On August 16, one of the largest air bases in Pakistan, the Minhas air base located at Kamra in Central Punjab some 45 miles northwest of Islamabad, was attacked by Islamist militants as reported in the media. During the dark hours of the night they barged in from a nearby village with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons wearing suicide bombing vests and disguised as military personnel. The Commandos of Pakistan Army were successfully able to counteract the aggression that went on for about eight hours and it resulted in the loss of one Pakistani soldier, damaged one aircraft and injured the base commander, Air Commodore Muhammad Azam.
Nine extremists have been reported dead during the scuffle which the Pakistani Taliban claimed was part of their plan for a long time. They are known for targeting different military sites in the Country to uproot Pakistan military’s strength, but have failed at every single time as the military intelligence is alert. According to Pakistan Air Force spokesman, Captain Tariq Mahmood, the Minhas air base at Kamra does not store nuclear weapons, contrary to the earlier media reports. In fact, he revealed that no air base in Pakistan has any nuclear weapons. The Minhas air base has several squadrons of fighter jets, including JF-17 fighter jets and surveillance planes and was declared clear after the search operations for any hiding militants were over.
The fact that it is located adjacent to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, which is a major air force research and development center, has made some analysts suspicious of Pakistan military’s readiness to such expected militant retaliations. However, this is not the first time that suicide bombers have launched attacks at the site, as in 2007 and 2009 the same place came under their threat. This latest one at Kamra could be seen as a result of the offensive Pakistan Army has declared for the tribal belt recently. The U.S. State Department did not seem to be perturbed in
its trust on Pakistan military’s capability, especially keeping with the recent improvement in their relations with Pakistan Army and believes the site being free of nuclear weapons.
Thus, these militants were made to think that it was a nuclear-armed air base by the enemies of Pakistan who want to destabilise it and show that Pakistani nukes are not in safe hands. Tracing back their such perception, it implies that the India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, commonly known as Mossad, might have been behind instigating such havoc. It is clearly beyond the means of Pakistani Taliban to
exploit the Minhas air base and might be part of higher tactics against Pakistan military. Both RAW and Mossad has been insistent on claiming Pakistani nukes unsafe.
The Pakistani nation can take pride in Pakistan military that it has been able to shift the terrorist attacks away from innocent civilians as the decline in the terrorist incidents amongst the civilian population across Pakistan has been significant. Although, it could be seen as a tactical shift in the Pakistani Taliban’s strategy against Pakistan military, but never the less, the people have been rightfully protected by their saviours.
Pakistan’s Defence Minister, Naveed Qamar, has acknowledged the preparedness with which the Commandos defended the air base. It should not be taken as a security lapse, but rather as a proof of how prepared Pakistan military is round the clock. Pakistan Air Force has also released many images of the Kamra attack incident to the media as there is nothing to hide as suggested by those suspicious of Pakistan military’s ability to safeguard its people, its territory and its nukes.
Courtesy : Pak Soldiers