Recent incident in Islamabad during which presumably a mentally unstable armed person, with no past record of any violence or criminal act, held the capital city hostage for five hours is a shock for all.

The event has exposed the inefficacy, mental immobility and indecisiveness of government besides lack of professionalism of the law enforcement agencies and ineptness as well as immaturity of predominant media. In this advance age when information can be communicated within seconds, coordination could be carried out amongst various government agencies within minutes, plan of handling the situation could be formulated and passed to concerned agencies within a few minutes which could have been made effective within an hour or two.

But unfortunately the drama continued for more than five hours and concluded abruptly with a daring, but inappropriate act of patriotic Zamurad Khan. The Government appeared to be mentally paralyzed and stunned with no thinking ability to act swiftly and effectively in response to the situation. It took almost more than twenty four hours for our Interior Minister to appear and to comment on the incident and blame Zamurad Khan as well as LEAs, without realising that he was the overall in charge of the LEAs and any failure or slackness on their part is his failure!

It appears that he is still in the frame of mind of an opposition leader, and instead of taking responsibility he is found pointing a finger at others, especially the LEAs and our Intelligence Agencies. He, being the Interior Minister, should have acted as the pivot while authorizing full liberty of action to the LEAs and extending support and assistance, including availability of professional negotiators and high tech gadgets like stunned guns. He could have immediately taken the leading role in contemplating the plan and supervising its implementation, however he appeared to be following his subordinates.

LEAs should have cleared the public from the area as well as media followed by cordoning off the area. Subsequently efforts could have been made to extricate the children and family of Sikandar. Further LEAs should have established the two or three layers perimeter around the incident site using fencing wire, duly manned by police to prevent the entry of any person except LEAs inside the premises. However, it could have been done only if any intelligent person had been at the helm of affairs but unfortunately those in the driving seat lacked mobility of mind, indecisiveness and inability to act aptly as well as quickly to such situations.


Lahore, August 18.