Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Battle in GHQ

Upright Opinion
October 11, 2009

The Pakistani electronic media is heaping accolades and all possible laurels on Pakistan army for flushing out the terrorists that barged, on October 9, into the General Headquarters of the Pakistan army located at the very heart of the Rawalpindi city. The media is going out of the way to project as if the victory or in simple terms the overpowering of the attackers was to save Islam and Pakistan. The media is trumpeting the battle in GHQ as an exceptional heroic deed that was unsurpassed in terms of the valor and marvelous planning of the army “Jawans (young soldiers). The media projection gave an impression as if a new war has started between India and Pakistan that ended with a stunning and humiliating defeat to the enemy.
This hyperbolic description of a local clash by the media is as amusing and shocking as to be seen in third rate thrill movies showing quick fix feats by an all powerful hero. The passion-generating national war time lyrics were played incessantly with loud calls of Salam to Pak army along with the expression of abiding gratitude of Pakistani nation to these invincible warriors for thwarting the nefarious attempts of the enemies to harm Islam and Pakistan. Such was the ludicrous cacophony and hype of the electronic media with Geo leading this overly bizarre publicity blitz.
There were less than a dozen individuals who stormed the well- fortified garrison of Pakistan army and held hostage more than three dozen both uniformed and civilian persons. In the bloody clash 6 precious lives from the army with a brigadier and a Lt.Colonel were lost. Now admittedly, this was a daring and brazen surprise attack by the infiltrators on the heavily cordoned Headquarters of Pakistan army. On the very face such a desperate foray looked impossible. But it did happen.
Why don’t we look at the whole sordid event from a different angle? Was it a lapse on the part of Pakistan army and its intelligence network that a few individuals picked up the courage to wear the military uniforms, come closer to one of the gates and force their way into the interior of the garrison? Secondly, it took more than 18 hours for the elite troops and police to overcome the dogged terrorists. Backed by a conducive environment for easy movement, maneuverability and logistic support, it should not have taken for the highly trained troops to storm and dislodge the holed-up terrorists. This long and inordinate delay can be interpreted as extreme caution to judge the situation, fatigue the attackers and to save the lives of the held-up hostages. Still it was very long time to launch an assault which finally came and in the wake three innocent hostages died too.
That the Headquarters of the army can be so vulnerable as to come under a well coordinated terrorist attack is a yawning question that stares right in the face of all the high ups and top command of the Pakistan army. Was it a jay walk by the miscreants and armed brigands that they came so close to the entry gate and started strafing the check post inmates after brief altercation?
\Why the media was straining and bending over backward to make it out like Waterloo? The sacrifices of the six army jawans was the result of the ambush by the assailants and there was, understandably, no duel that took place. It is indeed a sober moment for introspection and reflection to explore how and why, in the first instance; the terrorists were able to break into into the boundary wall or through the gate of this huge complex of buildings?
Even a police contingent could have finally prevailed over this small group of terrorists within the same amount of time that the strong and rigorously trained army Jawans took. The terrorists were able to jolt the entire country and catch, the valiant and staunch Pakistan army, unawares with their shock emitting onslaught. And that was exactly their insidious motive.
The army should mount a speedy enquiry to find out the possibility of the inside collaborators of this most heinous and vicious attack on GHQ. This flabegausing happening gives a clear and loud message that the enemies of Pakistan were well organized and have long arms, resources and tactical information to hold even the headquarters of the Pakistan army, be it for a day.
The debate that it was a reaction to the army’s operations in the tribal regions of Pakistan, is hardly relevant to justify the laxity and army’s intelligence wings’ utter failure to anticipate and preempt such deadly and stunning acts of terrorism. There is no need for the media to unnecessary highlight and blow the counter operation of the army out of proportions, which in any case the army had to undertake. The army’s killing of the terrorists was foregone and the therefore, it was a normal counter offensive by the army to dislodge the infiltrators.
But still the stand-off and the consequent but prolonged operation should be looked at more in the nature of a lapse rather than a monumental feat of gallantry in the name of Islam. The bare fact is that it was neither an attack by the terrorists for Islam nor was a counter-operation by the army to save Islam. So to mention paradise and prophet receiving the Ghazis (martyred for Islam) in paradise seems irrelevant to the battle in GHQ.
It’s time to ponder what has gone wrong with the Pakistan army, to plug the loop holes in its citadel and to take a new look at its overall turn-out and flawed intelligence paraphernalia.

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