Explicating the pre— and post-Bin Laden Pakistan, Imtiaz Gul relooks at questions plaguing the nation: Why and how this country became home to the world’s most wanted terrorist? Bin Laden’s escape from the Tora Bora Mountains in Eastern Afghanistan in December 2001 to his last hideout in Abbottabad, and to find answers to the dozens of questions surrounding his stay in Pakistan as well as the US blitz raid in the wee hours of 2 May 2011. Had the world’s most wanted person at all been living in Pakistan for all those years, how did he manage to stay undetected, together with his big family, including an eight-month-old son? Who from within the security establishment provided the safety network to the family? What stakes did the Pakistan Army and the ISI have at all — if they were complicit — in protecting him? Why did Bin Laden fascinate certain people and groups within Pakistan?
Pakistan: Before and After Osama is an attempt to analyze present-day Pakistan in the light of two narratives — one stitched together in Washington and the other woven in Pakistan — about the checkered history of its relations with Pakistan and its involvement in the region, and how differences over how to tackle Al Qaeda and its local affiliates continue to sour and strain the ties between the two long-time ‘allies’.