These are marked men. And they are aware of it. Yet, they continue to perform their duties putting themselves and their families at great risk. SSP Farooq Awan is one of the most highly decorated police officials serving the country. His expertise lies in anti-terror investigations, having participated in several high-profile cases involving banned terrorist outfits such as Al-Qaeda, the TTP, Jundullah, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and so on. On Thursday, SSP Awan barely survived a bomb attack on his vehicle in the Defence area of Karachi. Unfortunately, at least 2 people were killed in the attack and seven injured including women. Perhaps the only reason Mr Awan survived the powerful blast is because he was travelling in a bomb-proof vehicle.

As is always the case, there were intelligence reports, which warned of possible targeting of police officials. Owing to SSP Awan’s instrumental role in tackling banned outfits, his name is on top of several hitlists. Following such reports, he had requested the government to provide him with a bomb-proof vehicle, but was denied. He had then personally arranged the car that saved his life. Neither the Sindh government nor the Federal government can take any credit for keeping him alive. Had Mr Awan not survived, they would have said great things about him, but while he is still alive, there is only so much they’re willing to do to protect him. Moreover, this is yet another incident which had been predicted by the intelligence agencies and could not be prevented. This points towards the serious lack of coordination within our security apparatus, resulting in consistent and preventable loss of life.

Not long after the attack, an Al-Qaeda backed banned outfit, Jundullah, claimed responsibility. The group has previously been involved in several incidents; including an attack on former Core Commander Karachi, Gen Ahsan Saleem Hayat, bombing of the US consulate and the 2006 Ashura triple blasts in Karachi. There are reports which suggest that more is in store for Karachi and other urban areas as militants grow more desperate and aggressive. These are the real issues screaming for attention from both the people and their representatives as they remain distracted by far less less important and urgent matters.