The entire nation is praising the valour and fearlessness of Pakistani security forces with which they cleansed the Karachi airport from some highly ferocious, motivated elements in record, brief period of time.
They also draw comparison, on this count, with other security apparatuses of the advanced world and are of the unanimous opinion that had it been any western forces or the like, they wouldn’t have been able to put up such a courageous, intelligent fight against such elements whatever the sophistication of their (the western forces’) equipment and technology.
At the same time, however, our nation is also confronted with a number of questions whose answers this scribe has tried in all earnest to find from every kind of sources that include, among others, well-informed intelligentsia as well as those people who have had close connections with the world of militancy.
While some answers have been found now, some of them were found a few years back when questions were the same that we confront today. They still apply to the present-day situation and they came from a key source, someone who died some years back. Why I call him a key source because he was the one who had all the ingredients of a practical pioneer of militancy in the world and had gone through all the phases, ins and outs of this phenomenon even in mid-1970s when there was no 9/11 or global powers’ intervention here of the type we witnessed during the later years. This scribe had the opportunity of watching him minutely in all the routes and systems of militancy, including the purchase and supply of lethal weaponry, links with people in safe havens in tribal belt, inner motivation behind such missions and what not.
Some of the other sources have even had the guts and the courage to take part in Afghan Jihad against the Soviet Union. They were so bold and committed people that not even large number of security persons deployment or presence of most lethal weaponry in these personnel’s possession would deter the militants in any way. This ‘spirit’ (if the word ‘spirit’ can be genuinely applied to this sentiment) was the same that has re-manifested itself now, after decades, in the Karachi airport attack preceded by similar attacks, like the ones at Mehran Base, Kamra and GHQ.
If this ‘spirit’ is understood, it will answer the questions that every Pakistani is asking for the last so many years. The questions are ‘whether it is a security lapse’ or ‘a failure of our security apparatus’, and whether ‘some inside functionaries are involved’? The answer is that it is more a matter of motivation and emboldening of the attackers and less a matter of security lapse and involvement from inside. The security lapse and inside involvement factors have a minor part in this entire game as greater part is played by the innermost motivation of the perpetrators. The inner conviction of these elements is so strong and unyielding that no amount of equipment, number of personnel and organized defence frightens them, what to talk of discouraging them.
They just break in with conviction (they, however, call it courage). If they die, they think they will be martyrs and if they survive, they would be heroes. Hence, no second thought repentance or reluctance. It is wrong to assume that the attackers of Karachi airport sneaked into the premises. They broke into the airport premises the way they broke into the Manawan police training centre and other similar spots.
The intelligentsia circles quote one old, redundant example which seems to be applicable even now, to this scenario. They say that when thieves would plan to loot any house in villages or towns, even they would do some preliminary reconnaissance from where and how to enter, what will be the mode and timing of ‘operation’ and what will be the contingency planning for combating resistance, if any. Then, how can one expect of highly trained and organized militant outfits to be ignorant of these basic requirements of the trade?
Another question that needs to be answered is that of Indian weapons in possession of terrorists. The answer coming from well-informed people is that no doubt we usually read media reports about Indian involvement, especially in Balochistan, but the fact is that some (not all) Pakistani and/or Afghani dealers of arms and ammunition are doing their business in an unauthorized manner and secondly, they are so well connected with the underworld of foreign countries, including Israel and India that you name any weapon or explosive, they can fetch you the same and supply it at your doorstep. Even commoners in the streets are sometimes in the know of such unauthorized gun pushers who have no concern for the country’s security or for nationalistic considerations. Such people have been functioning with impunity in major cities of the country without any let or hindrance.
Yet another question in the same context is that of foreigner operatives. The answer is as gathered from the evidence collected so far by the country’s security forces and as reported time and again in the media also that very unfortunately almost 100 percent of the perpetrators—suicide bombers, ambushers, shooters and remote control bomb exploders—were Muslims (by name at least), out of which more than 80, if not 90 percent, belonged to the Pak-Afghan region. What kind of an international conspiracy is this that Muslims are killing their own brethren-in-faith?
One very important, underlying factor is that of rampant overlordism in our society. No segment is exempt from this malaise, and it is not merely confined to sardars, nawabs and feudals. We have urban overlords too whose love for dominance and hegemony is the main culprit behind the mindset of terrorism. What can one say about these few adventurers in the Pakistani civil society- even in the non-tribal, settled areas, who have been having lot of fascination for hegemony through the power of the gun. Man in the street has been witnessing all kinds of deadly arms in possession of land-grabbing mafias, hegemony-loving sardars, nawabs, feudals and even urban overlords. The fact is that our society has remained dominated since independence with this factor of overlord-ism.
But despite the despair that surrounds these questions and answers, people’s morale has received a big boost over the speedy and bold action taken by the country’s security forces. The scare was there in the beginning but now that scare stands transformed into self-confidence and nationalistic pride.