Pakistan in national depression: Imran Khan

Imran said Pakistanis were shocked that no statement came from their govt after Osama`s death.

Updated: May 04, 2011, 00:11 AM IST

London: A "national depression" has gripped Pakistan following the killing of Osama bin Laden in an American strike that kept out the Pakistanis, politician Imran Khan said Tuesday.

"There is not just confusion that prevails in Pakistan, but also a national depression at the loss of national dignity and self-esteem as well as sovereignty," the ex-cricketer wrote in The Independent Tuesday.

In the process, he said in a published commentary, that allegations from the West and India were going unchallenged that Pakistan had protected and harboured Osama bin Laden and other terrorists.

He said Pakistan`s president, prime minister and the army needed to answer whether or not they had the intelligence that led to Osama`s killing early Monday in Abbottabad city.

And if Pakistan had the intelligence, why was not Osama taken out by the Pakistani forces?

"Until this happens, Pakistan will suffer a great loss of credibility - and this from a country that has the fifth biggest army in the world and a hefty defence budget."

Imran said Pakistanis were dumbfounded that no statement came from their government after the speech by US President Barack Obama announcing Osama`s death.

"The big questions that everyone began asking ... were: who allowed the Americans to come to Pakistan and carry out this attack?"

He added: "Equally disturbing is the tremendous level of distrust the US has for the Pakistanis, which led it to jam the radars during the duration of the operation."

The outspoken politician warned that bin Laden`s killing would lead to "a backlash" and there will be demands on the military to go after Islamist militants.

"Pakistan cannot afford any of this. It cannot afford the inevitable extremist backlash; it cannot afford the targeting of its troops; and it certainly cannot afford the economic consequences.

"It is time for Pakistan to get out of this war - and to recognise that if we continue along this path we are doomed."

PTI