Pak chief moots relocating Karachi naval establishments

`We are trying to relocate all the vital naval base and installations away from residential areas,` Admiral Noman Bashir said.

Karachi: A day after terrorists wracked
havoc on his forces lone air base, Pakistan`s Naval Chief
has mooted plans of relocating all naval installations away
from residential areas.

"We are trying to relocate all the vital naval base
and installations away from residential areas," Admiral Noman
Bashir said at a media briefing of the Navy on the incident.

The Admiral admitted that it was difficult to enforce
effective security due to all these establishments being
hemmed in by residential areas.

The Naval Chief said five P3C Orion maritime
reconnaissance aircraft were parked at airbase, while four
others were currently being modified in the US.

Pointing out that the attackers of the Mehran base
were highly trained and carried sophisticated weapons like RPG
launchers, the Naval Chief said the response time to the rate
had been only three minutes and that his commandos had forth
back bravely to try to contain, kill or arrest the militants.

The PNS Mehran airbase built in 1975 is right in the
heart of the city close to the main Shahrah-e-Faisal road and
adjacent to the Pakistan Airforce Faisal base.

Defence experts say that during peace time all vital
installations and assets of the navy are parked or kept at the
Mehran airbase.

One side of the airbase station is surrounded by a low
laying low income neighbourhood from where the militants are
supposed to have come across a river and scaled the walls to
enter the base to cause extensive damage.

Interestingly close to the PNS Mehran base there is a
public museum and wedding lawns in the faisal base area.

The Naval chief said the naval installations were
planned and built in the Karsaz area around Shahrah-e-Faisal
road when it was not populated and away from the city.

But he pointed out the times have changed and there
has been growth of residential areas.

To a question about the involvement of any country
behind the terror attack on the base, he said only
investigations can reveal the truth.

Interestingly while interior minister, Rehman Malik
has said repeatedly that four attackers were killed and two
others might have escaped, the Shahrah-e-Faisal police station
has registered the First Information Report (FIR) of Pakistan
Naval Station (PNS) Mehran attack against 12 terrorists,
on Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP),
the FIR has been registered on the complaint of Lieutenant
Irfan under Explosive Act and Anti Terrorism Act sections 302,
324, 427, 353 and 121.

The recovery of suicide jackets, Kalashnikov and
rocket launchers were also mentioned in the FIR.


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