THAT Karachi is no stranger to lawlessness is an understatement; violent crime, bombings and targeted killings have become routine. Each day ordinary citizens are killed in acts of violence. However, it is when a victim with significant security is targeted that the fragility of the city’s law and order situation is truly exposed. Such a victim died in Wednesday’s apparent suicide attack in the city’s congested Guru Mandir area. Bilal Sheikh, a senior security aide to President Zardari and a member of the president’s inner circle, was killed, along with three others, as a bomber struck when the driver stopped the vehicle in order to allow Mr Sheikh to buy fruit. Mr Sheikh had survived two previous attempts on his life; one attack was believed to be carried out by criminal elements from Lyari. However, suicide bombing is not a method used by Lyari’s gangsters and no group has so far claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack. The bombing is a major intelligence lapse, particularly on the part of the civil security apparatus. It shows that militants are way ahead of the state’s security set-up and that when they plan to carry out acts of terrorism, they do their homework thoroughly. Targeted attacks often happen near the victim’s home or workplace, but in this case the perpetrators seemed well aware of Mr Sheikh’s routine and movements. The killers had performed proper reconnaissance; the police and intelligence agencies regrettably lack such efficiency when tracking down militant elements.

The attack also exposes the vulnerability of those in sensitive positions such as Mr Sheikh. Suicide bombings can happen anywhere, hence it is important to track down the nurseries where bombers are produced and to neutralise the infrastructure of terror. Wednesday’s bombing should also prompt greater introspection in Sindh’s law and order circles as currently it seems that anybody — even those with significant security detail, as in Bilal Sheikh’s case — is an open target for violent forces in Karachi, with the state unable to control the bloodshed.

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Comments (8)

Jalaluddin S. Hussain
July 12, 2013 8:38 am

Its complete chaos at the end of the tunnel!

July 12, 2013 10:43 am

this is a natural population reduction measure. remember Malthus. His theory is being proved.Either state controls population or people control it

July 12, 2013 10:45 am

"the police and intelligence agencies regrettably lack such efficiency" -----

Is there any level of intelligence in the so called intelligence agencies of Pakistan. Secondly, is there any efficiency visible in the entire police force of the country? Do the citizens of Pakistan have any trust either in intelligence agencies or the police force of the country at large? The one word answer to all is a big NO. All agencies including intelligence and police force are simply a liability on the people of Pakistan.

July 12, 2013 3:31 pm

Appallingly, suicide bombings has been the norm of the day in cosmopolitans like Karachi city. The high profile and right hand of the president of Pakistan couldn't survive his life in presence of security personnel. What would of a common send then! Killing anyone in broad day light in our country has been the easiest job due to lapses in our security agencies. Finding hideouts of bombers is not a difficult task for law forces. One wonders at such killings. It clearly shows that the dawn of hope is decreasing and we would be easy prey some day sooner or later by inhumane butchers.

Gerry D'Cunha
July 12, 2013 4:50 pm

one cannot rule out the involvement of our own security agency - they need to be scrutinize every day and their mobiles handed over while on important duties

July 12, 2013 10:28 pm

Why not replace dutyless intelligence apparatus with dutiful militants? At least, we would already be mentally prepared for all untoward circumstances.

Sanaa Khalid
July 13, 2013 12:55 am

I used to hail from a politically influential family. Let me just say that I consider a lot of my own family members and family friends involved in the current scenario. I can't speak publicly but I have vowed to expose them one by one. Let me leave you with one more thought. Do you want to know why ISI has failed so miserably? Cos they believed in political peers and parties more. ISI has its own mafia especially with journalists. They are now saving face. But hasn't it been way too late?

Nizamuddin Ahmad
July 13, 2013 2:29 am

A life lost is a life lost. The fruit vendor's life is no less sacred than security chief. As a matter of fact his death is less news worthy than a citizen. The security chief was paid to assume the risk. How about this young vendor whose son will never know his father. The " imperial time thinking " should end. Ordinary Pakistanis citizens are also humans.

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