Pakistan Security Brief – April 9, 2012

Indian government says it has given Pakistan evidence against Hafiz Saeed; India and Pakistan to share evidence against Saeed on April 16; Indian Prime Minister reluctant to visit Pakistan until “meaningful progress” made on terrorism; U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher explains why he supports Balochistan; Major parties absent from PCNS proceedings on Monday; Twenty militants attack FC check post in Kurram agency; Pakistani helicopter gunships attack militant hideouts in Orakzai agency; U.S. sends experts to aid Pakistan in rescue operation after avalanche; Pakistan to sign agreement for gas imports with Turkmenistan on April 18; Russia agrees to provide financial aid to Pakistan for Iran-Pakistan pipeline; Pakistan Army evacuates foreigners from Gilgit-Baltistan region; Memogate commission orders Hussain Haqqani to appear on April 12.

Hafiz Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)

  • In response to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s recent statement that Pakistan needs “substantial evidence” against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed before it can try him in a court of law, the Indian government said that it has already given the Pakistani government evidence against Saeed. According to the Indian government, the evidence includes a statement by Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the attacks, in which he said that Saeed was present during the selection and training of terrorists for the attacks. Gilani told reporters on Sunday that the interior secretaries of both India and Pakistan will meet on April 16 to “share their evidence against Saeed,” and if the evidence is “sufficient,” then “further action against Saeed will be taken.” Last week, the U.S. government placed a $10 million bounty on Saeed, who has been accused of being involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Regarding the announcement of the bounty, Gilani said that the U.S. “should have directly contacted” Pakistan and provided it with evidence against Saeed, since this is an issue between India and Pakistan and does not concern the U.S.[1]

  • During President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to India on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accepted Zardari’s invitation to visit Pakistan, but said that it was first necessary for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, such as Hafiz Saeed, to justice. According to an Indian official, the government is reluctant to commit to the visit until it sees some “meaningful progress” from Pakistan on “key issues” such as terrorism. Regarding the issue of Saeed, Zardari said that the two governments needed to discuss the matter further.[2]

Balochistan

Domestic Politics

  • Members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) did not attend the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s (PCNS) meeting about U.S.-Pakistan relations on Monday. According to Senator Raza Rabbani, members of the PML-N and the PML-Q were unable to attend due to their participation in the energy conference, while members of the JUI-F continued their boycott of the meetings.[4]

Militancy

Avalanche

International Relations

  • The News reported on Friday that a Pakistani delegation will go to Ashkhabad to formally sign a gas sales purchase agreement (GSPA) with Turkmenistan on April 18 for the $7.6 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. Every “buyer country” has to sign a contract with Turkmenistan on a bilateral basis, and India has already finalized its GSPA with Turkmenistan.[11]

  • The Express Tribune reported on Saturday that the Russian energy company, Gazprom, has “agreed in-principle” to provide financial and technical aid to Pakistan for the $1.5 billion Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, and it will officially do so within the next few weeks. According to a Pakistani government official, a sub-committee of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), met on Friday to review the progress of the IP project, and it will advise the ECC to refuse financial aid and only accept technical aid from Russia due to resistance from the U.S.[12]

Memogate

  • On Friday, the “memogate” commission directed Pakistan’s interior and foreign affairs ministries to ensure that Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani would be present at the commission’s next proceedings in Islamabad on April 12. The head of the commission, Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, said that Haqqani’s continued refusal to comply with court orders and appear before the commission calls into question the credibility of the Pakistani government. The commission has not yet taken any action against Haqqani to force him to obey court orders.[13]

      

 

 

 


[1] “India has given ‘solid evidence’ against Hafiz Saeed to Pakistan: Report,” Express Tribune, April 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/361938/india-has-given-solid-evidence-against-hafiz-saeed-to-pakistan-report/
Abdul Manan, “Islamabad, Delhi to share evidence on Saeed: PM,” Express Tribune, April 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/361796/islamabad-delhi-to-share-evidence-on-saeed-pm/
[2] Aditi Phadnis, “New Delhi rendezvous: Under JuD’s shadow, Singh accepts Pakistan invitation,” Express Tribune, April 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/361828/new-delhi-rendezvous-under-juds-shadow-singh-accepts-pakistan-invitation/
Kamran Yousaf, “‘India reluctant to commit to Singh’s trip,’” Express Tribune, April 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/361832/normalising-ties-india-reluctant-to-commit-to-singhs-trip/
[3] Dana Rohrabacher, “Why I support Baluchistan,” Washington Post, April 6, 2012. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-i-support-baluchistan/2012/04/06/gIQAQ17Z0S_story.html
[4] “Major parties stayed away from PCNS meeting,” Dawn, April 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/04/09/major-parties-stayed-away-from-pcns-meeting-hasanali/
[5] “2 security personnel, 4 militants killed in check post raid: Officials,” AFP, April 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/361916/2-security-personnel-4-militants-killed-in-check-post-raid-officials/
[6] “Army kills 14 militants in Orakzai: officials,” Reuters, April 8, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/04/08/army-kills-14-militants-in-orakzai-officials/
[7] “14 militants killed in Orakzai operation,” Express Tribune, April 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/361816/14-militants-killed-in-orakzai-operation/
[8] “Separate incidents claim seven lives in Balochistan,” Dawn, April 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/04/09/separate-incidents-claim-seven-lives-in-balochistan/
[9] Shabbir Mir, “Stranded by violence: Over 100 foreigners evacuated from G-B,” Express Tribune, April 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/361831/stranded-by-violence-over-100-foreigners-evacuated-from-g-b/
[10] “US helps Pakistan search for 135 buried in snow,” AP, April 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/04/09/us-helps-pakistan-search-for-135-buried-in-snow/
“Siachen tragedy: Weather continues to takes its toll on rescue efforts,” AFP, April 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/361939/siachen-tragedy-weather-continues-to-takes-its-toll-on-rescue-efforts/
[11] Khalid Mustafa, “Pakistan to sign gas price deal with Turkmenistan on 18th,” The News, April 6, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-101439-Pakistan-to-sign-gas-price-deal-with-Turkmenistan-on-18th
[12] Zafar Bhutta, “IP gas pipeline: Russia agrees to financial and technical assistance,” Express Tribune, April 7, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360834/ip-gas-pipeline-russia-agrees-to-financial-and-technical-assistance/
[13] Obaid Abbasi, “Judicial probe: Memo panel summons Haqqani on April 12,” Express Tribune, April 7, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/360985/judicial-probe-memo-panel-summons-haqqani-on-april-12/