THIS refers to Safir A. Siddiqui’s letter ‘Karachi attack: security apparatus’ (June 12). He has correctly highlighted the inadequacy and failure of the security apparatus at Karachi airport’s Jinnah terminal.
Our security guards at points of entry are always caught unaware by terrorists dressed in the same uniform as the security guards’. It happened at the GHQ, in front of the US consulate in Peshawar and numerous other top priority zones.
You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know the answer. First, a security password is issued to the guards on duty which they collect from the guardroom in a sealed envelope only when they go on duty. The password is changed with every change in shift. Password should only be known to the officer on duty at the guardroom who issues it in a sealed envelope, so as to minimise the number of persons who know it and to identify the informer if the password is compromised.
The unit commander who enters a security zone also collects the password from the guardroom. Now coming to the uniform issue, the standing orders should be that anyone entering a security zone whether in uniform or otherwise should be considered an enemy and warned that he will be shot unless identified.
The cloth used in uniform must be manufactured only by army welfare factory and no one else. Vehicles carrying uniformed personnel should be stopped by a checkpost way before the airport entry point and the identity of the personnel cross-checked from the unit he claims he has come from. Vulnerable points round all security zones must be heavily mined and cordoned off by barbed wires with pictures and boards warning of death.
A rapid deployment force (army) must reach their deployment area when they get an emergency call from any soldier deployed in the field or a blast or gunfire is heard.
Any vehicle carrying grenades and rocket-propelled grenades must never be allowed to proceed even to the entry point of the security zone without clearance of the army.
Finally, when will we learn that international airports must be designed and equipped on the same pattern as that in the rest of the world; no matter what the cost.
Wg-Cdr (r) Ahmed Shah Jan
THIS is apropos your editorial ‘Absent leadership’ (June 12). While it is a fact that the interior ministry informed the Sindh government about a possible attack on Karachi airport, the fault lies entirely with the interior ministry.
The way the Sindh government works, it was simply impossible for them to prepare for the eventuality because they were not informed about the date and time of attack, nor that Uzbeks would be involved. As everyone knows, half the number of policemen in Karachi are always attending to the many VVIPs in the city, and of the remainder, half are always absent, while the few that remain are busy harassing peaceful citizens. So how could anyone expect the Sindh government (or non-government) to do anything to prevent the tragedy?
IT is a matter of concern that the frequency of attacks has once again increased in the past month or so. The latest attack being on Karachi airport speaks volumes of slackness and loopholes in the security system.
The credit of having mitigated the losses definitely goes to the defenders of the nation, as one shudders to think what the miscreants could have achieved otherwise.
Every time an untoward situation arises, instead of accepting our weakness, we end up in a blame game. The hapless citizens have never been told about the inquiries that were held after attacks of this kind in the past.
Sabotage can take place anywhere but it is intelligence and remedial measures which can help to stop recurrence. It also boggles one’s mind as to how these miscreants could pass all these checkposts which are set up everywhere in the city.
After all, how could foreigners with a conspicuous appearance pass through these posts with so much of sophisticated and heavy weaponry?
Wg-Cdr (r) Jamsed Savul
Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2014