Peshawar is being rocked by horrific terrorist attacks on an almost daily basis. Islamabad recently witnessed the third successive terrorist hit-and-run attack targeting senior army officers, unprecedented in the countrys history. Should these events, occurring on the heels of the daring but failed GHQ terrorist attack, be brushed aside as mere logical acts of desperation by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in response to the armys successes in South Waziristan; or is there more than meets the eye? Why has there been an upsurge in these deadly terrorist attacks, as armed foreigners continue to pour into Islamabad and Peshawar? Is it being planned to destabilise and create Baghdad like conditions in these cities right under the watchful eye of the elite security agencies? Is there a deliberate effort to target the army and hence lower the nations morale? While Pakistanis were being scared about Taliban advancing towards the Margallas, we now find foreigners by the hundreds skilfully getting entrenched in Islamabad. Earlier on, US marines were observed to be mysteriously present in Marriot Hotel at the time of the bomb blast last year. Recent media reports and disclosures of the build-up of foreign operatives, especially in Islamabad and Peshawar, do point towards some kind of a deliberate and planned operation by these strangers. What are their nationalities? To what extent have the agents of hostile foreign agencies infiltrated into our major towns? Is providing security to diplomats or to the post-kLB staff, a cover for some greater agenda? Have NoCs for a large number of prohibited bore weapons and explosives been issued without clearance of the national security agencies? Why would Rewat be selected for a training site undercover of a high security 'car repair workshop? If activities of Capt (retd) Zaidi and his recruiting agency were legal, why was his set up raided and closed down? A recent media report highlights the startling debriefings by some ex-SSG commandos who were recruited as security guards with handsome pay packages and received training at this facility under foreign instructors. The ex-commandos account was indeed alarming. What was meant to be ordinary security guard related training, turned out to be specialised training in handling high-tech weapons and conducting raids, ambushes and special operations - the kind far more sophisticated than imparted by the army. Why would a no-go site be established at the Police Training College, Sihala, premises where a US sponsored anti-terrorist training programme was being run till recently? Remember this site is less than 10 kilometres from Kahuta. And also what about reports of high security compounds coming up in Barakahu and Simly Dam - again a few minutes crow flight to Kahuta? Are they not operating too close to our extremely sensitive installations for their easy monitoring and surveillance? Is the security of our top scientists including A Q Khan living in Islamabad not being endangered? Moreover, our 'friend, Syemour Hershs recent revelations about the presence of special US sponsored quick response teams in Pakistan that aim to move in for the control of our strategic installations in a 'crisis situation seem to reconcile with ground realities. Are these foreigners the advance elements of many more to follow in the coming weeks and months. The reported incidents involving their confrontation in Peshawar and Islamabad with locals or the police and subsequent release through the intervention of the high-ups, does indicate some sort of understanding with respect to their presence on our soil. Simply striking against the army headquarters and its senior officers may not be good enough for our enemies. Remember the media reports a few months earlier of special squads trained in Afghanistan to target our strategic sites. Beware Terrorist attack even miles from our sensitive installations would aim to discredit and cause harm to the armys image, being the custodian of our strategic weapons programme. Any such engineered attempt, even a failed one may be so designed to help India, US and the Israel, raise international hue and cry seeking UN sponsored steps for some form of access and joint security of our nuclear assets. Remember those many crates of weapons that were seized from a foreign embassy in Islamabad during ZABs government in early seventies. These consignments were brought in the country as diplomatic goods and shown as books, later to be revealed that these weapons were destined for anti-state elements within the country. With media reports of transfer of weapons from Iraq and the unexplained movement of weapons by certain diplomats or foreign elements in the capital, is there a repeat of history in and around Islamabad? Has the Lal Masjid lesson been forgotten? Remember how armed militants established themselves in this mosque gradually right under the nose of the government. Ultimately the army and SSG had to be launched to restore the situation, but not after a bloody loss of many lives. Hopefully, the government and its agencies will not allow the current Islamabad security situation from getting out of control. Are the army and the security agencies being targeted because of their strong opposition to the anti-Pakistan provisions in the Kerry-Lugar Bill or reservations regarding the new parallel security force coming up in Islamabad and elsewhere? Is a crisis situation being created to tell the world how vulnerable Pakistans vital installations may well be to terrorist threats? When was the last time that the Defence Committee of Cabinet (DCC) met to deliberate upon the threats to our national security and integrity? Given the grave challenges to Pakistans security, a national security strategy is the urgent need of the hour. Notwithstanding Musharrafs failed National Security Council, the establishment of a national security and defence set up under the democratically elected prime minister comprising all stakeholders including the top political and military leadership is essential to develop a national response to internal and external threats in a holistic and institutionalised manner. The Pakistani nation is fully aware of the conspiracies against the state. The nation stands united to defeat all such threats in this hour of trial. For the leadership and the government, it is time to act; and act now The writer is a retired brigadier Email: fhkhan@gmail.com