Pakistani students react to news of bin Laden's death - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Pakistani students react to news of bin Laden's death


MADISON (WKOW) -- Pakistani students here in Madison say they are concerned about what the news of Osama bin Laden's death in Pakistan means for their country.

They say they were shocked to hear bin Laden was found in Pakistan.

Bilal Allawala is the UW-Madison Pakistani Student Association chairman. He came to Madison from Pakistan in 2008.

He and his friend, Shoaib Aldaf, say they both watched the news closely Sunday night.

"On CNN I suddenly see bin Laden is dead," Allawala said.

For these Pakistani students, news of where bin Laden was found was just as important as the news of his death.

"For many years everyone was saying bin Laden is in Pakistan, and we were constantly saying, ‘No, he can't be in Pakistan,'" Aldaf said.

Not only was bin Laden killed in Pakistan, but he was just outside Islamabad.

"He really was right in the heart of Pakistan, just outside the capital city," said Howard Schweber, UW-Madison political science teacher.

He said whatever trust was left between the U.S. and Pakistan is now in tatters.

"The fact that bin Laden was hiding in plain site a few hundred meters away from a military academy is just too public to be ignored or brushed under the rug," Schweber said.

"As if things weren't already bad enough, the worst is yet to unfold for Pakistan," Allawala said.

He said he is worried this will mean an increased U.S. presence in the country.

Experts say Allawala might have reason to be concerned.

"If I were a Pakistani official, my expectation would be more not fewer drone strikes, more not fewer U.S. operations in Pakistan," Schweber said.

The U.S. launched the operation that killed bin Laden without informing Pakistan -- that is another sign American officials don't fully trust Pakistan as an ally.

Schweber says he doubts bin Laden's death will slow the progress of other terrorist groups. In fact, this might make them think they have something to prove.

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