Plugging the terror leaks

With at least 20 dead and scores injured, the latest bomb blast to shake the country has hit the metropolis of Karachi. While this and other attacks are the work of the same militants, the motive and modus operandi behind this attack need to be understood. This latest attack on the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) bears the hallmark of previous dastardly attacks on the Special Intelligence Agency (SIA) safe house in Model Town, Lahore this year, the fierce attack on the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters in Lahore last year, the brazen daylight attack on the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) headquarters on Lahore’s Temple Road last year, and even the terror assault on Jinnah Hospital, Lahore this year.

All these attacks have seen the militants pass through fortified security to carry out their missions, where death and destruction is their prime agenda but so is rescuing terror suspects in captivity. The CID building housed a detention facility where it is reported terror suspects affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) were being kept. This is in line with the attacks mentioned above where it is said terrorists were being kept for interrogation. The terrorists’ mission is clear: help their comrades escape or kill them and themselves in the process to silence them.Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s claim that the attack was in the same league as the Marriot bombing in Islamabad is off the mark. Although the vicinity was a highly secure zone where the Sheraton Hotel, Chief Minister’s House and Governor’s House are located, this was an attack to retrieve or purge, not destroy an elite hotel. The terrorists came in an explosives-laden vehicle and let off round after round of gunfire at the main gate to get inside the CID building.

This is an extremely disturbing pattern. It betrays that there are moles, sympathisers and leaks in our intelligence set-up and that, on some level they are collaborating with the militants in perpetrating such incidents repeatedly. Undoubtedly, information on the movement and detention of detained terrorists is being made available to the militants and this is an internal breach. It is no secret that our establishment follows a dual policy when it comes to nurturing the ‘good’ Taliban and striking down the ‘bad’ Taliban, but these breaches of intelligence are making the war against terror, inherently difficult, even harder. It should be understood by now that there are only bad Taliban and we need to fight them all.We are faced with a shadowy guerrilla enemy and as such we need to stay the course. If the militants have infiltrated our intelligence set-up by way of their sympathisers, our intelligence services have to infiltrate the terror groups to pre-empt and prevent their fatal strikes.

We need to keep terror suspects in custody in undisclosed locations by a select few that are known for their loyalties to only the state.We live in a country where, in the past three years, terror attacks have exceeded those in Afghanistan in sheer numbers and ferocity. We have had more dead and affected than our war-ravaged neighbour in such a short span because of our double games. We need to take stock and set this right. These leaks and treacherous backers of the militants need to be found and taken out. In this fight to the death, there can be no tolerance for any Taliban sympathisers.This asymmetrical warfare is a contest of wills. The terrorists have banded together. It is tragic that there are so many splinters in our establishment where on the one hand we are going after the terrorists and on the other some elements are providing them with information. An internal purge of suspect elements is the order of the day – Dailytimes