Attack on Pak Army GHQ - Implications for Pakistan's Nuclear Security

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by indian_blues, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. indian_blues

    indian_blues Regular Member

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    Pak army HQ in Rawalpindi Under Attack

    Islamabad: A team of gunmen brandishing assault rifles and grenades tried to break into Pakistan's army headquarters on Saturday, sparking a raging gunbattle with troops outside the capital of Islamabad, police said.

    The brazen attack was the third major militant assault in a week and came as the government said it was planning an imminent offensive against Islamist militants in their strongholds in the rugged mountains along the border with Afghanistan.

    The gunmen drove up to the army compound in the garrison city of Rawalpindi shortly before noon and tried to force their way inside before being stopped by soldiers, said Mohammed Jamil, a police official.

    The attackers jumped out of the vehicle, took up positions throughout the area and began firing at the troops, he said.

    One gunman hurled a grenade, and others fired sporadically at those manning the checkpoint at the compound's entrance, said a senior military official inside. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    He said top army officials were trapped inside the compound.

    The gunbattle was the third major attack in major cities in recent days, following a car bombing that killed 49 on Friday in the northwestern city of Peshawar and the bombing of a U.N. aid agency Monday that killed five in Islamabad.

    Source: Fierce gunfight after attack on Pak army HQ

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    Why suddenly wave of attacks in pakistan, sign of Indian retaliation?
     
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  3. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    "Is Afghanistan an ungovernable country?

    # During colonist expansion of the 18th and 19th century, the British failed to subjugate these tribal lands.
    # After having occupied Afghanistan by force, the Soviet Union forces suffered heavy causalities and were forced to retreat." See Is Afghanistan an ungovernable country? - Instablogs

    I think everyone might as well recognize that Afghanistan and parts of Northwestern Pakistan are ungovernable wild frontiers. I'm beginning to think that NATO is on an impossible mission in Afghanistan. Same problem for the Pakistani government in trying to subdue the wild Pashtuns. Good luck to both; but I think they're doomed.
     
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ There are some reports that these people were from TTP Punjab. S.Waziristan has been completely isolated so I don't expect these attackers to be PAshtoons.
    You can't really compare the Afghan/tribal people fighting against the British with this. At that time they were fighting to maintain their sovereignty while this is basically a perverted religious nationalist movement which includes even Punjabis (particularly south Punjab) as well.

    Search operation air surveillance at GHQ - GEO.tv

    RAWALPINDI: Firing has come to halt after one-hour long army operation outside army GHQ, Geo news reported on Friday morning, meanwhile, search operation and air surveillance is still continued.

    At least four terrorists were killed and two were arrested while a dead body of an unidentified person was also recovered form the encounter place, sources said.

    The miscreants have been overpowered and the situation is under completely control, spokesman ISPR Ather Abbas confirmed to Geo news.

    According to details suspected militants attacked tightly guarded army headquarters on Saturday, as they were in a white Suzuki vehicle and were intercepted at army checkpost no 1, they opened fire and threw five grenades at a main gate, security officials and media said.

    "They wore army uniforms and tried to enter the headquarters area but when they were stopped they opened fire and hurled hand grenades," a security official told media.

    Four terrorists were killed and two were arrested during one-hour long encounter, army sources said.

    The suspected militants had driven up to the gate in a white Suzuki van that was carrying explosives, the official said.

    Media sources said firing was still going on with the two or three gunmen for forty minutes after the attack was launched. Three blasts had been heard, they said.

    Soldiers sealed off roads leading to the headquarters and ahelicopter was hovering over the area.
     
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Associated Press: Gunmen hold up to 15 hostages in Pakistan army HQ

    Gunmen hold up to 15 hostages in Pakistan army HQ

    By ASIF SHAHZAD (AP) – 17 minutes ago

    RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Heavily armed militants were holding up to 15 soldiers hostage inside Pakistan's army headquarters Saturday after they stormed the complex in an audacious assault on the heart of the nuclear-armed country's most powerful institution.

    The attack left 10 people dead, including two ranking officers, and appeared to be warning to the military that its planned offensive on the insurgents' stronghold along the Afghan border would be met with strikes against targets across Pakistan.

    The government said the assault on the headquarters, which followed a bloody market bombing and a suicide blast an a U.N. aid agency this week, had strengthened its resolve to push into South Wazristan — a mountainous region where security forces have been beaten back by insurgents before.

    The spasm of violence was confirmation that the militants had regrouped despite recent military operations against their forces and the killing of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a CIA drone attack in August. His replacement vowed just last week to step up attacks around the country and repel any push into Waziristan.

    Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said "four or five" assailants were holding between 10 and 15 troops hostage in a building close to the main gates of the complex in Rawalpindi, a city near the capital, Islamabad. He said the building had no connection to any of the country's intelligence agencies. No senior military or intelligence officials were among those being held, he said.

    He said special forces had surrounded the building. "They will decide how and when to act," he said, declining to say whether negotiations were going on more than 11 hours after the attack began.

    The attack on the center of Pakistan's military establishment began shortly before noon when the gunmen, dressed in camouflage military uniforms and wielding assault rifles and grenades, drove in a white van up to the army compound and opened fire, Abbas and a witness said.

    "There was fierce firing, and then there was a blast," said Khan Bahadur, a shuttle van driver who was standing outside the gate of the compound. "Soldiers were running here and there," he said. "The firing continued for about a half-hour. There was smoke everywhere. Then there was a break, and then firing again."

    After a 45-minute gunfight, four of the attackers were killed, said Abbas.

    He initially told Geo news television channel the assault was over and the situation "under full control."

    But more than an hour later, gunshots rang out from the headquarters compound, and Abbas then confirmed that other gunmen had eluded security forces and slipped into the compound. The city is filled with security checkpoints and police roadblocks.

    "We are trying to finish it (the siege) at the earliest, clear the area of terrorists and restore complete control," Abbas said.

    Abbas said six soldiers were killed, included a brigadier and a lieutenant colonel, and five wounded, one critically.

    Pakistani media said the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

    The United States has been pushing Pakistan to take strong action against insurgents using its soil as a base for attacks in Afghanistan. The army has previously been unwilling to go into Waziristan with significant force, but has likely been emboldened by its successes against the militants in the Swat Valley earlier this year and the killing of Baitullah Mehsud.

    "I want to give a message to the Taliban that what we did with you in Swat, we will do the same to you there (in Waziristan), too," said Interior Minister Rehman Malik. "We are going to come heavy on you."

    Militants regularly attack army bases across the country and bombed a checkpoint the outside army compound in Rawalpindi two years ago — one of several major bombings to hit the garrison city in recent years. But rarely have the Taliban mounted an armed assault here involving multiple fighters.

    In its brazenness and sophistication, Saturday's assault resembled attacks in March by teams of militants against the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore and a police training center, which the insurgents took over for 12 hours before security forces retook it.

    Saturday's gunbattle following a car bombing that killed 49 on Friday in the northwestern city of Peshawar and the bombing of a U.N. aid agency Monday that killed five in Islamabad. The man who attacked the U.N. was also wearing a security forces' uniform and was granted entry to the compound after asking to use the bathroom.

    Islamist militants have been carrying out nearly weekly attacks in Pakistan, but the sheer scale of Friday's bombing in Peshawar — which killed nine children — pushed the government to declare it would take the fight to the lawless tribal belt along the border where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden may be hiding.

    Any operation in Waziristan will be very difficult. Analysts say the militants may have 12,000 well-armed fighters there, while winter will arrive in one month's time and could bog down troops. The army must also ensure that insurgents do not regroup elsewhere in the northwest, including Swat.

    Associated Press writer Munir Ahmad and Chris Brummitt contributed to this report from Islamabad.
     
  6. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    ITN reports that 6 Pakistani Soldiers were also killed including high ranking officers a Brigadier and Lt. Colonel also were among dead , with 15 soldiers were taken as hostage. 4 Talibans also gunned down.

    ITN video link:

    YouTube - Taliban attacks Pakistan army base

    Regards
     
  7. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    If Talibs can do this, what is to stop them from getting a nuklear warhead? Rawalpindi is supposed to be the tightest security area in the entire country.
     
  8. qsaark

    qsaark Regular Member

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    Rawalpindi is not a garrisoned city. My Uncle lives in Rawalpindi and I myself have been over there several times. Rawalpindi is organized in a very funny way and it is very densely populated a city. My Uncle’s house is just behinds a firing range. So Rawalpindi is not like many other Cantonments which are well defined and isolated from the civilian residential areas. The invaders were in the Army attire hence it was not possible for the security guys to spot them quickly.

    What has happened in Rawalpindi can happen everywhere in the world in the cities setup like Rawalpindi. Now this shows that the terrorists can reach to the Nukes is an assumption and gross exaggeration since nukes are not stored in the check posts and gates located in the outer most security circles around the military buildings.
     
  9. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    The terrorists are getting out of hand. They need to be crushed with all might yesterday.

    *****footing now and trying to hunt with the hounds and run with the hare will no longer work. Hope Pakistan understands this for good and stops this good terrorists vs. bad terrorists business.
     
  10. Costanza

    Costanza New Member

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    Just to give you guys an update to avoid disinformation, the terrorists are nowhere NEAR the GHQ's main building. They only attacked the outer most check post which is visible from the main road. The hostages that the remaining (Two) terrorists are holding are not INSIDE GHQ but in a small security compound located right next to the First check post.

    4 terrorists have been killed by the army, 2 have been captured and two are using some hostages as human shield to protect their coward asses.

    ISPR has released images of the killed terrorist. Just go to their website and check it out.
     
  11. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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  12. Costanza

    Costanza New Member

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    You're happy about our men getting killed? That's really sad dude. Whenever there's a casualty in India, or a fighter jet crashes taking the pilot's life, we pray for your soldiers who die in the line of duty. It's not a secret just check out some online forums and you would know.

    Really, I'm disappointed.
     
  13. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Spare us please.
     
  14. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    That's actually a good point. I think militants are definitely capable of infiltrating Pakistani nuclear facilities, if they decide to do it. They would probably be unable to hold the facility or even operate the nuclear devices. The best possible scenario for militants is that they manage to obtain nuclear materials or plans and escape.
     
  15. IBM

    IBM Regular Member

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    I think its work of ISI as they r begging for millitary equipment from America and has not received it. By doing this they can presssurise American to release attack choppers, f-16, night vision many more, old dirty game of politics. Above all, I salute to those soldier do died to defend there motherlland. A soldier is a solider wheather Indian or Pakistani.
     
  16. zolpidam

    zolpidam Regular Member

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    This will not be a good point , who know for against they will use it ,there will be a nuclear holocaust.
     
  17. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    it would be better then if both countries signed and really implememnted teh NO War Pact , wouldnt it ?
     
  18. qsaark

    qsaark Regular Member

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    A person with even limited knowledge about the professional militaries and nuclear weapons would know it’s not that simple.

    First the ‘terrorists’ have to locate where the warheads are located (CIA and other agencies are dying to know where they are so they could be disabled)

    Than they have to overcome all the security barriers to reach to them (in the present case which is given as an example, the terrorists couldn’t even reach in the GHQ lawns let alone in the compound and forget about inside of the building itself)

    Than they have to secure the weapons/material and try to escape (as if after overcoming all the security on their way in, the security will spread a red carpet on their way out)

    After escaping successfully, they have to find a way bring it to India or wherever (as if all the intelligence assets on the ground and in the air/space (local and international) would remain unaware of the movement of highly radioactive material across the country.

    If they managed to enter in their target country then they have to find a way to detonate the weapons (now you will suggest that they also have degree in the nuclear physics).
     
  19. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Which is precisely why I talked about the act of actually entering a nuclear facility, which after seeing this attack, I'm quite certain they are capable of doing. I'm sure the GHQ is among the best guarded places in Pakistan.

    Whether they would be able to locate the facility, identify the stuff they need, and manage to escape with it is quite unlikely, which is why I said its the "best possible scenario". Its difficult, but not impossible.

    Not at all. The best they would be able to do is sell/transfer the material to some country or organization which has the requisite knowhow. But all this is simply speculation.
     
  20. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    At all times, I imagine India and Pakistan having ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads in launch facilities, on standby, so there could be a quick second-strike. In case such a launch-facility is compromised, I don't think it's particularly time-consuming for the terrorists to use it..unless ofcourse, the launch machinery has electronic security which is held by the country's nuclear command.
     
  21. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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