The Pakistani government is in deep doo-doo this morning following details of the operation in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. Far from being discovered hiding in a hole in the ground, he had been enjoying five-star treatment in a compound of impressive proportions. Walls 12-18 feet thick. Living space eight as large as anything in the surrounding area. Sixty-something miles north of the nation’s capital of Isalamabad, and closer to India than Afghanistan.
Some embarrassing questions will be asked. For example, how could a secure building of this size go unnoticed by Pakistani officials? More than that, how could it be built without attracting some attention?
And how could Bin Laden live there for any length of time without the government’s knowledge?
Mr Asif Ali Zardari, the president of Pakistan, will be the one to whom the rest of the world will look for answers. It’s rather telling that at 11.15 am on the day after the operation, his own web page makes no mention of it.
The confirmation that the king-pin of terrorism has been killed deep inside Pakistan will demand more than the token sacking of a junior minister; but given that the country itself is run according to the laws of Islam, it seems unlikely that the government will crumble as a result.