PNS Mehran: Base commander, including three officers court-martialed

Published: May 21, 2012

Terrorists held off an organised force for over 17 hours. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Almost a year after it was attacked, a military court hearing the PNS Mehran base attack, court-martialed three officers, Express News reported on Monday.

According to details, an investigation team comprising police, navy, air force and intelligence agencies, had found Base Commander Commodore Raja Tahir, Commanding Officer Israr, Air Base Security Officer Lieutenant Commander Absar irresponsible and negligent of their duties.

Sources said that the court had handed down sentences a few days ago, in line with Pakistan Navy laws. They added that the defendants were given equal chances to clear their names.

While they have been sentenced, no details of the extent of their punishments were revealed, except that they were not given a jail term.

As many as 10 terrorists had managed to storm the naval base in Karachi on May 22, 2011. They held off security personnel for 17 hours, destroying two P3C Orion surveillance aircraft in the process. At least 17 personnel were also killed in the attack.

Reader Comments (29)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 21, 2012 - 9:47PM

    May 22, 2011 was a dark day in the history of Pakistan where PNS Mehran Base was made hostage for several hours by the terrorists.

    Those responsible for negligence of duty must be punished so that people who are coming in the line should always remain vigilant.

    We must try to find out each and every terrorist and eliminate him and should not provide a second chance to defame the country.

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  • Max
    May 21, 2012 - 10:00PM

    Hope they were not used as scapegoats.

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  • Muhammad Hamid Ullah
    May 21, 2012 - 10:02PM

    Its is primary duty of forces to defend our country. If they fail or negligent in their duties they must be punished, because law and sovereignty our country is supreme.Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 21, 2012 - 10:17PM

    It would have been more fitting if the Naval CNC had accepted responsibility and voluntarily stepped down and then after the enquiry these guys got court-martialed. After all in a serious breach of security the buck stops at the head, but this has never been the practice in Pakistan.

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  • Anyways
    May 21, 2012 - 10:20PM

    Remember these three names: Base Commander Commodore Raja Tahir, Commanding Officer Israr, and Air Base Security Officer Lieutenant Commander Absar. Over the next few years, they will either be running PIA, steel mills or others.

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 21, 2012 - 10:22PM

    Cancer is being treated with Aspirin.

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  • FN
    May 21, 2012 - 10:26PM

    Was anybody court-martialed for the GHQ attack?

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  • Maria
    May 21, 2012 - 10:28PM

    While those at the top bear the responsibility for allowing these anti state criminals to succeed in damaging the base, the real issue is whether plans are in place to move sensitive bases out of civilian areas to where they can be secured and monitored more safely. This also holds true for military headquarters in Rawalpindi. All these bases should be relocated to areas outside of cities where there is restricted access and controlled access to to entry. Protection of these facilities would be much easier then.

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  • May 21, 2012 - 10:30PM

    Okay they were court-martialed for negligence.. but what about the perpetrators?
    Tell this nation who carried out those attacks.??

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  • Muhammad Ishaq
    May 21, 2012 - 10:31PM

    Scapegoats

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 22, 2012 - 12:08AM

    @Maria:
    Agree with your suggestion, except in Pakistan cities and towns have grown beside military bases. The British built cities and made sure that bases were located away from areas of population. They had zoned the city activity. But after independence it was free for all. Like Saadat Hasan Manto’s story “Naya Kanoon” was established by the militarywallas as they grabbed land within the cantonment areas to build their colonies and it became a going concern business. Even DHA it has become a Cheengar Malaha of sorts by allowing partitions – our favorite word – of 1000 yards to 500s, then 500s to 250s that destroyed the ambience of the surroundings. We think of ourselves as knowledgeable people but each year our education standard falls and duffers become our masters. When Mehran Base type of incidents take place, no one is sent to prison, that means they are all involved in this charade.

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  • Jat
    May 22, 2012 - 12:22AM

    @Pakistani Hindu: Was this base used for training and helping terrorists who carried out a cowardly attack on a neighboring country ? Were the Pak Navy personnel also involved in this inhuman planning and training ? Something to think about.

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  • Zeeshan
    May 22, 2012 - 12:27AM

    WTH, this is called punishment ?
    Shame on the process.

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  • Tariq
    May 22, 2012 - 1:01AM

    Mere scape-goats. No serious apparent effort to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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  • DB
    May 22, 2012 - 2:20AM

    @FN:
    Court martial for what reason on GHQ attack? The attackers were stopped after armymen gave their lives. What else would you have liked them to do beyond giving their lives?

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  • Fawad Azam
    May 22, 2012 - 3:08AM

    @FN Nobody was court martialed for GHQ attack because there was no security lapse and the attackers were blocked at and killed in outer cordon unlike besieging and damage at Mehran base.
    Before trying the dark humor or point scoring, make your facts clear.

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  • Marium
    May 22, 2012 - 4:42AM

    @ Jat, An embarrassment one week before should have curbed the popular tendencies of blaming everything on Pakistan, but I guess it will take time. In the mean time you can take all the time you want to gather evidence that Indian’s were supposed to give to Pakistan on Hafiz Saeeds involvement in Mumbai attackers. Happy digging.

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  • Wellwisher
    May 22, 2012 - 6:24AM

    Only pawns had been punished – but details as usual kept secret. What happened to the hands that put the pawns there? Whose hands are they? Public will never get the answer!

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  • Mirza
    May 22, 2012 - 7:09AM

    Navy officers who were close to retirement have been given a golden parachute to show justice is being done. They would get all the perks and lifetime pension and facilities. Still it is a beginning of accountability among establishment. However, the navy or air force have never committed high treason and never been an ISI chief either. When would the protectors of OBL and generals and those who threw five dozen judges and their families in detention would be brought to justice? No crime could be more serious against the state than high treason especially by those who took oath to protect the constitution when they joined army.

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  • May 22, 2012 - 7:21AM

    Thats enough to discuss

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  • FN
    May 22, 2012 - 7:23AM

    @DB Didn’t people from Mehran Base give their lives to try to stop the attackers? What more did u want THEM to do?

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  • May 22, 2012 - 7:24AM

    We dnt have to say on it what be

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  • May 22, 2012 - 7:28AM

    @Anyways: Fantastic! Absolutely fantastic. You have scored a bullz-eye and scored a direct hit. Three cheers! Hip, hip hurrah. Salams to you my friend.

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  • Asif
    May 22, 2012 - 8:36AM

    I would put the whole army under polygraph tests to hunt for the rogue elements.

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  • Shyam
    May 22, 2012 - 8:39AM

    @Marium
    You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. WHen Pakistan can’t find evidence on a single terrorist including Lal Masjid clerics, whats the use of giving any more evidence.

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  • Haven't lost my sanity
    May 22, 2012 - 9:55AM

    I am appalled at some of the comments made under this news; specially the one about these guys taking over as heads of PIA, Steel Mills etc. What a ridiculous statement and the irony is that it gets 41 recommendations (so far)!!! Any sane person would know that it doesn’t happen that way. There are many ground realities that are not known to the public at large, and if think logically; we would agree that not everything merits to be shared openly. Practically speaking, sharing of every bit of info won’t be in the benefit of our strategic organisations, so let them deal it their own way. Having said this, we must not forget that Navy lost a number of precious lives and military assets in this incident, and such condemning attitude would do more harm than any good. Our armed forces have made many a selfless sacrifices for protection of Pakistan’s geographic & ideological boundaries, and I think they do deserve some respect. Lastly, knowing a number of things about military and how the system works, I see many mistakes in the terminologies been used by various commentators; and this reflects the level of their knowledge on intricacies of the issue.

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  • Hamda
    May 22, 2012 - 11:47AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    is not still we are in dark as few out of hundred officer of armed forces are loyal and silent. Its visible that un to come to manage this country and to fix a filter to work out normal army navy and air force higher ranks. Orthis nuclear state is at risk.?Recommend

  • Sohail
    May 22, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Again junior officers have been punished and people through media have been fooled. Do you think these junior officers had any authority whatsoever to counter terrorists? People with authority made sure that junior officers get all the punishment and no senior officer is implicated. Forces are sacred cow of the country and no one can question their working of authority. A damage of million of dollars, and only three junior officer punished who had no authority of powers. Topi Drama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Shujaat
    May 23, 2012 - 1:29AM

    Pakistan Naval Officers who were awarded punishment are innocent, who brought terrorism and supported terrorist either from defense force, religious mullahs, and politician or euthenics groups in Pakistan actually real criminal behind the scene should be given punishment. Is this justified to give some junior officer punishment and escape from the responsibility? If this not case officers may appeal in civil courts for justice

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