Let’s Talk About Pakistan’s War


It was soon after Leon Panetta expressed concerns he feared Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal isn’t safe that a handful of militants attacked an important Pakistani air force base. Coincidence or incidental design? Say what you may, American policies and subtle remarks by Panetta have always acted as mere segues to something horrible in Pakistan.

Armed personnel stand guard outside the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra
Armed personnel stand guard outside the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra

The Attack on Minhas Air Force Base

In the early hours of Tuesday, August 17, eight militants attacked a rather important air force base in the town of Kamra. Since the attack, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have taken responsibility for the attack and have marked this as revenge for the killings of Baitullah Mehsud and Osama Bin Laden. TTP claimed that dozens of Pakistan armed force personnel were dealt a “lethal blow”, whilst the air force confirmed only two fatalities.

Significance of the Attack

Even though the attack appears to be a big deal, the militants could have hardly had penetrated into this highly secure PAF base (even with a bunch of automatic rifles, RPGs and a few suicide vests). This attack seems almost as illogical as it sounds – it’s rather akin to throwing pebbles at the Pentagon. All the attackers merely did was scratch the surface; and as usual, the American media has its knickers in a knot over something so insignificant that only their media can turn into a frenzy. Nevertheless, the American policymakers look towards their contemporaries in Pakistan’s parliament with the similar we-told-you-so looks, as Pakistani media suddenly starts to question why it is we are fighting this American war anyway.

The Incident

The security assets at Kamra are secured by four levels or rings of security around the base itself. The first and outermost security level primarily has stationary sentries and soldiers, who are in constant communication over a secured line with the control towers in the inner levels and also the Crisis Management Centre (CMC) at the base which monitors all levels of security.

When the terrorists reached the outermost walls of defence, they were intercepted by soldiers who relayed these suspicious movements to the CMC which in turn dispatched a rapid-reaction force. The militants were all killed without even penetrating a singular level of defence. According to a PAF spokesperson, the militants were headed towards the aircraft-refitting factories within Kamra.

TTP Motives

It is still unclear, though, what the motives of the TTP were in organising such an attack. It couldn’t have been to really do looking for an aircraft-refitting factory within the base when they knew they’d hardly be able to penetrate a singular layer of defence. Neither was it really an intelligent move to actually tell the PAF of the attack way in advance. Either something isn’t right here or the TTP has just lost its nuts.

An Average Resentment Against America

The people of Pakistan however are already tired of the crap America pulls out of its hat whenever anyone in Pakistan tries to suggest this war is unjustly thrown into Pakistani laps. It is pretty much evident now that Pakistan wouldn’t have been much of a mess if it hadn’t ever said ‘yes’ to fighting this American war in the first place.

Conspiracy theories abound. Leon Panetta is no fortune teller, Americans just dictate the Taliban.
Conspiracy theories abound. Leon Panetta is no fortune teller, Americans just dictate the Taliban to wreak havoc in Pakistan. Or is it India’s proxy war?

But, even the mere suggestion of this idea seems to irritate Americans. The average Pakistan resents the war but they do not hate the American people. They resent the American government’s tenacity to pursue wars on Pakistani soil when issues could be resolved far more easily in other ways. However, when Pakistan makes progress in trying to move towards those other avenues, something like this recent attack just shits all over their efforts. People have even begun asking whether it is a coincidence that Pakistan efforts are so easily reduced to dust, or could there be an American motivation behind such attacks.

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