Stories about PNS

MV Suez’s return: Why did it take 10 months?

In an overwhelming and emotional sight, the sailors of MV Suez finally returned to their respective countries after the drama that unfolded in the wake of the crew’s abduction by Somali pirates last year. The crew seemed to weather all storms – from long drawn negotiations to the ship being attacked more than once after it was released. And as if that was not enough, the rescue mission threatened to snowball into a diplomatic row with what was described as ‘dangerous manoeuvres’ by Indian naval ship INS Godavari. However, as the high strung episode comes to an end, serious questions need ...

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Lt Yasir: Him and me

Something dawned on me the other day – disturbing and fascinating at the same time. It is related to the Mehran Base attack in Karachi. I could have known Lieutenant Yasir Abbas, the tough fighter and hero of the Mehran Base attack. I could have known Yaser. He could have been more than a bodyless hero, more than a random encounter in a restaurant, may be an acquaintance. We could have been really good friends. In fact, we could have been the same person. Let’s rewind a little. Once upon a time, I almost landed in the Pakistan Air Force. ...

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You say OBL, I say CIE

Bin Laden found hiding in Abbotabad! School ID card found hiding behind desk. Explosions heard at PNS Mehran! Explosions heard and felt in the Chemistry practical exam. Should the ISI chief resign? Nope, the History invigilator should. CIA conspiracy theories won’t bother us, but change that A grade to an E and the riot begins. That’s the way it works around here. You can and will forgive me for waking up suddenly on this side of June to find the world crashing down around my ears. That’s because while you were busy frantically watching the news (or ignoring it in a ...

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Saleem Shahzad: When journalists bite the dust

I hope we live to see the day when journalists in Pakistan boast about a prosperous economy, medical breakthroughs, and life security. I hope most of us never see the day when things are actually worse than how newspapers make them out to be. Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan Bureau Chief of Asia Times Online (a Hong Kong-based news website), disappeared from Islamabad on May 29, 2011, just days after publishing an article for the Asia Times which implicated that officials in the Pakistani Navy had links with al Qaeda (The second part of Saleem Shahzad’s report, ‘Recruitment and training of ...

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My cousin Yaser isn’t dead

A month after Yaser (better known as Lieutenant Syed Yaser Abbas Shaheed) lost his wallet, he received a letter along with his identity card. It was an apology from the guy who had stolen it. He wrote that it was the dire need for money that had forced him to steal, that he was really ashamed and would return him the amount if and when his circumstances changed. I’m sure that though his feelings of remorse would have grown now that Yaser has left, the letter writer can draw some comfort from the fact that he had at least apologised. But ...

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PNS Mehran attack: United we stand?

Does the maxim ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ hold true for us, only as a nation? It’s very evidently true for us, if we are part of the military forces. Just how can the intruders jump into the naval base and create havoc of such great magnitude. Unthinkable and unimaginable. Karachi, my city was under attack, and one feels extremely out of focus, when our armed forces, our jawans, who spend their entire life guarding our lives and our borders, evidently get attacked by people we know as Taliban. This is in reference to the recent attacks on them. But ...

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TV coverage of PNS Mehran attack

The standoff at the naval base on Sunday night excited the electronic media so much that in a bid to give as complete and precise information to the viewers as possible our presenters forgot that the areas they were talking about were all sensitive military installations and as such classified for outsiders. Karachi’s citizens who were obviously the affected population knew full well where exactly the base is located, and did not need to know what lies inside. All that was needed was information about the casualties, the number of people affected, hostages, the intensity of the fight, and the ...

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Apologies, Lieutenant Yasir Abbas

I have always been a supporter of the extravagant budget spending on Pakistan’s defence. The high global ranking of our military has always served as reason for me to maintain my stance and argue in favour of the forces. In debates with friends and colleagues, I have, several times, flaunted the fact that if there is one great thing about Pakistan, it is our defence. Unfortunately, this all changed recently. Little did I know that the forces I talked so highly of would miss an ‘unknown’ number of people jumping in to one of the most valuable bases in ...

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Stop attacking our military!

On behalf of the armed forces in Pakistan, I address this article to all the civilians who think the forces are all about privileges and favours. Being a Pakistani, and a patriotic one at that, I assure you all that you people are mistaken. No doubt corruption of different scales does exist in some departments, as it does everywhere else, but only the people who’ve actually been there can understand the amount of hardships the soldiers go through before they even begin to reach the level they actually get privileges. Being a daughter of a naval officer, I’ve seen and ...

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PNS Mehran attack: Countering terrorism and conspiracies

In 2002, after the attacks on the French naval engineer’s bus, the suicide bombing on the US Consulate, and the beheading of Daniel Pearl, Karachi unfortunately received the title of ‘the Terrorism Capital of Pakistan.’ Eventually, the terror campaign moved upcountry and Karachi fell out of the limelight. Nevertheless, it remained an economic hub for terrorists who took advantage of the city’s multicultural demographics and economy for financial gains and networking. It also became a port of arrival and departure to and from the country for local and foreign militants. Karachi, therefore, remained vulnerable to terrorist violence, as was ...

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