Pakistan Security Brief - April 30, 2013

TTP sends letter claiming success in fighting democracy; TTP claims targeting parties a Taliban shura decision; Karachi attacks point to TTP shift to urban focus; Two MQM activists die in shooting; Independent candidate’s assassination makes ECP postpone district polls; Anti-Musharraf lawyers beaten; Musharraf receives lifetime ban on contesting elections; India warns of nuclear retaliation if attacked; TTP release video of fighting in Afghanistan; Army deploys troops across Balochistan; Family of five die in Karachi; Rangers arrest six in operations; Police officer hurt in shooting; Six die in Karachi violence, Gas pipeline blown up heading to Karachi.

Political Violence

Army Deployment for Elections

  • On Monday, in an effort to protect voters leading up to and during the election, the Pakistan Army deployed troops to nine parts of Balochistan, including Kalat, Khuzdar, Kharan, Washuk, Awaran, Mastung, Panjgur, Turbat and Gwadar.  The army is scheduled to deploy troops to the remaining districts of Balochistan on Tuesday, totaling 6,000 soldiers across the province, with the intention of securing polling stations for Election Day in May.

    [6]

Domestic Politics

Militancy

  • Following an announcement on Friday that the Afghan Taliban was beginning its spring offensive, the TTP released a video of its “Saad bin Abi Waqas Front” fighters attacking ISAF forces in Logar province, Afghanistan.  The video shows both traditional military attacks and suicide bombings, and centers around a pledge to kill “foreign invaders” in Afghanistan, specifically targeting foreign bases, airbases, and diplomatic centers.

    [8]

  • Earlier in April, the TTP released a video on Jamia Hafsa Urdu Forum where the TTP’s leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, showed footage of strikes on Afghan ISAF forces, an execution of an alleged ISAF spy, and a statement where he said that because the TTP and al Qaeda both swore allegance to Mullah Omar, they are closely tied.  He then explains that there is no difference between the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, and al Qaeda.  He also says that the TTP has been instructed to move “beyond FATA to mainland Pakistan,” in order to create a Taliban emirate in Pakistan.

    [9]

  • On Tuesday, a family of five was gunned down in their house early morning in Defense, Karachi. Separately, Karachi Rangers arrested six people and recovered small arms caches in Shah Faisal Colony, Carnal Basti near Old Sabzi Mandi, Falakh Naz, Gulistan Society, Millat Town and Chanesar Goth.

    [10]

  • On Monday, unknown attackers opened fire next to the Hyderabad Tando Yousuf police station, injuring a police officer and another person.

    [11]

  • On Monday, Karachi police arrested three people in an operation in Surjani Town, and also seized a weapons cache. Elsewhere in the city, six people were killed in various incidents of targeted violence. A police officer was shot to death in Iqbal Market in Orangi Town when motorcyclists shot him and his daughter there. Another man was killed in Golimar when motorcyclists shot and killed the man outside his shop. Separately, a man was shot and killed in Sultanabad, Manghopir, when he was returning home from praying. In another incident, a man was shot to death in Shah Faisal Colony.  Elsewhere, in Korangi, a man was tortured and killed after being kidnapped Sunday night. Korangi police also recovered the body of a man who had been kidnapped and killed.

    [12]

  • According to a McClatchy article on Monday, the increase in violence, especially political violence, from the TTP in Karachi is a signal that the TTP is making a strategic shift from the tribal border regions to “major urban centers.” According to a source the McClatchy report claims is linked to al Qaeda, and who has “close ties with” the TTP, “[the TTP’s] plan is to establish a headquarters in Karachi, and spread [its] network to adjacent cities from there.” The TTP is reportedly gaining power by linking up with criminal networks in Karachi to draw upon local gangs’ resources.

    [13]

  • On Tuesday, unknown men shot and killed the driver for a NATO shipping container in Wazirdand, Jamrud, Khyber agency.  In another incident, an Afghan man was killed on Tuesday, when motorcyclists shot him on his way home in Shahkas area, Jamrud, Khyber agency.

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  • On Monday, unknown militants blew up a pipeline in Naseerabad cutting off some of the gas supply to Karachi.

    [15]

Indo-Pak Relations

  • On Tuesday, Indian National Security Advisory Board conveyer Shyam Saran said that while India will not initiate nuclear warfare, any nuclear strike from Pakistan will result in nuclear retaliation. He said that nuclear war cannot be limited, and if initiated, would escalate quickly. Saran’s comments come in the wake of recent Pakistani missile tests, and respond to Pakistani efforts to develop smaller, “tactical nuclear warheads.”

    [16]



[1]

“Warning of violence: TTP focused on ending democracy,” Express Tribune, April 30, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/542440/warning-of-violence-ttp-focused-on-ending-democracy-says-mehsud/

[2]

“Two MQM workers shot dead in Hyderabad,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-174413-Two-MQM-workers-shot-dead-in-Hyderabad

[3]

“Selective targeting of political parties is Taliban Shuras decision,” Dawn, April 28, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/04/28/selective-targeting-of-political-parties-is-taliban-shuras-decision-ttp-spokesman/

[4]

“Independent Candidate among 3 killed in Jhal Magsi,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-99002-Independent-candidate-among-3-killed-in-Jhal-Magsi
“ECP postpones election in Jhal Magsi after electoral candidate killed,” Express Tribune, April 30, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/542490/ecp-postpones-election-in-jhal-magsi-after-electoral-candidate-killed/

[5]

“Two anti0Musharraf lawyers kidnapped, beaten, dumped,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-22563-Two-anti-Musharraf-lawyers-kidnapped,-beaten,-dumped

[6]

“Top brass approve deployment for polls,” Dawn, April 30, 2013. Available at http://beta.dawn.com/news/794797/top-brass-approve-deployment-for-polls

[7]

“Musharraf’s appeal against election disqualification dismissed,” Express Tribune, April 30, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/542514/musharrarfs-appeal-against-election-disqualification-dismissed/

[8]

TTP joins Afghan Taliban to wage spring offensive,” Urduwire, April 29, 2013. Available at http://www.urduwire.com/en/news/ttp-joins-afghan-taliban-to-wage-spring-offensive_nid900456.aspx

[9]

TTP joins Afghan Taliban to wage spring offensive,” Urduwire, April 29, 2013. Available at http://www.urduwire.com/en/news/ttp-joins-afghan-taliban-to-wage-spring-offensive_nid900456.aspx

[10]

“Family of five found dead in DHA Karachi,” Express Tribune, April 30, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/542505/family-of-five-found-dead-in-dha-karachi/
“Rangers arrest six suspects in targeted operation,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-174308-Rangers-arrest-six-suspects-in-targeted-operation

[11]

Hyderabad: policeman among 2 injured in checkpost shooting,” Geo, April 29, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=98947

[12]

“Three target killers held, weapons seized,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-174299-Three-target-killers-held,-weapons-seized
“Cop, five others fall victim to gun attacks,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-174294-Cop,-five-others-fall-victim-to-gun-attacks

[13]

Karachi is part of Pakistani Taliban shift,” McClatchy, April 29, 2013. Available at http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/04/29/189908/karachi-is-part-of-pakistani-taliban.html#.UX_-78ol1vA

[14]

“Two shot dead in Jamrud,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-174405-Two-shot-dead-in-Jamrud

[15]

“Gas pipeline blown up in Naseerabad,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-98981-Gas-pipeline-blown-up-in-Naseerabad

[16]

“Strike by even a midget nuke will invite massive response, India warns Pak,” The News, April 30, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-99008-Strike-by-even-a-midget-nuke-will-invite-massive-response,-India-warns-Pak