The prolonged silence on the Abbottabad commission is confusing. Tasked to report about the US raid conducted on May 2, 2011, the commission constituted on May 30, 2011, initially reported some activity on a daily basis but then this dropped down to weekly, monthly, and now it has been all quiet for the last many months. Even the media does not seem concerned. Many theories go around in private circles about this delay, ranging from vacationing by the members, serious difference of opinion among the members, scrutiny of draft by the affected institutions, or even delaying it intentionally until it all becomes irrelevant. Putting under the mat practice is not new to Pakistan. Just to refresh the memory, in the 1970s the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report was similarly hushed up by the then PPP regime.

Some engineered leakages have been made in the print and social media about the Abbottabad commission report, probably to assess the reactions. Whatever has come out shows great reliance on the testimony of family members of Osama bin Laden, who lived within Abbottabad. The same family members have since been allowed to leave Pakistan and move to secure locations. Whether they will now stand by their testimony is anyone’s guess. The need to pull down and bulldoze the site of the raid even before finalisation of the report also leads to creating doubts. It may be relevant to note that in addition to the bin Laden family members, most of the major witnesses to the embarrassing incident have already made their exit after ‘a meritorious and successful career in the service of Pakistan’. The list of some important players includes the then prime minister, foreign minister, defence minister and the director-general of the ISI.


Islamabad, August23.