Pakistan Security Brief - February 14, 2013

Afghan Taliban denies meeting with JUI-F; Interior Minister of Pakistan calls for TTP ceasefire; ANP holds conference about Taliban negotiations, TTP to respond Friday; TTP fighters attack police station in Bannu; Kashmir curfew briefly relaxed;  Pakistan’s Ulema Council pulls out of Afghan Peace Conference; Two TTP militant commanders killed; IED blast kills seven anti-Taliban fighters in Oarkzai; Car bomb kills seven security forces personnel; Kerry calls Zardari to discuss U.S.-Pakistan relations; Ambassador Olson announces long term cooperative goals; Pakistan finalizes order to buy trains from China; Drones kill nearly 900 since 2008.

Pakistani Taliban

  • In response to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) offers for peace talks made on February 3, Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday called for a TTP ceasefire before any negotiations could commence…”  Malik demanded a 30-day ceasefire before the government would be willing to talk. Meanwhile, the Awami National Party (ANP)  convened an All Parties Conference (APC) on Thursday to discuss negotiating with those Pakistani Taliban members who are ready to accept the law and constitution of Pakistan. In response to the conference, TTP spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, stated that the TTP was holding a meeting of its council in order to develop a response to the APC and will respond by 1pm on Friday. Ehsan also stated that attacks will continue until a peace deal is finalized. [1]

  • The TTP released a video on February 3rd urging the Muslim world to unite. In the video, Ehsanullah Ehsan condemned the French military intervention in Mali calling it an “ideological war.”[2]

Corps Commanders Conference

Pakistan-Afghan Relations

Indo-Pak Relations

  • On Wednesday, Indian authorities in Kashmir briefly eased a curfew on several towns in the region following days of rioting against the government.  The majority of the 60 Kashmiri newspapers were uncensored on Wednesday as well, despite cable and internet services remaining down after five days.  Anti-India protests and riots sprung up Saturday after Indian authorities executed Mohammed Afzal Guru, a terrorist who participated in an attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.[5]

Militancy

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the future of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, and express his enthusiasm about working with Zardari.  State department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in her press briefing about the call that Kerry sought to “underscore the continuing importance of an effective, strong, and mutually beneficial U.S.-Pakistani relationship,” seeking cooperation specifically with regard to fighting terrorism, supporting democracy, and increasing economic stability and growth. US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, announced that the U.S. will increase cooperation with, and is working with, Pakistani officials to improve medical facilities, schools, and business opportunities. Olson stated that the U.S. hopes to build a long-term relationship with Pakistan. [13]

Sino-Pak Relations

Drones

  • According to an article published by The News, the Political Agent for North Waziristan submitted a report of drone casualties from 2008 to 2012 to the Peshawar High Court on Thursday. The report states that approximately 894 people were killed and another 211 injured by drones in the last five years. According to the report, of those killed in 147 attacks, 48 were reportedly foreigners, 35 were women, and 24 were children.[15]

Kamran Faisal’s Death

  • Forensic experts investigating the death of Kamran Faisal, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigator who was examining possible corrupt acts by the prime minister, stated on Wednesday that Faisal was not poisoned, tortured, and no injuries were present. Faisal is believed to have committed suicide; family members and some coworkers believe that he was murdered in connection with his ongoing case.[16]


[1] “Government lists ceasefire as talks precondition for Taliban,” Express Tribune, February 14, 2013.  Available at  http://tribune.com.pk/story/506828/government-lists-ceasefire-as-talks-precondition-for-taliban/
“APC supports peace talks with Pakistani Taliban,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/apc-against-terrorism-attended-by-27-political-parties-in-islamabad/
“Pakistani Taliban call meeting in response to APC peace offer,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/pakistani-taliban-call-meeting-in-response-to-apc-peace-offer/
[2] “Pakistani Taliban condemn 'ideological war' in Mali,” Global Post, February 14, 2013. Available at http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130203/pakistani-taliban-condemn-ideological-war-mali
[3] “Corps commanders conference underway,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/corps-commanders-conference-underway-3/
[4] “Pakistani Group Pulls Out of Afghan Peace Conference,” The Wall Street Journal, February 14, Available at http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323478004578304073918201866.html?mod=djkeyword&mg=reno64-wsj
“Deadlock leaves Pak-Afghan Ulema conference in jeopardy,” Dawn, February 12, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/12/deadlock-leaves-pak-afghan-ulema-conference-in-jeopardy/
“Pak-Afghan Ulema conference in Kabul on March 10: FO,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/pak-afghan-ulema-conference-in-kabul-on-march-10-fo/
[5] “Indian Authorities ease curfew in parts of Kashmir in wake of days of violent protests,” Washington Post, February 14, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/indian-authorities-ease-curfew-in-parts-of-kashmir-in-wake-of-days-of-violent-protests/2013/02/13/4da8f362-75be-11e2-9889-60bfcbb02149_story.html
[6] “Six militants killed in attack on Bannu police station,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/four-militants-killed-in-attack-on-bannu-police-station/
“Six suicide bombers attack Bannu police station,” Express Tribune, February 14, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507260/six-suicide-bombers-attack-bannu-police-station/
“Blast kills 7 anti-Taliban militiamen in Pakistan,” Yahoo, February 14, 2013. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/blast-kills-7-anti-taliban-militiamen-pakistan-074524151.html
[7] “Key militant commander killed in Khyber tribal region,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/key-militant-commander-killed-in-khyber-tribal-region/
[8] “Roadside bombs kill nine in northwest Pakistan: Officials,” Express Tribune, February 14, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507284/bomb-kills-7-peace-lashkar-members-near-orakzai-officials/
“Blast kills 7 anti-Taliban militiamen in Pakistan,” Yahoo, February 14, 2013. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/blast-kills-7-anti-taliban-militiamen-pakistan-074524151.html
[9]“Security men among 5 dead as suicide blast targets Hangu post,” Geo, February 14, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=88044
“Suicide car bomb attack on Hangu checkpost kills 7, injures 11, Express Tribune, February 14, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507342/car-bomb-attack-on-hangu-checkpost-kills-7-injures-11/
[10] “Grenade attack leaves two injured in Landhi,” Geo, February 14, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=87924
“Two gunned down in SITE town,” Geo, February 14, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=88055
[11] “Trader among four shot dead in Karachi,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/trader-among-four-shot-dead-in-karachi/
[12] “Two bodies recovered; man killed in Malakand,” The News, February 14, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-159918-Two-bodies-recovered;-man-killed-in-Malakand
[13] Huma Imtiaz, “Kerry calls Zardari, discusses Pakistan-US relationship,” Express Tribune, February 14, 2013.  Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507246/kerry-calls-zardari-discusses-pakistan-us-relationship/
“US to build long-term partnership with Pakistan: Olson,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/us-to-build-long-term-partnership-with-pakistan-olson/
[14] “Pakistan to get Rs10.78bn Chinese locomotives,” The News International, February 13, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-87938-Pakistan-to-get-50-locomotives-from-China-at-Rs10.78bn
[15] “Drones claimed 894 lives in NWA, PHC told,” The News, February 14, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20963-Drones-claimed-894-lives-in-NWA,-PHC-told
[16] “Kamran Faisal’s death: Experts find no trace of poison, injury,” Dawn, February 14, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/kamran-faisals-death-experts-find-no-trace-of-poison-injury/