Mixed feelings pour out, some glad, some in disbelief | world | Hindustan Times
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Mixed feelings pour out, some glad, some in disbelief

When news of Osama bin Laden's death was first flashed in the early hours of Monday, most Pakistanis refused to believe it.

world Updated: May 03, 2011 01:17 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

When news of Osama bin Laden's death was first flashed in the early hours of Monday, most Pakistanis refused to believe it.

A prominent TV anchor with GEO TV went on air to rubbish the initial reports. But as Western media outlets started to give more details, disbelief turned to shock.

More so because bin Ladin was hiding in one of the least-suspected places - Abbottabad. As journalist Rahimullah Yusafzai said, "In the lap of the military."

Following the confirmation of his death, the media were unsure how to treat the story. Javed Chaudhry, an anchor with Express News, called Osama a "shaheed" (martyr).

What happened was that thousands of Pakistanis did come out in protest against the killing. There was no silence, but most political leaders termed it a victory for the country.

The first official statement - that of the Prime Minister - came at noon. He called it a "significant victory for Pakistan" but did not give details of the operation.

Finally, the government commented on the fact that it had nothing to do with the operation.

"Most Pakistanis don't believe this," said Hameed Gul, former ISI chief.

Religious parties focused more on the role of the Pakistani government in facilitating the US forces and less on whether it was a good or a bad development.

However, many condemned the raid and said the movement had lost its leader. One journalist was told that Pakistan will have to face consequences.

On the streets, most Pakistanis remained unsure of how to react. Many have been told that it is the US and not al Qaeda that is the real enemy.

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