WikiLeaks expose about the involvment of Saudi Arabia and UAE in financially supporting Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith mardrassas in south Punjab should serve as a wake-up call. Nearly $100 million is given to such madrassas annually, "ostensibly with the direct support of those governmenrs". We should not tolerate this even if we consider the two Arab states our friends. With friends like these, who needs enemies? These petro-dollars are feeding the production factories of terrorists and extermists. This must come to an end once and for all:
As the political leaders and military commanders huddle together with the prime minister today under the umbrella of the cabinet committee on defence, one hopes they would penetrate deep critically into the sagas of Abbottabad and Mehran naval airbase. The two episodes occurring in quick succession have exposed a startling vulnerability of the defence armour of all the three services, leaving a stunned nation aghast, perplexed and worried about the level of defence preparedness and operational capability of the army, the air force and the navy alike. While these fateful events have triggered foreboding uncertainties in our people’s minds, these have raised alarms playing out differently at home and abroad. At the bottom of this alarm is the safety and security of our nuclear assets. Domestically, the biggest concern, and a very genuine one at that, is if at all these strategic assets are secure from outside interloping and snatching, given the undetected successful American Abbottabad adventurism. Internationally, the concern, and patently very tendentious and devious one at that, is if these assets are any secure, given the easy intrusion terrorists had had into a high-security active airbase. Though there has never been the absence of a hostile alarmist campaign against our nuclear assets by sections of the international community, the western media networks have flung into a binge of frantic outcry after the Mehran episode, raising harrowing specters of the assets falling in terrorists’ hands. And suggestions are being feverishly bandied about for their snatching by the western powers before terrorists grab them. No matter how fanciful these scenarios may look, those have to be taken very seriously by both our political leaders as well as military commanders. Given the fact that what looked just unimaginable only until yesterday has had happened to us now, nothing should be ruled out, particularly when we stand exposed so vulnerably for our Abbottabad and Mehran collapses. Nobody must live in illusions any more. And nobody must dismiss it that events may even be given such vicious twist that our assets’ security issue ultimately lands in the UN corridors to our colossal grief. In the given dire predicament we are now in, take it for granted that everything is possible and nothing is in the realm impossibility now as far as we are concerned. And one hopes that the participants of the cabinet defence committee will be acutely mindful of the changed objective conditions around us. Indeed, their conclave should become the springboard for launching a surgical review and fundamental revision of the armed forces’ doctrines, strategies, armaments as well as their defence preparedness, operational capability and readiness. It must be understood that their security environment has altered in substance now. Apart from facing up to a standing enemy militaries, they are confronted with an invisible enemy who lives in caves or urban hideouts, and who hits and disappears or strikes fatally in suicide attacks and bomb blasts. And for the present, this enemy is proving far more lethal, deadly and destructive. This non-state enemy has to be plugged in significantly and substantially in the revised doctrines of the three services in every manner.A serious thought needs to be given to the overhauling of the entire intelligence apparatus of the state, which perceptibly is the state’s Achilles’ heel in its counter-terrorism drive. For the kind of terrorism goring the nation so brutally, a very strong, tightly-knit and all-functional intelligence network is the crying need of the hour to hound out dark elements of terrorism and extremism and preempt their thuggery. At the moment, what seems in place is a disjointed system, with various agencies working not in sync but in mutual rivalry and competition, making for a chaos, not an orderly chain needed crucially to go after terrorist forces in a coordinated, cooperative and orchestrated manner to make for a success. The participants may consider, as have the Americans done so gainfully after the 9/11 terrorist strike, creating an autonomous national director of intelligence to oversee and coordinate anti-terrorism functions and activities of the multiple federal and provincial intelligence agencies. The upshot is that today’s meeting of the cabinet committee on defence shouldn’t be a mere routine affair. It must be the harbinger of things bigger and worthwhile. The state is under attack of terrorists, very many arguably playing the proxies of foreign powers that are out to hurt this country cripplingly. The committee will be culpable if it doesn’t come out with ideas, thoughts and plans to curb these enemies of the state.