Pakistan Security Brief - February 15, 2013

TTP responds to APC conference, states that Pakistani government is not serious about negotiations; Corps commanders conference cautious about negotiations; Pakistani soldier killed along LoC, India returns body, imposes curfew; Pakistani officials dismiss Indian concerns over Gwadar Port; Pakistan tests the Haft II missile; Suicide bomber targets KP chief minister; Several dead in Karachi; Security forces kill eight militants in Orakzai Agency; US Ambassador says Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline does not concern U.S.; Pakistani reserves fall $154 million; American diplomat involved in accident; U.S. withdrawal attempts to use routes through Pakistan.

Taliban Negotiations

  • On Thursday, an All Parties Conference (APC’s) convened by the Awami National Party (ANP) to discuss peace negotiations with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) made a statement saying that it was ready to engage any group that was ready to renounce violence and accept the constitution of Pakistan. The TTP rejected the APC’s outreach. The TTP’s spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan on Friday called the ANP’s conference communique “nothing but old sentences and stories” and asserted that political parties in Pakistan were not serious about talking to the TTP. Ehsan further stated that the Jamaat-e-Islami’s refusal to attend the APC meant the conference was a failure. He accused the ANP of using the APC as an electoral ploy. According to Ehsan, the TTP has developed a negotiations team, but will not divulge its members’ names until it receives a serious response from the government. Ehsan also emphasized the TTP’s disapproval of the Pakistani media, stating that American-influenced journalists are discrediting the TTP’s peace offerings and should be held accountable for their actions.[1] 

  • According to an AP report, security analysts in Pakistan maintain that the TTP is “fractured, strapped for cash, a losing support of local tribesmen.” The report claims that the varying agendas of the TTP’s factions have caused division within their ranks and that its peace overtures were “an attempt to regain stature, silence critics and gain concessions from a weak government heading into nationwide elections.” The TTP has repeatedly denied such claims and Ehsan stated on Friday that the peace offer is not a sign of weakness, but rather the offer was made for Islam and Pakistan’s best interests.[2]

  • Military officials in Corps Commanders meeting, which took place on Thursday to discuss internal security, reportedly decided to adopt a “wait and watch” policy regarding negotiations with the Taliban. A military official stated that the commanders are taking a cautious approach and do not want to make any statement that may be “interpreted negatively” given that the civilian government was already deliberating on the issue.[3]

Indo-Pak Relations

Nuclear Tests

Militancy

Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline

Afghan Withdrawal

Pakistan Reserves Fall

  • Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $154 million, not including a $146 million  payment to the IMF, officials from State Bank of Pakistan said on Thursday.[16]     

Diplomatic Accident 

  • An American diplomat was involved in a car crash in Islamabad which resulted in the death of a Pakistani civilian. Officials from the U.S. Embassy released a statement which said "The U.S. Embassy wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the families affected by this tragedy," and will fully cooperate in the investigation.[17]   


[1] “ANP All Parties Conference has no significance: TTP spokesman,” Geo, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=88195  
“TTP says ANP all-parties conference was an election move,” Exrpess Tribune, February 15, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507774/ttp-says-anp-all-parties-conference-was-an-election-move/
“Pakistani Taliban reject ‘ANP-sponsored’ peace talks,” Dawn, February 15, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/15/pakistani-taliban-reject-anp-sponsored-peace-talks/
[2] “Pakistani tribesmen pushing Taliban to talk peace, AP, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/15/3235824_p2/pakistani-tribesmen-pushing-taliban.html
“TTP says ANP all-parties conference was an election move,” Exrpess Tribune, February 15, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507774/ttp-says-anp-all-parties-conference-was-an-election-move/
[3] “Corps commanders meeting: Military brass cautious over TTP talks offer,”  Express Tribune, February 15, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507587/corps-commanders-meeting-military-brass-cautious-over-ttp-talks-offer/
[4] “Indian troops kill Pakistani soldier in Kashmir,” Yahoo, February 15, 2013. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/indian-troops-kill-pakistani-soldier-kashmir-084314210.html
“India hands over soldier’s body to Pakistan,” Geo, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=88217
“Strict curfew imposed in most of Indian Kashmir,” Associated Press, February 15, 2013. Available at http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_INDIA_KASHMIR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
[5] “Pakistan rejects Indian concerns over Gwadar port,” Express Tribune, February 15, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507549/pakistan-rejects-indian-concerns-over-gwadar-port/
[6] “Pakistan wants peace but can’t ignore disputes with India: FO,”  The News, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20976-Pakistan-wants-peace-but-cant-ignore-disputes-with-India:-FO
[7] Hatf II (Abdali): Pakistan conducts missile test,” Express Tribune, February 15, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/507743/hatf-ii-abdali-pakistan-conducts-missile-test/
“Pakistan successfully test fires Hatf-II Abdali missile,” Geo, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=88159
[8] “Chief Minister Hoti unhurt in suicide attack near convoy in Mardan,” Geo, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=88182
[9] “Violence claims six lives in Karachi,” Dawn, February 15, 2013 . Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/15/violence-claims-six-lives-in-karachi-2/
[10] “Karachi firing, violence claims three dead,” Geo, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=88136
[11] “Eight militants killed in Orakzai,” Dawn, February 15, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/15/eight-militants-killed-in-orakzai-8/
[12] “Man killed in Jafarabad,” The News, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20991-Man-killed-in-Jafarabad
[13] “Rawalpindi: Elite Force ASI among 3 gunned down,” The News, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-88110-Three-including-cop-ambushed-to-death-in-Rawalpindi
[14] “Pak-Iran gas pipeline agreement to be inked today,” The News, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-88122-Pakistan-to-get-750-mmcfd-gas-per-day-under-Pak-Iran-agreement
“US has no objection to Pak-Iran gas pipeline: US envoy,” The News, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20986-US-has-no-objection-to-Pak-Iran-gas-pipeline:-US-envoy
[15] “Main Hurdle in Afghan Withdrawal: Getting the Gear Out,” The New York Times, February 15, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/world/middleeast/afghan-withdrawals-main-hurdle-getting-gear-out.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&ref=world
[16] “Reserves fall,” Dawn, February 15, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/15/reserves-fall-19/
[17] “Pakistani killed in car crash with US diplomat,” Associated Press, February 15, 2013. Available at http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_PAKISTAN_US?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT