By: Hussain Saqib
The attack of the militants of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on a key Air Force base in Pakistan was brilliantly countered and frustrated by the valiant soldiers of Defense Services Guards and PAF but it was a devastating attack in the sense that it has created the intended impact, though for a short while. It has immediately raised the questions on the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, as if those raising these questions were waiting for the attack. Or the story of the attack has been manipulated in a manner by international and Indian media which creates the perception as if the nuclear weapons were stockpiled in that very base. This may seem absurd by any logic but the damage has been done. The media, particularly Indian and its Western sympathizers, are screaming at the top of their voice that Pakistan’s nuclear security has been compromised. The first to flash this unsubstantiated claim is none other than The New York Times. According to the story of this paper, PAF Base Minhas is believed to be one of the locations where elements of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile, estimated to include at least 100 warheads, are stored.
Even a novice in the art of mass media would understand that the real target of TTP militants was Saab 2000 Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircrafts. They were not even interested in the assembly line of JF Thunder aircraft being co-produced at Kamra. This attack is a rerun of a similar attack on Naval Air Base, Mehran where the target was P3C Orion aircraft used for Long Range Marine Patrol. The motive of both the attacks was to damage Pakistan’s sophisticated and expensive defense capabilities. TTP which claims to be fighting the occupation forces in Afghanistan, is actually fighting to cripple Pakistan’s defense mechanism. And who should be behind these terrorists is not a million dollar question.
The unfortunate part of this episode is that the attackers appeared to have good knowledge of the area and the base. According to the analysts, it is not the work of half-educated Taliban militants. They tried to put in practice an attack plan prepared by brilliant brains. The attackers, some wearing military uniforms, moved through a nearby village under cover of darkness and climbed a nine-foot wall strung with barbed wire to break into the base. This latest attack on the air base comes at a time when media reports suggest that Pakistan is preparing for a new military operation in the restive tribal region of North Waziristan.
However, instead of clearly grasping the motive of the attack, the media started working overtime to suggest that Pakistan may not be the best country in which to store nuclear weapons. They had picked the line provided a day earlier by the American Defense Secretary.
Although there is no concrete evidence, as there never is in such cases, that TTP is being sponsored from across the border, this particular outfit of militants is pursuing the same agenda which is primary mission of intelligence agencies of the countries hostile to Pakistan. The circumstantial evidence clearly suggests that TTP is India’s proxy working with Indian assistance to weaken Pakistan’s security establishment. Take the case of Lal Masjid of Islamabad where TTP had established its base and stockpiled lethal weaponry of fight the armed forces and take the control of Pakistani state. They had done this behind the cover of stick-wielding, buqa-clad female students of the seminary. Initially people were astonished at the sight of very tall burqa-clad girls but when the chief clerk tried to escape under the shroud of burqa, it was clear to everybody that most of the girls were actually male mercenaries of TTP.
Fearing a backlash from the armed forces, TTP militants have now escaped to their safe havens in Afghanistan and they have announced their comeback through frequent attacks on Pakistan’s border posts.
Apart from attacking military installations, the TTP militants are also attacking Pakistan’s Shia Muslims. In a daring attack on the day of Kamra assault, 25 Shia bus passengers were massacred in Naran area of Hazara Division. These militants have been attacking Shias of Gilgit and Quetta trying to trigger a sectarian war in Pakistan, a favorite tactic of Indian RAW to create a situation in Pakistan similar to civil war.
The unfortunate part is that those fighting India’s proxy war in Pakistan have sympathizers, both bearded and clean-shaven in the right places, politics and media and even some elements of the establishment. Pakistan’s military has to fight them in the battlefield but fighting them on ideological front is the job of the civilians. This front already stands penetrated by their supporters which makes the job of any military operation really tricky and complex. It is time that the people of Pakistan identify their enemies in media and political parties and in those enterprises which are populated by the bearded brigades These misguided zealots wish to take control through bullet because ballot is a far cry for them. In order to achieve this, they have knowingly or unknowingly sold their souls to the devil.
- Pakistani Air Force Base With Nuclear Ties Is Attacked (nytimes.com)
- Suicide bombers storm Pakistan air base (guardian.co.uk)