On Saturday, Pakistan Naval Dockyard in Karachi came under attack by six terrorists armed with rocket launchers, grenades and assault rifles. They were immediately confronted by security forces, and six hours later, two militants had been killed and four captured alive. A low-ranking Naval officer and a sailor were also killed during the attack, and at least ten others were injured, who are reportedly out of danger now. Interestingly, there was a complete media blackout for two days. No local newspaper or TV channel reported the attack until Monday, when Navy officers finally confirmed the news. Perhaps it was for the best, considering the media’s shockingly unprofessional coverage of previous attacks, which leaves movements of security forces exposed for the benefit of the assailants. Assuming that the story was not deliberately held back by the local media, which is a fair assumption knowing how it routinely operates, one can safely conclude that the watchdog indeed has a blind spot.

Another aspect that needs to explored is the vulnerability of military installations. This not the first attack on a sensitive installation. GHQ in Rawalpindi, Kamra Air base and PNS Mehran base in Karachi and other similar sites have also previously come under attack. There are serious concerns surrounding the Navy, as it has been suggested that the attacks could not have been carried out without collaboration from insiders. Although this hasn’t been confirmed or denied officially, the infiltration of terrorists, especially in the Navy, is difficult to rule out considering the nature of attacks. TTP spokesperson, Shahidullah Shahid, took responsibility for the attack and further claimed that the banned outfit received assistance from sympathisers inside the Navy. It is imperative that the responsible authorities thoroughly investigate the claim, and identify the enemies within to prevent future attacks. Such assaults reveal that despite being the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan, the militant network is still intact and very much capable. It is important to remember that the fight isn’t restricted to the tribal areas, but it has spread throughout the country. Unless Operation Zarb-e-Azb is not complimented with a countrywide campaign involving all law enforcement agencies, the menace will prevail. As long as terrorists are allowed space to regroup, they will continue to launch attacks, especially if they deem it necessary for their survival. Is the state doing enough to counter the insurgents? Does our approach truly demonstrate that the future of our country depends on how well we fight this ongoing insurgency?