Pakistan Security Brief - April 7, 2011

Mattis arrives in Pakistan for talks; Pakistani military rejects White House report; $5 million reward for Kashmiri arrest; Turi and Bangash elders plead for action; Four killed in Mohmand; Seven security officers injured in Bara; Suicide blast targets DIG in Quetta; Four security officers injured in Awaran; Express Tribune: reconstruction has not yet commenced in Swat; India and Pakistan at odds over terrorist prosecution.

 
 

U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • The head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), General Mattis, arrived in Pakistan for talks with Pakistan’s army chief General Kayani for a “regular, scheduled visit.” The trip follows the release of the semi-annual White House report to Congress on Afghanistan and Pakistan, which “censured Islamabad for lacking a sound strategy for defeating the Taliban in the tribal areas.”A Pakistani military spokesperson, Major General Ather Abbas, “rejected the White House report for having misinterpreted the situation on the ground, particularly the Mohmand operation.” Dawn additionally reports that, “The military leadership has already been complaining of American arrogance and high-handedness in its dealings with Pakistan. Defense analysts believe that the latest war appraisal is sure to affect the mood of the talks that were meant to resolve the contentious issues in the bilateral relationships.”[i]
  • The U.S. State Department  has announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Ilyas Kashmiri, the commander of Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI). The State Department has alleged that “since 2001, [Kashmiri] has led HUJI training camps and his organization has launched several attacks in India and Pakistan. On March 2, 2006, HUJI launched a suicide bombing against the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, which killed four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy, and injured 48 others.” Kashmiri is also suspected of playing a role in a 2009 attack on offices of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, which killed twenty-three people and wounded hundreds more. [ii]
 
 

FATA

  • Turi and Bangash elders in Kurram have asked a tribal grand jirga to take action against violators of a recently signed peace agreement. The elders alleged that, “40 passengers kidnapped by militants were still untraced while 16 were killed and 24 others injured in the recent spate of violence against the passengers on [Thall-Parachinar] Road.” They said that if the government and grand jirga failed to take action against violators of the agreement, they would initiate action themselves.[iii]
  • On Wednesday, four people were killed and one other wounded in the Bezai sub-district of Mohmand Agency.  A shell fired by security forces hit a house during an operation against militant hideouts in the area, killing the four. Surrounding houses were also damaged in the blast.[iv]
  • Seven security officers were injured in an assault on their vehicle in the Bara district of Khyber Agency on Thursday. The security forces returned fire following the attack, but no further causalities were reported.[v]
 

 

Attacks in Balochistan

  • A suicide blast in Quetta killed a police constable and injured nine others on Thursday. An unidentified militant opened fire and drove a vehicle filled with explosives into the outside of the home of Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) Investigations of Police Wazir Khan Nasir. DIG Nasir was wounded in the attack, as were his two children. A local police officer, Daud Junejo, said that “no one immediately claimed responsibility, but Nasir played a key role in arresting religious militants and ethnic-Baloch separatists.”[vi]
  • Four security officers were injured in the Mashkay area of Awaran district. A bomb was detonated when a Frontier Corps vehicle was passing through the area, injuring the four personnel.[vii]
 

 

Reconstruction in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

  • The Express Tribune reports that reconstruction has not yet commenced in the Swat Valley and people affected by militancy have not been compensated, “although militancy in Swat has been wiped out and peace has been restored in the valley.” The government had previously announced that $4,700 (Rs 400,000) would be paid to each of the owners of around 8,000 houses destroyed in previous military operations. Residents have alleged that records of damaged houses had been “misplaced” by the Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority.[viii]
 

 

Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • The Washington Post reports that despite newly commenced talks between Indian and Pakistani officials, the two countries remain at odds over the prosecution of seven Pakistanis accused of playing roles in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group have not yet faced formal charges and a trial date has not yet been set. The media outlet states that, “Most observers here say the slow pace of prosecution reflects the clout wielded by religious militants in Pakistan.”[ix]
 
 
 

[i] “US general holds Pakistan talks amid shaky ties,” Dawn, April 7, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Rewards for Justice - Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri Reward Offer,” U.S. Department of State, April 6, 2011. Available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/04/160071.htm
[iii] “Action demanded against Kurram deal violators,” The News, April 6, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=40373&Cat=7&dt=4/7/2011
[iv] “Four die as shell hits house in Mohmand,” Dawn, April 7, 2011. Available at
[v] “Ambush on convoy injures seven troops in Bara,” Dawn, April 7, 2011. Available at
[vi]“Suicide blast kills one, injures nine in Quetta,” Dawn, April 7, 2011. Available at
[vii] “4 security men injured in Awaran bomb blast,” Dawn, April 7, 2011. Available at
[viii] Fazal Khaliq, “Military operation in Swat: Disgruntled refugees still waiting for compensation,” Express Tribune, April 7, 2011. http://tribune.com.pk/story/144548/military-operation-in-swat-disgruntled-refugees-still-waiting-for-compensation/
[ix] Pamela Constable, “Mumbai attacks in 2008 still divide India and Pakistan,” Washington Post, April 6, 2011. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/mumbai-attacks-in-2008-still-divide-india-and-pakistan/2011/04/03/AFJjDUoC_story.html