Navy top brass quizzed on Mehran base attack

Published: June 1, 2011
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Tough questions were asked during in-camera session of Senate panel. PHOTO: REUTERS

Tough questions were asked during in-camera session of Senate panel. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: 

The involvement of foreign agencies in the PNS Mehran attack on Tuesday remained the central point of an in-camera session of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, which directed Rear Admiral Shafqat Javed to present its preliminary investigation report to the committee by next week.

The committee, which met under the chair of Senator Lt Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi was briefed by top navy officials regarding the security arrangements on the perimeters of the Mehran Naval Base and the causes of a failure to detect the intrusion.

After the meeting, members of the committee denied rumours that they had expressed annoyance at the absence of the naval chief during the meeting.

“We never summoned the naval chief for the briefing on the PNS Mehran attack,” a member told The Express Tribune.

Committee members were seeking answers to questions like: “Who was involved in conducting such attacks which destroyed two P-3C Orion aircraft and detonating explosives at the naval base.” These aircraft were crucial for Pakistan’s maritime surveillance capabilities, the committee members added.

They directed Rear Admiral Javed to investigate the attack in detail, focussing on the above-mentioned queries. Although the panel chief refused to brief the media officials familiar with the talks told The Express Tribune that lawmakers expressed their concerns as to why the navy officials took 16 hours to clear the base.  “How were the terrorists able to reach the hangars and parking areas of the naval base,” questioned a lawmaker during the meeting.

The Senate committee may call Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir to brief lawmakers regarding the reasons behind an inordinate delay in clearing the base from a very small number of intruders, they said. During the in-camera session senators raised questions regarding the nationality of the four terrorists killed during the fight. They also sought details of the commercial activities in the marriage hall located on the base and the extent to which it impinged the security of the base, they added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Cautious
    Jun 1, 2011 - 8:34AM

    The involvement of foreign agencies in the PNS Mehran attack on Tuesday remained the central point of an in-camera session of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production

    Back to blaming it on India, USA, Israel and the Boogeyman? How about a straightforward attack by a handful of Taliban carrying AK’s, hand grenades and a couple of RPG’s — with a dash of intel from x Navy personnel. Why does everything have to be a foreign conspiracy in Pakistan?Recommend

  • ZamZam
    Jun 1, 2011 - 9:12AM

    Rehman Malik provided the details of the attack before anyone could get inside the baseRecommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Jun 1, 2011 - 10:40AM

    IF our SSG commandos and Naval personnel take 16 hrs to handle a handful men then how would they handle a full scale war with our enemy? Navy should review its training especially of SSG. This event has shattered the respect of Navy in the eyes of general public in a catastrophic way.Recommend

  • Nazar Iqbal
    Jun 1, 2011 - 10:46AM

    Please ask this Government not to be scared of defense people.Take strict action so that such incidents do not happen again.Naval Chief may be asked to resign after the enquiry is completed.We need men of honor to lead the forces and not who have no shame left in them.Recommend

  • Kazmis
    Jun 1, 2011 - 11:12AM

    The involvement of RAW in PNS Mehran case is being overshadowed by other intentional/unintentional development in the country. Is there action / counter action by the RAW at the same time?Recommend

  • Abdul
    Jun 1, 2011 - 2:20PM

    The murder of the journalist who knew too much about ISI/Army terrorists links highlights the fact that it’s ISI and Navy who are to be investigated over this attack, of course not any foreign entiy… that’s just ridiculous and retarded.Recommend

  • Nazir
    Jun 1, 2011 - 10:00PM

    It is hard to accept that our Navy is weak to proctect from getting attacked on our own base. it raises the question on Naval security and Naval warfare when at times of a real war. Armed forces MUST be brave and when some one attacks – they should not only counter attack – rush the enemy back to their base and destruct them completely. Recommend

  • Yasir
    Jun 2, 2011 - 4:28AM

    The attack itself was dissapointing, but to blame the Navy for taking so long to secure the area does not take into account the fact that they were trying to ensure no more innocent lives were taken by the terrorists and no more damage was done to the assets on the base. The fact that after the initial damage the personnel were able to ensure no more damage was done is commendable and their patience in this regard should be commended. Another point to note is that the forces which were involved in the operation included Navy, Army, Police and Rangers so to say that it was only the Navy that should be blamed for how long it took to secure the area is unjustified and misleading. Recommend

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