Security Warnings – What Do You Do?
I now get sent any security warnings for Lahore and Pakistan from a locally based US company here in Lahore, and this is great as it gives some insight into potential ‘goings on’, but are these a help or a hinderance? A warning like the one below came this week and states that an ‘imminent attack’ by the Taliban is due on schools in Lahore. So what do I do with this information as a parent who is to send their kids to school? (this notice came at 2.30am on the day before school). The person who sent advised he was sending his kids to school as normal, but to be vigilant. How can one be vigilant doing a normal activity of sending kids to school? What is it to look out for? Do you live in fear and keep the kids at home when this comes out, or simply ignore and play on the statistics game, hoping that if anything does happen, it is at one of the thousands of other schools with less security?
Our kids school drop off is like a military operation. There are at least 16 armed men around the entry point, the exterior boundary and drop off area, let along probably just as many on the guard posts around the school. It is clearly one of the better protected schools, but does this make it safe, or more of a target for a well planned operation? I simply don’t know!
It’s a tough call. The media tells us not to heed to the threats of terrorism, but in a place like Pakistan, it is a real issue. Shit happens, and happens often. I am often criticised for what could be perceived as being ‘complacent’, but I think you need to live your life as normal as you can, but do have your wits about you. You have to be cautious and observant when in the car, when at lights, when bikes or rickshaws pull up beside you, just to see what is actually going on around you. Unfortunately, you do never know who is next to you, or if you have been followed. The key is to attempt to not put yourself in bad situations, just as you wouldn’t in Sydney or Melbourne or any other major city these days.
The big difference here is it seems like every 3rd person has a gun! The threat opposite came last week as well, and this one pretty much names everything in Pakistan except as I was told when I showed some colleagues, “my name and address”. If you take notice of this, you would simply lock the doors and stay inside and never come out.
It’s a tough one as to what to do. Are you better off knowing about this, and if you are, the big question I have no answer for, nor can I get one for, is just ‘what do you do?’.
It’s definitely a different place. A place as I mentioned where guns are a ‘tool of the trade’ and treated like a standard item. I have had my guard leave his sitting on the bench unlocked, found them in open cupboards at work where guards have left them as their shift has finished, where anyone could grab and do harm with. As much as I have shared photos of me holding guns and think it’s a bit of a novelty, they are killing machines, let’s face it. Put in the wrong hands, harm can clearly be done.
I still don’t have an answer to the whole security thing, and these warnings simply add to the uncertainty as to what is the right thing or wrong thing to do. Just like having a 24/7 guard with you has the same questions….does it draw attention to you as a target, and are you better off without, or is that too plain stupid? I don’t know, but at the moment, I guess I am either being smart or plain stupid….only time will tell I guess.
Until next time….Aussie in Lahore…