Taliban militants battled Pakistani security forces during a brazen midnight attack on a major prison holding hundreds of Taliban and other convicted terrorists on Monday.
The hostility continued into the early hours of Tuesday, and security forces said they had imposed a curfew on the city, Dera Ismail Khan, 200 miles west of Lahore.
According to reports, the Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that Pakistani Taliban sent 100 fighters and seven suicide bombers on a mission to free some of their top leaders from the prison. He claimed they had freed around 300 prisoners but the number couldn’t be verified immediately. Some of the suicide bombers had blown up at the prison walls and some were in reserve, he said.
What’s worse, of the 36 police and FC officials only nine had rifles as a defense against 400 militants! This brings into question the security situation of the city, the province and the country as whole.
According to a private news channel, the escaped inmates from DI Khan Jail reached North Waziristan which is a highly militant-infested tribal region of Pakistan.
Even after almost eleven hours of the jail break, government officials failed to respond to the attack. PML (N) and PTI, the current ruling parties of Pakistan didn’t even release any statements of condemnation or acknowledgement of the mass prison attack in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
However, after almost 10 hours, KP chief minister Pervaiz Khattak spoke up but only to term the brazen attack a failure on the part of the intelligence agencies, and vowed to punish those found guilty of negligence.
This could just be a start of a blame game between the national and provincial governments and the intelligence agencies.
Although Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised to hold peace talks with the militant organization in order to put an end to suicide bombings, it turns out that Sharif remains unsuccessful in doing so.
2012 Bannu Jailbreak:
This is probably yet another mass prison attack in the history of Pakistan and reignites memories of a 2012 jailbreak in the nearby city of Bannu in which about 400 prisoners escaped, including Adnan Rashid, a former member of the military turned extremist who recently wrote an open letter to child activist Malala Yousafzai explaining why she was attacked by the Taliban.
Although no high-profile Taliban were being held at the DI Khan prison, but at least 35 militants freed in the assault are described by the authorities as "hardened" Taliban terrorists and suicide bombers.
Also, according to unconfirmed news sources, there were also several Lashkar e Jhangvi inmates at the detention facility who allegedly executed 4 Shia Prisoners before leaving central jail premises last night. There were threats coming in before the night of the jailbreak and yet no concrete steps were taken by the authorities to deal with possible attacks.
This incident is not just proof of the sorry state of security in Pakistan; it also means that the people of this country have 300 more lunatics and potential suicide bombers to worry about.
There are many questions that need to be answered after the jailbreak: Where were the intelligence agencies? Why were the security personnel at the DI Khan prison so helpless against the militants? Will these terrorists never be caught? Where is the Pakistani army? What is the government going to do next?
But then again, it’s not just about answering questions, it’s about taking action, effective steps to get rid of these people who apparently have more weapons than our so-called security forces.