Lahore attacked … again!

Yasser Latif Hamdani

This Monday morning has turned out to be another bloody one in Lahore.  It is the same determined foe which attacked Bombay in November and then attacked the Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Lahore earlier this month.   It is said that as many as 25 gunmen are currently engaged in a duel to death with the authorities. According to last reports there were eight confirmed casualties and more than 100 injured.   It is alleged that the reinforcement did not arrive till an hour later.

The situation developed earlier today at 6 30 am when grenades were reportedly lobbed at the training facility and an indiscriminate shoot out began, targetting young police cadets.   What a shame.  These young men and women are the unsung heroes of this cross fire between crazies.  We salute these brave Pakistanis who have put themselves in harm’s way again and again without any gratitude or expression of thanks for them from the nation.

The question of ‘whodunnit” will come up again.  I say this: does it matter?  If you can’t secure your assets and protect your citizens does it matter what the motivation or allegiance of the terrorist is?   It is the state’s responsibility to protect the life of every one of its citizens.  This – the first responsibility of any state- has been forfeited by those in the corridors of power.  

Our state- since General Zia-ul-Haq’s time- has been led by Bonapartists and strategic depth great gamers who have brought our country – which we hold so dear and for which we sacrificed so much as a collective- to this impasse.   The bottom line once again is that we have shirked our responsibility and failed to make this a progressive people-friendly welfare state that it was envisioned by Mr. Jinnah.   Successive periods of military rule have turned it into a national security fortress and now the integrity of that fortress has been compromised.  Now it is a national security nightmare.

We must put our house in order!  We must reclaim our land and to do so we must make a clear break from our cold-war past!  That is the most important thing.

31 Comments

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31 responses to “Lahore attacked … again!

  1. aliarqam

    Police Training Centre at Lahore is attacked by the terrorists and police recruits are made hostages.Police Commandos,Rangers and Paki Army have come to the rescue.Several persons are dead and many injured.They are in blue Uniforms as the private security Guards wear.All the News Channels are covering the proceedings……After sometime the apologists and advocates for such terrorists will come live on the screens and they will accuse America and the Govenment…While talking one of the apologists,he said its a reaction to the new Obama’s policy for Pak-Afghanistan…..We hope and pray for the hostages and security forces…..

  2. aliarqam

    Conspiracy Theorists have started their incriminations and implications…

  3. YLH

    “Reaction to the new Obama policy”

    Now that is funny. These people should really not be allowed to mouth off.

    First go in and get the situation under control…then investigate and then bark. But seems like everyone wants their 15 min of fame on TV.

  4. Milind Kher

    YLH,

    We have to think in terms of the region. Very simply, an attack on Lahore is an attack on South Asia. It is something to worry about.

    Let us hope some rapid damage control happens, and the situation is brought under control.

  5. yasserlatifhamdani

    No doubt.

  6. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    I say this: does it matter?

    I think it does. There is far too much reason to believe that the people who have done Lahore 3/3 and 30/3 and Mumbai and numerous such acts in NWFP lately still have umbilical cords tying them to the people who are running Pakistan (and by that I dont mean the PPP govt at Isloo or the PMLN govt which was ruling Lahore until recently). Until such cords are cut, the whole of the subcontinent will continue to remain under shadow of violence.

    Regards

  7. Monkey

    We in Karachi wish every Lahore safety.

  8. poke

    Wishing or praying won’t help

    muslims needs to look at the source , identify the source & redefine…..

    it will hurt but needs to be done

  9. lal

    kasab s confession clearly states that he was trained with around 30-40 people..what happened to the others…i asked the same question after 3/3 as well

  10. bonobashi

    @YLH

    Your summing up was masterly.

    However, I have a couple of differences of opinion, already expressed by others.

    This is rapidly becoming a situation which spans borders and national boundaries from Afghanistan to Bangladesh; sooner or later, we have to swallow our pride and make common cause, without diluting our sovereignty.

    Secondly, while the need of the hour is certainly to bring the situation back to normal, it is vital that thought leaders like you should demand a full and thorough investigation into this and other incidents. You will appreciate that such sentiments coming from outside will have a negative impact and make everybody uncomfortable. I think Majumdar and Lal have a point, but it is not for them or me to make it, it should be leading Pakistanis saying this. Rest assured that we will make similar demands, as some of us have been doing, in India.

  11. lal

    bono,to me if we dont go to the root of the problem now,an attack during our elections is inevitable.we have so many soft targets spread so far apart that preventing such an attack is the only option.whereas critiscising pakistan and giving them advices on how to run their own affirs is our national pastime,our concern these days is based on genuine self interest.

  12. bonobashi

    @lal

    I didn’t quite get you, although I agree with most of your comments. Yes, we have an idiotic habit of getting on to Pakistani blogs and offering free advice, usually slightly wonky and uninformed, on how to run their affairs; yes, also, to your comment about our current interest being based on self-interest. Matters have become too advanced to sit back and wait for things to be solved by others. But what are you suggesting?

    There’s no earthly way India can help, or Indians can help, until that time that some request comes in from Pakistan. That is a long time away, you will agree. We must support the Pakistani leadership.

    As it seems now, it is a changing situation. It is no longer the old cynics who can salvage things. Only younger people like Hamdani are going to be able to do this. We need – all of South Asia needs Pakistan to be led by cosmopolitan, educated, young and visionary leaders. The others will hold us all to ransom, and endanger our safety with their old tired ways.

    Read this young man’s comments, and read the brain-dead crap coming out of Islamabad. Those bozos are still mouthing the usual cliches that have helped the ruling elite in that country to avoid thinking intelligently. Now whom do you want to support?

  13. bonobashi

    Apologies for the double post.

    @lal

    Incidentally, I agree wholly with your prognosis: there’s trouble ahead during the elections, as sure as there are little green apples.

    And I think we all universally recognise where the root of the problem is. The only persons who can do anything about it are the Pakistani leaders. Not the military, not the foreign service hacks, not the feudals, but fresh blood.

    You will say – there’s not enough time to hope for changes in the system. I say – do we have a choice? Do we hope for any good things from the elements of the older system?

  14. jwmarriot

    “You reap what you sow”
    Pakistani officials have all along nurtured terrorists for reasons best known to them and to the world. Today the demon has grown big and trying to eat the master.

  15. Pingback: Video of Lahore School Siege - The Lede Blog - NYTimes.com

  16. AtaR

    Well, it matters a lot who is responsible.

    Simply blaming the government for failing to provide security is a red herring to not discuss the actual perpetrators and their supporters.

  17. Milind

    My condolences to the friends and families of the victim.
    I don’t know when this madness is going to stop? A region that has so much potential is getting screwed and innocent live are getting lost. I hope good sense prevails.

  18. Pingback: Bloody terrorist attack on police academy rattles Pakistan | Politics News

  19. Gorki

    Agree completely with Bonobashi that while Indians the world over watch with alarm at the sickening events in Pakistan; (even as I write, the Indian news channel in USA is repeatedly showing the map of South Asia pointing out that Manawan is less than a couple dozen miles from India border.) the only help India and Indians can provide at this crucial juncture is to stay respectfully calm and quiet.
    Why we have to do this can be summed up in a Latin phrase Primum non nocere (first do no harm) which is taught to the medical students the world over.
    The phrase is a warning that while their humane impulses may demands that they try to do something; anything, to alleviate the suffering of a patient; impulsive action should be resisted lest one may end up doing more harm than good. Such is the warning that Indians should heed now. Due to our difficult relationship with Pakistan, any unsolicited advice can easily be misunderstood.
    The only actions that India and Indians should take are the following:
    1. Signal a clear and unambiguous message of support for Pakistan
    2. Avoid the ‘I told you so’ or ‘You reap what you sow’ kind of clichés
    3. Issue a clear message to the people of Pakistan that India desires and respects the integrity of their nation
    4. Perhaps an official Indian assurance that the Pakistani Eastern border will be respected while Pakistan is occupied in its battle on the western front.
    Beyond that we can only hope that the world unites behind our neighbor to put out the fire in their house before its too late.

  20. Milind Kher

    Gorki,

    All the thoughts you have expressed are very honorable ones. Nevertheless, it is not a guarantee that they will necessarily be appreciated.

    That notwithstanding, we must continue to conduct ourselves in a decent manner.

  21. littlebangtheories

    Whenever I speak to anyone in Pakistan after a terrorist attack..they are always in denial .Its always those poor folks in NWFP who are reacting against the evil conniving US ( who want to have Afghan oil (!!!???)or pipeline) or it might be Isreal/India/Bhutto/Unknown bogeyman …anything that stops them from seeing the problem for what it really is.
    Pakistani people have been so blind for so long it sickens me now.
    I am part Pakistani…but I am having a hard time sympathising.. after all this time we’ve had this problem and its always someone elses fault..some other ‘dark’ forces…never ever the simplest and most obvious answer.the one staring us in the face for so long. We have a religious subculture infected by a radicalisation by Arabist Wabbahism ( all because the US can’t gaurentee the security of the Saudi Arabia to satisfy themselves..so they have been re-creating/buying up the rest of the muslim world and spreading their muck everyelse…ultimatley they are more busy trying to take down Iran/Shias than any concern for the well being of the general Islamic world.)
    Nationalise the Mosques..end of problem.
    Allow public who have lost people in suicide bombings to sue the assets of Mullahs who approve of those bombings.

  22. littlebangtheories

    Remember the Red Mosque.
    Should of been levelled years earlier.

  23. yasserlatifhamdani

    Atar,

    No one is blaming the govt for only failing to provide security…I am blaming the govt for failing to deliver on promises to make Pakistan an egalitarian, progressive state …the byproduct of this is the backwardness, violence, radicalism, reaction and terrorism.

  24. lal

    gorki,
    harrison also mentions primum succerrere for cancer treatment if i remember right

  25. aliarqam

    @Milind
    I love to read that from U….Thats the way to think
    We have to think in terms of the region. Very simply, an attack on Lahore is an attack on South Asia. It is something to worry about.

  26. Majumdar

    Gorki,

    Perhaps an official Indian assurance that the Pakistani Eastern border will be respected while Pakistan is occupied in its battle on the western front.

    The catch is that whatever ungal that India does (or may do) to Pak actually is routed through its western borders. The eastern borders of Pak are actually very safe thanks to nukes.

    Regards

  27. Milind Kher

    aliarqam,

    We sink or swim together. We have to accept the fact that we are joined at the hip.

    We need to have South Asia as a “keep away” zone for people (guys with drones and stealth bombers) who want to fight our battles for us. We are capable of handling it.

  28. Gorki

    Lal and Majumdar.
    You both make good points. Lal brought a smile with his very witty post; (for those not familar with the term ‘primum succerrere’, it is an exception to the ‘do no harm rule’ in patients with cancer, where a treatment may cause harm but in the cause of a greater good; that of treating cancer.) I will let the audience decide if this applies; personally I will stick to my own prescription ;-).
    Majumdar, you make an excellent point about the Nuclear umbrella except the Indian military published a doctrine in 2004 called ‘cold start’ which essentially was a limited war strategy to be imposed on Pakistan but short of a nuclear exchange (involved an armored thrust in the sands of Sindh to divide the north south Pakistan axis in two but avoiding the population centers of Karachi and Punjab etc.); it is available on line even to non-military men like myself and I suspect would be a factor in the calculations of the Pakistani establishment. It is specifically this option that I meant that India should discuss, by saying we will not resort to even if provoked by a terrorist attack such as Mumbai etc, (if caused by the terrorist with out the Pakistani consent)

    PS. I have read other comments by both of you elsewhere and enjoy them immensely. Keep it up.

  29. There are many people who are concerned about the security in Pakistan. I have noted that there exist people in Lahore who unnecessarily spread unrest and chaos. I have written many article to expose such people.

  30. Abdul Qadir Baloch,Toronto,canada

    i request please, attach inner side pictures of pak tea house in old time ,1970 or before.