A nation that learns lessons from mistakes committed in the past live to develop and provide welfare and security to their citizens. The British built cantonments near major cities and towns so that they could control the civil population and prolong their hold over colonies that they occupied. These cantonments were surrounded by sterile periphery and no civilians were allowed to live within these areas, except few paid civil servants. After independence, all cantonments, except for cities like Lahore located near the border, should have been disbanded and the military barracks, ammunition dumps located far away from civil populated areas. All this cantonment land belonged to the state, which was leased out to armed forces for specific security requirements. Unfortunately what has happened is that the sanctity of cantonment areas was deliberately violated by none other than the security establishment under the garb of welfare and in their place have emerged housing societies, golf courses and markets sold out to anybody who offers the highest bid. It was in Karachi, that all this started with Pakistan Navy playing a lead role as a real estate developer in partnership with real estate agents. Today the countrys richest man is a real estate developer whose biggest partner is none other than the powerful security forces with their insatiable greed for real estate profiteering. All this started when the martial law was imposed. PNS Mehran, PNS Karsaz, Faisal Base, Chaklala Base, Lahore and Karachi Airports etc were located far removed from civilian areas with ample sterile space to prevent any security breach. All this was undone by the greed that took over obvious security concerns and what we now have is that none of our sensitive security establishment are secure from possible terrorist attacks. When the GHQ was built, there was a wide sterile zone created so that there is restricted movement and no unauthorized persons have access to it. It is none other that the top khaki bureaucracy which is responsible for these compromises. It would perhaps shock many to know that marriage halls have been built in the restricted area of Faisal Base in Karachi. Similarly the sterile zone surrounding the Lahore International Airport has been violated by none other than the powerful khaki establishment, who have been blinded by their insatiable greed. Lahore DHA extends to near our second defense line with farm houses right on its periphery. It is time that sanity prevails and essential security services be forced to restrict themselves to their legitimate and sacred task of defending our geographical boundaries from external threats and internal insurgencies. MALIK TARIQ ALI