Pakistan Security Brief - April 22, 2013

TTP focusing attacks on ANP, manipulating elections; U.S. delegation in Islamabad discusses Afghan peace, cooperation; FBI investigating potential IJU connection to Boston bombing; Suicide bomber kills four in Bajaur; Khan announces intention to withdraw troops from tribal region if elected; Shias fear ASWJ leader’s election; Musharraf detained in farm house until May 4, interim government not pressing charges; Kerry announces meeting with Karzai, Kayani; Three ANP activists shot in Pishin; IED kills soldiers in North Waziristan; Police defuse IEDs in Peshawar; IED hits soldiers in Bannu; Militants throw grenade at election officer’s house; Militants bomb pipeline; Soldiers kill militants in Orakzai; Militants attack NATO convoy; Two dozen injured in grenade attack in Karachi; Seventeen die in targeted Karachi violence, many of them MQM activists; Earthquake victims demand government aid.

Domestic Politics

  • According to a New York Times article released Sunday, the TTP has been focusing its attacks on the Awami National Party (ANP), especially in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, in a campaign that has reportedly set the ANP’s campaign back significantly.  The article explains that TTP strikes against the ANP have killed over 700 members, leaders, and candidates in the last five years, with violence against the ANP increasing as elections draw near.    According to a former leader within Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, “The most effective campaign is being run by the Taliban,” referencing its effective use of violence to subvert the political campaigns of secular parties.[1]

  • On Sunday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan gave a campaign speech in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where he said that, if elected, he would withdraw troops from Waziristan.  He went on to say that “[t]he money that is spent on the war in the tribal areas will be spent on the welfare of the people,” explaining that the PTI would instead bring employment and education to the region.[2]

  • On Saturday, Reuters released an article describing Shia fears regarding Sunni cleric and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) leader Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi’s campaign for a seat in parliament. Ludhianvi founded the group formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) that has regularly engaged in violence against Shias.  According to the article, if Ludhianvi is elected, his appointment will signal a significant increase in sectarian support nationally, particularly as radical sectarian rhetoric enters the political scene.[3]

  • On Saturday, an Islamabad antiterrorism court ordered that former President Pervez Musharraf remain in custody until May 4, during which time he will be tried for detaining illegally judges during his term as president in 2007.  Later on Saturday, Musharraf was returned to his farmhouse outside Islamabad which was declared a “sub-jail.”. On Monday, the interim government told the Supreme Court that they will not file a treason case against Musharraf, and will instead let the new government prosecute Musharraf, stating that trying him for treason was “not a part of their mandate.” However, the interim government said they would press charges if ordered to by the Supreme Court.[4]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he will host a meeting on Wednesday in Brussels between top Afghan officials, including President Hamid Karzai, and top Pakistani officials, including Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.  The meeting will discuss the peace process with the Taliban, as well as other cooperative efforts between Afghans and Pakistanis.[5]

  • On Sunday and Monday, a delegation from the U.S. including Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador David Pearce, Special Assistant to the President on Afghanistan and Pakistan Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, Principal Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Dr. Peter Lavoy, and Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson visited Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Islamabad to discuss ongoing cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan, specifically regarding the Afghan peace and rehabilitation process.  The U.S. ambassadors reiterated their support for “timely, transparent, free, and fair elections” in May.[6]

Boston Marathon Bombing

Militancy

Earthquake


[1] “Pakistani Taliban violently reshape the ballot,” New York Times, April 21, 2013. Available at www.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/world/asia/pakistani-taliban-violently-reshape-the-ballot.html
[2] “In campaign mode: Imran vows to pull out troops from Waziristan,” Express Tribune, April 22, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/538826/in-campaign-mode-imran-vows-to-pull-out-troops-from-waziristan/
[3] “Insight: Pakistan cleric tries hand at politics, striking fear in Shi’ites,” Reuters, April 20, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/20/us-pakistan-election-sectarian-insight-idUSBRE93J0HE20130420?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
[4] “Pakistani court orders Musharraf detained for 2 more weeks,” New York Times, April 21, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/world/asia/pakistani-court-orders-musharraf-detained-for-2-more-weeks.html?ref=asia
“Pakistan’s caretaker government says it will not file treason charges against Musharraf,” Washington Post, April 22, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistans-caretaker-government-says-it-will-not-file-treason-charges-against-musharraf/2013/04/22/3488fcc4-ab38-11e2-9493-2ff3bf26c4b4_story.html
[6] “Acting U.S. special representative for AfPak visits Pakistan,” Dawn, April 22, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/04/22/acting-us-special-representative-for-afpak-visits-pakistan/
[7] “What is the Islamic Jihad Union,” National Journal, April 19, 2013. Available at http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/what-is-the-islamic-jihad-union-20130419
[8] “Female suicide bomber kills 4 in Bajaur agency,” The News, April 21, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-97638-Female-suicide-bomber-kills-4-in-Bajaur-Agency-
[9] “Blast at national party rally in Turbat,” Dawn, April 22, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/04/21/blast-at-national-party-rally-in-turbat/
[10] “Four soldiers killed in NWA IED blast,” The News, April 22, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-22393-Four-soldiers-killed-in-NWA-IED-blast
[11] “Suicide bomb threat in Peshawar: bombs defused,” Dawn, April 22, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/04/22/suicide-bomb-threat-in-peshawar-bombs-defused/
[12] “Four soldiers killed in FR Bannu blast,” Express Tribune, April 22, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/538832/four-soldiers-killed-in-fr-bannu-blast/
[13] “Grenade attack in Kharan, one wounded,” Dawn, April 21, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/04/21/grenade-attack-in-kharan-one-wounded/
[14] “24” diameter gas pipeline blown up,” The News, April 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-22360-24-diameter-gas-pipeline-blown-up
[15] “4 militants killed, 3 soldiers hurt in Orakzai clash,” The News, April 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-172511-4-militants-killed,-3-soldiers-hurt-in-Orakzai-clash
[16] “Two injured,” The News, April 22, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-172611-Two-injured
[17] “Two Lyari gangsters gunned down,” The News, April 22, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-172783-Two-Lyari-gangsters-gunned-down
“12 hurt in Kharadar bomb attack,” The News, April 22, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-172778-12-hurt-in-Kharadar-bomb-attack 
[18] Political activist among six gunned down,” The News, April 21, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-172546-Political-activist-among-six-gunned-down
[19] “12 year old hurt in grenade blast,” The News, April 20, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-172360-12-year-old-hurt-in-grenade-blast
“Three of a family among seven shot dead,” The News, April 20, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-172355-Three-of-a-family-among-seven-shot-dead 
[20] “Balochistan quake victims clamour for aid,” Express Tribune, April 22, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/538041/balochistan-quake-victims-clamour-for-aid/