Pakistanis have to ask themselves some serious questions. What If The Taliban Had Attacked Pakistan's Nuclear Facilities instead of the Army Headquarters? Or, what if these had been coordinated attacks simultaneously? The results would be horrible and ugly domestically and in the international response and concern about Pakistani nuclear assets.
That there are Taliban, Al Qaeda, Jihadi as well as Khliafat movement supporters and apologists in Pakistan is a sad fact. That there are still Pakistanis who do not see beyond the length of their nose - or a few months of perceived good and bad political stability - and yearn for martial law and its "benefits" is also a sad fact. That there are plenty of "blame America for every problem that Pakistan faces" people in every walk of life is also a given.
But if they all needed any further reminder, slap on the face, and one serious final wake-up call, this attack was it. It literally was an attempt to take over the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, something even India and Pakistan do not try to do to each other in times of cold and hot war. This should show the most ambivalent and secretly sympathetic Pakistanis that the Taliban are the enemies of Pakistan.
It appears that the attackers had inside information before the attack. The fact that there remained a not so secret cadre of Pakistan military officers who theologically, intellectually and emotionally remained supportive of the Taliban was dangerous enough. That they may still be providing material and professional aid to these enemies of Islam and Pakistan is far more treasonous than any actions of corrupt politicians or even dictators imposing martial law.
I must say I am shocked, and seriously disappointed, that the Army did not expect or prepare for the kind of brazen attack that took place. Signs had been pointing to it. Events were leading up to it. Yet, the very center of Pakistan's army operations was caught off guard.
I am surprised at the news reports suggesting that the guards on duty were confused by the fact that the attackers wore army uniforms. This should have been the most basic expectation provided to the guards in their basic training. Expect the enemy at any time, in any guise.
I am also thankful, and actually surprised, that these were not a series of automated attacks by uniform wearing terrorists attacking several Army locations around the country. We should be thankful for that, but also expect, and prepare for the worst.
This also highlights a serious risk that Pakistanis would be foolish to ignore. A similar uniform wearing gang of terrorists could attack nuclear facilities in Pakistan. We are fortunate that this attack did not target nuclear installations. As it is, it is a matter of serious embarrassment and grave concern for Pakistan and supporters of Pakistan.
The time has come for Pakistan, Pakistanis and the Pakistan army to wake up, and march forward, with no doubt, no hesitation in the no prisoners attitude to deal with the cancer that is now obvious to everyone except anyone harboring a secret desire to live in the Stone Age again.
Pakistan has to eradicate the Taliban, and by extension Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, not for the sake of Afghanistan, not for the sake of America, a not for the sake of any supposed global war on terror. Pakistan has two fully eradicate this cancer from every part of its body and soul for its own survival.
It is not to be easy. There will be blood. Unfortunately, that is what happens when the cancer is allowed to grow freely, or even encouraged in the false assumption that it can be controlled. The time is now. The need is critical. Pakistan's survival is at stake.
Pakistan's army and its people have to work together to meet this challenge together. The time of ambivalence is gone. The time to tolerate terrorists apologists is gone. The time to eradicate the cancer is here. Let us not let down our nation. Pakistan Zindabad.
Imran Anwar is a New York based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and email@example.com . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar