Pakistan Security Brief – November 2, 2010
Pakistan Security Brief-November 2, 2010
NATO allegedly violates Pakistani airspace; Lashkar-e-Taiba splinter group operating in Kunar; Security forces kill a dozen militants in Orakzai; Militants attack convoy of security forces in Mohmand; Railway blast in Hyderabad; Prime Minister Gilani says there is no threat of a military takeover; Punjab provincial government hopes to export wheat surplus.
NATO helicopter gunships allegedly entered Pakistani airspace today in Kurram agency. Reports indicated that NATO manned aircraft flew over the areas of Burkha and Kharlacha which lie on the Pakistani side of Afghanistan border. The NATO aircraft are said to have crossed 600 meters into Pakistan before retreating. 
Lashkar-e-Taiba Splinter Group
According to a Daily Times report, a new and increasingly sophisticated Punjabi Taliban movement has been responsible for targeting NATO forces in Afganistan’s Kunar province. According to the report, this group is made up of more militant elements of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that have broken off from the overall LeT movement and which “[refuse] to take orders from LeT supremo, Hafiz Saeed.” LeT is believed to be responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks in India.
A dozen militants were killed during clashes with security forces yesterday in Orakzai tribal agency. Government forces used helicopter gunships to target militant positions in the Gowak, Haindara and Atam Ankhel areas of the agency. Although the Pakistani military officially declared on June 1, 2010 that militants had been defeated in Orakzai, there has been a steady rise in militant violence in recent weeks.
Militants attacked a convoy of government soldiers on Tuesday in Mohmand tribal agency. According to reports, militants opened fire on the convoy while they were on patrol in the Baezai district of the agency. Security forces were able to repel the attack and no causalities were reported.
A primary school for girls was destroyed by militants on Tuesday in Mohmand. Explosives were placed around the school and then denoted. The attacked occurred in the Safi sub-district of the agency. The Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Owais Ahmed Ghani, the Governor of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, unveiled yesterday a plan to reform politics and governance in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. According to Ghani, the new reforms will help develop meaningful civic institutions that will better respond to the socio-economic and security needs of those living in the FATA. The plans to reform governance are aimed at limiting the attractiveness of militant groups who have gained prominence in FATA through their ability to provide a semblance of law and order. In the words of Ghani, these reforms will ensure that “a better future awaits the people of FATA.”
A bomb exploded along the Tando Jam railway track in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Bomb disposal units were called to the scene to remove a second explosive device before it could detonate. No causalities were reported, but train service to and from the Punjab has been suspend. Yesterday, a similar explosion occurred in Kotri area of Hyderabad.
Addressing Parliament yesterday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani, rejected calls from opposition party members to hold midterm elections and reaffirmed that there is no chance that the military is planning to seize power. Gilani accused the opposition party of working to break up the country, and warned that that their efforts to dissolve parliament and hold unscheduled elections would do just that. Responding to Gilani, a spokesman for the opposition party, Sadiqul Farooq, warned, “The government will not survive. You will see midterm elections soon.” 
Government officials in Punjab have written to the Federal Government asking for permission to export excess stockpiles of wheat. The petition has generated outrage from various aid agencies who claim that just three months after devastating floods, the country’s food situation remains “too precarious” to justify exporting crops. In September, Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee voted to ban all wheat exports in order to ensure that necessary food was not being sent outside of the country. 
According to a Monday announcement that the body of Imran Farooq, a founding member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), is scheduled to arrive in Karachi later this week for burial. Yesterday’s announcement has raised fears of renewed bloodshed in Karachi as thousands of MQM supporters are expected to attend Farooq’s funeral which is planned for this Saturday. Imran Farooq was stabbed to death on September 16th outside his home in London, where he lived in exile.