The "breaking news" genie is out of the bottle, with terror-attacks making headlines almost everyday now. These acts of terrorism, which have literally shaken the country and threaten to continue, seem to be a backlash against the military operation in Waziristan. The determination and boldness of these miscreants indicate that their mission is to bring about greater destruction than what has already been done. The recent incidents of GHQ attacks followed by targeting FIA building and Bedian and Manawan police centres in Lahore reflect a startling level of confidence and effective planning. Apparently, there has also been a shift in tactics, as the attackers are increasingly approaching their targets in the uniform of security forces to hoodwink those who stand on guard and serve as a permit to enter. Laced with sophisticated weapons, these suicide bombers are at times reported to have women militants among them. These occurrences have raised some common questions in the mind of Pakistanis everywhere about the low level of preparedness of our security agencies to prevent such happenings. This is exactly what they had set out to achieve since one of the main objectives of these extremist elements appears to be to make the public lose confidence in the security agencies and embarrass the government. Besides, these attacks are a clear warning that the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan backed by hi-tech Al-Qaeda is very much alive and kicking and attempts to dismantle its network will be met with full force. The ultimate idea is to withdraw public support for the army action in Waziristan. These forces have very well identified our weaknesses and are exploiting them to the fullest. Our security personnel, who are brave and dedicated, with a strong resolve to fight back have not been very successful in pre-empting their strikes for several reasons, proper weapons and counter-terrorism training. To prevent such incidents is something for which we require an exclusive force, especially trained in tactics to counter such insurgencies. Unfortunately, a number of security personnel are unskilled in counter-terrorism and poorly equipped as against a skilled, organised and a fully equipped militant force. This is the core of the problem due to which we fail to pre-empt their entry into our sensitive installations. Under the present circumstance, we should be always ready to face such an occurrence; in fact, make serious efforts to forestall it to prevent loss of life and property. A lot needs to be done in this context. Priority must go to coordination between different agencies in exchange for any intelligence about terrorist activity. Investment in new hi-tech equipment is also the need of the hour, as not a few of the presently installed metal detectors are good for nothing and can hardly detect anything (some are not even working), not the stuff that can win us War on Terror. The ministry concerned must give their import preference to bullet-proof cars. Ending the operation is not an alternative; we have to prevent its backlash. The government must adopt a holistic approach where national consensus is required to establish and maintain the writ of the state; there is a need for an effective political and security strategy, community mobilisation and a unanimous resolve to fight back. The ulterior motives of the international political players involved in this region must also be exposed and checked. The government should muster the courage to be vocal about it and ask the international community for support. Failure to check deterioration in law and order is another rankling sore amidst government failures. If the ruling parties want to stay in power they must direct all efforts towards formulating a comprehensive strategy to deal with these security concerns; this can be done by putting the security on red alert, as intelligence is received and not after the terrorists have struck. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: