speech on the US media deliberately to appeal to his electorates. In all American rhetoric, the attack on Afghanistan was launched to capture or kill OBL and hold him accountable for 9/11. In his speech, the President said loudly that justice has been served. Now he can plan the withdrawal from Afghanistan and will be able to reduce the number of American troops deployed in the war-torn country. He can then start his re-election campaign recalling his promise of ending the war. It may also be possible that Osama bin Ladens execution was delayed for this very political objective. Whatever way one looks at it, his death does give President Obama a huge political benefit. n The writer is a freelance columnist.