Pakistan Security Brief - August 16, 2013

LoC disputes continue as six Pakistani civilians, three Indian soldiers injured; FO spokesman claims Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as planned; Two people killed, 24 injured in train attack outside of Quetta; MPA attacked in Karachi; 7 killed in Karachi; Pakistan re-pays IMF loan; New DG of Military Intelligence appointed; Over 400 killed in terror attacks since June 1, says Interior Ministry.

 India-Pakistan Relations

  • Indian soldiers allegedly fired across the Line of Control (LoC) near Kotli sector, Kashmir on Thursday, injuring six civilians. Pakistani military sources claim the firing was unprovoked. However, Indian officials claim the firing occurred in response to Pakistani shelling along Baakot sector, which killed a civilian and injured three Indian soldiers.[1]

  • According to Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry on Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will still meet as planned at the United Nations General Assembly in September in New York. Furthermore, Chaudhry claimed that Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used for terrorism.[2]

  • On Thursday, an Anti-Terrorism court in Islamabad sent a Pakistani judicial commission to India to cross-examine witnesses in the 2008 Mumbai bombings.[3]

  • Newly appointed India High Commissioner TCA Raghavan met with President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday in Islamabad to present his credentials to the Pakistani president. Raghavan takes office in the midst of ongoing clashes between India and Pakistan over the Line of Control.[4]

 Militancy

  • Two people were killed and another 24 were injured on Friday in Dozan, Balochistan when unknown gunmen fired three rockets upon a train from the nearby hills. The gunmen managed to escape; search operations are currently being carried out to detain perpetrators.[5]

  • On Thursday evening, armed men attacked Pakistan Peoples Party leader and Sindh Assembly member Sania Naz Baloch while she was in her car on Mauripur Road in Karachi. No casualties were reported in the incident.[6]

  • Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan expressed his desire to arrange peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban on Thursday, noting that it will be the government' attitude, rather than the Taliban's, which will determine success in the talks.[7]

  • To prevent vote-rigging and protect voters from militancy, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party member Syed Hafeezuddin and other PTI leaders demanded on Thursday that the Pakistan Army deploy to Karachi on the day of scheduled by-elections, August 22. The PTI claims it has been the target of intimidation by other political parties, as well as extremists.[8]

  • On Thursday before the National Assembly, Interior Minister Chauhdry Nisar Ali Khan claimed that the government is still forming its national counter-terrorism policy, noting that “we are unaware of the magnitude of the problem we are facing which is multi-dimensional.” Khan also noted that such a policy would take time, citing America's scramble to find a definite policy in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. During the address, Chaudhry also noted that 358 bomb blasts have taken place since the government took office on June 1, and over 400 people have been killed from acts of terror during that period.[9]

  • Unknown gunmen attacked a Zikria Express train in Kotri, Sindh on Thursday, killing one person and wounding five others. One man suspected in the attack was killed in search operations near the station immediately after the attacks.[10]

  •  On Thursday in Karachi, an Anti-Terrorism Court indicted six suspected militants arrested on May 25 during search operations. The militants have reportedly been linked to several bomb blasts in Karachi.[11]

  •  On Thursday the Sindh High Court ordered the Rangers to confirm or deny its detention of man missing since April 15, who was allegedly involved in a bomb blast outside a Rangers' post in Karachi earlier that month.[12]

  •  Five people, including a Muttahida Quami Movement activist, were shot and killed in separate firing incidents throughout Karachi on Thursday.[13]

  •  Two people were shot and another 12 were injured during firing incidents in Karachi on Friday.[14]

  • The son of a Pakistan Muslim League-Functional party member was shot and killed during an ambush on Thursday in Nara, Khairpur, Sindh. Another man was also injured in the attack.[15]

  • An armed gunman drove his car, occupied by his wife and children, into the heart of Islamabad on Thursday evening. The man fired his weapon into the air and called for the imposition of Sharia law during a stand-off with police in front of the Presidential residence. He was eventually shot and wounded by security forces before being detained. The man's wife was also wounded in the crossfire.[16]

  •  On Thursday, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Islamabad remanded the five people suspected in connection with the Bhara Kahu attempted attack on August 9, in which a suicide bomber failed to detonate his vest in a mosque in Islamabad.[17]

  • At Haripur Central Prison, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday, authorities heightened security among inmates, forbidding all prisoners from meeting relatives. The ban comes several weeks after the July 29 Dera Ismail Khan prison break, which freed over 200 prisoners.[18]

  •  According to a Friday Express Tribune report, prison forces who were on their leave during the July 29th Taliban raid on the Dera Ismail Khan prison have been ordered to report to the jail within 24 hours.[19]

  • The District Security Branch in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has established a special anti-target killing section, according to a Friday Express Tribune report. In 2013, at least 31 people have been reportedly killed in target killings in the province.[20]

  • On Thursday over 500 elders representing 15 internally-displaced tribes held a jirga in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to demand repatriation to their homes in upper Orakzai agency. The tribes were displaced during government anti-militancy operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which began in 2009.[21]

 Domestic

  •  On Thursday Major General Sarfaraz Sattar was appointed Director General of Military Intelligence, the third major change over the last few days in the Pakistan Army’s leadership. Sattar had reportedly been working as Pakistan’s defense attaché to India before his appointment. A new X Corps commander and Director General of Military Operations have also been appointed.[22]

  •  Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Thursday that the Pakistani government has substantial evidence that the Frontier Corps is guilty of several enforced disappearance.

  •  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan reportedly sent a legal notice to Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on August 13 for defamation. On August 3, Rehman labeled Khan a “jewish agent” in an interview.[23]

 Economics

  •  Pakistan provided the International Monetary Fund with a $145.5 million payment on Friday, its 18th installment to pay back a $7.8 billion November 2008 loan. Pakistan has paid $4.7 billion thus far and is still anticipating receiving another $6.6 billion loan this September.[24]

 Egyptian Crackdown

  •  After the Foreign Office condemned ongoing crackdowns against protesters on Thursday, the National Assembly on Friday expressed alarm over the continuing Egyptian crisis, noting “its deep concern over the assault on unarmed civilians and the loss of so many innocent lives.”[25]

 

 

[1] LoC flare-up: Six civilians dead in Indian assualt,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590936/loc-flare-up-six-civilians-dead-in-indian-assault/
[2] “Nawaz, Singh likely to meet in September: FO,” Dawn, August 16, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1036238/nawaz-singh-likely-to-meet-in-september-fo
[3] “Commission to interrogate witnesses in India: ATC,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590849/commission-to-interrogate-witnesses-in-india-atc/
[4] “New Indian high commissioner presents his credentials to President Zardari,” Express Tribune, August 15, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590669/new-indian-high-commissioner-presents-his-credentials-to-president-zardari/
[5] “Two killed, 24 injured in rocket attack on train in Balochistan,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/591007/one-killed-12-injured-in-rocket-attack-on-train-in-balochistan/
[6] “MPA attacked: PPP's Sania Naz survives assassination attempt,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590819/mpa-attacked-ppps-sania-naz-survives-assassination/
[7] “JI ready to arrange govt-Taliban talks, says Munawar Hasan,” The News, August 16, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-196233-JI-ready-to-arrange-govt-Taliban-talks,-says-Munawar-Hasan
[8] Peaceful polls: PTI demands army deployment for August 22 by-polls,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590816/peaceful-polls-pti-demands-army-deployment-for-august-22-by-poll
[9] “War in country's streets is our war: Nisar,” The News, August 16, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-24808-War-in-countrys-streets-is-our-war%3a-Nisar
“Assembly told: Terror incidents in 74 days claim 449 lives,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590842/assembly-told-terror-incidents-in-74-days-claim-449-lives/
[10] “Attack on Zikria Express kills teenager, injures 5,” The News, August 15, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-113784-Attack-on-Zikria-Express-kills-teenager,-injures-5-
[11] “In custody: ATC indicts six suspected militants,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590672/in-custody-atc-indicts-six-suspected-militants/
[14] “Karachi firing, violent incidents kill 2, injure 12,” The News, August 16, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-113832-Karachi%3a-Two-killed,-12-injured-in-firing,-violent-incidents
[15] “Son of PML-F leader killed in Khairpur,” The News, August 16, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-196193-Son-of-PML-F-leader-killed-in-Khairpur
[16] “Gunman arrested after armed standoff in Islamabad,” Reuters, August 15, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/15/us-pakistan-islamabad-idUSBRE97E13C20130815?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
[17] “ATC extends remand of Bhara Kahu mosque, attackers,” The News, August 16, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-196250-ATC-extends-remand-of-Bhara-Kahu-mosque-attackers
[18] “Security threats: Haripur jail prisoners banned from meeting relatives,” Express Tribune, August 15, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590679/security-threats-haripur-jail-prisoners-banned-from-meeting-relatives/
[19] Ramzan Semab, “DI Khan jailbreak: Absent officials directed to appear within 48 hours,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590687/di-khan-jailbreak-absent-officials-directed-to-appear-within-48-hours/
[20] “Boosting surveillance: Anti-target killing wing set up to rein in culprits,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590681/boosting-surveillance-anti-target-killing-wing-set-up-to-rein-in-culprits/
[21] “Orakzai IDPs: As patience runs out , tribesman demand immediate repatriation,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590678/orakzai-idps-as-patience-runs-out-tribesmen-demand-immediate-repatriation/
[22] “Maj Gen Sarfaraz appointed DG MI,” The News, August 16, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-24820-Maj-Gen-Sarfaraz-appointed-DG-MI
[23] Mumtaz Alvi, “Imran serves notice on JUI-F chief,” The News, August 16, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-24817-Imran-serves-notice-on-JUI-F-chief
[24] Shahbaz Rana, “Reserves under pressure: Pakistan repays another $145 million to IMF today,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590710/reserves-under-pressure-pakistan-repays-another-145m-to-imf-today/
[25] “Bloodbath: NA passes resolution against massacre,” Express Tribune , August 16, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/590941/bloodbath-na-passes-resolution-against-massacre/