Since everybody and their grandmother, including Al Guardian have published “10 things we learned from the Osama bin Laden report” here is yet another introspective report on “What we can learn from Abbottabad Commission Report in Pakistan”
In short, what we can learn from the report is that:
It is a waste of everyone’s time to read reports written by commissions in Pakistan.
The rest of this report written by a commission of one (yours truly) will seek to answer the following questions:
- Was there an Abbottabad Commission?
- Did it write a report?
- Was the report useless?
- If so, is the fact that the report is completely useless a product of the commission’s incompetence, or due to something sinister like active collusion of the commission?
- What are the other things that one can learn from the report
(1), (2) Going by the statements of the President, Prime minister, various newspaper articles etc, it does seem that there was an Abbottabad Commission. Going by circumstantial evidence such as its mandate to write a report, yours truly reading of the leaked report from Al Jazeera, it does seem with a high probability that the commission did write a report.
Now we shall proceed to analyze the central questions this report seeks to answer:
(3) Was the report a useless whitewash?
The answer in all probability is a yes. Among its startling conclusions, the report notes that
- There is pervasive corruption in land registration and construction in Pakistan — which everyone knows and does not need an Abbottabad commission to tell them that
- Traffic police will let you off if you bribe them — Here too, the report falls short of being useful. If the going rate were reported, It could have been helpful to everyone.
- Police are generally incompetent and dont register an FIR — So what is new?
- Politicians are generally clueless, powerless and more intent on managing perceptions rather than doing anything concrete — Please refer to various coups and daily newspapers. You dont need a commission report for that
(4) Is the fact that the report is completely useless a product of the commission’s incompetence, or due to something sinister like active collusion of the commission?
Given the incoherent structure, bad english and powerlessness of the commission, it likely seems to be the former. But just like how nobody knows if ISI and Pakistan army actively sheltered Osama Bin Laden, you never know.
(5) What are the other things that one can learn from the report?
(I) The report accomplishes its central objective
All great speeches crafted for the United nations addresses two audiences (a) The international community (b) The domestic constituency. Along the same vein, the Abbottabad commission too does an admirable job (a) It reassures the international community that the failure to capture Osama Bin Laden was due to incompetence and not due to collusion (b) It reassures the domestic audience that US successfully capturing Osama Bin Laden is due to incompetence and not due to collusion. In this effort, even the generals have expressed their satisfaction
Quoting Dawn: Some found solace that the commission did not find abetment of military personnel with the terror group or collusion with the US in the raid
(II) It does an admirable job in identifying the representative poster boy to illustrate the collective psychosis of Pakistan.
One Major Aziz, neighbour of Osama Bin Laden, is proud that Abbottabad is the home of the families of many terrorists (which, according to him, makes it extremely safe because terrorists dont bomb their own families). He diligently points out that dead terrorists are buried with great fanfare in Abbottabad. He quotes with great precision the various happenings in the Osama Bin Laden compound — including the landing, gunfights, blasts and fire and finally………..He goes on to doubt if Osama Bin Laden really lived in Abbottabad. That is considering the fact that Osama’s family was being held by the intelligence services of his employer, who would have been the first to broadcast to the world if Osama did not live in the compound.
If this is not illustrative example of Pakistan Syndrome — “Proud of the facts but doubtful of the obvious conclusion, because hey, it could be a jewish conspiracy” I do not know what is.
(III) Pasha is not getting invited to all-expenses-paid lecture tours in the US anytime soon.
(IV) In the immortal words of Pasha “Those who fear the ISI, should fear the ISI”
Please dont waste your time reading reports of commissions in Pakistan. But please do write several articles titled “What we can learn from the report produced by a commission in Pakistan”