Bannu jailbreak: Who’s to blame?

Bannu jailbreak: Who’s to blame?

An attack on the Bannu Central Prison, which led to the escape of 384 inmates, has been termed as the biggest jailbreak in Pakistan’s history. The prisoners managed to escape following an audacious attack, carried out by 100 militants, blew up the prison’s gates and left the security personnel helpless.

Security agencies, including the police and local paramilitary forces have been blamed for the brazen attack. Following the attack, details emerged revealing the extent of freedom the prison’s most high-profile, Adnan Rashid, enjoyed during his term at the prison. Rashid is believed to have access to mobile phones, the internet and was a regular blogger – all this, under the nose of security personnel.

While the attack remains a blatant security lapse on part of those in charge, it is also important the note the grievances of the security forces.

A report in this newspaper revealed that security equipment, including bullet-proof jackets and ballistic helmets, procured for the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province’s Elite Force had been lying at the Lahore International Airport for months. Among the reasons provided for the delay in handing over the equipment, chief was the non-issuance of a NOC by the Ministry of Interior.

KP’s security forces, which have been blamed for lapses on several occasions, have themselves been victims of negligence at the hands of the government and relevant authorities.

Is it, then, fair to lay the blame for the jailbreak entirely on the security forces?

Should the interior ministry, headed by Rehman Malik, also not take responsibility for such security failures?

How can security forces be made better equipped and trained to deal with such situations? invites its readers to give their views and suggestions.


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23 Responses to “Bannu jailbreak: Who’s to blame?”

  1. syed baqar ahsan says:

    As per constitution the civil police is the strongest institution which can ensure complete law and order provided it is reverted to Thana and with no political interference allowed.SHO should only be made answerable to non political counsel of notables of that area.It is all by design this institution has been spoiled.Its ultimate revelation to thana is the answer, rest all measures is eye wash can not bring peace of any kind.

  2. Cyrus Howell says:

    43% of Pakistanis at Dawn blame the intelligence services.
    The security agencies have been widely blamed.
    It seems the the Defense Ministry has lost the control of their own people.
    Police are often willing to look the other way if the money is good.

  3. Nadeem S says:

    Pakistani police are masoom, no one is afraid of them, they are untrained, unfit, undisciplined, totally useless police force, except for gathering bribes for senior officers, they are good for nothing, no one is even afraid of them.

  4. Ishfaq Muhammad Din says:

    Local public is to be blamed as terrorists themselves say the they got help from them and also the security personals.
    The common public still do not understand that taliban are terrorists.

  5. Ishrat salim says:

    Having read all the comments abv…it is disheartning to see inadquacy in information :

    1) Security agencies e,g CIA,CID, SIU & FIA & IB are under civilian govt ( Central / Provincial ).
    2) Intelligence agencies e.g ISI,MI, NI are under the ministry of defence
    so, let us not blame the intel agencies but the provincial govt & security agencies at provincial level…intel agencies had informed in Feb 2012 regarding attacks on jail…Minister of Info KP has stated it categorically on media & same was repeated on last Thrsdays in GEO…& the provincial govt has accepted its failure…
    3) it is not the fault of judiciary to indict any criminal / terrorists without evidence & witnesses….there is no proper investigation & forensic wings anywhere in our police dept to investigate on modern lines, nor laws are amended ( it is amended by the parliament on submission of bill moved by majority members & not the judiciary ) & such weakens the prosecutors stand in the court. So in short ,it is the provincial govt & securities agencies & the members of parliament – who are representatives of the people…must be responsible for this.There was no adequate police force to stand the attack…out of 93 officers ( this is also less by any standard as most of them are on VVIP duty ) supposed to be on duty only 18 were present….police stations around the jail within a radius of 1 km took 1 hour to reach Bannu jail…why ?
    Hence, cannot blame on anybody but the provincial govt…anywhere….all hv shown continued lack of responsibilty for human lives….whether it is Karachi/ lahore / Baluchistan or KP….they lack political will & maturity to do something meaningful for the poor…let us see…which class of people hv died & sufferred mostly in the mentioned provinces / places ? only the poor or low class or lower middle class..which exposes the attitude of the govt & politicians & we the intellectual class…who are only bothered to safeguard their & elite class people…how long this can go on ? they will hv to answer to Allah swt….remember such discrimination has invited ” revolution ” & that is what we are heading into… history.

  6. Abid Shaikh says:

    The Bannu jailbreak occurred because the terrorists had been kept in jail. Putting terrorists in jail is a serious mistake. All terrorists should be shot on sight.

  7. Shahzad Gul says:

    It is the lack of will and resolve at national level which is responsible for this incident, in my view. Actually we don’t want to bring any positive change in our society. Before criticizing on higher authorities should we not see what we have done or are doing right for the country. Change how will come when we are not ready to live an honest life being contented in our means. Rehman Malik is one man and he can’t be everywhere to look after our assigned duty. Persons on ground detailed for the security of prison are responsible for not taking enough measures for safe custody of these criminals.
    I would also comment that our judicial system is not realizing need to amend system to convict these criminals. because this then forces, perhaps, the LEAs to attempt speedy unlawful justice. But this then leave us to unfortunate situation of missing people.

  8. ishaq says:

    Bannu Jail break is mukmuka between the govt and taliban now dr ajmal and salman taseer son will be released.yesterday the bannu admin say that they dont know how and when Adnan rashid was transferred to Bannu.

    • Malik says:

      Thank you for enlightening us with this theory. Just look at the shame and embarrassment that this event has brought us worldwide. The world thinks that Pakistan possess a failed military and intelligence apparatus. If what you are saying is really true than this is not the right way to deal with the situation.

  9. Janmejai says:

    Intelligence agencies are the most responsible Institution in this type of Institutions before the attack and after the attack…

  10. ahmed says:

    It is consolidated failure of all 03 i mean security personel, agnencies and interior minsitry…. I really laugh that such a BARRAT attacke and equally hude BARRAT WAS TAKEN AWAY WITHOUT EVEN A SINGLE CASUALITY…

  11. Zahid says:

    The Intelligence Agencies are directly responsible for this great tragedy, and have failed to pre-empt the terror attack on prison facility. They are duty-bound to collect information beforehand, and pass on it to the government functionaries to thwart the efforts of anti social elements. Against this, these agencies are only playing nasty role in the domestic politics and they seem to be more qualified in changing the loyalities of politicians, toppling the governments and creating choatic situation in the country. Their clandestine role in memogate scandal and missing persons in Balochistan is not unknown to anyone.

    It is the need of time that Intelligence and Security Agencies should be redirected to play their defined roles, which in simple words, is to provide support to the state authorities and protect the lives and properties of people of Pakistan without any discrimination. Otherwise, the Anti Pakistan forces are looking for excuses and justifications for doing harm to Pakistan.

    • Pakistani says:

      Anti Pakistan Forces are people like you who dont know the facts and start blaming intelligence agencies which is a fashion now a days… on 5 jan intelligence agencies warned of such attack … and since 5 jan they kept on warning but our Jail authorities kept on sleeping ….

      • Yusaf Khan says:

        @Pakistani…did you see the the memo that the intelligence agencies sent on the 5 Jan? Obviously NO!
        Whenever there is a huge intelligence failure the intelligence agencies using their moles in the media publish a story that the intelligence agencies had warned about this attack. The same thing happened in the marriot blast, the srilanka cricket attack, mehran airbase attack etc. We all know this is not true.
        The fact of the matter is that the State and our military are too scared to take on these terrorists. Hence they turn the other cheek. You wait and see, these kidnappings, bank robberies etc will only increase because this is the main source of financing for these terrorists. We are all doomed!!!!

  12. Agha Ata says:

    This kind of criminal negligence, utter incompetence and totally indifferent attitude towards possibilities of such incidences are the most offensive and heinous of ALL, in Pakistani administrative institutes. Blame the whole system of Pakistan government, civil and the army included. This system is old and hardened with time. Sometimes I believe that the whole government should be demolished, BUT by whom, and what next!

  13. iqbal says:

    what exactly mean the term security forces which we always use? Does it mean Army, Police, Frontier corpse, Frontier Constabulary,Rangers,PAF, Pak Navy or some other force or entity? How many of us could clearly define this term?If the term mean all of the above forces then which of these is mandated to regulate and guard prisons in India or Pakistan? Surely none of these forces are authorized to get into the prison. Then who is that hitherto unknown force or group or persons who run all affairs of prisons in Pakistan. What is this Jail manual and what is written in it?Why are people under the impression that Police regulate prisons. Let me explain this. Persons in uniform similar to that of Police in Pakistan are responsible for the security of Prisons in Pakistan.They are called jail wardens supervised by Astt and Deputy superintendent. In sub jail which can be called district jails these men are commanded by deputy supdt and by Supdt in central jails. under trial prisoners are kept in sub jails and central prisons are meant for convicted persons. only 3 central prisons are located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa viz Haripur, DIKhan and Peshawar and all the rest are sub jails. At province level these prisons are supervised by Inspector General of Prison who is not a police man but a civil servant whose knowledge of securing these important premises are rudimentary and stereotype. in British era, no jail was constructed without first putting police lines adjacent to prison building. Reason being security and proximity of police force which can be moved swiftly if needed. it will be very interesting and rather unbelievable if our people come to know that these jail wardens or their officers get no training at all about the use of modern weapons. Police however is responsible for outer security. Interestingly no body so for have questioned as to how a person guilty of a crime in Pindi and convicted in Rawalpindi was brought to a remote place like Bannu in sep 2011 and was kept in Bannu till his escape? isn’t this a million dollar question? why nobody objected to this transfer of a convict and who really did it. Can any body dare to get to the answer. i would appreciate comments and am requesting readers to find answers.

  14. Saleem Kazmi says:

    Corrupt President, corrupt Prime Minister, Corrupt and incompetent forces, including police, and intelligence agencies whose selection is made mostly by the top corrupt politicians based on their domiciles and loyalty to their political parties.

  15. GM Malik says:

    The current governments, Federal as well as provincial have done nothing except bring disastor and bad luck to the people of Pakistan. Banu jail break is not the first and I am afraid it won’t be the last one.
    Unless there is accountability and heads roll starting with Mr. Zardari don’t expect anything meaningful to occur.

  16. Wazir Khan says:

    The answer is very simple. Judiciary is singularly responsible.
    Why these terrorists are kept for so long in jails awaiting their final verdict? specially when they claim all responsibilities whenever they kill anyone in our poor country. Their trial is just wastage of time, on their arrest they are proved guilty and the next morning they should be hanged till death so that timely justice prevails.
    Justice delayed is Justice Denied. Thats exactly what happens in our country.

    • Salman Ahmed says:

      If no evidence is produced – which is NOT the role of the judiciary – then how can the judiciary convict these people.

      This is a regular pattern… people are arrested but no evidence is produced. Producing evidence is the sole responsibility of the Executive – specially the Ministry of Interior.

      If the laws on evidence are too strict, then the legislature – ie the Parliament – should pass new laws. Guess what? the legislature has not done much in this respect so far either.

      SO lets not blame the judiciary for the failure of the executive and the legislature!

  17. Abdul Malik says:

    Absolutely, the M/O of Interior is equally responsible. The minister who is simply good for nothing should have the guts to not only accept the responsibility but resign. However, expecting Rahman Malik to resign is wishful thinking. You need political character to resign under such circumstances.

  18. Zebra says:

    Reman Malik so called interior minister must take the blame.. I say use the drones to get rid of these Talibans. The world must punish these criminals.. on Facebook on Facebook