Business as usual: Maritime Museum to stay open despite series of attacks

Published: May 30, 2011
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PAF Museum stays closed for an indefinite period of time.

PAF Museum stays closed for an indefinite period of time.

KARACHI: 

Despite the threat of terrorist attacks, the Pakistan Navy has kept the Maritime Museum open for the public but the Pakistan Air Force, taking a more cautious approach, has closed down the PAF Museum for an indefinite period.

The PAF Museum was closed the day after the attack on PNS Mehran, however, this fact was formally announced on Saturday.

“We know that the attacks on the navy have not ended,” a senior investigation officeer told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity. “Until all those terrorists involved in the attacks are arrested, the danger would only increase.

They are probably plotting another attack right now and we cannot afford any slip-ups.”

He added that the Maritime Museum could be one of the possible targets as well as its surrounding installations, including PNS Rahat hospital.

The Maritime Museum is located on main Karsaz road. PNS Rahat hospital, the Arena (a recreation) club and Kingri House of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Pir Pagaro are also located on Karsaz, which links up to Sharae Faisal.

“Initially, we considered closing down the museum,” Maritime Museum Director General Jamal Abdullah informed The Express Tribune. “But that would mean that we have accepted defeat and we don’t want to send such a message to the terrorists. Instead, we have to take measures that force them to accept defeat.

He said that there were no sensitive installations in the museum but that security has been increased with more barbed wiring, watch towers and closed-circuit cameras. “I cannot share the security measures which we have taken,” he said. “But I can assure you that they [terrorists] would not have the courage to carry out any attack here.”

The museum also has a library which is visited by scores of people every day. “People are not afraid of coming here.

They continue to come here as before,” Abdullah pointed out. “If people stop coming here out of fear, then we would close down the Museum.”

PAF Museum

A PAF spokesman, Nadeem Khan, announced the closure of the PAF Museum for the public for an indefinite period. This step was taken in the aftermath of the attack on the PNS Base Mehran. The museum is a popular one as a location for weddings, and its wedding lawn is reportedly booked till 2013. However, the PAF spokesman was unavailable to comment regarding this point.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2011.

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