Naval base raid: Finally, report admits inside job in Mehran attack

Published: June 30, 2011
Standing Committee on Defence told that evidence of “inside help” has been found in the PNS Mehran Base attack.

Standing Committee on Defence told that evidence of “inside help” has been found in the PNS Mehran Base attack.


It took more than a month after heavily-armed terrorists mounted a brazen attack on Pakistan’s biggest naval airbase in Karachi, but investigators have finally concluded that the attackers had support from within the Pakistan Navy.

The terrorists sneaked into Pakistan Navy’s airbase PNS Mehran on May 22, destroying two P3-C Orion surveillance aircraft and holding off military commandos for 15 hours before they were killed in a final predawn assault the next morning. At least 10 security personnel were killed in the attack.

According to a preliminary investigation report tabled before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence on Wednesday, some navy officials were in custody for questioning over their possible links with the attackers.

Senior officials briefed the committee about the investigations into the PNS Mehran attack – one of the most potent terrorist attacks on the country’s security installations.

The briefing was confidential, but some participants speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the navy officials admitted that  the terrorists received help from people working at the airbase.

The report indicates that some people had conducted reconnaissance of the base before the attack. It also points out that closed-circuit TV cameras installed at the base were not working, making it easier for the attackers to slip through.

However, navy officials would not comment on the report. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Dr Azhra Fazal Pechuhu, head of the defence committee, said that the naval authorities had completed their internal investigations into the PNS Mehran attack.

“According to investigations, four terrorists were involved in the attack,” she said, adding that the mastermind would be brought to book after the completion of the probe.

She said the investigators were now looking into the external aspects of the probe where they would also try to ascertain if there was any foreign hand involved.

The May 22 attack on the well-guarded base raised questions about the ability of the security forces to protect their key installations from terrorist raids. And security analysts said it wasn’t possible for terrorists to launch such an attack without inside help.

Despite the briefing, committee members from the PML-N expressed dissatisfaction over the findings of the report. “What we have been told is nothing new as lots of information has already appeared in the media,” said an opposition member, who requested not to be named.

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

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Reader Comments (50)

  • Roflcopter
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:15PM

    Tell us something newRecommend

  • bulbul
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:22PM

    SO whats the news here? We already know this bit !Recommend

  • Much amused
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:25PM

    Not one resignation, not one sincere officer accepting derelection of duty? Disgustingly shameless.Recommend

  • johnny_bravo
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:39PM

    oh really?Recommend

  • Akthar
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:41PM

    So it is confirmed that the attackers were humans & not STARWARS. So one conspiracy theory is ruled out.Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:44PM

    Really? It took geniuses over month to figure this out!Recommend

  • M.Akthar
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:54PM

    Must be Heart Breaking for the conspiracy theorists.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:57PM

    Good to know. Now, let see whodunnit gets it or not.Recommend

  • Chengez K
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:01PM

    Shoot them by firing squad.Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:02PM

    What a news. What happens to all those conspiracy theorists shouting from roof top “Guess who is the beneficiary in this” Insiders??Recommend

  • alfred nobel
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:05PM

    indians said that there is inside work to plan, conspire mumbai attack, the americans said that obl had inside support… the afghans said, alqaida has support network within the state mechansim.. you didnt trust anyone of us….now the word comes from horse mouth, hope the people wake up , what they beleive they are actually sleeping, but they are pretend to be…Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:06PM

    If this inside help extended to nuke bases, what next ?Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:16PM

    but WHO were the inside help to this incident????Recommend

  • Amer
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:18PM

    BREAKING NEWS: The people helping from inside had spiderman costumes! Recommend

  • Ishrat Salim
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:30PM

    That shows …how genius we are…?? briefing what we already knew…for which Saleem Shahzad lost his life…?? that is why this is an in-camera briefing…??Recommend

  • Ali Abbas
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:30PM

    I can see very funny comments here. Things like ‘resignations’ and ‘STARWARS’. Well if someone has a little insight into this kind of warfare, the 4th generation warfare, one can easily understand the vulnerability and problems of the victim country, especially its institutions. The enemy is hidden amongst the masses, ordinary people, living in cities and towns with no obvious signs of being armed or holding of any ‘ground’. Any country who is the victim of 4th generation war is extremely vulnerable to incidents like Mehran Base. Instead of cutting jokes out of it, its time we should give strength to our institutions. Instead of asking them to resign, we should help them by identifying radicals and paranoids. I ask anyone who easily makes a funny comment; WHAT HAVE YOU CONTRIBUTED TO THIS NATION…? It is easy to say, it is difficult to do…!Recommend

  • Patrik
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:50PM

    Tell us something we don’t already know, It would have been news if the ‘inside help’ was identified !Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:40PM

    Investigation Pakistani style —– publish lots of information when the event happens – have a long investigation which reveals less than the information published when the even happened.Recommend

  • Muhammad Kashif
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:40PM

    Nauman Bhai get some shame, and then weigh that shame, you are the Chief of (No) Naval Staff which takes oil from Saudia to operate their ships. Saudia and Oil cannot weigh your shame, Get Some Shame.Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:44PM

    Who did not know? Please raise your hand, (except Pakistan Millitary and the Governament).Recommend

  • janjua
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:56PM

    haha look like ET is desperate to find some anti Pak and anti Army news. this site is run by haters of PakistanRecommend

  • Jun 29, 2011 - 8:02PM

    wow. what a SURPRISE…NOT!!!Recommend

  • Jun 29, 2011 - 8:08PM

    But I thought India was outside of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Zeeeee
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:28PM

    Nothing new tell us something new plzzzzzzzzz
    Public know these thingz….Recommend

  • observer
    Jun 29, 2011 - 9:24PM


    The ‘beneficiary’ was supposed to be country X.
    The attackers were supposed to be agents of country X.
    Therefore, the ‘insiders’ also must be agents of country X.

    That my dear Watson is new.Recommend

  • Akhtar Nawaz
    Jun 29, 2011 - 10:49PM

    To my Indian friends

    ’71 was an ‘inside’ job too. Didnt stop you guys from participating in it, did it? The report says ‘inside help’ not ‘inside operations’

    Those who wanted Indra Ghandi dead had ‘inside help’ as well. Now grow up. Recommend

  • Jerry
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:02PM

    It was Typo , Actual Header should be

    PNS Mehran terrorists had inside help from INDIA: Officials

    So findings can not be disclose to the Public now.

    We will wait for another terror attack on India and then we will use this finding to bargain with India,

    Yes we have SOLID Plan to tackel Indian propaganda in future.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 30, 2011 - 12:50AM

    What a stunning revelation, I am shocked! Now that navy officials are convinced what most people already knew, arrest the insiders promptly. Keep them in jail for debriefing and then let the courts release them. It is so simple and easy like every terrorist has gone through our independent judiciary. Recommend

  • Akthar
    Jun 30, 2011 - 4:01AM

    @aliabbas, i understand your feeling as a pakistani! I contribute to my country in the form of sending home forex (earnings). Now tell me what i can contribute when our leaders (both military & army) hide facts from us. They are corrupt & inefficient & lie to us.
    Staying abroad, i know these people treat us like terrorists. Our leaders brought us to this state that there are daily killings/bombilgs in the country & on top of it they make comments like starwars. Truly depressing! Tell us what to do!Recommend

  • SJ
    Jun 30, 2011 - 5:36AM

    Noooo……. really?Recommend

  • sajid
    Jun 30, 2011 - 7:54AM

    “What we have been told is nothing new as lots of information has already appeared in the media,” said an opposition member, who requested not to be named.

    lol :PRecommend

  • sohail
    Jun 30, 2011 - 8:17AM

    @alfred nobel:
    Dear, Actually American and Chines work inside the base,i do think that american provides inside info to the attackers, likewise raymond davis…hope you remember?
    Pak army and ISI is quite capable to figure it out.Recommend

  • syed Yousaf
    Jun 30, 2011 - 10:52AM

    @ Mirza, cautious and Akhtar, are all Indians,actively participating and very cunningly attacking Pakistan and its State Institutions. I would request all Pakistanis to join me in calling “Express Tribune” not to publish comments which belittle or defame our country and its institutions.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 30, 2011 - 11:59AM

    @syed Yousaf:
    Brother it is the outlook as well as mindset of citizens like your good self that the Pakistan image globally is like a shining beacon. Also logic says an country, individual or institution must have some fame or reputation, for it to be defamed. Pakistan is reputed to be a haven for terror groups with a distinguished record for mindless bloodshed. This is a difficult reality to accept and am not sure it is amenable to defamation. Please surf the Net to keep abreast of reality. Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Jun 30, 2011 - 12:33PM


    “PNS Mehran terrorists had inside help from INDIA: Officials”

    Whoa. You seem to have a lot of evidence and Information that the Media and the guys investigating dont have!

    You are so hell bent on blaming India that you wont accept the report

    Same with Hamoodar Rehman Commission report. It laid all the blame on Pakistan, yet you say we are to blame.

    God help people like you.Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Jun 30, 2011 - 12:36PM

    @syed Yousaf:

    I guess the reporter who wrote this story or the people who published that report are also Indians. Eh?Recommend

  • Salim
    Jun 30, 2011 - 1:08PM

    Pakistan’s defence analyst Zaid Hamid would have fainted on hearing this news. He was accusing zionist, RAW, CIA, etc. etc. for PNS Mehran attack. Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii
    Jun 30, 2011 - 1:37PM

    you don’t give strength by supporting institutions , by saying what ever they did/do/done is right.
    You give strength by constantly monitoring/auditing/re-construting/reforming – in this process constructive criticism is valid.
    Do u understand meaning of any of the above words?

    Don’t blind support anybody or every body. Worst is blindly supporting your own children.Recommend

  • Usman
    Jun 30, 2011 - 2:15PM

    CIA Black water has created agents on the name of cooperation inside PAKISTAN…Recommend

  • Faraz
    Jun 30, 2011 - 2:29PM

    God help Pakistan!
    Corruption has gotten deep into our bones in every walk of life. Even our defense forces have become corrupt. This leaves the people of Pakistan no choice but to start fixing ourselves up in our respective corners, or else be prepared for situations worse than the one prevailing.Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Jun 30, 2011 - 2:35PM

    Ikram Sehgal, where are you? Now what have you to say?Recommend

  • Jun 30, 2011 - 3:00PM

    Did anybody resign after GHQ, OSL and many other terror incidents in the country, why show bias in case mehran incident and ask resignations. It is a terrror incident. We need to end the blame game and need unity, faith and discipline in all ranks and fields to fight this menance out of this country. We must understand divided we stand harder we fall. We had been preparing against the external threats and now we need to prepare against the internal threats as well. Recommend

  • Ali Abbas
    Jun 30, 2011 - 5:28PM

    Remember when you point your finger towards someone, four are pointing towards your own self. Criticism is easy to be done. To do something positively is very difficult. Even poorest of all can even criticize. People even criticize God, for that matter. Who has to hold accountable and who is to be held accountable is important. You and me are not authorized for such tasks, so better for us is to contribute positively…and not blindly abuse our leadership all the times, both military and civilian. If they are bad, we are equally bad. Charity begins at home. And at the moment, when we face the worst threat and situation, is it wise to CRITICIZE for the sake of it or to help each other, give each other strength and shoulder. Does anyone think that the very people who operate these assets (P3Cs) will be sleeping now and feeling happy of what has happened. I am sure there institutions have systems of identifying the flaws but at the same time, it is not a pitched battle between two identifiable enemies. Terrorists are hidden amongst masses and cannot be dealt like a normal army fights with another army. We as a nation need to stand together and stop this rubbish attitude of idiotic criticism for the sake of it…!Recommend

  • Chacha
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:09PM

    No wonder thier is no progress on the Mumbai 26/11 investigations. You guys cannot investigate your own disasters, and when the killer is actually known you garland him (Qadri). Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:19PM


    It was “Strom Troopers”Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:22PM

    @Ali Abbas:

    Especially to the country nurturing and caring the 4th generation troopers in the name of strategic depth.Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:25PM

    @Akhtar Nawaz:

    misbehaving toddlers don’t tell grown ups to grow up. We will talk when you grow up and shed your delusions.Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:31PM


    If the United States want to destabilize Pakistan, it doesn’t need to use CIA, Black Water or anyone else.

    Economic sanctions would do the trick more effectively than the US spending tax payer money. May be we should start by freezing assets of Pakistani politicians, military and others. Even simpler solution would be to stop all remittance to Pakistan from the US. Within 2 to 3 months, Pakistan will collapse. You have no idea.Recommend

  • Mir
    Jun 30, 2011 - 8:55PM

    The elephant in the room is “are the nukes safe?”Recommend

  • Noman
    Jun 30, 2011 - 9:35PM

    Realization may be the first step towards reform. If we let the political process continue and evolve and involve all stake holders than we can realistically hope that extremism in our society will gradually decrease and the ongoing civil war in our coutry will end.Recommend

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