Prison break: Lessons to learn from Bannu

The Bannu incident shows how much of a threat trigger-happy fighters pose to provincial and state-run institutions.

Riaz Ahmad April 19, 2012
A brazen attack by militants on the Bannu central jail that led to the escape of 384 inmates, including several hardcore Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan members, shows just how much of a threat trigger-happy fighters pose to provincial and state-run institutions. Their ability to strike any target at will is scary indeed.

Time and again they have demonstrated their prowess by targeting Nato supply terminals smack in the centre of the settled district in Peshawar. And now the central jail attack in Bannu has proved beyond doubt that all government claims of having curbed militancy are nothing more than shallow political statements intended to hoodwink citizens.

The latest attack exposes serious flaws in our security apparatus and casts a long shadow over the morale of the police. In the past few years, a deep sense of pessimism has swept the rank and file of the police, despite the personal sacrifices rendered by many brave souls.

The assault also shows that these militants do not really care about the security arrangements. When they began their attacks on Nato supply terminals police were unable to put a stop to those attacks despite all the resources and manpower at their disposal. They have repeatedly hit targets inside the high security zones across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa  and even across the country.

Their success stems not only from their extraordinary commitment to their cause but also through their collaborators in the police and law enforcement agencies.

Unfortunately, there is no accountability system in place in the police and other organisations of our country. As a result, no one has ever been tried for the blunders they committed in giving way to the militants. They started from scratch and built an empire or state within a state in the tribal belt of the country 10 years ago and soon extended their operations to the settled parts through a torrid mix of explosions, car bombs and target killings.

It is time to fix responsibility and put a stop to the menace.

Riaz Ahmad A Peshawar-based reporter who works at The Express Tribune.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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