Pakistan Security Brief – April 19, 2012

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan says Haqqani Network was behind Kabul attacks; U.S. Embassy says Pakistan “moving in the right direction;” Pakistan seeks $2.6 billion reimbursement from U.S.; Senator John McCain criticizes relationship between the Haqqani Network and ISI; Intelligence reports reveal TTP planned attacks across Pakistan; Army Chief Gen. Kayani says Pakistan open to demilitarizing Siachen; Pakistan to hold “secretary-level defence talks” with India on Siachen glacier; Rangers conduct targeted operations in Karachi; Prime minister’s counsel presents UN report to support presidential immunity argument.

 

The Haqqani Network

  • On Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said that there is “no question” that the Haqqani Network was responsible for Sunday’s coordinated attacks in Kabul. Crocker called on the Pakistani government to “crack down” on the group’s “safe havens in Pakistan.” Crocker stated that the U.S. needs the Pakistani government to take action and “launch a major offensive” to go after the militant group. According to Crocker, the Haqqani Network’s plans are made in Miram Shah, North Waziristan, not in Afghanistan. However, the Haqqani Network claims it “is no longer based in Pakistan and operates only from Afghanistan.”[1]

  • Senator John McCain called the continuous relationship between the Haqqani Network and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate a “source of never-ending frustration.” McCain also criticized the Obama Administration’s policy of reconciliation with the Taliban, claiming that the U.S. should instead develop a “strategic partnership” with Afghanistan, showing Pakistan that supporting the Taliban will only leave the county “more isolated and less secure.”[2]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • A representative of the U.S. embassy in Pakistan said that the U.S. has not given Pakistan a deadline for the reopening of NATO supply routes, since Pakistan is “moving in the right direction.” He said that the U.S. has adopted a policy of “strategic patience,” and it appreciates Pakistan’s efforts to make the relationship between the two countries more transparent.[3]

  • Pakistan is currently seeking a $2.6 billion reimbursement from the U.S. for its role in providing support to U.S. military operations in fighting militants. According to one Pakistani official, Pakistan has not received Coalition Support Funds, money dispersed to U.S. allies for expenses incurred in fighting the war on terror, for the last 18 months. The official claimed that “no reason has been given for the delay in payments,” and if the government is not reimbursed for its expenditures, “it will have an impact on [Pakistan’s] budgetary allocations.” Pakistan’s Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that Pakistan and the U.S. are engaged in a “good discussion” on the reimbursement controversy, and hopes that it is resolved in “some positive way.”[4]

Militancy

  • According to intelligence reports, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Hakimullah Mehsud organized a meeting last February in North Waziristan with the purpose of planning targeted attacks “in case of the expected resumption of NATO supplies.” At the meeting, attended by senior commanders of the “TTP, Tehrik-e-Taliban Afghanistan, and al Qaeda in North Waziristan,” the militants resolved to “show their anger through terrorist activities across the country.” The report lists several possible targets including U.S. diplomats in Pakistan, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan. A second intelligence report shows that the Jundullah group also held a meeting to plan attacks on government offices, sensitive installations, and law enforcement agencies. The report states that an “army of 21 militants,” from Jundullah but under the command of Mehsud, would launch attacks in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore. The National Crisis Management Cell of the Interior Ministry forwarded information regarding these attacks to police and local law enforcement agencies, directing them to “beef up security at possible target sites.”[5]

  • Since Tuesday night, unidentified gunmen on motorcycles have targeted three teashops and killed six people in separate incidents of drive-by shootings around Karachi.[6]

  • On Wednesday and Thursday, Rangers personnel conducted targeted operations in different areas of Karachi, taking 20 people into custody and recovering arms and ammunition.[7]

Siachen

  • During a weekly briefing, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan has not changed its foreign policy on Siachen, but it will soon hold “secretary-level defence talks” with India on the Siachen issue and other disputed topics. He also stated that no new soldiers are being deployed to Siachen at this time.[8]

  • After visiting the avalanche site at Siachen Glacier on Wednesday, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said that Pakistan believes in a "peaceful coexistence" with its neighbors and is open to talks with India about demilitarizing Siachen. Kayani said that both Pakistan and India should sit down and resolve their issues, including the Siachen issue. According to Kayani, "Siachen consumes a mammoth amount" of Pakistani taxpayers' money, and this money could be put to greater use for the welfare of Pakistanis.[9]

  • Indian Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju said on Thursday that he was pleased with Gen. Kayani’s statement that the Pakistan Army wanted to demilitarize Siachen, and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Chief Nawaz Sharif’s statement advising the Pakistani government to take the initiative in withdrawing its troops from the glacier.[10]

Supreme Court Cases

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On Wednesday, Finance Minister Shaikh stated that he saw “popular support for building ties” with India. Shaikh commented on the new trade initiatives between the two countries, saying that they have “firm support” from political and business leaders, and show the presence of “economic merit.” According to AFP, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation has continuously attempted to “boost economic ties” in the region, but has made little progress due to the conflict between Pakistan and India. However, Shaikh said that he feels “quite optimistic” about future relations between the two countries, and hopes that Pakistan will benefit from India’s “dynamic” economy.[13]           



[1] “Haqqani network behind Afghan attacks: US envoy,” Reuters, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/367034/haqqani-network-behind-afghan-attacks-us-envoy/
[2] Huma Imtiaz, “ISI ties with Haqqanis reprehensible: McCain,” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366808/isi-ties-with-haqqanis-reprehensible-mccain/
[3] “NATO supply: ‘Pakistan not given deadline to open routes,’” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366841/nato-supply-pakistan-not-given-deadline-to-open-routes/
[4] Ashish Kumar Sen, “U.S., Pakistan talk about $2.6 billion reimbursement,” The Washington Times, April 18, 2012. Available at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/18/us-pakistan-talk-about-26-billion-reimbursement/
[5] “Intelligence leads: ‘TTP chief convenes meeting to plan revenge attacks,’” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366842/intelligence-leads-ttp-chief-convenes-meeting-to-plan-revenge-attacks/
[6] “Men on motorcycles go around attacking teashops,” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366756/men-on-motorcycles-go-around-attacking-teashops/
[7] “Rangers conduct raids in Karachi, 20 taken into custody,” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366968/rangers-conduct-raids-in-karachi-20-taken-into-custody/
[8] “No change in Pakistan's Siachen policy: Foreign Office,” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/367021/no-change-in-pakistans-siachen-policy-foreign-office/
[9] "Should discuss all disputes including Siachen with India: COAS Kayani," Geo, April 18, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=45021 
[10] “India lauds Pakistan's statement on demilitarising Siachen,” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/367009/india-lauds-pakistans-statement-on-demilitarising-siachen/
[11] “PM contempt: Ahsan presents UN report supporting presidential immunity,” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366977/pm-contempt-ahsan-presents-un-report-supporting-presidential-immunity/
[12] “Ephedrine scandal: ANF names Ali Musa Gilani in inquiry report,” Express Tribune, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/367029/ephedrine-scandal-anf-names-ali-musa-gilani-in-inquiry-report/
[13] “Pakistan upbeat on trade with India,” AFP, April 19, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/366988/hafeez-shaikh-upbeat-on-trade-with-india/