Pakistan Security Brief - December 1, 2011
U.S. officials deny NATO attack intentional, Obama decides against issuing formal apology to Pakistan; Khar warns of attack’s repercussions, PCNS to release recommendations; ISPR refutes NYT reporting, Washington Post sees steps towards cooperation; U.S. Senate amends 2012 Defense Spending Bill; Pakistan may send Ambassador to Bonn Conference; Pakistani Supreme Court requests evidence in memogate case and orders Haqqani to stay in Pakistan; Sindh government jails MQM-Haqiqi leader; Commission on Shahzad slaying preparing to release findings; Bomb targets official in Peshawar; LI and tribesmen coalition attack Taliban base.
On Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little refuted Pakistani claims that Saturday’s NATO raid was intentional. U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey bolstered Little’s statement, announcing “publically and categorically… this was not a deliberate attack.” On Thursday, the White House announced that President Obama would not issue a formal apology for the NATO attack. The White House’s decision conflicted with advice from U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter and other State Department officials who view an apology as vital to mending ties between the two countries. The White house has stated that the condolences offered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will suffice until a full investigation of the incident has been conducted.
Speaking before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar announced, “The government will not tolerate any incident of spilling even a single drop of any civilian or soldier's blood." Khar went on to suggest that Pakistan may reevaluate its future assistance with U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the region due to the NATO attack. Also, Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), chaired by Senator Raza Rabbani, will release recommendations for an appropriate Pakistani response to the NATO attack this Friday.
The Pakistan Army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), asserted that Wednesday’s New York Times reporting of fresh clashes between NATO and Pakistani troops along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was false. The Washington Post’s coverage supported the ISPR statement and claimed that Pakistani officials communicated with NATO to prevent a border incident late Tuesday night. The article speculates that this could be a small step towards rebuilding bilateral cooperation. 
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of an amendment to the 2012 Defense Spending Bill that would “order the Pentagon to find ways to gradually diminish payments it makes as reimbursement to Pakistan” for its cooperation in the war on terror in Afghanistan. U.S. officials maintained that the amendment would not “further escalate tensions” between the U.S. and Pakistan.
Bonn Conference Boycott
On Wednesday, Pakistan declared that its decision to abstain from next week’s Bonn Conference was final, despite pleas to attend from the international community. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the decision was in Pakistan’s best interest, noting that “Pakistan’s security was paramount and more important than the security of Afghanistan,” which is the focus of the Bonn Conference. On Thursday, Gilani conceded that Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany might attend the conference pending approval from the PCNS. Gilani’s softened stance was reportedly a result of persistent efforts by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to convince Pakistan to rethink the boycott. 
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif lambasted the Parliament’s failed inquiry into the “memogate” scandal in his appearance before the Supreme Court on Thursday. Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry announced that the respondents named in the memogate case must submit their evidence to the court within 15 days. The petitioned respondents include President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The court also ordered former Ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani to remain in Pakistan until a decision is reached. Haqqani responded to the court order, saying, "I would not have come back to the country if I intended to leave." Separately, the Lahore High Court (LHC) accepted the withdrawal of a civil application against the appointment of Haqqani’s replacement, Ambassador Sherry Rehman.
The Chairman of Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) Afaq Ahmed was jailed by the Sindh government for an additional 30 days on Tuesday, after spending nearly 8 years in jail for various crimes, including multiple murders.
Saleem Shahzad Commission
The judicial commission tasked with probing the death of journalist Saleem Shahzad announced it will release its findings by the end of December. After a meeting with the commission, the President of Pakistan’s Federal Union of Journalists, Pervez Shaukat, revealed that 34,000 of Shahzad’s emails are being analyzed in the investigation and several Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officials have been called before the commission for cross-examination. Shahzad’s death sparked widespread outrage throughout Pakistan after it was learned that the ISI may have played a role in his murder.
A coalition of Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants and an anti-Taliban tribal militia attacked a Taliban hideout in the Tirah Valley, Khyber agency on Wednesday. According to local sources, three Taliban fighters, including senior commander Abu Atif, were killed in the attack and another five were captured by LI. Four LI fighters were injured in the skirmish. According to Dawn, the unlikely coalition between LI and local tribesman developed after both groups had suffered from recent attacks by Taliban militants belonging to the Tariq Afridi group.