Once a person belonging to a procurement Organization of a military related setup told me an interesting story about how the USA banned the sale of F 16 parts to Pakistan and blacklisted the concerned Organization. A metallic plate of some specific caliber was urgently required for the F 16s and they had ran out of their foreign options. This was then when one of their officers came up with a black smith from Gujranwala that was able to forge the same plate for almost very less cost and since then they are using the same local plate. He concluded the story with the remarks that “We Pakistanis are masters of reinvention”. Well unfortunately, with time it has been proved that some among us are indeed capable of re-inventing among other things the newer facets of terrorism.
From suicide attacks on military installations, the blowing up of schools, bloody rampage at Muharram processions and killing the Polio workers, the new and more broadened sphere of Airports have been penetrated by the internal and the external phenomenon. I have used the word phenomenon because our airports has in recent days came under various types of assaults ranging from the terrorist attack at Karachi airport, to Government and Mr. Tahir ul Qadri’s debacle with the idea of revolution at both Lahore and Islamabad Airport to the yesterday’s Ariel firing at the PK-756 at the Peshawar Airport. All of them have more and more maligned the image of Pakistan at the International level and revealed our innovation in being able to completely fail at learning from our mistakes.
For any foreigner coming into this country, if he is already not turned off by the amazing Osama Bin laden’ s pronounced recovery by the USA from our land despite our refusal to accept his existence at our land; an airport is the first and foremost face of Pakistan for him. Imagine him landing into a situation where there are bullets being fired on the plane resulting in deaths and injured flight crew, or being accompanied by a passenger who refused to disembark for his own personal agenda for a number of reasons, while taking the whole plane almost hostage with him. Half of the terrorists work is unfortunately done by our selves, by unfathomable security procedures and through irresponsible Media reporting. In reference to the yesterday’s incident, a TV channel took the Injured flight steward on air and was trying to ask the steward about some stupid questions about who actually fired at the plane so that afterwards they could add up to their promo that ABC channel was the first to bring you the XYZ. We surely do not learn from any mistake, Bacha Khan International airport was attacked in 2012 by a number of terrorists and its one of the most vulnerable airports of Pakistan , Peshawar being the edge of the Mangal Bagh’s Notoriously ruled Khyber Agency. With the Zarb e Azb operation is in full swing and the main course of action being the PAF Jets bombing the Terrorist hideouts; airports have become the new favourite of terrorist, reason being very simple that attacking a airport will get international attention and because the airstrips at almost all Civil airports are being also used by the PAF for flying operations. Since , very obviously Airports have become very vulnerable; then still we are allowing the so called Ariel firing in the vicinity of the airport. Where as Civil aviation authority is very particular about elimination of Birds in the airport area then how come Ariel firing is allowed in the vicinity of an Airport even if it’s a case of stray bullets and not the intentional attack. The series of the unfortunate events have stretched beyond the expected elasticity now, may be the International airlines do not close down their business due to the business prospects and mutual concessions but this should not be taken for granted and an elaborate revision of the Airport security standing operating procedures (SOP) is required along with the refresher training of the Airport Security Force else the day will be near when our airports may give a look of dismal desertion.