The Sri Lankans were promised a presidential security. Did we provide it? I am afraid not. We see very stringent security measures being taken on the day when a VVIP moves in our city. The roads are lined up with armed policemen hours before the arrival of the VVIP. The traffic from all side roads and lanes is blocked. A number of police marksmen are posted on the rooftops of buildings and houses on both sides of the route. Were any of these security measures taken to cover the movements of the Sri Lankans? There is certainly no evidence of it. Had any of these measures been taken, the terrorists could not have succeeded in reaching the Liberty Roundabout unchecked. Most surprising thing of all is that the terrorists came freely roaming in cars and rickshaws. The police escorts leading and following the convoy did not seem to have a plan to counter such an eventuality. The fact that during the ambush the terrorists moved around freely and that none of them got killed or wounded belies any security plan or counter ambush measures. I am afraid the police were merely performing a ceremonial role. Calling an outfit elite does not make them elite. They have to be trained in practice drills for meeting various eventualities in the performance of their duty. Without this they will always be sitting ducks. An untrained body of troops gets shell shocked when ambushed. They must be trained to react instinctively in such situations. The IG and the CCPO were proud of their men who lost their lives but can they absolve themselves of their responsibility. They neither trained their men nor appeared to have an appropriate security plan. It is also reported that there were intelligence warnings of terrorist attacks. The senior police officers do not appear to have suitably amended the security plans in the light of this threat. I suggest the police seek the assistance of SSG for training the elite force. -BRIG (Retd) SALEEM ZIA, Lahore, via e-mail, march 5.