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Daily News Analysis

Taliban's brazen attack on Karachi airport

Crescent International

How can the Taliban carry out such a brazen attack at Karachi airport especially when they have carried out previous attacks in the city and elsewhere? They had attacked the Mehran Naval base two years ago destroying several aircraft. In 2009, they attacked the Military Headquarters in Rawalpindi. What is going on in Pakistan and why do the intelligence and security personnel appear so clueless?

Karachi, Crescent-online
June 10, 2014, 12:07 DST

Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the June 8 brutal attack on Karachi airport that left 23 dead, including the 10 attackers. The airport was chosen for the attack “because it serves as the biggest air logistics centre supplying goods for the Crusaders' war in Afghanistan and Pakistan”, Umar Media, the official media wing of the Pakistani Taliban, said on its Facebook page.

Less than 48 hours later, the Taliban launched a second attack that was fended off by Pakistan’s security forces. Gunmen on two motorcycles opened fire on Karachi's airport security academy and fled after Pakistani forces retaliated.

The Taliban also made haste to accept responsibility for the second attack. Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told Reuters news agency: “We accept responsibility for another successful attack against the government. ”We are successfully achieving all our targets and we will go on carrying on many more such attacks.”

Colonel Tahir Ali, spokesman for the Airport Security Force, said the gunmen involved had escaped. “It was not such a big attack, two people came towards the ASF checkpost and started firing,” he said.

This attack on the busiest airport in Pakistan is a deeply humiliating blow to the integrity and credibility of the government. Pakistan’s conditions are descending deeper and deeper into anarchy and chaos. A third attack was recently carried out on Pakistani soil, targeting 23 Shia pilgrims returning from Iran.

These pilgrims were killed when militants attacked their buses in Pakistan's troubled Balochistan province, officials said. The attack took place on Sunday when 10 buses carrying the Shia pilgrims stopped at a hotel in Taftan near the Iranian border.

Pakistan is currently facing a volatile mix of US intelligence operatives, India’s RAW agents (Indian intelligence operatives dedicated to the destabilization of Pakistan), Afghan as well as British and Mossad agents and other dangerous elements.

Questions are being asked as to how the Taliban could penetrate inside the airport and launch such a brazen attack. According to information available, the 10 Taliban entered the airport wearing Airport security personnel uniforms as well as carrying fake ID cards.

Concerns have also been raised about lax security at the outer rim of the country’s busiest airport.

While all 10 attackers were killed, the operation went on for many hours until the airport was secured resulting in diversion of incoming flights and grounding a number of flights that were about to take off.

Such attacks deplete the confidence and sense of security of Pakistan’s citizens, and also of foreign investors and stakeholders that have vested interests in a stable and prosperous Pakistan.


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