Pakistan’s Security


02 May incident aggravated Pakistan’s security environments when Osama was rekilled

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja


Till 02 May incident, people agonizing under the oppressive policies of democratic government drew satisfaction from the thought that in the presence of highly professional armed forces, robust intelligence agencies and independent judiciary, no harm could come to the existence of Pakistan. The Army’s image that had sunk low during Gen Musharraf’s tenure got restored when Gen Kayani played a positive role in getting the chief justice restored in March 2009 and the Army produced excellent results against the terrorists the same year. Army’s image shot up so high that the people never questioned its efficiency despite 122 terror attacks taking place against defence installations.

Gen Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Pasha withstood intense Indo-US pressure and upheld their principled stance whenever national interests got threatened. On several occasions they refused to play the US dictated game but could go only up to certain limits in view of government’s policy of appeasement and its subservience to USA. Although their defiance became a source of encouragement for the people, however it didn’t assuage their disturbed feelings. The people had always regarded the PAF in highest esteem and were confident that it would stand up to any external threat with fortitude. The Navy had also expressed its resolve to resiliently defend the port city, coastal belt and the exclusive economic zone.

Faith of the people in Army, Air force and ISI received a shattering blow on the morning of 02 May when to their utter dismay they learnt that a small helicopter borne US force had intruded deep inside our territory undetected, killed Osama bin Laden and took away his body to Afghanistan uncontested. Our entire security apparatus remained immobilized for two hours. By the time Robert Gates informed our Army Chief dead in the middle of the night, the raiders had safely reached Baghram Base. The people were aghast to hear the air chief that no threat was perceived from western border and hence no worthwhile measures were taken to deal with any aerial incursion. It has now been learnt that there is a written agreement that any aircraft or helicopters flying into Pakistan across western border would be treated as friendly.

The people had not got out of their shock when another debilitating incident took place in Karachi on 22 May when five unknown terrorists scaled the wall of Mehran Naval Base and destroyed two PC3 Orion surveillance aircraft parked in the open near the runway and killed 10 soldiers including one Navy officer. After a 16-hour gun battle, four terrorists were killed and one managed to flee.

This incident has outraged the people and has further wrecked their confidence in the ability of the armed forces. It was disturbing to hear the naval chief saying that it was not a security lapse. Had some pro-active measures been taken in the wake of 02 May incident and Parliament’s resolution on 13 May, 22 May tragedy could be averted. No independent commission other than the departmental probe ordered by GHQ has so far been established to determine the true facts about the Abbottabad fiasco. Likewise no commission has been formed to investigate the Mehran Base debacle, which implies that many more suchlike attacks would keep occurring.

Had the Navy been more vigilant after the three acts of terror on 26 and 28 April against its buses in Karachi, the terrorists couldn’t have reached the aircraft unnoticed and uncontested. Use of such a large force against five terrorists was injudicious and showed panic of the ones in authority. The act of sabotage, entirely beneficial for India was not possible without in-house and external support. If they were ordinary terrorists, why did they go past dozens of C-130s used for transporting soldiers to restive areas and target Orion aircraft only which do not concern them? Hand of American technicians working in the base cannot be ruled out particularly after unearthing of M-16 weapons from the scene of occurrence.

Current stage of despondency and lack of confidence in armed forces has come about as a consequence to years of sustained Indo-US-Israeli combined efforts in collusion with terrorist outfits and their pawns inside Pakistan holding key appointments. It is indeed a miracle that Pakistan is still surviving.

Till 02 May, the scenario was different and favored Pakistan. The US and Kabul regime were wooing Pakistan and seeking its cooperation to help resolve Afghan tangle. Even India had become keen to normalize its relations. Image of armed forces and ISI was sky high. After 02 May, circumstances have dramatically reversed and Pakistan put in most awkward position.Our electronic media is helping the cause of Pakistan’s detractors to discredit armed forces and ISI. The situation will be worsened by Pakistan’s adversaries in coming weeks.

In case Pakistan agrees to play the US game in accordance with the parameters set by Washington as explained by visiting John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Admiral Mike Mullen, the US will delay playing the trump card and will resume aid and also hold Pak-US strategic dialogue. The US would focus more on striking a deal with Afghan Taliban. Terrorist attacks on defence installations would continue and pressure to launch a full-fledged operation in North Waziristan against Gul Bahadur and Haqqani network would be increased while the US moles would subtly keep creeping towards nuclear sites.

In case Pakistan insists that drone attacks must cease, and CIA agents as well as military trainers should leave; it takes added security measures to protect its sensitive installations and also keeps US diplomats and other officials under scrutiny; the miffed US will hasten to deliver the hammer. One to two well-coordinated group attacks on the pattern of GHQ and Mehran Base will be launched on our nuclear sites, particularly on Kahuta Plant which has earned world fame.

In case the well-rehearsed and armed attackers succeed in gaining a stand-off for 15 hours and cause some damage to the infrastructure and kill few security guards, it will give cogent reasons to the US and the west to build a strong case to get a resolution from the UN against Pakistan declaring that Pak nukes are no more safe and require immediate preventive measures. Spin doctors can also come out with a fabricated story that the attackers managed to steal some uranium. Pakistan will be given three choices; either to agree to UN mandated joint control of nuclear arsenal by US-Pak troops with overall control resting in US hands, or the control given to UN troops, or else Pakistan to hand over the nukes to the US for transfer to safer location outside Pakistan.

In case Pakistan drags its feet and puts up arguments in defence that its nuclear arsenal has multi-layered security system; the warheads, fuses and launchers are stored separately, over 70% assets are underground, and that no accident or incidence of theft has taken place, their reasoning will be rudely brushed aside and on the strength of UN resolution following steps will be undertaken:

  • Harsh economic and military sanctions will be imposed so as to further cripple the economy and give further blow to our state of war preparedness.

  • Pakistan will be declared a terrorist state.

  • The ISI will be declared a rogue outfit aligned with terrorists.

  • Pakistan will be diplomatically isolated.

  • Economic blockade will be enforced in Indian Ocean on the pattern of Gaza to disallow any ship going towards Karachi Port or moving out of it.

  • US-NATO-Afghan troops would get deployed along our western border, while Indian troops would occupy their western border.

  • Border incursions in the form of limited attacks along western and eastern borders together with intensification of drone attacks and airspace violations would be initiated to provoke Pakistan to react.

  • BRA-BLA-BLF in Balochistan, TTP and other affiliated groups operating in northwest would be pushed to accelerate terrorist attacks, blow up bridges and railway lines to prevent shifting of troops and render rear area security vulnerable.

  • Thereafter, no fly zone will be enforced as was the case in Iraq and now in Libya.

  • Next, our air defence assets as well as runways will be systematically targeted.

  • Our communication system will be jammed using satellite facilities to render our GPS system and radars ineffective.

  • Command & control HQs, strategic reserves, artillery guns, missile sites and nuclear facilities will be among listed targets for destruction.

  • Surveillance capability along our coastal belt has already been rendered non-operational to allow Indian submarines to get deployed close to Karachi harbor.

  • CIA operatives will get close to nuclear sites to disallow assembly of nuclear warheads and move them to deployment areas.

  • Pakistan will be reminded of Lugar-Obama legislation 2009, which authorizes US Special Forces to conduct sting operation to confiscate Pak nukes.

  • It will be under such adverse operational environments that our armed forces will be asked to fight the war on three fronts while our well-heeled leaders will quietly fly away to their second homes in the west and Dubai.

It is most unfortunate that today the reins of Pakistan are in the hands of most pathetic ruling cabal which is devoid of energy, will, moral fiber and charisma to steer the ship of Pakistan caught up in a storm and take it to the shores of safety. This lot suits Washington. The above narrated grim scenario confronting Pakistan can be reversed if our rulers decide to put own house in order through self correction. They should change their money-oriented lifestyle, shun pomp and show and dishonest practices, enforce simplicity and austerity as prescribed in Islam, develop faith in Allah and seek Allah’s blessing, sincerely work towards bridging the divides within the society by removing differences and removing inequities of the aggrieved segments, integrate the nation and motivate the people to make the country self reliant, free Pakistan from the US enslavement by redefining our current slave-master relationship and making it respectable and mutually beneficial, and lastly restore the pride and honor of Pakistan. Once the rulers and the people come on one frequency and stand up as a united force, no power on earth can harm Pakistan.

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