Pak airport attack raises questions about highly-publicised 'operations' launched against Taliban: Editorial
Referring to the recent brazen attack at the Peshawar airport, an editorial in a Pakistani daily has said that the fact that a band of heavily armed Taliban militants was able to make their way into a heavily secured facility and inflict havoc, raises questions about what the highly-publicised operations staged against the outfit have achieved.
The editorial in The Express Tribune said that the operation was meticulously planned and the militants certainly came perilously close to striking the PAF base - just as they have hit other military facilities before.
This, according to the editorial, suggests they are still a well-organised force with the power to carry out complex operations. The days of the TTP are far from over, it said.
The chaos began at Peshawar airport on December 15, when several militants were killed during a Taliban attack. It finally ended on December 16 as security forces tracked down five militants who had escaped the action at the airport and had taken refuge at a village near Peshawar. A total of 15 people are reported killed in the mayhem, which kept the airport closed for some 18 hours.
Among the dead there are said to have been five Uzbeks, killed at the airport. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), through their spokesman, have claimed that the attack was really intended to target the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base in the vicinity of the airport. They have also stated that some damage was caused to equipment at the base, though the credibility of this is under doubt as a spokesman for the PAF has denied any impact at the base.
Questions also arise over how the Taliban are to be defeated. Certainly, there seems so far to have been little success, the editorial said.
The only 'good' news, if it can be termed that, to emerge from all this is the ISPR statement praising the help received from civilians in finding the militants who escaped from the airport. This goes to show how much Pakistanis are opposed to extremism. Now, if only they can be provided the help - by the state - needed to escape it, it concluded.