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After airport assault in Karachi Pakistanis fear worse to come



by Joseph Earnest  June 9, 2014   


Newscast Media KARACHIThe assault on Karachi's international airport has highlighted the Islamists' might. Experts say it also exposes the loopholes in Pakistan's security mechanism, but more so the stubbornness of the country's policymakers.

Karachi is Pakistan's biggest city, a metropolis with a population of over 15 million people. Its Jinnah Airport is the country's busiest domestic and international airport, used daily by around 44,000 passengers. Yet, on Sunday, June 8, a couple of hours before midnight, Taliban militants managed to storm the airport's Terminal One, besieging it until Monday morning.

At least 28 people died - including 11 airport security guards, four workers from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and 10 of the gunmen - in the all-night battle between the extremists and Pakistan's security forces.

No one in the country had ever any doubts about the Pakistani Taliban's ability to launch a full-blown assault. Indeed, the Islamists had attacked military bases and installations all over the country in the past. But almost no one ever expected them to try to take control of the heavily guarded Karachi airport.

"What were our 'ubiquitous' intelligence agencies doing? They were actually busy getting critical news channels and Facebook pages banned while negotiating with and appeasing the Taliban?" a Pakistani Twitter user criticized.

"The main goal of this attack was to hurt the government, by hijacking planes and destroying state installations," Shahidullah Shahid, a Taliban spokesman, said in a statement a few hours after the attack. "This was just an example of what we are capable of and there is more to come. The government should be ready for even worse attacks."

Abdul Sattar, a political analysts in Islamabad, is of the view that the Islamic warriors have sent a "clear message to the world that they are alive and active and can strike at will" despite the Pakistani authorities' claims that the Taliban have been weakened and fragmented.      Add Comments>>



Source: Deutsche Welle













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