ISLAMABAD - Not a single word of condemnation has arrived from the defence ministry despite terrorists striking the key Naval base in Karachi. Why the defence minister chose to remain aloof and away from the scene, is a heated question in the relevant circles. It has become a norm in the government departments to overlap or swap their official powers. This practice spurs blunders even during events as grim as terrorist attacks. The same recurred the night between Sunday and Monday. From the attacks on the Pakistan Navy buses to the Abbottabad operation and the recent attack on PNS Mehran, all one sees is the ever-boisterous interior minister who reacts vocally, but hardly acts practically, to prevent the disdainful incidents of terror. This overly efficient attitude, at times, traverses the domain of his official authority. No denying that it is the interior minister that is tasked with maintaining law and order in the country, but it is equally important to underline that the defence ministry, being overshadowed by the powerful interior ministry, carries completely passive disposition despite it being the most relevant on the matters pertaining to soldiers and the Armed Forces. According to insiders, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar was about to call a press briefing on Karachi attacks and he had decided to invite senior journalists at his residence on Monday. He cancelled this briefing having learnt that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had reached Karachi to 'control the situation. The interior minister was actively monitoring the situation and dealing with the media so the defence minister did not deem it necessary to 'interfere, The Nation was told. This newspaper repeatedly tried to contact defence ministrys spokesperson Shah Sohail Masood in order to know as to why the defence ministry had not issued any detailed statement or held any press briefing over the Karachi incident, but he was not available. His personal staff, as usual asked this scribe to fax the queries, which was done within minutes. Despite daylong wait and repeated reminders, nothing transpired. Defence Ministrys PRO Shahab Hameed, however, responded on behalf of the defence minister: The defence minister condemns the attack on PNS Mehran in Karachi. Its time for the nation to be united against the terrorists and defeat them once and for all, and encourage the security forces. There would be no compromise on Pakistans security. The defence minister is in touch with the Naval chief regarding this incident. The sheer incompetence to launch an effective public relations response to this attack is another episode of the lapses. The news that a pair of terrorists survived and managed to flee, is much of a nightmare for the nation. The public relations response to the attack was such ill-planned that when terrorists stormed the PNS Mehran base, rumours did rounds that after taking control of the Naval base, the miscreants had hijacked Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base as well. This sent shudders of fear down the spines of the families of PAF personnel living in residential areas of the base. The family of a senior PAF officer, on condition of anonymity, said: There is nothing worse than living in this so-called foolproof and fortified security zone, having a sleepless night out of security fears. If Karachi episode is the backlash of the Abbottabad operation, what were the tragic deaths of nine Navy personnel last month before Osamas killing.