A Taliban suicide bomber has killed seven people near a nuclear weapons complex in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
The suicide bomber detonated outside a security checkpoint near the Kamra Air Weapon Complex in the district of Attock, Geo News reported. Three security personnel and four civilians were killed in the blast, and 12 more were wounded.
The attack is the latest in a string of suicide strikes and military assaults by the Taliban against Pakistan’s security forces, the government, and civilians. Today the Taliban assassinated a senior general and his driver near the general’s home in Islamabad. Yesterday the Taliban conducted a dual suicide attack at Islamic International University in Islamabad. The Taliban have announced they are at war with the state so long as South Waziristan remains under military siege.
The Kamra Air Weapon Complex is one of three military industrial production facilities in the Wah Cantt, according to Global Security. The Pakistani Ordnance Factories, a collection of 14 factories that produce arms and ammunition for the Pakistani armed forces, and Heavy Industries Taxila are also contained within the Wah Cantt. More than 40,000 Pakistanis are employed at the factories.
Kamra is believed to be connected with Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. The Pakistani Ordnance Factories are believed to store nuclear weapons at a “screwdriver level” – meaning the components are stored disassembled and can be assembled within hours of needed use.
The Taliban sparked concern in December 2007 when a suicide bomber targeted Pakistani Air Force personnel and their families outside the Kamra Air Force Base. It became clear that attacks were being directed at Pakistani nuclear installations. Three other bombings and suicide attacks occurred near bases housing nuclear weapons in 2007. In 2008, two Taliban suicide bombers killed 70 Pakistani employees when they detonated outside the gates of the Wah Cantt.
The Pakistani government and the military have issued multiple statements assuring the Pakistani people and the West that the country’s nuclear weapons are safeguarded and incapable of falling into the hands of terrorists. The US government has alternately voiced concerns over the safety of Pakistan’s nukes and expressed confidence in their safety.
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While the object of the attack is meant to gain attention, the actual effect is 0. It’s like throwing an egg at the White House. But good ….now that the taliban has declared war that means anything goes…..right Pakistan????? Or are you going to pussyfoot around and get black eyes all over the place. Maybe the Pak military is not up to the fight. Better call us in to do it right.
I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, which would be Karachi. That city is like a powder keg with its Mohajir, Sindhi, and Pashtun elements at daily war with each other. All it needs is amping up and the whole city becomes like 1992 LA times a thousand.
If it happens and the city is brought offline (more than usual anyway), it would take all the law enforcement in Sindh to take it on, if the 90s Karachi riots are anything to go by. And if Sindh goes, Balochistan goes too, because the majority of Baloch live in the border near Sindh for employment reasons.
When the terrorists try/do attempt there what they are successfully doing in the northern Punjab, that is when true anarchy will reign.
My money is on more pussyfooting around.
I wonder if this is just a random egg, or probing near the facility.
“Better call us in to do it right. ”
Assuming you could get a decision out of the CNC on it.
If Pakistan fails, it fails. Don’t try and prop it up anymore. Thats whats causing all this regional tension.
With the kind of sentiments the Pakistani population has, not to mention its size and density, you would need the entire armed forces of the US and then some to even get it to where it normally is at the best of times, nevermind this civil war like status. So forget about that.
Just destroy, from the air, its nuclear capabilities. India can help. Allow Pakistan to take the next necessary course in its history, which is its inevitable break up.
Spooky’s spot on. As usual. Tell ya what. guys. History will take its inevitable course and all sensible people should try and be on its right side! I’d say all those who have their thinking caps on should be drawing up contingency plans as to what to do when the state of Pakistan collapses. End game is drawing near.
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/23/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.
Agree with Spooky entirely. If any place on earth is a “failed state,” it’s Pakistan. It’s diversity could be a source of strength if it’s central government were not so corrupt. But alas, “inevitible breakup” says it all. Obviously you wouldn’t want a Jihadi group to have access to nuclear weapons. So in a state of anarchy, that possibility would need to be eliminated.
I would hope the Obama “Afghanistan strategy” team which is talking now factors this probable breakup of the Pakistani state into its anti-terrorism strategy. If it doesn’t, more lives and money will be thrown away.
IT IS BLATANTLY IRRESPONSIBLE OF THE UN TO NOT ENGAGE PAKISTAN (WHILE IT IS STILL A MEMBER STATE) IN ENSURING THAT ITS NUKES ARE DE-COMMISSIONED AND PLACED IN SOME FORM OF ESCROW, WHILE IT SORTS THROUGH ITS RAMPANT CIVIL WAR.
TO HAVE NUKES LYING AROUND IN A WAR THEATRE LIKE THIS IS A RISK TO THE WHOLE PLANET.
A highly respected British expert on Pak security has this to say:
“The repeated official statements that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are safe sound to Gregory like whistling in the dark. “I think we are hearing a lot from Western and Pakistani politicians about reassurance, but I think behind that reassurance there is a growing unease, particularly in Washington, that actually the army and the intelligence service in Pakistan to some extent are losing the ability to control and secure their nuclear weapons.”
Read the article at
When Pakistan does fall, to whom will it fall? Will the military once again steps in to stabalise the situation? Loose nuclear weapons are the worst case scenario. The likelihood grows daily as many attacks target the suspect Pak nuclear weapons complex. Somebody wants these weapons. What may happen:
1. Pakistan government stiffens and the arsenal remains properly controlled with the Army play a proper role
2. Army takes control of Pakistan and secures the arsenal
3. ISI “gets some”
Going by what has happened historically and the current political situation in Pakistan (Zardari is trying to force through the NRO to the detriment of popular and legal will), the civillian government will either have snap elections or will be suspended by an Army coup.
Another possibility is that Zardari could pull a Mirza and attempt to keep his position by force and impose martial law, ostensibly because of the Taliban, but actually for selfish reasons. Whether or not Kiyani pulls an Ayub afterwards or would humor him is anyone’s guess.
If Pakistan falters and the state crumbles chaotically, the Army will try to hold on to as much as it can, but would likely lose control of Karachi and Balochistan entirely, with Sindh just barely under Pak control. Kashmir would become as difficult for them as it is for the Indians.
If it is formally (or at least not chaotically) splintered, then Pakistan will be split to north and south, with NWFP/Kashmir/Punjab going north and Balochistan/Sindh going south. The south would have the coastline, the resources and the trade, the north would have the infrastructure, the agriculture and the military.
grh, as paul simon said there are 50 ways to leave your lover…..and so there are 50 ways for pak to fall and disintegrate.
MY POINT IS THIS:
THE US IS THE MAJOR ALLY TO PAKISTAN THAT HAS STOOD BY IT FOR THE LAST 50 YEARS. THIS ALLIANCE INCLUDES THE MILITARY. SO, IT HAS A SPECIAL ROLE TO PLAY TO ENSURE THESE NUKES ARE 100% SECURE….NOW!
(Why are we getting so excited about nukes in Iran but seem so relaxed about nukes that already actually exist, amidst a real war, in unreliable and untrustworthy Pakistan? Why are we talking sanctions in one case and chucking money at Pakistan?)
On your point of a military coup in Pak, anything is possible, but for the military to run the country (esp in its present state) and fight a civil war is impossible…..beyond their capacity and level of competence.