If we could only learn from our mistakes, we would not have to lose so many precious lives or our dignity. When our largest International Airport was attacked by heavily armed terrorists, Pakistan was exposed as an unstable state. Though our politicians tried damage control, media had already exposed Pakistan’s lack of protection of its strongholds. This attack could have been avoided, if we had remembered the terrorist attack on Mehran Base a few years ago.

The land surrounding such installations should be monitored and petty commercial projects, sponsored by greedy investors, should not be allowed to flourish around them. Have we forgotten the terrorist attack at Karachi Airport, when four terrorists stormed a PN-AM B747 on the ground in transit for Frankfurt in 1986, and the entry point from where they entered fully armed? These housing areas provide access to terrorists, to move easily inside sensitive areas.

In 2012-2013 a scam was unearthed, exposing corrupt CAA officials allowing unscheduled airlines, which landed and utilized the airport, costing Rs1.5 billion loss in ‘Landing and Parking Fee’, yet even after a year, no one has been held accountable. Thousands of irregular appointments without proper scrutiny or security clearance were made in 2008-2010, both in CAA and PIA, jeopardizing national security for political gain. The CAA should functioned solely as a regulatory body, but it has become another corrupt entity with commercial interests inside the airport, jeopardizing its security. Unfortunately we have always compromised security at the altar of commercialism, but this trend must be reversed if national dignity is to be secured.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, June 9.