Thursday, 26 May 2011

Afraid Pakistani Navy Considering Moving Naval Base After Attack

Pakistan said it was considering whether to relocate its Karachi naval air base after a Taliban attack killed 10 security personnel and destroyed two U.S.-made surveillance aircraft.

The assault on May 22 was the worst on a military base since the army headquarters was besieged in October 2009, further embarrassing the armed forces three weeks after Osama bin Laden was found living under their noses.

After the attack took 17 hours to repel, Adm. Noman Bashir, the chief of naval staff, conceded that a relocation was possible.

"When the Mehran base was established 36 years ago it was far from the population. But now it is surrounded by civilian populations on all sides, thus the security risks have multiplied," said navy spokesman Commander Salman Ali.

Karachi is Pakistan's financial capital and the assault was the fourth on the navy in a month after three bombings in late April killed nine people.

The city, which is used by NATO to ship supplies to Afghanistan, has also suffered scores of killings linked to ethnic and political tensions between migrant Pashtuns from the northwest and the local Urdu-speaking majority.

Ali said it would be impossible to relocate each of the more than a dozen navy bases in Karachi, but said serious thought was going into Mehran, the only navy air base in the sprawling city of 16 million.

"Relocation is a highly technical and cumbersome task. It is not a matter of days. The authorities are thinking about all possibilities and requirements before shifting Mehran elsewhere," said Ali.

Despite the string of recent attacks, the spokesman insisted that other installations in the port city were "safe and satisfactorily secure."

Pakistan's Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, who accompanied the prime minister on a visit to China last week, said Islamabad had asked Beijing for help in building a naval base at its deep-sea port of Gwadar, west of Karachi.

China's foreign ministry said May 24 it was unaware of the request.

The Mehran base, about 10 kilometers from Karachi's international airport, was set up in 1975.


Unknown said...

Can't decent countries just put the US on lock-down When are we going to address the REAL problems: Mental illness and our violence loving culture? It's pretty easy to say, 'Ban guns!' but you could ban every legal gun in the country and we'd STILL have things like this happen. Calling for a ban on guns is intellectually lazy. It just sounds so easy. If we ban guns, how are we going to convince criminals to turn them in? Trade them for Chia Pets, maybe? As long as we encourage a gangsta culture where 'capping' people is glorified, we ALL have ourselves to blame - not just the gun owners. As long as we do such a poor job of identifying and treating the mentally ill, we ALL have ourselves to blame - not just the gun owners. Until people are willing to address the causes of this kind of violence, we're just going to continue to have one side calling for gun bans and the other side saying not gonna happen and no one gets anywhere.


Anum Hafeez
World News

Indian Dream Gerl said...

There most certainly is a correlation between gun control and gun violence and death from gunshot wounds. This is the only correlation that counts when discussing gun control. Does it prevent people from getting shot? Yes. End of argument. Your statement, that reducing guns doesn't necessarily reduce "violent crime" if you categorize violent crime as anything including "force" does a good job of confusing people into thinking you've made a real point. That's called specious argument. It looks good, but it ain't good.

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