Pakistan Security Brief - April 23, 2013

Karzai leaves for Brussels talks, says Afghan patience with Pakistan running thin; Police defuse car bomb outside Musharraf’s house; Article exposes Judicial branch’s increase in power; Supreme Court hears case about secret journalist fund; Police arrest TTP fighter in Karachi, Taliban execute man in South Waziristan; Peshawar police defuse bomb; eight, including MQM activist, die in Karachi violence; Pakistan State Oil profits fall in third quarter.

Trilateral Talks

  • On Tuesday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai departed Kabul for Brussels, where he will participate in trilateral talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani about the peace process in Afghanistan and regional stability during and after the American withdrawal.  A senior spokesman for Karzai said “Pakistan has not taken practical measures towards the Afghan peace process so far. Afghans are running out of patience.”[1]

Domestic Politics

  • On Monday, the Wall Street Journal released an article explaining how the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and, by extension, the judiciary branch, has dramatically increased its power and role in national politics since he was reinstated in 2009. The article explains that the judicial system’s power extends broadly through politics, from shaping the elections by determining who can run for office to prosecuting politicians for corruption.  The article says judicial power has also been a force to stem the Pakistan Army’s power.[2]

  • On Monday, the Supreme Court held a hearing that released details about a secret fund used to pay Pakistani journalists between 2011 and 2013.  The fund appropriated $1.8 million to journalists in the form of cash payments, plane tickets, hotel rooms, and meals, of which $850,000 were not publicly announced. The journalists were supposedly given funds to write articles commissioned by the government, and the Supreme Court is investigating what specifically the funds went to and why they were kept secret.[3]

Militancy

  • On Tuesday, police found a car packed with explosives outside former President Pervez Musharraf’s farmhouse in Chak Shahzad, Islamabad.  They successfully defused the bomb, which police suspect was targeting Musharraf’s convoy after his trial in Rawalpindi earlier in the day.  Musharraf is currently being held in a “sub jail” in two rooms of his house while he is on trial for imprisoning top judges in 2007 during his reign as president.[4]

  • On Monday, members of the Anti-Extremism Cell (AEC) arrested a Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant after TTP fighters attacked them in Ittehad Town, Karachi.  During the attack, the other TTP members fled, but AEC members were able to seize a weapons cache, including two operational suicide vests.[5]

  • On Monday, militants attacked the house of Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-Haqiqi) leader Afaq Ahmed, killing a toddler, in Landhi, Karachi.  Motorcyclists opened fire outside Ahmed’s house, and when other residents returned fire, the child was killed in the crossfire.[6]

  • On Monday, the local Pakistani Taliban executed a man in Kari Kot village, just South West of Wana’s Rustam Bazaar, in South Waziristan.  According to reports, the Taliban arrested him a week ago and publically executed him for killing a member of the Commander Khali Mullah Taliban Group.[7]

  • In Matni, nearPeshawar, on Tuesday, police defused a 5kg bomb before it detonated.[8]

  • On Monday, eight people were killed in various acts of violence across Karachi. Three people were killed and two people injured when motorcyclists opened fire on them in a shop by Lasbela bridge. Separately, a police officer was shot and killed when motorcyclists opened fire on him and his friend, injuring the friend in Korangi.  In another attack, an Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) activist was killed on his motorcycle when attackers shot him in Bahadurabad. Elsewhere, in Safoora Chowrangi, a man was killed by two motorcyclists outside a house. In a different incident, a man was killed by two motorcyclists outside his apartment building in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.  Another man was killed in Pak Colony when unknown attackers shot him in the street.[9]

  • On Tuesday, two people were injured when a bomb detonated in Mardan. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.[10]

Decline in Oil Profits

  • On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Pakistan State Oil profits fell 32 percent in the third quarter this fiscal year, a full 1.4 billion rupees less than the previous year, despite sales increasing by 5 percent. The article explains that the fall in profits is due to a delay in payments from a number of clients.[11]


[1] “Patience is running out with Pakistan: Karzai’s office,” Express Tribune, April 23, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/539397/patience-is-running-out-with-pakistan-karzais-office/
[2] “Pakistani Judge Gains Clout,” Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2013. Available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323809304578428882943440610.html
[3] “Pakistan Details Payments to Journalists,” Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2013. Available at http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/04/23/pakistan-details-payments-to-journalists/tab/print/?KEYWORDS=PAKISTAN
[4] “Explosives laden car found near Musharraf’s farmhouse,” Express Tribune, April 23, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/539437/explosives-laden-car-found-near-musharrafs-farmhouse/
[5] “TTP killer of four cops, two polio workers held,” The News, April 23, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-172884-TTP-killer-of-four-cops,-two-polio-workers-held
[6] “Toddler killed in attack on Afaq’s Landhi house,” The News, April 23, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-172889-Toddler-killed-in-attack-on-Afaqs-Landhi-house
[7] “Taliban execute man in public,” Express Tribune, April 23, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/539311/taliban-execute-man-in-public/
[8] “Terror bid foiled in Peshawar, 5KG bomb defused,” The News, April 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98061-Terror-bid-foiled-in-Peshawar;-5kg-bomb-defused--
[9] “Two cops, MQM activist among eight shot dead,” The News, April 23, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-172883-Two-cops,-MQM-activist-among-eight-shot-dead
[10] “Two injured in Mardan explosion,” The News, April 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98060-Two-injured-in-Mardan-explosion-
[11] “Pakistan State Oil profit calls 32% as clients delay payments,” Bloomberg, April 23, 2013. Available at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-23/pakistan-state-oil-profit-falls-32-as-clients-delay-payments.html