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Sunday, 28 September 2008

Buck up Karachi Police - Home-grown sectarian and extremist outfits are but extensions of global terrorist networks like Al Qaeda.

A job well done

FRIDAY’S police action against suspected terrorists in a Karachi locality comes as a reality byte that home-grown sectarian and extremist outfits are but extensions of global terrorist networks like Al Qaeda. There is no ambiguity now that the terror machine that has unleashed itself against targeted individuals and the public alike in Pakistan is more organised than hitherto believed; it can and does strike at a place and time of its own choosing, as the recent bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad shows.

The Sindh Police must be given credit for the coordinated effort they launched together with the intelligence agencies that made Friday’s operation a success. The nabbing alive of a main suspect, Rahimullah alias Ali Hasan, who was wanted for many a bombing in Karachi, and who led the police to the scene of his accomplices’ hideout on Friday, was a rare accomplishment which brought about dividends. The three terrorists killed in the operation had kidnapped the oil trader who transported supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan and whom they shot dead soon after the police surrounded their house, which speaks of the brutal and inhuman mindset of the terrorists. They were planning more ghastly attacks in and around Karachi in the days ahead, as details from the scene revealed. If such pre-emption and thus prevention of acts of terrorism become a priority with our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the menace can be curbed more effectively than has been the case so far.

On a different note, one feels that perhaps a bit of restraint was in order as the provincial home minister gave vent to his anger against a section of the media while collecting kudos for his ministry and divulging details of Friday’s operation. Mr Zulfiqar Mirza may be entitled to feel like a hero sticking it out for the underdog, as he claims, but that does not make the public office he holds immune from scrutiny. The media, too, acts as a public watchdog in a representative set-up. Moreover, isn’t tolerance of diversity of opinion a basic ingredient of democracy? (Dawn)

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