Refocus on Manawan Police Academy Attack
By Sajjad Shaukat
Pakistan has become special arena of the different war, being waged by the security forces against the ruthless terrorists who have continued their terror-activities such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, beheadings of the innocent people, assaults on security personnel and prominent religious figures. Besides blowing children schools and attacking the female teachers in order to deny education to girls, the terrorists, particularly of the Indian-backed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also targeted mosques, Imambargahs, mausoleums, temples, churches and disgraced dead bodies. Their pitiless acts resulted into killings of several persons in Pakistan.
In this regard, 30 March reminds the day when in 2009, the Manawan Police Academy in Lahore was attacked and captured by an estimated 12 gunmen who also seized hostages.
In the deadly attack, at least 13 people, including four police trainees and two instructors, were killed and other 100 wounded in eight hours of gun battles with armed assailants. During exchange of firing between the terrorists and police and army personnel, surrounding the compound, there was a series of loud explosions. This fact proved that the perpetrators were armed with automatic weapons, grenades and rockets.
Despite the continued firing of the gunman on the troops, police, and on helicopters which were monitoring the situation, the valiant security forces successfully coped with the militants and were able to take back the building. It was due to their boldness that three of the attackers blew themselves up, three others were taken into custody and four were taken to undisclosed locations for interrogation by the security forces.
Regarding the Manawan Police Academy attack, Afzal Ali, the former head of Pakistan’s police academy said, “We are at a state of war.”
The then chief of the TTP, Baitullah Mehsud took responsibility for the attack on the Manawan Police Academy, Lahore.
In this respect, various terror-attacks indicate that Indian secret agency, RAW has been waging a guerilla warfare in Pakistan through its well-trained insurgents, especially of the TTP, who could conduct attacks in major cities of the country.
After sponsoring bomb blasts and suicide attacks in the past, a perennial wave of the same in 2009-particularly in the last 18 months clearly proves that RAW has modified its tactics of subversion in Pakistan. Apart from direct suicide events, militants, armed with hand grenades, machine guns and other weapons also come to help the explosive-laden vehicles so as to penetrate the security at the target points. Sometimes, exchange of fire takes place between the saboteurs and the security guards, and sometimes, purpose is to directly kill the security personnel of our country. A number of terror-events in Pakistan endorse that RAW’s agents have been acting upon the guerilla techniques. In most of the terror-tragedies, huge quantity of explosives has also been used.
Apart from the latest incidents in Lahore, similar tactics of exchange of fire were occurred in connection with many terrorist incidents, as the militants reached their directed targets with latest weapons. In this respect, on March 3, 2009, terrorist attack which targeted the bus of Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore had killed 8 persons after a continuous gunfire by the militants. Pakistani officials confirmed that “grenades and rocket launchers had been recovered” which were of foreign origin. Afterwards, official inquiry disclosed that RAW was behind that attack. On May 27, 2009, more than 30 people were killed in Lahore when an explosive-laden Suzuki van exploded near Rescue 15 building of the police which was completely destroyed. It also damaged the building of the Lahore Capital City Police Office (CCPO) and that of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) which was the main target, but could not be hit due to heavy firing by the security guards on the terrorists who came along with the vehicle, firing at the security guards. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said on the same day that Indian involvement in “suicide attack in Lahore cannot be ruled out.”
Similar types of terror-tactics were applied by the culprits in relation to the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar where more than 20 persons had been killed in the suicide blast. Eyewitnesses had pointed out that the gunmen, sitting in one car first started firing at the security persons and then exploded their first vehicle to give a safe-passage to other truck which was carrying 500 kilograms of explosives. Attack on the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad might also be cited as an example.
Another guerilla technique of the RAW-trained terrorists is that they camouflage themselves by wearing the uniform of Pakistani security forces so as to deceive the security guards and to get inside the targeted point for conducting their assigned task. In 2009, U.N.’s World Food Program in Islamabad was attacked by a suicide bomber who was wearing an official uniform, evaded tight security and killed five people. Again, the militants who attacked the GHQ on October 10, 2009 were wearing army uniforms.
It is mentionable that regarding the 2009 simultaneous terror attacks in Lahore and that of the GHQ, the then Spokesman of the ISPR, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and other TV commentators had indicated Indian involvement behind the attack, remarking: “Hakimullah Mehsud and other terrorists are “the enemies of the state” and “are mercenaries who receive arms from Afghanistan to destabilize the country.”
While, Pakistan’s civil and military high officials have openly revealed that Indian RAW, Israeli Mossad and other foreign agencies are involved in supporting insurgency in various regions of Pakistan including separatism in Balochistan.
Nevertheless, on November 2, 2013, suicide bomber targeted a checkpoint at Wagah in Lahore and like other terror-assaults, Indian-supported TTP claimed responsibility. Afterwards, investigations proved Indian involvement in this attack. As regards the most brutal incident, TTP took responsibility for the massacre of 132 school children at Army Public School and College in Peshawar on December 16, 2013. Recently, TTP again accepted responsibility in relation to two suicide attacks on the churches in Lahore.
As a matter of fact, based in Afghanistan, Indian RAW with technological support of Israel and other anti-Pakistan countries have been sending the culprits to Pakistan so as to weaken the latter, as it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world.
Undoubtedly, Pakistan is in the state of new war, being waged by the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies against terrorists. In this connection, our Armed Forces have almost obtained their objectives in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) through military operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorists who had challenged the writ of the state, and had frightened the entire nation by their terror-acts. In Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi and other parts of the country including tribal areas, our security forces and law-enforcing agencies are successfully coping with the militants.
Nonetheless, 30 March reminds the day when Pakistan’s courageous personnel of the security forces retook the building of the Manawan Police Academy in Lahore, after fighting with the well-equipped terrorists.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations