Sikandar drama shows Islamabad admin. has failed catastrophically!

By Syed Zaid Zaman Hamid

Lets analyze the episode professionally not emotionally. This is important to draw lessons from it to know where the admin failed. Handling such situations is the professional responsibility of Police, so we must know where they failed.

This was typically a hostage situation where a dangerous man was wielding two automatic guns and using his own family as human shield. Surrounded by ordinary citizens who were dangerously exposed if he had fired in public. He was nervous, dangerous, armed — all the credentials that he can be shot down by Police. The drama started after Asar time, when there was enough light and visibility.

When it was clear in the initial 30 minutes that the man is behaving insanely, it was time for snipers to be put in place. There was enough space, visibility and target available for professional snipers to hit him on the shoulders to incapacitate him. That was NOT done because Islamabad Police did NOT have snipers !! Can you believe this ? They had to bring two snipers from the airport after many hours but they were not given orders to shoot despite clear view. Also, airport was dangerously exposed as airport snipers were now after Sikandar !


The government went into panic, totally lost and confused. Islamabad Police was frozen, media went into frenzy and nation into suspense as live drama dragged on and night fell reducing the visibility. This is where things started to go wrong. Media started to increase pressure on government and police and still there was no plan.

Here, enter Mr. Zumurrad Khan. He goes to negotiate but suddenly decides to jump on Sikandar, lost his own balance, fell off and then ran like hell to save himself. A most dangerous act which caught even the police by surprise throwing off all plans into air. The act of sheer mad “bravery” risked the lives of everyone around and then Police had to shoot Sikandar immediately. Sikandar could have shot Zummarad but he did not. Now Sikandar is seriously wounded and may actually die which would destroy all the initial requirements that he must be arrested alive.

On a professional scale, this was a botched up messed up operation where a politicians risked his own and other people lives and nearly got the prime suspect killed in confusion. If this was US, Mr. Zumurrad would be put on trial for risking the lives of so many people in sheer stupid bravado and acting so recklessly on his own without police authorization. You can make him a hero, I don’t mind. But know that for what he did, I would have him lashed for it.

The whole episode could have been ended at 5:30 when Sikandar was in the open and one sniper could have taken him out. That’s it. Rest is propaganda and media circus, trying to cash in on an operation where politicians are trying to score points, police claiming victory and media had a field day. In all seriousness, this handling has made me very very concerned. Islamabad admin has failed catastrophically.

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