Pakistan Security Brief – April 6, 2012

Hafiz Saeed calls on people to “wage jihad against America;” Saeed reportedly had close connection to Osama bin Laden; Pakistani counter-terror official claims Saeed supports de-radicalization program; Prime Minister Gilani says bounty against Saeed sends “negative message;” Afghan Foreign Minister says no drone strikes against Pakistan to be launched from Afghanistan; President Zardari to visit India for “private” trip; Senior cop blames fellow policeman for Thursday’s suicide bombing; Three people affiliated with PPP killed in Karachi; Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan leader killed in Quetta; Six suspected terrorists arrested, explosives recovered; Memogate commission proposes options to bring Hussain Haqqani to Pakistan.

 

Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hafiz Saeed

  • Hafiz Saeed, the founder of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the head of LeT’s charity front Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), held a sermon on Friday at the JuD head office in Lahore, calling people to “wage jihad against America in order to save Pakistan and Islam.” According to the Express Tribune, hundreds of Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) activists “took to the streets” following Saeed’s sermon, condemning the $10 million bounty placed on Saeed’s head by the U.S. State Department and calling for “holy war.” At a rally of right-wing lawyers in Lahore on Thursday, leader of the Lahore District Bar Association Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali defended Saeed, calling America the “biggest international terrorist.”[1]

  • U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner denied assertions that the U.S. was attempting to “split” LeT with the bounty, but is rather using the bounty to entice someone to come forward and provide evidence needed to arrest and convict Saeed. According to former senior National Security Council official Bruce Riedel, documents taken from bin Laden’s Abbottabad hideout revealed a “close connection between Bin Laden and Saeed, right up to May 2011” and “suggested a much larger direct [al Qaeda] role in the planning of the [2008] Mumbai attacks than many assumed.”[2]

  • In the joint session of Parliament on Thursday, Pakistani government and opposition parties “united in criticism” of the U.S. bounty on Saeed, demanding that the U.S. “provide proof” of Saeed’s terrorist credentials. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani claimed that the bounty was a “negative message” that would “further widen the trust deficit” between the U.S. and Pakistan. On Friday, Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna announced that “India has handed over all evidence related to Saeed.” Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar commented that “Pakistan has an independent judiciary” and the U.S. should bring it any evidence against Saeed.[3]

  • On Friday, a top Pakistani counterterrorism official announced that Hafiz Saeed had been assisting Pakistan de-radicalize militants in an effort to make Pakistan more secure. According to the official, Saeed pledged his support for the de-radicalization program, and “extended his full cooperation” to the Punjab government. The official stated that Saeed agreed to support the program because he felt “former militants should find jobs and rejoin mainstream society.” A senior police official in Punjab confirmed these statements, claiming that “Saeed and his supporters were helping efforts to transform militants into law-abiding citizens.” However, according to JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid, the group has never participated in the de-radicalization program.[4]

International Relations

  • Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasool said on Thursday that “Afghan soil will not be used against any country in the region,” when asked by Al Jazeera television if the U.S. would be allowed use Afghanistan as a launching pad for drone strikes against Pakistan. Rasool said that the remaining forces in Afghanistan are for training and security, and “not for use against any [neighbors] in the region.”[5]

  • President Asif Ali Zardari will visit India on Sunday for a one-day “private” trip that involves having lunch with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting a Muslim shrine. According to the Associated Press (AP), Zardari’s trip, the first one by a Pakistani head of state to India since 2005, “marks a milestone” in the improving relations between the two countries. AP reported that India and Pakistan cannot appear to be overly friendly, because Zardari cannot risk angering Pakistan’s powerful military and anti-Indian Islamic groups, while Singh feels pressure to keep Pakistan at arm’s length until it takes care of its anti-Indian militants. U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner called Zardari’s visit to India “very constructive,” and said that dialogue between Pakistan and India is a “win-win situation” for the U.S.[6]

Militancy

  • Senior Superintendent of Police Malir Rao Anwar said on Friday that he had “evidence” proving that a fellow policeman, along with the policeman’s brother and friend were responsible for Thursday’s suicide bombing that targeted Anwar and killed five people. Police records stated that there are more than a dozen cases registered against Anwar’s colleague, who also has alleged ties to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Anwar claimed that his colleague had threatened to kill him before this incident, and that he has filed cases against the three suspects.[7]

  • Unidentified gunmen killed three people reportedly affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Karachi’s Orangi town area on Thursday.[8]

  • A provincial leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan was killed by unknown assailants on Saryab Road in Quetta, Balochistan as he was on his way to Friday prayers.[9]

  • The tribal chief from Jani Khel tribe was killed in Bannu district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday when unknown gunmen opened fire on his vehicle.[10]

  • Law enforcement agencies raided a house in Peshawar’s Tehkal area on Friday, where they arrested ten people including six suspected terrorists and recovered two suicide vests and other explosives.[11]

  • Two mutilated bodies were found in the Kanak area of Mastung, Balochistan on Friday. The Balochistan government has told the Supreme Court that “over 300 mutilated and bullet-riddled bodies” have been found dumped in various areas of Balochistan, but the number of bodies recovered has decreased in recent months.[12]

Memogate

  • On Friday, the “memogate” commission proposed four options for bringing former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani back to Pakistan. The options proposed by the court include seizing Haqqani’s property in Pakistan, issuing a warrant for his arrest, filing a criminal case against him, or holding the former ambassador in contempt of court. Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq advised the court that the Interior Ministry or INTERPOL could also be used to bring Haqqani to Pakistan.[13]

  • Hussain Haqqani’s attorney notified the memogate commission that the former ambassador has refused to write a consent letter waiving his right to privacy to BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion. Haqqani’s attorney has requested that the judicial commission provide him with the “written order” directing Haqqani to write the letter so that they may consult with U.S. lawyers on how to proceed.[14]        

 


[1] Rana Tanveer, “Hafiz Saeed calls for jihad against America,” AFP, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360667/difa-e-pakistan-activists-protest-us-bounty-on-hafiz-saeed/
Salman Masood, “Pakistani lawmakers Criticize U.S. Reward for Militant Leader,” The New York Times, April 5, 2012. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/world/asia/pakistani-officials-criticize-united-states-bounty-for-militant-leader-hafiz-saeed.html?_r=2
[2] Huma Imtiaz, “Saeed $10 million bounty ‘sweetener’ for people to provide evidence: US,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360485/saeed-10-million-bounty-sweetner-for-people-to-provide-evidence-us/
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, “Osama had key role in 26/11, Abbottabad proof shows,” Hindustan Times, April 4, 2012. Available at http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Osama-played-key-role-in-26-11-Mumbai-attacks-proof-shows/Article1-835128.aspx
[3] Salman Masood, “Pakistani lawmakers Criticize U.S. Reward for Militant Leader,” The New York Times, April 5, 2012. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/world/asia/pakistani-officials-criticize-united-states-bounty-for-militant-leader-hafiz-saeed.html?_r=2
Zia Khan and Zahid Gishkori, “Action against Hafiz Saeed subject to judicial assessment of US evidence: Gilani,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360475/action-against-hafiz-saeed-subject-to-judicial-assessment-of-us-evidence-gilani/
“Pakistan rejects India statement on Hafiz Saeed evidence,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360652/hafiz-saeed-evidence-handed-over-to-pakistan-sm-krishna/
[4] “Hafiz Saeed helping de-radicalise militants, says official,” Reuters, April 6, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/04/06/hafiz-saeed-helping-de-radicalise-militants-says-official/
[5] “No drone strikes in Pakistan after 2014, none at least launched from Afghanistan,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360488/no-drone-strikes-in-pakistan-after-2014-none-at-least-launched-from-afghanistan/
[6] Ashok Sharma, “Pakistan chief heads to India for low-profile trip,” Associated Press, April 6, 2012. Available at http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2012/04/06/pakistan_chief_heads_to_ india_for_low_profile_trip/
“US welcomes Pakistan President Zardari's India visit,” BBC, April 6, 2012. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17635611
[7] “Three nominated for carrying out attack on SSP Malir,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360660/three-nominated-for-carrying-out-attack-on-ssp-malir/
[8] “Karachi violence: 3 PPP men killed in Orangi Town,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360675/karachi-violence-3-ppp-men-killed-in-orangi-town/
[9] “Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan leader killed in Quetta,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360665/balochistan-chief-of-jamiat-ulema-e-pakistan-killed-in-quetta/
[10] “Gunned Down: Tribal chief killed enroute to Bannu,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360428/gunned-down-tribal-chief-killed-enroute-to-bannu/
[11] “6 suspected terrorists arrested, suicide jackets and explosives recovered,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360645/6-alleged-terrorists-arrested-suicide-jackets-and-explosives-recovered/
[12] Shehzad Baloch, “Balochistan violence: Two mutilated bodies recovered from Mastung,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360648/two-mutilated-bodies-recovered-from-mastung/
[13] “Memo commission proposes 4 options to bring Haqqani to Pakistan,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360616/memogate-haqqani-refuses-to-write-consent-letter-to-rim/
[14] “Memo commission proposes 4 options to bring Haqqani to Pakistan,” Express Tribune, April 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360616/memogate-haqqani-refuses-to-write-consent-letter-to-rim/