For those who may not be following the news out of Pakistan, to relate to this piece, here is the link:
i sent the following as a letter to the editor, to the main newspapers in Pakistan, it obviously did not merit attention!
Since the taking out of Osama bin Laden by the US Navy Seals on May 2, 2011, the Pakistan Navy has come under Taliban attack in the just ended 16 hour standoff at PNS Mehran. On the face of it, it seems as random target selection by the Taliban, meant to create harassment, demoralization, and exposing the vulnerability of the security services/agencies in proactively countering the threat; rather resorting to a reactive declaration of “High Alert” with commentators and defense experts decrying security lapse, lack of information, foreign hand, and similar sure to create hype comments.
Before saying anything about this incident let me say that the choice of the navy seems to be the fallout of using the US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, it is easy to channel the anger for ‘their’ Navy towards ‘our’ Navy! Lucky too, otherwise a lot of people would have lost their midriffs because of naval interpretation!
Let me say how totally reactive to terrorist attacks we are, even the simple indicators that would make us proactive have been ignored. In the case of PNS Mehran, the information flow has been flawed; reports of seven militants being captured and five killed were refuted by the Interior Minister saying all had been killed. Second the entry point of the militants was said to be a water drain, TV grabs of the drain show it to be big enough to drive a medium size van through, why was the drain entry not secured? Or if it was then what material was used that rendered it easy to penetrate? Then the amount of wild bush growth / scrub shown on the TV shots is another question – why was it not cleared? Not only from the terrorist hide out point, but from fire hazard and bird safety point of view?
The question that we all need to be asking is not what happened and how, but what will be done by anyone anywhere to prevent the next incident. How much longer can we afford fire fighting rather than fire proofing our establishments? Will we continue to be reactive and adopt passive measures, or can we go on the front foot and be proactive and adopt active security measures? Or have we become immune to barricades, body searches, scanners, and have even stopped enjoying the basic outings that we used to do just a few years back?