Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 11:53 UK

Press review: Rawalpindi attack

Pakistani military police enter the army HQ in Rawalpindi, 11 Oct
The siege of the Rawalpindi army HQ was the most brazen attack in weeks

Pakistani commentators speculate on who was behind the attack on the military headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and discuss what should be done about it.


The attack on the Pakistan army headquarters has highlighted the threat not just from militants in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, but from those based in the country's Punjab province.

But targeting all the militants at once could create an even more dangerous coalition by driving disparate groups closer together to make common cause with the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda in fighting the state, analysts say.

Dawn story: GHQ attack highlights Punjab threat


The terrorist attack on GHQ turned out to be much graver than had been initially given out. That it was dealt with efficiently and with least amount of lives lost reflects on the professionalism and competency of the Pakistan military - from whom the US and Nato forces could learn a few lessons in asymmetric warfare, rather than the other way round.

Nevertheless, there are some disturbing issues that arise... The fact that the hostages were taken in the first place raises concerns about security surrounding such a sensitive area.

Nation story: GHQ attack's aftermath


I see [the attack on the GHQ as] an effort of anti-Pakistan elements headed by USA and managed by American agencies to make their point valid that Pakistan can't handle security of sensitive areas, including our nuclear assets... The moment our leadership started working on the agenda of becoming allies and puppets in the hands of USA intelligence agencies, we always suffered major setbacks.

It's an attack on our sovereignty and we are standing by our forces and our government to fight our way out of these troubled waters.

Mian Usman blog: The Chain of events... Now the attack on GHQ


These Taliban are killing Muslims and Pakistanis in their quest to harm America. This is wrong, this is awful and this has to come to an end. Obviously, there is nothing we can do to bring back those who have died tragically, but this is an opportunity, yet again for all of us to protect Pakistan and leave a country that is free of hate, destruction and religious, ethnic or every other type of intimidation for our next generation. Can we unite to protect our future?

Bilal Qureshi blog: Can we unite to protect our future?


There are some who argue that following the attack on the GHQ the military will act even more swiftly on extremists in Pakistan - whether in the Waziristan region or in Southern Punjab. Others feel that the furore created by the Kerry-Lugar bill [US aid bill which links security funding to progress on fighting terrorism and civil oversight of the military] has so poisoned the civil-military relationship in Pakistan that even the immediate future of Pakistan's political displacements may (again) be in doubt. Yet others would argue that while the tensions are all real, the military is in that phase that comes after each prolonged period of military rule when it prefers to remain in the political background while it consolidates its public image.

My own current sense is that there may be some truth in all three scenarios. Possibly in a combination of the three.

Adil Najam blog: Where is the Pakistan military headed?

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