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Monday, March 30, 2009

Whose God is Great? Another Carnage in Lahore

Finally, at about 4 p.m., police and army commandos stormed the compound. Soon
after that, a group of surviving attackers surrendered on the rooftop of the main building. Dozens of police celebrated their triumph by firing into the air and shouting, "God is great." [link]

The ides of March have been unsettling for Lahorites in Pakistan.

For the second time in March, gunmen attacked in broad daylight and by last count between 30 (UPI) and 50 (Al Jazeera) people were dead. The first time their target was the visiting Sri Lankan Cricket team. That attack raised security concerns and may have contributed to the IPL venue shift to South Africa.

This time the heavily armed gunmen attacked a Police Training school. There is no building safe in Pakistan anymore.

In the aftermath of Red Mosque (Lal Musjid) fiasco, the gunmen had attacked a commando training centre.

These terrorists are well trained, financed and organised and they pick their targets carefully. Some months back they killed a retired SAS general who headed action against them in FATA and Swat.

The attack began around 7:30 a.m., when several hundred trainees were doing exercises on a parade field. Witnesses said they heard a series of loud explosions and then panic erupted, with recruits running in all directions and trying to escape. "It was beyond terrible. They had so much ammunition with them and the explosions came so fast. Everyone was running for their lives," said Mohammed Irfan, 22, who joined the police six months ago. He escaped from the compound shortly after noon, but more than 30 other hostages remained trapped inside for several more hours. [link]
Rehman Malik, who heads the Interior Ministry and is responsible for security says, "It is a planned, organised, terrorist attack. This shows the extent to which the enemies of our country can go," Rehman Malik, the interior ministry chief, said. "The question is - from where they are getting grenades, guns and rocket launchers in such a large number?" he said. [link]

He has been making such statements after every act from Karachi to Gilgit, promising media the culprits or suspects caught are being interrogated and after the melee has died down, nothing comes out of the security agencies investigations.

Questions can be raised. Is there a big cover up going on? Has the ISI grown too large and cannot be curbed? Why are names of sponsors and patrons of these terrorists not coming forward?

Do these "enemies" of Pakistan include only India's RAW, or would he spread the net and include agent-provocateurs from Afghanistan, the US and Saudi Arabia too. The latter sponsors and supports religious institutions and political parties in Pakistan. but is barely mentioned as a possibility.

Rehman Malik wonders about from where these terrorists get their "grenades, guns and rocket launchers." Has he perhaps forgotten the abject surrender of thousands of army jawans, fully armed, in the FATA in the past years? The jawans are released after huge ransoms are paid, but the equipment stays back. Then there is the porous Pak Afghan border, and the hundreds of kilometers of coastal area in Balichistan.

Allah u Akbar (God is Great) shout the gunmen, the suicide bombers and the terrorists. Allah u Akbar shout the police and the Army. Kilings go on invoking His name. Somewhere out there, Allah is ostensibly not listening.


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