The Air Force media wing’s prompt response after militants attacked Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base Minhas in Kamra helped avert the usual chaos media outlets go through during such incidents.
The office of media affairs of the PAF confirmed immediately that the base had come under attack.
“A group of terrorists have attacked a portion of PAF base Minhas. PAF security personnel have cordoned off the area and have encircled the terrorists. Intense fire is being exchanged between security personnel and the terrorists. Further details will be communicated soon,” the first press release stated.
The statement was received at media outlets at 4:15am, and was followed by a number of updates on the operation till 8pm.
In similar situations, the media, especially electronic, starts running rumours as news since no authentic information is available.
Some channels initially claimed that the 111-brigade had been moved to deal with the situation, while some international media outlets even reported that there was a possibility of the presence of nuclear weapons in the vicinity.
However, immediately after the media wing started releasing updates on the operation, the disorder subsided, if not completely averted.
PAF spokesperson Group Captain Tariq Mehmood told The Express Tribune that Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, himself, supervised the operation from the Air Headquarters.
“The air chief was in the operation room at the headquarters and was directly guiding each and every thing. We had an operation room at the base and they (air chief and his deputy) were directly coordinating with them,” he said.
He added he himself was in touch with his superiors who kept him updated on the incident, to keep the general public in the loop.
When asked, the spokesperson dismissed reports of the presence of nuclear weapons at the airbase as ‘absurd’.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.
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I am afraid soon there will be killings just suspecting that a person is from waziristan and looks patan, this what the PTT had done to their people. They will come to earn a living and will be killed on the terrorist action of PTT.
@Adil: Probably we should give you a gun and post you outside a military base. Getting rid of highly motivated, in PAF uniform, attacking at 2am terrorists in 3 hours is an achievement. Especially after noticing that a single soldier, Muhammad Asif was able to keep them pin down until the reinforcements arrived.
For another explanation - notice the loss of life ratio this time.
Finally ET, honestly I kept myself updated over twitter and that was much more informative and consistent!
@Haven't lost my sanity: They would deserve it if the terrorists were shot outside the base. This is no doubt carelessness which cannot be defended by nice articles in the news.
@Adil Don't you think you sound very negative? Come on, let's admit the concerned authorities in PAF reacted in the most professional manner and averted what could turn into a huge crisis. They deserve a pat on the back!
Bravo PAF; we are with you!
While the effective role of the media wing and its results were satisfactory, the same thing cannot be said about the effectiveness of those people responsible for the security of the installation. Their failure to stop the terrorists outside the boundaries of the base, despite of precise early warnings, is a clear indication of their incompetence and needs to be addressed immediately. It is strange that in this modern age of electronic surveillance and monitoring, which only costs a few bucks, no such measures were adopted. Further lapses in security were also caused by those who chose personal religious gratification over their duties, a glaring reflection of our priorities.
Thats is good learning from past experience of attack on naval installations in karachi. Pak army pls tighten your belts to fight extremists before you got too late.
Now they will stay alert for few days or I will say red alert for few days and then sleep again till another base is attacked. Someone showed carelessness otherwise the attack should have been repelled within minutes.
Media reported from outside where they telecast what they were told officially, leaving more confusion than ever, leaving guess and relying on foreign media what they put in our minds. Every one is concealing their agenda what judiciary, what government what politicians. Simply it is not good.