“Al Qaeda or bin Laden will have no role in forthcoming elections because people generally vote on domestic issues like economy, poverty-alleviation, and employment,” says Rahimullah Yusufzai, a Peshawar-based political and defense analyst.
Mustaqeem Zafar is a high school student about to graduate and a resident of the town where Mr. bin Laden’s compound was situated. Mr. Zafar, and most of his friends say they do not have much sympathy for bin Laden. But, they’re quick to add that they disapprove of the US operation on Pakistani soil.
Mr. Zafar says that bin Laden was a reaction to “US policies,” but he did nothing good for Pakistan, aside from inspiring a series of suicide bombings and armed attacks on military installations in different parts of this South Asian Muslim state.
Nasarullah Mehsud, a Pashtun who moved to Karachi from the tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghan border, says that the killing of bin Laden is not the end of Al Qaeda.
“Al Qaeda is no more an organization. It has become an ideology, which is [being fed by US actions in] Afghanistan, and other parts of the world,” says Mr. Mehsud, who used to teach at a local school in his hometown. His school has been closed for the past few months due to fighting between Taliban and security forces. “Osama was a symbol of resistance against modern colonialism, and his elimination cannot put off this resistance.”
Shakir Khan, another Pashtun, who owns a small transport company in Karachi, is more concerned with domestic issues.
“My suggestion to all those who admire Osama and company, and vow to follow him: You should wage a jihad against poverty and illiteracy, and help the country out of economic and military reliance on US,” he says.
Pakistan ranks 145 out of 187 countries on the UN Development Program's human development index. The organization calculates that about half the country is living in poverty.