Pakistan Security Brief - April 18, 2012

Pakistan to reopen NATO supply routes; Pakistani Ambassador to U.S. says Pakistan has “no connection” with terrorists; U.S. aid not reducing “widespread anti-American sentiment” among Pakistanis; Judicial probe into Bannu jailbreak; Hafiz Saeed files petition with court seeking security; Several killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi; Nawaz Sharif tells Pakistan to withdraw troops from Siachen; President Zardari and General Kayani visit avalanche site; Prime Minister Gilani tells son to cooperate with ephedrine investigation; Christian man killed in Quetta; International community criticizes Pakistan for excessive spending on nuclear weapons; Explosion damages school in Swabi.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • At a meeting of Pakistan’s Defence Committee of the Cabinet on Tuesday, the government decided to reopen NATO supply routes and approved a plan for normalizing bilateral relations with the U.S.[1]

  • Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman told Express News on Tuesday that Pakistan has “no connection” with terrorist groups that are committing acts of violence in the region. Rehman said that although the U.S. is concerned about its defense, Pakistan also has “red lines” that should not be crossed.[2]

  • According to a Congressional Research Service report released last week, there is “widespread anti-American sentiment” among Pakistanis, despite the fact that the U.S. gives Pakistan hundreds of millions of dollars in aid every year. The report stated that the intense anti-American sentiment within Pakistan has forced the U.S. to reduce its “footprint” within the country and conduct humanitarian assistance projects “in ways similar to covert operations.”[3] 

Bannu Jailbreak

Hafiz Saeed

  • On Wednesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the federal and provincial law officers from the Federal Interior Ministry and the Punjab Home Department to file their comments on Jamaat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed’s petition for security. Saeed filed a petition with the LHC seeking protection after the U.S. announced a $10 million bounty on Saeed on April 3.[5]

Militancy

Domestic Politics

  • On Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani reportedly told his son, who is suspected of being involved in an illegal drug import scandal, to return from South Africa “immediately” and cooperate with the investigation. According to the Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Narcotics Control, there is no “concrete evidence” against the prime minister’s son.[9]

Avalanche

Nuclear Weapons

  • During a UN meeting on nuclear disarmament that ended this week, diplomats criticized the billions of dollars that “de facto nuclear powers” such as Pakistan are reportedly spending on their nuclear arsenals. The U.S.-based Reaching Critical Will, a non-profit organization that promotes nuclear disarmament, recently announced that Pakistan spends approximately $2.5 billion on its nuclear weapons. Pakistani officials, however, have refused to reveal the exact amount that Pakistan spends on its nuclear arsenal, saying it is a “matter of national security.”[12]

Osama bin Laden

  • The lawyer for Osama bin Laden’s family said Wednesday that the deportation of bin Laden’s family, which was due to occur late Tuesday night, has been delayed indefinitely because their passports are not ready.[13]

     

 

 



[1] Kamran Yousaf, “Resetting ties: Govt gives green light to reopening NATO routes,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366271/resetting-ties-govt-gives-green-light-to-reopening-nato-routes/
[2] “Pakistan has no connection with terrorist organisations: Sherry Rehman,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available http://tribune.com.pk/story/366357/pakistan-has-no-connection-with-terrorist-organisations-sherry-rehman/
[3] Michael Langevine Leiby, “U.S. assistance to Pakistan buys little goodwill,” Washington Post, April 17, 2012. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/us-assistance-to-pakistan-buys-little-goodwill/2012/04/17/gIQA7L8yOT_story.html
[4] Umer Farooq, “Bannu jailbreak: Peshawar High Court orders judicial probe,” Express Tribune, April 17, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366042/bannu-jailbreak-phc-takes-suo-motu-notice-of-attack/
[5] “US bounty: LHC issues notices on Saeed’s plea for security,” PPI, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366408/us-bounty-lhc-issues-notices-on-saeeds-plea-for-security/
[6] “1 killed, 3 injured in Karachi firing incident,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366358/activists-protest-against-targeted-killings-in-pahar-ganj/
[7] “Bomb attack: Militants target ANP MPA's school in Swabi,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366371/bomb-attack-militants-target-anp-mpas-school-in-swabi/
[8] “Target Killing: Christian man killed,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366267/target-killing-christian-man-killed/
[9] “Gilani to son: Come to Pakistan ‘immediately’, take part in ephedrine probe,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366367/gilani-to-his-son-come-to-pakistan-immediately-take-part-in-ephedrine-probe/
[10] Shabbir Mir, “World’s highest battleground: Pakistan should lead Siachen troop pullout, says Nawaz,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366272/worlds-highest-battleground-pakistan-should-lead-siachen-troop-pullout-says-nawaz/
[11] “Zardari, Kayani visit Gayari,” Dawn, April 18, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/04/18/zardari-and-kayani-visits-gayari/
“Pakistan wants resolution of Siachen issue: Kayani,” APP, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366395/siachen-tragedy-zardari-kayani-visit-giari-sector/
[12] Haider Rizvi, “Pakistan, India priorities: UN panel questions nuclear expenses,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366285/pakistan-india-priorities-un-panel-questions-nuclear-expenses/
[13] “Bin Laden family's deportation delayed: Lawyer,” Express Tribune, April 18, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366382/bin-ladens-family-contracts-pollen-allergy/