Pakistan Security Brief - August 10, 2010
Pakistan Security Brief – August 10, 2010
U.N. spokesperson says flooding disaster exceeds Tsunami and Pakistan and Haiti earthquakes combined; U.N. Secretary General appeals for financial assistance to Pakistan, IMF says flooding will cause “major harm” to Pakistan’s economy; White House says U.S. has helped save 1,000 lives in Pakistan; General Kayani meets with Hamid Karzai in Kabul; Pakistan’s President makes unscheduled visit to Syria; ISI says Jinnah Hospital attack mastermind not in its custody.
The U.S. on Monday called the international response to the flooding in Pakistan inadequate and urged countries to do more. “I am concerned that people do not see it as yet another catastrophe,” U.S. Special Enoy Richard Holbrooke told reporters in Washington. “It is a huge catastrophe.” Meanwhile, Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told the BBC that the disaster was affecting 13.9 million people across Pakistan, “more than the world's three disasters combined," referring to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, and the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued an appeal Tuesday for countries to “generously support Pakistan at this difficult time.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said that flooding in Pakistan will cause “major harm to the economy” as investors concerns grow over the disaster’s impact on the country’s already delicate economy. The floods "are very likely to cause major harm to the economy in terms of loss of output and budgetary consequences," an IMF spokesman told Reuters. "In these circumstances, support from the international community will be critical." In November 2008, Pakistan turned to the IMF to avoid a balance of payments crisis and to shore up reserves.
The White House said on Monday that the U.S. has helped save more than 1,000 lives in Pakistan."US helicopters are supporting rescue efforts and have saved more than 1,000 to date," said a statement from National Security Adviser General James Jones. U.S. military aircraft, including six helicopters, “will continue to work closely with our Pakistani allies to help evacuate stranded citizens and transport urgently needed supplies to hard hit areas," Jones said.
U.S. Undersecretary for Defense, Michelle Flournoy, sought on Tuesday to assuage India’s concerns about U.S. military equipment transfers to neighboring Pakistan. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Flournoy reassured Indian officials that Washington was “clearly observing” how U.S. equipment is being used by Pakistan. Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said last month that the scale of U.S. military assistance to Pakistan, which includes unmanned aerial drones, was “disproportionate to the war on terror.” 
Jinnah Hospital Attack
The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) said on Monday that Dr. Ali Abdullah, the suspected mastermind of the Jinnah Hospital attack, was not in its custody. In a statement from the Director General, the ISI denied allegations that it abducted Dr. Abdullah, stating that it had carried out a detailed search vis-à-vis the whereabouts of the missing doctor. These statements contradict early reports by intelligence officials that it had arrested Dr. Abdullah.
Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the sidelines of the 31st Tripartite Commission of military representatives in Kabul on Monday. According to sources, counter-terrorism policy and strategies for fighting terrorism in the region were the main topics of discussion. Officials attending the conference included Gen. Kayani, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander David Petraeus, and Afghan National Army Chief of General Staff Gen. Sher Muhammad Kirmi.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari made an unscheduled visit to Syria on Monday amidst heavy criticism of his absence during the country’s worst flooding in 80 years. “The president landed at the Bassel Al Assad International Airport for a technical stopover on his way back home from the United Kingdom,” a presidential spokesperson said. An official announcement about the visit said: “The president was warmly received by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, before the two leaders held a meeting at the airport and discussed bilateral, regional and international issues and matters of common interest.” This is the second visit by President Zardari to Syria since taking office.
A 13-member delegation of Pakistan Rangers crossed the Wagah border on Monday to hold a meeting with Indian officials. A spokesperson for the Pakistan Rangers said that the meeting took three months of planning and took place at the Atari border post in India. The meeting was attended by the Director General of the Punjab Pakistan Rangers, Brigadier Shafqat Nawaz Khan and members of Pakistan’s anti-narcotics unit. Speaking to reporters, Brig. Khan said many issues were discussed during the meeting, including repeated airspace violations by Indian helicopters, smuggling activities, and unprovoked attacks on structures inside Pakistan, and illegal constructions along the border.
Two people, including a tribal leaders a police officer, were killed by gunmen in separate incidents on Monday. According to officials, the chairman of the Muhammad Hasni Qaumi Ittehad was killed on Brewery Road in Fatima Jinnah Chest. On Qambarani Road in Killi Barozai, unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle killed a police officer.