Karachi blast: What's security got to do with it?

Anchors ask "Was there a security lapse?" but the question they are really asking is "Who should we blame?"

Faria Syed November 11, 2010
The blast that has rocked Karachi's grand Club Road and claimed (so far) 15 lives has sparked a familiar line of questions on news channels. The question the anchors ask is "Was there a security lapse" but the question they are really asking is "Who should we blame?" and thus who can we crucify on live TV.

After every blast the question emerges - was enough done? Where were the police? The rangers? Where was everyone when this bomb was mysteriously planted in random building X?

Somehow we expect that a platoon of police officers can prevent a bomb blast. But the fact, as we have so painfully seen, is that they can't.

Even if we had 30 rangers patrolling each street round the clock attacks would happen. The police do not have x-ray vision and real life bad guys don't wear red spandex jumpsuits and spout catchy "I'll get you next time" type lines - so how are they supposed to spot them in a crowd?

What exactly is it that we expect security forces to do? There is no way that they can bullet proof the city. They cannot possibly, isolate and interview every suspicious looking character in Karachi. So, when we eagerly ask officials "Was there a security lapse?" what do we really think the answer will be?

When targets like the CID building and a police training school in Lahore are attacked there is often a greater need to ask how this was allowed to happen. After all if security forces cannot protect themselves how can we expect them to protect us?

The real question to ask here should perhaps be why was this building attacked in the first place. According to officials the CID received a threat yesterday, following a raid on in Pirabad which resulted in the arrest of six suspected members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Tehreek-i-Taliban. Assertions have been made that this attack is a sign that militants are gaining strength in Karachi.

If militants do indeed have the ability to lash back at our security forces in righteous fits of violence shouldn't our goal be to stop them in their tracks? Far before the metal detectors or security checkpoints. These militants are not going to stop by  our paltry efforts to "beef up security."
Faria Syed
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


istanzeelforreal | 13 years ago | Reply My god.....those who were mudered kept us safe. They are shaheed and they died for Pakistan . has anyone really got any sympathy for thier loved one's ? A state pension for security forces is meaningless in Pakistan. We balama...BLAME the security forces but the enemy is within, especially in these pages they are here! Did anyone of you go up to the secirity forces to wish the "Eid Mubarak"?Did you really? A demoralised, underpaid jawan's are murdered in the name of religion, politics, right in front of our eyes, we balme the media (yes its run by corrupt industrailists who seek political favours), we all look on...., proscastinate, express our shock and horror. Guys and gal's let's just get off your butt's and let's do something for the "shaheeed" who were murdered in Pakistan Select a leader who can lead, try the politicians, the corrupt and especially the Qari's , any single cell zenophobic illeterate amoeba and put them back in the gutter where they came from. Yes this includes MANY so called "high profile industrialits" who keep choking the progress of Pakistan by not paying bills, tax evasion, etc. So the infrastructure disaaperas or is redundant and we are sold once again to the foreign powers like the Chineese....used to be russionas in Karach. Now WAPDA/KESC is all under the chineese thumb with the government officials getting swiss bank accounts etcx etc etc etc etc etc
parvez | 13 years ago | Reply Fully agree with you. The answer to stopping this is two fold: 1. Intelligence gathering is absolutely paramount (not Rehman Malik style) because police check posts,scanning, cameras etc help only in a limited way. Superb intelligence followed by action is the immediate answer. 2. The root causes have to be addressed - the militant madrases - the use of religious parties whose own agendas are not in sync with national progress - the agencies that operate independently resulting in as @faraz rightly says ' the chicken has come home to roost' - KSA and Iran using Pakistani soil to carry on a sporadic proxy war - criminal mafia operations especially in Karachi - total lack of political leadership in ensuring the people get the basics to exist - enforcement of the rule of law across the board.
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