Death sen­tences in naval dock­yard at­tack case

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

Aber NAVAL tri­bunal has sen­tenced to death five of­fi­cers in the Septem

2014 Karachi Naval Dock­yard at­tack case. The five were charged with hav­ing links with the mil­i­tant Is­lamic State, mutiny, hatch­ing a con­spir­acy and car­ry­ing weapons in the dock­yard.

Our of­fi­cials from for­eign of­fice to the In­te­rior Min­istry have been deny­ing any or­gan­ised pres­ence of the ISIS, also known by the Ara­bic acro­nym Daesh, in Pak­istan. The mil­i­tant out­fit is a Mid­dle Eastern or­ga­ni­za­tion hav­ing roots in North Africa but it has been made its in­roads in sev­eral other re­gions of the world in­clud­ing Afghanistan. So the pres­ence of their sym­pa­thiz­ers within Pak­istan can­not be ruled out. How­ever, what is wor­ri­some and should set off alarm bells is that the out­fit has also man­aged to make its way in the in­sti­tu­tions that are meant for the se­cu­rity and de­fence of the coun­try. Af­ter the at­tack on the dock­yard which was ac­tu­ally meant to hi­jack the war­ship PNS Zul­fiqar to use it in some other ter­ror ac­tiv­ity, De­fence Min­is­ter Kh­waja Asif while con­firm­ing the in­volve­ment of navy of­fi­cers had also de­clared that the two of­fi­cials of the Pak­istan Navy, one com­mis­sioned and the other non-com­mis­sioned of­fi­cer, who were also in­volved in the at­tack, have fled the coun­try, prob­a­bly to neigh­bour­ing Afghanistan. The pres­ence of such sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ISIS or any other ter­ror out­fit linked of­fi­cers or sol­diers in the Armed forces is be­yond any un­der­stand­ing as we all know that the re­cruit­ment in the three forces is sub­ject to tough scru­tiny and even af­ter the in­duc­tion process, we un­der­stand there ex­ists an over­sight mech­a­nism. De­spite the pres­ence of such strong vig­i­lance sys­tem, how did the sup­port­ers of a mil­i­tant out­fit join the Navy and then re­mained in close li­ai­son and touch with other mem­bers of the group to per­pe­trate the sor­did act. This in­ci­dent speaks neg­li­gence on the part of Pak­istan Navy as well as the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies and re­spon­si­bil­ity should be fixed in this re­gard. Be­sides, such a fool­proof sys­tem should be de­vel­oped so that such el­e­ments could not pen­e­trate in the Armed forces as this also taints the very im­age of our mil­i­tary that is ranked amongst the best in the world.

ASPOKESMAN of the US State Depart­ment aptly de scribed the cur­rent phase of the Pak-US re­la­tion­ship as “Com­pli­cated but vi­tal”. To be hon­est the PakUS re­la­tions have been marked by mu­tual over ex­pec­ta­tion since the time Pak­istan came into ex­is­tence. Dur­ing this long pe­riod, there have been points of both con­ver­gence and di­ver­gence in the mu­tual pol­icy of a both the states. The phases of con­ver­gence were, when the US’s Per­ceived in­ter­est and those of Pak­istan were sim­i­lar if not iden­ti­cal. The pe­riod of di­ver­gence off-course con­sisted of phases when the core in­ter­ests of the two states dif­fered.

The cur­rent phase of the Pak US re­la­tions can also be re­ferred to as one of di­ver­gence. The present strain in the Pak US re­la­tions stems from three per­sis­tent de­mands, which the US is mak­ing on Pak­istan. Pak­istan, in my opin­ion, is cor­rectly find­ing it dif­fi­cult to oblige the US on these de­mands. These three de­mands are: 1, The re­lease of Dr Shakil, the doc­tor who helped US iden­tify Osama bin Laden through a hoax in­oc­u­la­tion cam­paign; 2, To Take mil­i­tary ac­tion against Haqqani net­work; 3, re­frain from de­ploy­ing the­atre on tac­ti­cal nu­clear weapons against In­dia.

The rea­son be­hind these terse de­mands on Pak­istan by the U.S could mainly be two fold: A, The in­creas­ing frus­tra­tion and im­pa­tience of the US, due to the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing sit­u­a­tion in Kabul be­cause of the Tal­iban of­fen­sive.


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