Pakistan Security Brief - December 28, 2011

U.S. may punish those responsible for faulty NATO raid; NATO supply chain does damage to Pakistani roads; govt lawyer says Supreme Court violating rights; parliamentary committee to get special ISI briefing; senior LeJ leader arrested; suicide bombers arrested; PML-N tries to prevent defections; India, Pakistan for more confidence building measures.

 

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Wednesday, the U.S. indicated it may take punitive action against those responsible for mistakes that led to the November 26 border raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, but “only after receiving the final report of an official US inquiry into the incident.” The preliminary report was released by the U.S. military last week but the findings were rejected by the Pakistani military. Islamabad has termed the report “biased” and has insisted the U.S. take action against those responsible for the strike.[1]

  • Pakistan’s Communications Minister on Wednesday made a statement claiming that according to government surveys NATO and ISAF vehicles transiting through Pakistan had caused Rs. 150 billion ($1.67 billion) worth of damage over the course of the past ten years. According to the report, the high tonnage of the vehicles and the heavy use of a few main routes had caused significant damage to roads that “were not designed to bear such extensive loads.”[2]

 

Civil-Military Relations

  • Asma Jehangir, the lawyer for former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani in the case against him regarding the recent “memogate” scandal, argued that her client’s fundamental rights were being violated. Jehangir argued that the court was overstepping its bounds by directly investigating the memo case on the incorrect pretense of national security, and that the memogate inquiry was a parliamentary issue.[3]

  • The Pakistani Senate’s standing committee for defence is to hold its next session on Thursday at the headquarters of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in order to receive a special briefing from the agency’s chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha. Pasha is set to brief members on “the operations of counter-terrorism and the role of ISI in safeguarding the national security.” Some members have refused to attend the briefing, saying the ISI chief should be coming to parliament for the brief and not the other way around.[4]

 

Militancy

  • Security officials reportedly arrested a senior member of al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) from Waziristan. Dr. Arshad stands accused of killing four operatives of the Military Intelligence (MI) directorate near Jhelum, Punjab, in November. Other suspected LeJ facilitators were also arrested. Dr. Arshad is wanted in connection with a number of murders, kidnappings, and acts of terrorism.[5]

  • Eight suspected terrorists “including two suicide bombers” were arrested in the cities of Islamabad and Peshawar over the past week. No further information was released regarding the suspects. Police officials said maps of “sensitive areas and installations” were recovered during raids to arrest the suspects.[6]

  • Two people were killed in what appeared to be sectarian killings in the city of Karachi on Tuesday.[7]

 

Domestic Politics

 

Indo-Pak Relations

  • Senior Pakistani and Indian officials on Tuesday agreed to extend “pacts on reducing [the] risks of nuclear accidents and pre-notification of ballistic missile tests” for another five years. The statement was issued at the conclusion of the sixth round of confidence building measures (CBMs) between the two sides, a resumption of the process after a four -year hiatus.[9]



[1] “US likely to punish those involved in Nato attack,” Dawn, December 29, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/29/us-likely-to-punish-those-involved-in-nato-attack.html
[2] Bakhawar Mian “NATO vehicles caused Rs 15bn damage to highways,” Dawn, December 29, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/29/nato-vehicles-caused-rs15bn-damage-to-highways.html
[3] “Haqqani being deprived of fundamental rights: Asma,” December 28, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/28/sc-probe-will-violate-haqqani%E2%80%99s-fundamental-rights-asma-jahangir.html
[4] “Defence committee to be briefed at ISI headquarters,” Dawn, December 28, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/28/defence-committee-to-be-briefed-at-isi-headquarter.html
[5] Asad Kharal, “Pir Chambal operation: Notorious LeJ commander arrested in Waziristan,” Express Tribune, December 28, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/313007/notorious-lej-commander-arrested-in-waziristan/
[6] “Eight ‘terrorists’ arrested,” Dawn, December 29, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/28/sectarian-killings-claim-two-lives.html
[7] S. Raza Hassan, “Sectarian killings claim two lives in Karachi,” Dawn, December 28, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/28/sectarian-killings-claim-two-lives.html
[8] “PM Gilani should resign: Javed Hashmi,” Express Tribune, December 28, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/313018/pm-gilani-should-resign-javed-hashmi/
Qaiser Butt, “Nawaz on a mission to win back defectors,” Express Tribune, December 28, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/313016/nawaz-on-a-mission-to-win-back-defectors/
[9] “Pakistan and India agree to extend nuclear pacts,” Dawn, December 28, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/28/pakistan-and-india-agree-to-extend-nuclear-pacts.html