Lahore: suicide bombers kill 39

by: Omar Ali

Very sad indeed. Unfortunately, the supply of suicide bombers exceeds the ability of our security forces to catch them and will likely do so for several years to come. The Jihadi militias are the Pak security establishment’s gift to the nation and its the gift that keeps on giving.

I know that now the security establishment itself is at the recieving end and we all need the security establishment to stop this menace, but it bring up this unpleasant business about “the gift that keeps on giving” because it is not only important that the security establishment now changes sides and eliminates these militias, it is also important that we develop better civilian institutions that can keep the security establishment in check so they don’t create new monsters in the future. Our security establishment is a professional institution, with reasonable good capabilities when it comes to actual army work like fighting conventional wars (at least by third world standards), but the average military officer (in most armies, not just in our army) has a very narrow and distorted world view. If they are allowed to decide national priorities and strategy without civilian input, they are guaranteed to make at least one big blunder every few years….I remember an exchange with an Indian historian who had spent some time with Indian

officers in Kashmir. He said the thing that struck him was that many of these officers are brave and are doing a tough job in harsh terrain and he admired them for that, but when they sat down for conversation after dinner, their naive and even silly theories about history, their total ignorance of economics and sociology, their “world view” basically knocked his socks off and he realized for the first time how lucky India was that these fine officers are NOT in charge of making public policy. Now, this historian was a fairly typical left wing product of higher education, so I am not saying everything he regarded as silly was really silly….sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, but I think he did have a point.

Anyway, coming back to the tragic bombings. We also need to improve the civilian police and dedicated anti-terrorist force. Ultimately, this is a police matter. Man for man, the Punjab police is more effective than most subcontinental police forces (that is not saying much, ALL subcontinental police units are riddled with corruption, use torture, abuse the poor and gang up with the rich to rob them and so on, but my guess is that the police in Lahore is probably more effective than the police in Delhi or Karachi) and given some time and effort, this menace will eventually be tackled mostly by the police in the settled areas while the army eliminates their bases in the tribal areas and suchlike. It will be a very unpleasant and nasty war…

Courtesy: crdp@yahoogroups.com, Mar 12, 2010

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