Defending Against Ghosts While Devils Knock At the Door

Gruesome Taliban video depicting execution of Pakistani soldiers
Gruesome Taliban video depicting execution of Pakistani soldiers

Existing security is unprecedented, and now the announcement that even these fortress walls are being reinforced against any attacks against the national security. No, I am not talking about shutting down extremist groups and evicting foreign militants, I am talking about a triple increase in security for AQ Khan.

There were around 40 personnel and two colonel-rank officers assigned on the security duty of Dr AQ Khan in the past that now has been increased to 120 personnel and four officers. Besides, a convoy of 10 vehicles escorts Dr Khan’s bulletproof jeep during his movement within Islamabad.

Now, I know what you are thinking: Like it or not, AQ Khan’s security is a matter of national security. If he is kidnapped by militants he could be forced to give over plans for a nuclear weapon that would make the attack on PNS Mehran look like a street mela. You would be thinking this, but you would be wrong. You see, security for AQ Khan is tripled not to protect him from the very real militants who are attacking us, but from the phantom of US commandoes.

 The Defence Ministry has tripled the security of the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan amid fears of a repeat of the Abbottabad raid which killed Osama bin Laden.

Here is what puzzles my mind. Why is anyone worried about US commandoes snatching AQ Khan now? American forces have known he was moving freely since 2009, wouldn’t they have made an attempt from them? And unlike bin Laden who was personally involved in attacks against America, AQ Khan has done no such thing.

In times of peace this would seem an outrageous waste of state resources without some credible intelligence warning of an imminent threat against AQ Khan. But these are not times of peace, which actually makes the situation worse.

By tripling security for AQ Khan, we are defending against ghosts while devils are knocking at the door. For all the stomach aches and high blood pressure caused by Raymond Davis’s idiotic behaviour, the stories of ‘thousands of Raymond Davis’s’ proved to be fairy tales. The real problem isn’t an infestation of Black Water agents, but Taliban militants and their sympathisers.

The Americans may have carried out a commando raid to kill Osama bin Laden, but it was Taliban who carried out an attack to kill our Maj Gen Sanaullah Niazi. And it is Taliban who have declared war on Pakistan and are promising similar attacks to come. This is the real threat: jihadi militants who actually exist.

Media reports that repeat fairy tales about American commando raids do more than just sell newspapers. They have real consequences. Diverting security forces to protecting AQ Khan from American commandos that don’t exist means that Pakistan has less resources available to protect from jihadi militants who do exist.



Author: Mahmood Adeel