February 27, 2020

Bracing for post-Laden street anger

I was expecting a major backlash when news of Osama bin Laden’s killing spread on Monday morning. I thought the major madrassas in Karachi and the religio-political parties would come out on to the streets and burn the place down.
But that didn’t happen. Instead Karachi saw reactionary violence over the target killing of a political party worker. At least 25 buses and trucks were burnt and several people were injured and four were killed in aerial firing. But it wasn’t for OBL.
That said, I’m still expecting some reaction. A reporter who I know at a television station who is close to the mullah parties said that only one of them told him that a “response” is being planned. Otherwise there was silence.
The chatter erupted instead on the media. And certain ugly questions will surface in the days to come for Pakistan’s army and its politicians. (More on this in a bit).