Pakistan: Audacious Attack On Karachi Police Office Raises Many Questions – OpEd


The terrorist attack at Karachi Police Office (KPO) located in the heart of the provincial capital of Sindh raises serious questions about the state of security arrangements in the country.

It is necessary to take into account that the sensitive installation is located in the vicinity of around a dozen more sensitive installations. 

Analysts term the assault on headquarters of the law enforcement agency a serious security lapse.

There is an urgent need to revisit the situation as to determine how secure security offices and other sensitive installations are. 

The recent Peshawar attack was a wake-up call for the law enforcing agencies across the country. Against this backdrop, it is a matter of grave concern as to how militants had succeeded in reaching Karachi.

Security experts term the attack on KPO as a symbolic one and a kind of message from militants to the authorities about their preparations and next targets.

KPO just can’t be termed a soft target. It is message from the terrorists: ‘we are that close’. It’s a serious security lapse. It’s not a routine terrorist activity. It cannot be ignored.

 The copy book reply is, “The situation has to be reviewed, additional forces have to be deployed, jawans need modern equipment and training”.

It is evident that in the past wave of terrorism, the militant outfits often went for soft targets attacking public places, markets, Masjids, Shrines and Imambargahs, but the fresh one had started with a visible shift in their line of action.

The recent attacks show the preparedness of the militants. A question arises, if they can attack sensitive facilities, how vulnerable are public places?

As I am writing these lines, the event has flashed back painful memories of the brutal past murderous, and brazen assaults in Karachi. These include the 2011 Mehran Base ambush, as well as 2014 attack at Karachi airport.

There has been no let-up in terrorist attacks. On Thursday, the terrorists attacked CTD personnel in Punjab’s Kalabagh area, in Mianwali district. A few weeks earlier, members of an outfit had raided a police station in the same district, located close to KP. But Friday’s attack in Karachi is a far more complex operation.

Dawn has rightly hinted in its editorial, “This is another wakeup call for the squabbling politicians who rule in our name, as well as the security establishment that keeps reminding us that ‘all is well’. Clearly, both stakeholders must understand the true situation.”

According to media reports, the federal interior minister told a TV channel he was under the impression that militants did not have access beyond KP and Balochistan.

His impression was obviously flawed. The terrorists have the ability, as well as the links and operational wherewithal, to strike at will, while the state’s response has been largely unimpressive.

In Karachi assault, it is likely that sleeper cells have been used. There is no shortage of financers as well as sympathizers of the militant outfits in the port city.

The state, particularly the law enforcing agencies need to focus on their prime responsibilities to avoid more of such attacks taking place.

Shabbir H. Kazmi

Shabbir H. Kazmi is an economic analyst from Pakistan. He has been writing for local and foreign publications for about quarter of a century. He maintains the blog ‘Geo Politics in South Asia and MENA’. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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