New Delhi: Terrorist. Murderer. Extremist. Fugitive. Reader of porn. Perpetrator of heinous crimes that killed thousands of innocents before the folly of hitting the heart of America triggered a massive global hunt that eventually destroyed his evil empire and led to his own inglorious, befitting end.
This is how mainstream media of western and west-allied countries mostly portrays Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, slain founder of the dreaded Al-Qaeda terrorist group.
In one part of the world, however, voices supportive of Laden are heard louder and stronger than anywhere else. A year after the dramatic Abbottabad raid, a vocal section of the media in Pakistan continues to regularly glorify the murdered terrorist leader, portray him as more sinned against than sinning, term the Abbottabad raids 'inhuman' and flay the US for causing an irreparable damage of ties by launching a sudden, unexpected attack on Pakistani soil.
Describing the Abbotabad operation as 'one of the worst examples of human rights violation', this Pakobserver articlesaid the May 2 attack also challenged 'the liberty, freedom and independence not of a piece of land but of the whole nation.'
'The people of Pakistan would never forget how their American friends played with their feelings and emotions and how they mitigated and humiliated all rules and regulations regarding diplomatic norms and traditions in the garb of the Abbotabad operation," the article goes on to say.
Rafia Zakaria's articlepublished by Readability on Osama's first death anniversary appears to be a lyrical, heartfelt ode to a poor old man who spent the last days of his life trapped in a walled residence in a country whose language he did not understand.
Zakaria wonders aloud what Osama must have done in the final years of his life. Examples include mentally tracing the path he must have followed during his his lonely walks on pleasant afternoons, rolling between his fingers the wooden spheres of prayer beads, missing the discussions he presided over in the male-only hujras in happier times. (The article describes, in so many words, the hujra as the place where 'important matters can be discussed away from women, their plaintive cries and petty wants.')
Sample this: "On pleasant afternoons, when he was not feeling ill, when the tumult of 23 children didn’t weigh too heavily on his nerves, when the onerous demands of being equally loving to three wives and five daughters didn’t wear him down, Osama bin Laden took a walk," the article says.
There are also reports emerging from Pakistan that continue to indicate the state of denial that the country finds itself in a year after the Abbottabad raid took place. According to this Tribune.com.pkarticle, many in Pakistan believe Osama never lived in the country, and that the raid was merely an eyewash- 'an American drama scripted so well that even Obama's wives were involved in it'.
(Image description: Barack Obama and team receiving an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011. Image courtesy: White House)