Karachi, June 9
The Karachi Airport attack claimed 27 innocents, 10 militants, and Islamabad’s talks with the Taliban. The 17-hour, Mumbai-style siege was owned by the Taliban-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. But the attack, which began late night on June 8, was neither unexpected nor terribly successful. The following day, after the Army had declared victory, two Taliban gunmen attacked the airport security force’s academy. There were no casualties, and, ruefully, no prisoners. Karachi hardly offered any new insights. Pakistan’s security is gallingly poor when it is not nonexistent. Emergency services have flatlined. The media is excitable. The politicians are clueless. The bureaucracy is craven. All this is well established and won’t change. That more damage wasn’t done during the siege isn’t an achievement of the state or security personnel. Rather, it more accurately reflects the diminished capacity of the militants, under attack from within and without in the tribal areas, to inflict real damage. It is having sensed just this that the government and Army decided, finally, to move in for the kill.
From our June 14-21, 2014, issue.