Here’s a recent image of the Marriott hotel secondary entrance. Notice the security guy under the multi-colored umbrella on the gate:


If he’s a pro sniper and has a proper sniper gun instead of a lousy M1, the terrorist boys are in for some real trouble. Snipers are one of the most effective ways to eliminate targets precisely without hurting others around (except that those around the target are splattered with brain masala and other body fluids). I would suggest that Islamabad installs CCTV cameras all around the city like London and mount remote controlled precision rifles on those cameras instead of real men.That way we could monitor everyone’s activities and shoot the miscreants on the spot. Yes, it would give a little shock to the ladies passing by and would ruin their lovely dresses, but at least things would be under control.

23 Comments so far

  1. A for [pine]Apple (asmamirza) on March 26th, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

    reminds me of snipers from Bourne Ultimatum series .. waah waah!

  2. TNT (ifti) on March 26th, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

    I doubt he is sniper, looks more like a machine gun nest, or probably they would have TRIED to place a sniper there and ended up with him on the top. if according to the security authorities this is a sniper than there is serious rethinking that needs to take place. if i were a terrorist i would definitely shoot him first as his coloured umbrella and bunker will be very much prominent.
    About the precision rifles stuff, it may take govt. more than 20 years to do that, but since isloo is a chicken coop for the political figures they might think about that earlier than i expect.
    i would love to see someones ice cream getting red sauce and toppings while the system is in action. *grotesque*..

  3. Fahim Akhter (fahimakhter) on March 26th, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    Sniper??????? Ok thats creepy!

  4. kabirdas on March 27th, 2009 @ 12:03 am

    For how long you will treat the symptoms of the disease which has already spread. It is high time to treat the disease itself.

  5. kabirdas on March 27th, 2009 @ 12:26 am

    Sniper ?????

    A sniper has a visible target. This guy will never have a visible target.

    A sniper is not visible to his target. This guy is.

    Crazymonky are you crazy to call him a sniper.

    The dictionary defines a sniper as:

    " A marksman who shoots at people from a concealed place."

    To say that the guy is a marksman is an assumption. The dictionary defintion of a marksman is :

    " Someone skilled in shooting"

    The type of weapon he uses is immaterial. And what makes you guess he has got a sniper gun whatever that may be and not a lousy M1. Your picture gives no indication of the type of gun he is holding if at all he is holding some gun. He may just be holding the usual police danda for all we know.

    When you write your posts bear in mind that Kabir Das may be reading them also.

  6. crazymonkey on March 27th, 2009 @ 9:15 am

    @kabirdas unkil – If he were holding a danda, he would require an awful lot of force to create a good impact on the terrorist. And I don’t think it is a machine gun nest because machine guns usually require a mount/stand, and there would not be any point in using a machine gun from an elevated position. That is debateable though. But the fact that he is at an elevated position and not on level ground indicates that he intends to make himself less vulnerable to attacks and is somewhat ‘concealed’ from direct attacks.

    I have served as a sniper in the second world war in another life, and I was usually mounted on a tower which was visible to everyone and was a very obvious place for a sniper to be. So I guess the security guy here has been placed at a suitable location to give him good shooting range.

    I might as well go and ask him what weapon he is using. I hope they don’t mistake me for a terrorist informer who is trying to extract information about the latest Marriott security strategy.

  7. kabirdas on March 27th, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    @ crazymonkey

    Sir, I don’t want to sound argumentative but would again like to invite yiur attention to the dictionary definition of a sniper which reads as follows:

    " A marksman who shoots at people from a concealed place."

    And to clarify it further may I also invite your attention to the dictionary definition of ‘conceal’ which reads as follows:

    " Prevent from being seen or discovered."

    Would you still call him a sniper? If you do, sir, you must be absolutely crazy. The gunmen which you must have seen on watch towers in Hollywood movies were not snipers. They were simply armed guards positioned at a vantage point to guard a certain place.

    You have still not explained how your so called ‘sniper’ going to identify his target which I assume will be an ordinary looking guy wearing a suicidal attack.

    Sir, your posts are good and you have brought a breadth of fresh air to the IMB but keep in mind news reporting is no monkey business particulary when KD is around to scrutinise them :-)

    KD knows to err is human and to acknoledge it as such is super human.

  8. hashriani on March 28th, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    Remote control rifles and cctv’s remind me so much of "Eagle eye". Hack the system and go on a shooting rampage!!!

  9. crazymonkey on March 28th, 2009 @ 10:47 am

    @kabirdas – I would be out of Islamabad for two weeks and would reply to your post after closer analysis of the guard if I happen to fly past that area.

  10. sparklingway on March 29th, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

    The three layers of sand bags and concrete walls is enormous now. It loks like a fortress rather than a hotel

  11. kabirdas on March 29th, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

    @ crazymonkey

    Sir, to come to a conclusion you don’t need closer analysis of the guard. What you need is just a cursory look at the one line dictionary defintions of a ‘sniper’ and the word ‘conceal’ which I had joted down in my comments for your ease of ref.
    Anyway if you feel you do need to have a closer look at the guard please feel free to go ahead and do that and if need be interview him and take his opinion or the opinion of his superior. It will not make any difference because the dictionary definitions are not going to change by their saying otherwise.
    A spade will remain a spade as per the dictionary definition no matter what you would like to call it or it would like to call itself:-)
    You may take a pocket dictionary with you just in case you don’t happen to fly over that area which I know you wouldn’t. I know the take off and landing fly path of aircrafts from and for Isalamabad/Benazir air port.

  12. kabirdas on March 29th, 2009 @ 11:10 pm

    @ sparklingway

    It is neither a normal hotel nor a normal fortress. It is just a plain and simple, what you may call, a fortified hotel:-)

  13. kaami on March 30th, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

    Its not the fortifications or the nuclear bombs or “sharp shooters” snipers or not that can secure a premises or a nation for that matter. If the capacity to think logically and the ability to act accordingly is being diminished then nothing will suffice.

  14. kabirdas on March 30th, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

    @ kaami

    Suppose you are tasked to find out the causes of the terrorism in Pakistan and propose a course of action to eliminate it what will be your recommendation. You needn’t go into details. Just describe briefly the cause(s) of terrorism and again very briefly each step that you think should be taken by the government of Pakistan, one after the other, to eliminate it within a reasonable time frame.

  15. kaami on March 31st, 2009 @ 1:48 am

    @kabirdas – What a question? That reminds of lines by Faiz:

    Teray aazaar ka charaa nahein
    Nashter ke siwa
    Aur ye saffaak Massiha meray kabze mein nahein
    Is jahan ke kisi zee roh ke kabze mein nahein
    Haan magar teray siwa, teray siwa teray siwa.

    To answere:

    Causes of Terrorism in Pakistan: Ignorance.
    Issue Compounded By: Ignorant, independent / propagandist media.


    1/ Secure the Mindset of the urban Populace:

    Confronting the issue head on, not mixing words not being apologetic. The saner elements of the society should come forward and counter the zealots like Shahid Masood and Hamid Mir. Full exposure of the forces acting behind these individuals is required. This is essential to secure the mental capacity of our urban populace especially the younger crowd, which has been fed a steady dose of false truths and false ideals.

    If retired millitary zealots like Hameed Gul and other bigots from Zia era can use people like Imran Khan to infiltrate the minds of the brightest in the land then surely something is wrong and needs to be corrected. Nowadays Jamaatee’s are using Faiz’s poetry to further their cause. Isn’t that a joke? You are a good friend of Aitzaz Ahsan, cant he step forward and counter this threat to the very fabric of our society, or is he now too deep with Nawaz and his gang to do anything.

    The worst is over in Karachi and Sindh, they had their romance with the radicals and have thrown them over board. The battle ground is now Punjab, where some are vowing for a revolution through chaos. That would be a messy affair.

    2/ Once you secure the populace in the settled areas and convince them that, its our responsibility to weed out the evil of terrorism that we have nurtured for decades. Tell them the truth about the Afghan war, how we groomed jihaadi’s, and how we invented talibaan’s. Also tell them who was behind what, get them on your back, only then you can fight terrorism.

    Right now cursing America for everything is a favourite national past time. Fine with me, however, then they also should curse Saudi Arabia, which as a State is more responsible than anybody else for Pakistan mayhem. Saudi state and its individuals have provided funding and muscle to all sorts of screwed up groups in this country. We need to convince our people and ofcourse others that orgs like al-qaeda are foreign to our land and should be uprooted at all cost.

    3/ With the people convinced and behind their government fighting any evil becomes easy:

    a) Acts of terrorism decline as the terrorists cannot achieve the desired impact.
    (e.g. Failure of suicide bombing campaign by Hamas against Israel. It proved counter productive as it united the Israeli’s and did not dent their resolve)
    b) The security apparatus used becomes more effective with people behind their back.
    c) If people are convinced then safe houses and secure places of refuge among the populace become scarce and the perpetrators are exposed (e.g. Karachi)
    d) If govt needs to negotiate with those in the un-settled areas, it can do from a position of strength.

    So my friend it’s nothing but a battle for people’s minds. Unfortunately, the forces of chaos already have a foot hold. They have even unwittingly used the progressive activists to further their cause. Its about time that the other side should strike back and strike back with blunt truth to shock the nation off its current state of denial and indoctrination.

    Look now, the target of the Jamaatee and PTI propaganda machine is Zardari. Which I admit is quite an easy one. By doing this they can totally uproot PPP from Punjab and then the ground will be clear. Which would be sad in a way because after all it’s PPP’s blood more than any body else’s which was spilled by the terrorists.

  16. TNT (ifti) on April 1st, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" – Edmund Burke
    Perhaps the problem of our country.

  17. kabirdas on April 1st, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

    @ Kaami

    I perhaps didn’t put my question right which led you to come out with your desire list rather than concrete steps that need to be taken. Let me put my question in another way.

    What concrete and practical steps you will take to fight terrorism if you become the CEO or a dictator of Pakistan. Your sailent steps may be described in one line or so without giving any justification for them. They me listed in order of priority like as follows:

    1. I will increse cooperation with America and other western powers.
    2. Have any funding coming from Saudi Arabia for religious outfits stopped.
    3. Ban people like Hamid Mir and Dr Masood coming on TV.
    4. Enforce a strict code of conduct for media.
    5. Introduce one party govt in Pakistan.
    6. Ban parties like PTI and JI and other such political parties which I feel are working against the interest of Pakistan
    7. Give provincial atonomy to provinces
    etc etc

    This is just an example. I would like to know the steps that you will order as a CEO of Pakistan with all the state powers at your disposal to eliminate terrorism and extremeism.

  18. kabirdas on April 1st, 2009 @ 10:38 pm

    @ TNT

    " Perhaps the problem of our country"

    Hopefully not any more. Good people of Pakistan have woken up and started doing things when they see the evil raising its head. The recent lawyers movement and participation of all segment of society in it is an example of it. An example of good people doing something has been set and is bound to be followed in future also. This is the best thing that has happened in Pakistan after its ceation. Now with free media, independent judiciary and active civil society we can march towards real democracy and safe and prosperous Pakistan.

  19. kaami on April 2nd, 2009 @ 1:30 am


    Thanks for clarifying, this is a very simple question with a very simple answere. I will do only one thing i.e. bring back Musharraf, after all if this nation can give 3-4 chances to known thieves and incompetent fools then surely it can afford one more opportunity to an honest and straight talking man, who for the first time gave us sense of pride in being Pakistani in the most trying circumstances after the Bangladesh debacle. In a mere span of 3 months we fell from good governance to no governance with no end to the downward spiral. Only the man that gave us true freedom of speech, a free media, brought back merit, re-built our treasury, re-built many a dead govt institutions and ensured that elections are held at all cost, can lead this nation. I am amused by the use of the word “evil” for a man who despite so much filth poured on him by the ungrateful souls cannot yet be accused of corruption or of nepotism. Yes he did make some mistakes, yes he was controversial so are all great men and in a country like Pakistan no Angels are to be found.

    This time around I will advise him not to hold elections for five years and suspend media licenses for atleast 2 years. There is no need to ban outfits like PTI and JI because without the media support they are nothing. However, their links with terror orgs are to be thoroughly investigated and made public.

    This sounds like the words of a mad man but unlike you I believe that things will get much worse, this PPP / PML kushtee will not end and even if it ended they do not possess the competence to do any good. Things will get much worse….. Of course all this is hypothetical and will never happen, on the positive note, the one advantage the current political setup has over the previous one is that Obama is at the helm in US. He is a person who can be reasoned with and who will listen, if only someone knew how to present their point of view intelligently and coherently.

    Meantime enjoy this if you have already not read it:

    lately I have noticed the leftist pro-PPP writers who used their muscle to bring down Mush in support of Lawyers and the Short March are writing about what I have been saying in these forums for far too long, PPP managed to nudge Mush but to govern its out of its scope and now its too late for reality checks, the left again has shot itself in the foot. Same is true for the country. Its Zia’s Revenge!

  20. riaz on April 2nd, 2009 @ 3:28 am

    @Kaami and Kabirdas

    I will bring back Naseerullah Babar and let him apply the same solution as he did for MQM in Karachi. His policy was to assasinate all the ‘leaders’only. To kill a sanke you must cutt off his head. This worked for MQM insurgency in the 90’s and should work now. Just eliminate the ideological leaders (some misguided mullahs that mis interpret Quran and Ahadeeth to justify killing of innocent muslims like Sufi and Fazlullah in Swat and some other half-educated mullahs in other tribal areas) and military commanders( the likes of Qari Hussein, Baitullah, Mangal bagh and Hameedullah) of the terrorists.The foot soldiers will just go home when they don’t have anyone to follow.
    Thsi will be more complicated and difficult then just bombing in a hideout with a plane and as a result producing more recruits for the terror,but it wil definitely work.

    Just My two cents.

  21. kaami on April 2nd, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

    I know that @kabirdas did not enjoy my last post, I will make amends next time.

    @riaz what you are advocating again requires dictatorship, when Naseer-ullah Babar went about doing his business, there was no media pressure and the rest of the Pakistan was behind him and said “Lets get those bastards, let them have it, how dare they stood up to us”. With that kind of support he did what he did, there were no journalists bugging him and no human rights orgs after him, not even mention of any accountability. He did not get any high profile targets just the low ranking cadres but still was able to clear the ground and afforded an opportunity for MQM to re-organize and come back even stronger. The another difference is that MQM did not have any religio-politico ideological agenda, it was a reactionary movement by disgruntled students and youth, which was fed with cheap supply of weapons / massacres thanks to our Zia’s era mafia’s and a foreign police. They had some rights issues and that’s all. You can talk and deal with such groups, calm them down with carrot / stick and induct them in mainstream, where they can do good as they are doing now, which occasional hiccups. But AQ and its franchises are a totally different story. To get to all those crack pots you will need massive operation, conducted by the support of the people. A weak govt cannot do that, a coalition will certainly not even attempt it and we will see just the half hearted attempts continuing and blunders like unleashing of Sufi Mohd. by none other than ANP / PPP stalwarts and handing over of the recently secured areas of Swat in an stupid move which has given foothold to those who were on the run.

    The other option is to let the people experience and have a go at it, while keeping your military clean and intact. Give them time and opportunity and sit back for five to ten years. Though in my opinion its an unnecessary option that will take this country back to even worse than the 90’s era but this sour pill has to be swallowed. After the period specified, if things improved well and good but if we reach the brink of extinction then I would (sadly) advocate another takeover, a 1999-2002 style cabinet of 15 to 20 highly talented individuals, no pseudo democracy, no electoral mayhem, complete sidelining of the politicians and the country to be run as a corporate by civilian administrators with the military in the back ground providing security, support and doing the necessary clean up. Sorry I used the word country, that’s an upgrade, right now Pakistan is just a problem which needs a solution.

    But lets give Kabirdas a chance, the one guy I will be happy to proven wrong by.

  22. riaz on April 3rd, 2009 @ 3:40 am


    I dont think you have to go back to Musharraf era to achieve the results.After all ,it were these dictatorships that let these monsters grow.The reason why dictators did so was because they did not have any legitimacy so they wanted people to b busy running for their own lives ratehr than questioning who is ruling them. The historical evidence is against the dictatorships.There was no AQ in Pak befor Mush, there was no MQM b4 Zia. Dictatorship is a perfect environmnet for these groups to grow. It was Musharraf who let the Lal Masjid problem fester in. Why did he have to use gunships and tanks against students? He could have achieved far beeter results by using riot police and heavy tear gas and lathi charge. Even though the students had few weapons (I say few, because there has been no evidence so far that they had ammo depots)they could have been easily neutralized but rubber bullets.
    I dont see much difference b/w MQM ideology in 90’s and AQ in 2009. They have both got the same goal- to grab power by bullet and not ballot.If you bring dictatorship then you are actually justifying their cause of power without legitimacy.
    As for your argument that dictators are better managers and can win the war , you need to look at the history of wars b/w countries that were democratic and those run by dictatorships.You will see the names of Hitler, Napolean,Massoulini,Ayub Khan, Yahya and many others among the ones who lost the wars and Indra Gandhi,Churchill,etc in the winner’s list.

  23. kaami on April 4th, 2009 @ 3:14 am

    @riaz I am not justifying dictatorship in any way, it was all hypothetical. Surely, Zia is responsible for all the current ideological and social mess, before that Bhutto was responsible for the economic retardation and before that Yahya was responsible for one of the bloodiest massacres in modern human history. I am only suggesting solutions for the problem that is Pakistan. Its my belief that it needs to be run like a Corporate coming out of bankruptsy with a no nonsense approach, with a talented cabinet of not more than 20 minsters, a strong President, a Prominent Economist as Prime Minister with millitary backing the set up viz a viz security and clean up. If the setup is working just like 99-2002, no need to go into elections or any political mumbo jumbo until the nation is ready.

    Now to your assertion that AQ was not present in Pakistan before Musharraf. Nothing can be farther from the truth. AQ was always there after the Afghan Jihaad, however, after the African / Sudan episode when Mr. Osama ran short of places to hide he came back to his Alma Matir Afghanistan in the open arms of Taliban. Even back then he played an active role in destabilizing the first BB govt via his money and established his bases and I will find it hard to believe that our agencies were not complicit. ISI was almighty and had quite a sway in Afghanistan, it had officers (legacy of Zia’s era) who were ideologically motivated and truly believed that exporting Jihaad all over the region was the way forward. Come 9/11 AQ was fully entrenched in Pakistan not only in Tribal areas but in Karachi and certain areas of Punjab profiting via their various franchises. However, luckily 9/11 also afforded an opportunity for us to make a U-turn and cleanse ourselves and our millitary and, that was Mush’s biggest crime. That’s why there were 9 attempts on his life, not by poor suicidal tribals but, planned and executed by ex / serving servicemen. Despite that the initial round was a victory. Karachi was cleaned of this menace and all the Arab crackpots and their safe house providers were uprooted. There are no more AQ CD’s originating from Karachi. Yes there were reprisals, gun battles, hotels were bombed, consulate were bombed but eventually the menace was uprooted, primarily because people did not support it, MQM played a part in securing densely populated areas. So, no refuge, no base and that’s a success story.

    As for your Lal Masjid analysis, I will only comment, yes it lingered, why? because Lal Masjid had a long association with our ISI and people like Ejaz-ul-Haque said that they can mediate and talk sense to those Mullah’s. But they couldn’t. It was more than just a student action. Tell me who were the ones that managed to kill highly trained elite commandoes with full protection gear. Don’t tell me that tear gas was not used, don’t tell me that negotiations were not used and don’t tell me that all the religio-politico parties played a positive role. Anyway, afterwards Musharraf was man enough to come on TV and say to the nation that he was the one responsible for the action taken. And then the whole Jamaatee propaganda machine was activated and rest is history. In my humble opinion in 2007 the AQ and its hawaree’s struck back and they have been successful so far because people are still in denial.

    I am also amused by your MQM and AQ analogy. It amuses me more because I had a small part to play in APMSO formation as a student activist in those turbulent times (before that that I was sympathetic to NSF) . I lost a very dear friend and on one occasion had to dive my car trying to avoid dead bodies after the Hyderabad massacre with my two sisters at the back seat. So my experiences can be classified as first hand. No matter how screwed up Altaf may sound over the telephonic link but I know that for a fact MQM does not have terroristic goals or bombing campaigns or ideological objectives. They don’t need bullet to get elected, in fact their foremost power is the ballot. I know that my family votes for them, my neighbourhood votes for them, my friends vote for them even my in laws who are Punjabi’s voted for them the last time around. All of them live in affluent parts of the city. MQM fought, struggled, paid for its mistakes, its regimented but it has got promising talent and still a very young leadership whose focus is to build and serve their electorate with a no nonsense approach. Sadly they are the only political party in Pakistan who is doing that. An ordinary citizen can approach his councillor, MPA or MNA at any time of night or day, they are all available to the people .I bet AQ does not teaches its cadres about budgeting and Project management like the MQM Councillors. However, the JI infested media will never highlight their amazing work but will keep a vigil on their mistakes, that’s a fact that they will have to learn to live with.

    @kabirdas and @riaz before I forget the single most important step that needs to be taken across the board, through out the country with complete political consensus and with the involvement of the whole security apparatus, is the “De-Weaponization “ of our society. Nobody talks about this, its not in the agenda of any political party but it’s the single most important thing to do if sanity needs to prevail. Otherwise voices of reason will continued to be silenced by sounds of gun fire.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.