An intelligence failure: Why not to blame sacred cows for Quetta massacre?
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2016-08-12 11:56:57

An intelligence failure: Why not to blame sacred cows for Quetta massacre?

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai has again stirred up controversy – this time by disputing with reports about the involvement of Indian intelligence agency RAW in Monday’s Quetta blast. Taking part in the National Assembly debate on Monday’s blast in Quetta, Achakzai said that country’s intelligence agencies could trace a needle from murky water, how could they have missed extremists. The PkMAP’s leader held intelligence agencies and law enforcement departments responsible for the negligence, adding that Indian agencies are not the only ones to be blamed. “Our intelligence agencies failed to nab terrorists,” Achakzai said, refusing to offer Fateha in parliament for the departed souls of the Quetta massacre.

He demanded from the prime minister to sack officers of the security and intelligence agencies if they failed to trace out the elements involved in the deadly attack. Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan believes it is not and has argued that it is a national duty to support the country’s armed forces and intelligence apparatus. Too soon after the Quetta attack, the highest officials of the state and government related the incident to the CPEC project without any ifs and buts. This possibility cannot be dismissed in view of the particular situation we are engaged in – in a region where an absence of foreign involvement would only surprise us. But the problem with this kind of response is that it is nothing more than a general statement which can conveniently follow any such incident and, by its very nature, does not have to correspond to the particular facts of any one incident. It could not be otherwise, coming in no time – as if instinctively – after the attack in Quetta. At best it looks defensive, no matter how aggressively put, against an instance of failure. At worst it appears insensitive towards the victims in an alienated province when their plight can instantly remind the state of projects of strategic importance. More importantly, such hurried yet definitive reactions may also have the effect of obstructing the possibility of discussion on any problems, faults and flaws in the state’s counterterrorism effort. So if some commentators see a problem with such statements they cannot be dismissed outright either. What is undeniable is that the country has once again been convulsed by terrorism that remains undefeated. Furthermore, the vows by high officials to defeat terrorism have not addressed the basic question at an operational level: what happened in Quetta this week and why did it succeed? Yet, there are two aspects worth considering of the reaction to the Quetta bombing, and, indeed, generally to virtually every major attack. Contrast first the reaction of Chaudhry Nisar to the Quetta bombing with his reaction to personnel allegedly involved in granting entry to a ‘blacklisted’ American citizen, Matthew Barrett. Without waiting for a thorough investigation and acting swiftly, the interior minister ordered legal action against several individuals and bluntly claimed that crimes had been committed. Yet, when it comes to the intelligence apparatus, especially that led by the military, Chaudhry Nisar appears to automatically believe that no wrong could have been committed, no lapse ever allowed. Why? The focus is the city where the attack took place and the area within that city where the bomber struck.After more than a decade of near-total control of security policy and a dominant hand in the security arrangements of the province, why is Balochistan’s intelligence apparatus unable to detect a plan as sophisticated as the one that unfolded in Quetta on Monday? At the very least, some coordination was required to first kill a senior lawyer and then strike the hospital where his colleagues had gathered to receive his body. Coordination means vulnerability to interception as does the fact that the first killing should have heightened security immediately in the vicinity of the hospital. Surely, it is not unpatriotic to ask if everything possible is being done before deaths occur, and not after.

pk.shafaqna.com

 

 

 

 

Categories:   Pakistan ،
Tags:   pakistan ، Quetta ، Mahmood Achakzai ،
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