I don’t know if you were able to catch Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday, but the official sat down and discussed U.S.-Pakistan relations with the news anchor, as well as America’s presence in Afghanistan. The interview went as expected, given the party lines/rhetoric that had to be toed, but one part of the segment particularly interested me. See below [courtesy CNN.com Transcripts]:
QURESHI: I think our [U.S.-Pakistan] relationship has qualitatively improved in the last year.
BLITZER: To the point of what?
QURESHI: To the point of greater engagement, to the point of building a new partnership.
BLITZER: Where is Bin Laden?
QURESHI: Who knows?
BLITZER: Where do you think?
QURESHI: I don’t know.
BLITZER: Why is it so hard to find him?
QURESHI: You tell me.
Zing! Qureshi-1, Blitzer-0. That back-and-forth tennis match literally had me laughing out loud. It always amazes me how anchors try to sneak in the “Where in the world is Bin Laden” question randomly into conversation, as if they’re trying to take the Pakistani official in question off guard. The moment was reminiscent of former President Pervez Musharraf‘s stint on Jon Stewart‘s Daily Show, when Stewart offered him a cup of tea, made jokes about twinkies, and then asked, “Where is Osama bin Laden?” Musharraf, without batting an eyelash, answered, “I don’t know. Do you know?“
After all these years, I wonder if a news anchor will finally succeed in cracking a Pakistani politician/military/ISI official, who will confess, tears streaming down their face, “Bin Laden is my homeboy! We borrow Mullah Omar’s motorbike and go cruising for chicks at night!”
[Disclaimer: This post was meant to make you laugh, not make you angry. I understand the need to find Bin Laden, though I think his actual importance and influence today is a point worthy of discussion].