By Rauf Klasra
ISLAMABAD: The standard operating procedure of not allowing any civilian or uniformed officer working at the GHQ to bear arms on the premises was cleverly exploited by the well-trained terrorists, who did not receive severe immediate resistance after some of them managed to break past the outer ring check post, reached thenearby located intelligence wing building and took hostage a large number of unarmed civil and military officers, reveal official sources.
The sources said that the operation was so well planned that while the terrorists were engaged with the army inside the GHQ, outside a group of their associates was busy calling media people on their cell phones within minutes of the attack. These journalists were informed that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan men had taken control of the GHQ and had taken in a large number of hostages. The TV journalists in particular were told to air the news with the demand to stop military operation in Waziristan if they were interested in the safety of the hostages.
Reportedly, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who was present at a public ceremony, was given the news about this attack with the information that some military officers had been taken hostage by these terrorists. PM Gilani got this news almost around the same time when the terrorists’ associates were making desperate calls to the electronic media to inform them about their control over the GHQ and demands to stop military operation in Waziristan.The sources said that the hostages were taken within 10 minutes of the operation, but the news was not released to the media.
A source said that there was huge confusion once the attack was launched at the first check post of the GHQ as no one knew who was enemy and who was solider. The sources said the snipers sitting at the top of the building also took some time to recover from this shocking attacks as initially they got confused when after exchange of firing, they saw uniformed soldiers coming towards the GHQ while raising slogans of Allah-o-Akbar. These snipers took them as their own presumably going to protect the officers present inside the building. But, once these terrorists started killing people in front of the offices, the snipers knew better and killed four of them on the spot. But, it was too late as in the meantime, rest of the attackers had managed to penetrate the GHQ building and entered the Military Intelligence office.
They took over 22 military and civilian officers of MI hostage in one room. One suicide bomber was made to sit among those unarmed civilians and uniformed officers. Sources said these hostages were later taken into the basement by gunmen, who apparently had good knowledge of the building layout, and this made the job of rescue forces even more difficult.
The sources said at one stage when it was felt that the commandoes might not be able to capture or kill the terrorists without some losses to human lives, the decision was taken to storm the room where they were being held. But, later another strategy was adopted as two brave commandos volunteered to come forward to face the terrorists to diver their attention, so that others could storm them. This strategy was said to have worked but not before two valiant commandos knowingly embraced martyrdom so that many others could live.