Pakistan Security Brief - August 7, 2012

Pakistani Taliban groups clash in South Waziristan; Police search operation in Peshawar leaves two security personnel and three militants dead; Pakistani Senate leader discusses strong Iranian-Pakistani ties in address to Iranian parliament; President Zardari voices concerns about Rohingya Muslim killings to Burmese president; Prime Minister Ashraf says Pakistan Peoples Party committed to free, fair, and transparent elections; Pakistan aircraft crash lands in Umarzai Tangi. 

Militancy

International Relations

  • Addressing Iranian parliament on Sunday, Pakistani Senate Chair Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari discussed Pakistan’s “already strong” ties with Iran and their unique relationship based on a “convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues.” He noted Pakistan’s support for multilateral institutions and organizations as an avenue for resolving today’s complex problems, and spoke of the bond between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who have visited each other’s country on multiple occasions. Bukhari also highlighted bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, energy, and security, pointing out progress on the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project and Iran’s supply of additional electricity to Pakistan.[5]

  • On Monday, President Zardari wrote a letter to Burma’s president expressing his concern over recent attacks carried out against Burma’s Rohingya Muslims and calling on the government to quicken the process of aiding the Muslim community. In his letter, Zardari observed the importance of peaceful coexistence among different communities to the country’s democratic transition.[6]  

  • Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) dismissed a British Home Department report assigning blame to Pakistani officials for issuing fake passports and visas to “potential terrorists” seeking to enter the U.K. The British Home Department called Pakistan’s system for reading travel documents inefficient, to which FIA officials responded that the British system was faulty. This latest exchange followed a report by the U.K.-based tabloid The Sun claiming that a Pakistan-based crime ring was issuing fake documents to Pakistanis posing as members of the Pakistani Olympic delegation to London. Pakistan has denied charges that its passport office had any role in the crime ring, and has launched an investigation into the matter.[7] 

  • Members of the Pakistani mango industry stated on Monday that Pakistani exporters were stopping mango exports to the U.S. due to U.S. irradiation restrictions that had made exports cost ineffective. The statement followed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s efforts in 2010 to increase Pakistan’s mango exports as an avenue for easing its growing anti-Americanism, a move dubbed “mango diplomacy.” The end of exports comes despite a Pakistani official claiming that U.S. aid has helped modernize Pakistan’s mango production and increased its exports.[8]

Domestic Politics


[1] “Waziristan infighting: One killed, two injured in Taliban clashes,” Express Tribune, August 7, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/418554/waziristan-infighting-one-killed-two-injured-in-taliban-clashes/
“Rival Taliban groups clash in SWA,” Daily Times, August 7, 2012. Available at http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\07\story_7-8-2012_pg7_7
[2] “3 more killed by outlawed gang, 3 die in separate incidents,” Daily Times, August 7, 2012. Available at http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\07\story_7-8-2012_pg12_16
[3] “Three militants killed in Peshawar search operation,” Geo News, August 7, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=62332
[4] “Hoist with own petard: Seven militants killed in Khyber agency,” Express Tribune, August 7, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/418607/hoist-with-own-petard-seven-militants-killed-in-khyber-agency/
[5] “Pak-Iran relations to further flourish: Nayyar Bukhari,” PPI, August 6, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/08/06/pak-iran-relations-to-further-flourish-nayyer-bukhari/
[6] “Zardari writes letter to Myanmar president,” APP, August 7, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/08/07/zardari-writes-letter-to-myanmar-president/
[7] “FIA dismisses British report,” The News, August 6, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-62249-Passport-scandal:-FIA-dismisses-British-report-
[8] “Low margins, restrictions force US mango exports into cold store,” AFP, August 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/418256/pakistan-to-halt-mango-exports-to-us/
[9] “Govt determined to hold fair polls: PM,” The News, August 7, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-62300-Govt-determined-to-hold-fair-elections:-PM-Ashraf
[10] “PAF training aircraft crash lands in Charsadda,” Express Tribune, August 6, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/418254/paf-training-aircraft-crash-lands-in-charsadda/