Should security offices leave residential areas?

Should security offices leave residential areas?

Residents of Model Town, Lahore, were awoken with a bang on Monday morning as a car bomb explosion killed 11 people and injured 61 others near the FIA and Special Investigation Unit (SIU) buildings. The blast, according to law-enforcing agencies, was targeting the SIU building where terror suspects are interrogated, and has left an eight-foot-deep crater at the site.

Senior Minister Raja Riaz has already called for the removal of all offices, residential buildings, and interrogation centres used by the security agencies from residential areas in major cities.

Do you live near the site of the Model Town blast? Was your home, or the home of anyone you know, affected by the blast’s proximity? If you live in Model Town, what did you see or hear this morning? Do you think the facilities of security agencies should be moved out of residential areas?

The following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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89 Responses to “Should security offices leave residential areas?”

  1. Noman says:

    Loss of human life is tragic in itself and even more when something like bombing takes place. Let’s ask a question of what is the basic purpose of intelligence agencies? To gather data, make analysis, tight the evidential noose against suspect and when time is right share the information with police. Now considering the tasks of these agencies, it is not necessary by any mean to have such offices in densely populated areas. They should be in well-planned building complex with primary and secondary boundaries. The way it is in most of the developed countries. Having an FIA building near Mall or in Model town obviously is an inviting target.
    Theses agencies should have been moved a long time back but they were not. It leaves us to wonder whether these agencies like to demonstrate their power to the common man or perhaps to some extent to local businesses. They should really have to revive their security plans and think hard in term of the kind of terrorism we are facing.

  2. Faiz says:

    In this tenure of current Government its useless to raise any voice in the favour of vacating such offices and other sensitive establishments from the residential areas where as they pose a real big time threat to the residents, we are hapless people and helpless people should pray and wait for a good time to come.

  3. maria says:

    Agreed. You cannot move out all the potential ‘targets’ e.g. how would you move all Rescue and Police offices outside residential areas. If they cannot get to the security agencies, they will strike soft targets. Next you would ask to move markets and schools out of residential areas? Since everything seems to be a fair game for these people. I am a resident of Model Town myself, and as sad as this is, moving and displacing offices is not the answer.
    This is a sheer failure of intelligence and even our society. They come from within us, live within us and strike at will, while we watch.
    For people asking “talks”, seriously, does recent history not tell us anything? Talk to whom? a bunch of maniacs roaming around? And talk about what … like let’s reach a middle ground so that they can go ahead breaking some laws and enforcing some laws of their own? You “talk” to these people, you reach some pseudo agreement, next thing you know they change the grounds for talk and advance. Swat and the failure of peace talks in Swat was testament to that. It is a war – and it needs to be finished to its logical end!

  4. This is not the solution of this problem, why the agency offices should be removed from the residential area? It will encourage those who are behind this, they will be happy that they scared the government. E.g. Tomorrow if there will be a bomb blast in Governor House or Chief Minister House, and then would you remove these offices and shift them to some other location? Why not interior minister should be? It is the duty of Interior minister to hold peace and maintain good administration in the country. How many terrorists have been arrested and brought to the Justice court for punishment. Not even one terrorist has been hanged publicly to give lesson to other terrorists.

  5. Jamal says:

    Since Taliban terrorists can target anything, should we also move all masjids, madaris from residential areas to prevent them from such attacks?

  6. Asif says:

    I think we should disband all our securities and should have only faith in Allah for our protection.
    We should pray and pray.

  7. Mirza Parachinari says:

    It is the provincial governments which are incompetent.

  8. Islamabadi1 says:

    Police is not any better then ‘Chawkidars’. They spend their entire time guarding government officials. When not doing that, they are busy in abusing people as seen in the police beating videos. The people in recent elections of NA-55 and NA-21 voted for the status quo by electing parties which are in favour of keeping things the way they are, so I would say since the people are not interested in change, let the things remain as they are.

  9. Rao Amjad Ali says:

    Residing in proximity to the bomb site, I can not understand why this office was allowed to continue. In 2008, allegedly an ISI investigation center located at short distance from today’s bomb site was attacked in which two innocents lost their lives. The callousness with which, Col. (R) Tahir Kardar, President, Model Town Cooperative Society, has conducted to the affairs of this locality, especially in the aftermath of the first attack, is tantamount to criminal neglect.

  10. KN says:

    The loss of lives is very sad.

  11. Imran Ahmed says:

    I’ve a question for all the readers here who said “yes” that the offices should be relocated, does it means terrorist can attack the security agencies offices elsewhere, aren’t those people who are working in these agencies are humans?

    Its not about the location please, its about securing the whole country, rather then just model town in Lahore, Defence and Clifton in Karachi, Blue Area in Islamabad, its about a whole country’s security situation and remember those who have been killed in FIA building attacks are also someones’ father, brother, son!

  12. MJH Rahmani says:

    How can one can allow these sensitive offices right in the middle of residential area?

  13. khan says:

    Yes I think these offices should be moved away from residential areas for the safety of civilians, secondly it will be easier for the security agencies to respond to such attacks without the fear of losing civilian life.

  14. Daud Butt says:

    After Lal Masjid operation, Extremists or terrorist changed their strategy, we observed they tried their best to hit the law enforcement offices and centers. There are so many examples across Pakistan. It means terrorists wants to create such environment in which not only a common man but also security personnel must think that terrorists have access to blast anywhere. The question is why only law enforcement offices are under terrorists’ attacks??

  15. This is a good post.

  16. Mubashir says:

    I like the idea of moving sensitive offices to a special area surrounded by a high wall with watch towers and bunkers. Underground facilities should be built with magnetic doors. Where there is a will, there is a way!

  17. Asif says:

    Yes they should be moved out of residential areas.

  18. Khalid Khan says:

    Move security offices. OK. Another blast, and what do you move next? Your homes?

  19. Zain ul Abideen says:

    I am a resident of D block Model town and my house got damaged in this incident. I believe that the men working at these offices are human and must be treated equally. Residential areas provide psychological and remote protection to these offices. We know how unsafe “special protected zones” are from suicide bombing so shifting them will not make a difference. The thing to realize is that we must protect these security agencies the way they protect us. They have given a lot for us it is time we give them something or at least a place in our neighborhood.

  20. Syed Abuzar Bokhari says:

    In my professional opinion, ALL offices for security agencies & intelligence agencies should be in a protected enclave far away from residential areas. This enclave could be properly protected IF they use better practices in security rather than the archaic methods currently being used throughout Pakistan in overall security.

    The personnel providing security to such areas should be trained thoroughly by real security professionals in anti-terrorism and mock drills should take place routinely to maintain their level of readiness. They should also be provided sophisticated equipment and trained on it as well. The personnel protecting such locations have no motivation they lack vigilance and a sense of responsibility on how important their job really is in protecting the occupants of such facilities.

    By simply installing CCTV & surveillance cameras is NOT deterrence at all! CCTV & surveillance cameras are used primarily for what we call in the security industry for, “Post Incidence Analysis.” Using these cameras for determining after the fact how it happened, how many people were involved, their methods, etc… Putting up concrete barriers or higher walls or installing concertina wire is also not the only answer either. Security is all about proper planning and utilizing a ‘system’ rather than haphazard planning and equipment.

    I place a majority of the blame on complacency. Complacency, because convenience, routine has taken a priority over proper security along with lack of proper training. Everyone and every vehicle should be physically checked thoroughly far from the entrance to any such facility. Vehicles should never be allowed to be parked anywhere close enough to cause damage. Currently the proximity of physical searches happens right outside of the building by the gate which is too close to make any difference when there is a terrorist wearing a suicide vest and inherently dangerous as well all of which we have witnessed time and again.

    We lack the foresight of being proactive! The government relies on heightening security measures after an incidence which is pointless! We already KNOW who and what the potential targets are for the most part. We have serious issues and lack serious professional leadership on dealing with such issues, because no one is professionally trained and has real world experience according to international standards. The government doesn’t know what bold steps to use to enhance security the way it should be done properly, because of ignorance! I understand that there is no one method to solve the terrorism problem but, we need to create solutions based on the current methods of attack and by the ones who are responsible for such attacks. Bottom line is the government is ignorant in all aspects of current security methodologies. We think we know it all, but in reality we are 100yrs behind the terrorists. If the government doesn’t take the proper corrective steps now it will take decades to solve the current situation.

    And yes, I AM a security consultant, professionally trained overseas and have several years of real world experience.

  21. Khurram Butt says:

    Honestly, I think all the agencies should move to the Lahore Fort. Frankly, they were there not very long ago any way. I saw the place that was in the ’70s and ’80s occupied by the Police/FIA/IB or whoever it was. Its off-limits to the public, but a Rs.500 note did the magic. Its fortified, (its a fort for crying’ out loud), very airy (you have to marvel at the construction genius of the mughals) and extremely quiet. You can do all the chittrol you want and the tourists outside wont hear a thing. The grounds are being ruined by the culture wallas any way. Why not put the place to good use?

  22. Why these terrorist attacked on this agency office where the interrogation was going on against the suspect arrest. How they come to know that their colleagues are here ? It means in this agency office their well wishers are posted and they are providing them full information. Its very simple to catch hold such agency employers. They must not be either in that building or not on duty at that particular time.

  23. Shabbir Kazmi says:

    May I very humbly ask the honorable chief minister of Punjab, will he please take the responsibility of these incidents or continue to attribute this to the previous government. You have been in office for almost two years and things have gone from bad to worst.

  24. Naveed Ali says:

    I agree with Asad, human life is cheep in Pakistan. The politicians are having protocols and they don’t even think about the masses living in this country. These offices should be shifted to non residential areas where they can manage the security properly.

  25. Salman Khan says:

    The Pakistani people are suffering because of the policies of the government. on Facebook on Facebook