Since Osama's end at the hands of an American special forces team, the question uppermost in New Delhi is how will it impact the ties between the US and Pakistan. Former RAW Chief A S Dulat, firmly believes that at some point and in some manner, the Pakistani Army must have known about the US special operation.
I tend to agree with Dulat, Kayani would have been informed that a unilateral US military operation was being launched. The very fact that Pakistan, with its overwhelming military presence in Abottabad did not react in any way to the overland flight of a fleet of foreign helicopters in the heart of its air space, nor did the in situ military units respond during the 40 minutes of ground action by the SEALS, suggests that CINC CENTCOM had cautioned Gen Kayani by putting in place massive air capabilities that would have neutralised any military action by Pakistan to ensure the latter’s non-interference.
After the 1979 debacle over the attempted hostage rescue in Iran, the US military would have been flying combat air patrols over the raiding forces throughout the Operation. Besides this, CENTCOM had fighter Wings at Bagram, Jacobabad and on board two Carrier Task Forces (CTF) CVN 70 Carl Vinson and CVN 65 Enterprise. The build up of the additional CTF in the 5th Fleet AOR was unusual and ominous. This would have accounted for Zardari’s statement that all PAF fighter elements were alerted but not given specific tasks, as also the Chief of the Pakistani Air Force having announced, few days before Operation Geronimo that the PAF were not capable of taking on missions against the USAF. Therefore, while the US withheld specifics about the operation from Pakistan, they would have informed the Pakistan military that an operation was underway.