Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Osama's death raises more questions

With the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, it would seem that the 10-year hunt for him and his al-Qaida supporters in Afghanistan has been conducted in the wrong country.

His death is a cause for some brief satisfaction that this cold-blooded, mass murderer has been brought to account. However, finding him in Pakistan leads to a number of key questions.

The conflict in Afghanistan has, so far, cost the lives of 364 UK soldiers. Who exactly have we been fighting for the past 10 years in that country? And why?

Certainly, the Taliban are a very unpleasant bunch, but no more than many other misogynist religious fanatics.

To what extent are the 'insurgents', simply local tribesmen intent on throwing out a foreign invader, supplemented by young foreign jihadists attracted to the conflict by a Western presence in a Muslim country? Is our presence now actually the major cause of the conflict there?

How many more UK families are to lose a loved-one in our support of a corrupt Kabul regime?

Do we need to review our relationship with Pakistan, given that this country, which is happy to accept Western aid, is now revealed to have been acting as a host to those intent on our destruction?

ALAN STEDALL

By e-mail

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