Pakistan Security Brief - April 25, 2013

Millions of women not registered to vote, reports blame violence, cultural tension; Police arrest Musharraf over Benazir charges; Islamic clerics’ council calls on citizens to vote; Amnesty International calls on government to investigate political violence; India in talks with Iran about pipeline; Fraud case exposes thousands of fake bomb detectors; Pakistan Navy looking to China for new ships; Bomb rocks MQM office, killing four; U.K. jails three for terrorism after training in Pakistan; Four die in Karachi violence; Militants bomb gas pipeline; Bomb injures three in Jandul; Two police, six militants die in firefight.

Domestic Politics and Elections

Iran-Pakistan-India Pipeline

  • On Wednesday, the spokesperson for the Iran Oil Ministry Alireza Nikzad-Rahbar announced that the Indian government is negotiating with Iranian government officials about potentially rejoining the pipeline project extending from Iran into Pakistan.  India originally pulled out of the deal after threats of U.S. sanctions against Iranian oil dissuaded the Indian government from participating.[5]

Fake Bomb Detectors

  • According to reports on Thursday, a British man sold approximately £50 million worth of fake bomb detectors to a number of countries, including Pakistan.  The report explains that the bomb detectors are popular across Pakistan, despite being functionally useless.  Authorities who use the detectors will need to replace them with working detectors, and the article speculates that many lives were lost across Pakistan from bombings that might have been prevented had the detectors been legitimate.[6]

Indo-Pak Relations

Pakistan Navy

  • On Wednesday, Defense News published an article about the stunted growth of the Pakistan Navy, particularly discussing Perry frigates that Pakistan hoped to receive from the U.S.  The article explained that tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan, as well as the U.S. sensitivity to Indian concerns, as India would strongly protest the arms deal, likely means the U.S. will not give Pakistan the six Perry frigates they are hoping for.  As such, it is possible that the Pakistan Navy will turn to China for new naval armaments.[8]

Militancy

Iran-al Qaeda  Relations

  • On Wedensday, Reuters released an article explaining the deteriorating relationship between Iran and al Qaeda, specifically citing al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s chastising remarks against Iranian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  The article explains that, despite religious differences, Iran has previously hosted al Qaeda fighters and permitted their travel.  However, the article reports that travel between Iraq and Pakistan continues, but that Iran would not condone anti-Western plotting in its territory.[20]


[1] “Musharraf formally arrested in Benazir murder case,” Dawn, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.beta.dawn.com/news/794264/musharraf-formally-arrested-in-benazir-murder-case
[2] “Pakistan: clerics fatwa declares casting vote religious obligation,” Express Tribune, April 25, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/540424/pakistan-clerics-fatwa-declares-casting-vote-religious-obligation/
[3] “Amnesty urges Pakistan to probe election violence,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98375-Amnesty-urges-Pakistan-to-probe-election-violence--
[4] “Taliban, taboos, bar millions of women from Pakistan vote,” Dawn, April 25, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/04/25/taliban-taboos-bar-millions-of-women-from-pakistan-vote/
[5] “India to join Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, says Iranian spokesman,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-22479-India-to-join-Iran-Pakistan-gas-pipeline,-says-Iranian-spokesman
[6] “Fake bomb detectors sold to Pakistan,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-22461-Fake-bomb-detectors-sold-to-Pakistan
[7] “Sethi for Pak-India coexistence,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-173287-Sethi-for-Pak-India-coexistence
[8] “Pakistan's Dream Navy?” Defense News, April 24, 2013. Available at http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130424/DEFREG03/304240019
[9] “Blast heard in Karachi,” Express Tribune, April 25, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/540529/blast-heard-in-karachi-2/
[10] “Three British Muslim men jailed for terror offenses,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98362-Three-British-Muslim-men-jailed-for-terror-offenses
[11] “TTP distributes threatening pamphlets against elections,” Dawn, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.beta.dawn.com/news/794268/ttp-distributes-threatening-pamphlets-against-elections
[12] “Cop killed in Torghar blast,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-173323-Cop-killed-in-Torghar-blast
[13] “Three hurt in Timergara blast,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-173363-Three-hurt-in-Timergara-blast
[14] “Two cops, ex-MQM activist among four shot dead,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-173273-Two-cops,-ex-MQM-activist-among-four-shot-dead
“Several more arrested in Karachi operation,” Pakistan Today, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/04/25/news/national/several-more-arrested-in-karachi-operation/
[15] “Two cops, two militants killed in Karak shootout,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98304-Two-cops,-two-militants-killed-in-Karak-shootout-
[16] “Gas pipeline blown up in Larkana,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98244-Gas-pipeline-blown-up-in-Larkana
[17] “Balochistan in a daze as eighth blast hits Quetta,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98241-Balochistan-in-a-daze-as-eigth-blast-hits-Quetta-
[18] “Several injured in Parachinar blast,” The News, April 25, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98307-Several-injured-in-Parachinar-blast
[19] “Grenade attack at PPP office in Balochistan injures two,” Dawn, April 25, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/04/25/grenade-attack-at-ppp-office-in-balochistan-injures-two/
[20] “Analysis: Iran's unlikely al Qaeda ties: fluid, murky and deteriorating,” Reuters, April 24, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/24/us-iran-alqaeda-idUSBRE93N18720130424