Pakistan Security Brief - February 19, 2013

90 killed in massive Quetta bombing targeting Shias, mourners refuse to bury their dead till gov’t crackdown on militants begins; Militants attack political offices in Peshawar, kill over five including senior official; Pakistani clerics to boycott Afghan peace conference; Senior TTP leader Faqir Muhammad arrested in Afghanistan; Senior TTP leader Tariq Afridi dies of wounds sustained in feud; Suicide bomber launches failed attack on KP chief minister; IED injures four soldiers in NWA; China takes control of Gwadar port; Pakistani missile tests to counter Indian missile shield; 2 soldiers dead in militant attack on NATO convoy; Militant group threatens media shop owners in Nowshera; PAF jets bomb TTP hideouts in Orakzai; MQM quits ruling coalition; Finance minister resigns amid rumors he will be interim PM; Violence across NW Pakistan, Balochistan, Lahore and Karachi kills dozens; India ends week-long Kashmir curfew; UAE to make massive foreign direct investments in Pakistan; Iran, Pakistan, look to deepen ties; Death of NAB prosecutor deemed suicide.

Major Attacks

Clerics Boycott Ulema Peace Conference

  • On Sunday, the leader of Majlis Sutul Islam (Voice of Islam) clerics reportedly wrote to the chief of the Afghan Ulema Council threatening to boycott the conference unless his Afghan counterparts responded to his letter within 48 hours, clarifying anti-Taliban statements an Afghan cleric made last week.  The head of the Pakistani council, Mufti Abu Huraira Mohiuddin said the council would boycott the conference unless Afghan clerics could sufficiently explain their “unsavory language” against the Taliban.  Mohiuddin expressed fears that the conference was evolving into “one-sided attack on the Taliban rather than a conference to press for peace.”[4] 

Militancy

China Assumes Control of Gwadar Port

Ballistic Missile Testing

Indo-Pak Relations

  • On Saturday, Indian officials officially ended a week-long curfew in Kashmir. Authorities imposed the curfew in an attempt to stem protests after convicted terrorist Mohammed Afzal Guru was executed last week.  Once the curfew was lifted and mobile service and internet was restored to the region, anti-India groups who favor Pakistani control over the primarily Muslim region announced a two day general strike, which shut down Kashmir for most of the weekend.[25]

Abu Dhabi Invests $45 Billion in Pakistan

  • On Saturday, the former president of Bahria Town signed an agreement with leaders from the Abu Dhabi branches of Union National Bank and United Bank Limited to begin a $45 billion deal investing in major construction projects in various parts of Pakistan—the largest foreign investment in Pakistani history.  The money will be distributed with roughly “$10 billion…invested in Islamabad and Lahore whereas $35 billion will be invested in Sindh.”  As a part of the deal, contractors will build the world’s tallest building in Karachi.[26]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • In Tehran on Monday, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Iranian Interior Minister Mustafa Najr signed an agreement to increase border security, specifically aiming to enhance efforts combating terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and counterfeit currency exchange.[27]

Domestic Politics



[1] Gul Yousufzai, “Pakistan anger grows after sectarian terrorist attack kills 81,” Reuters, February 17, 2013.  Available at www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0217/Pakistan-anger-grows-after-sectarian-terrorist-attack-kills-81
Amir Kir, “Quetta carnage was avoidable had Kurd been nabbed,” The News, February 19, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-21062-Quetta-carnage-was-avoidable-had-Kurd-been-nabbed  “Pakistan market bomb kills scores,” The Guardian, February 19, 2013. Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/16/pakistan-market-bomb-kills “Explosion in Crowded Market Kills Dozens in Pakistan,” The New York Times, February 19, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/world/asia/explosion-in-crowded-market-kills-dozens-in-pakistan.html?ref=asia&_r=0 “Outrage across country at Quetta carnage,” Dawn, February 17, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/18/%E2%80%A2death-toll-tops-84-%E2%80%A2army-deployment-sought-outrage-across-country-at-quetta-carnage/  “Pakistan Targets Militants, Shiites End Protest,” ABC, February 19, 2013. Available at http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/pakistan-orders-operation-deadly-bombing-18534198 “Quetta anti-Shia bombing: police detain ‘170,’” BBC, February 19, 2013.  Available at  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21504249 “170 suspects nabbed  in Quetta operation: BBC,” Express Tribune, February 19, 2013.  Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/509418/security-forces-arrest-suspects-over-shia-killings-officials/
[2] “President, PM and Army chief hold meeting at Presidency,” Dawn, February 19, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/19/president-pm-and-army-chief-hold-meeting-at-presidency/
[3] “Militants Attack Khyber Office in Pakistan,” The New York Times, February 19, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/world/asia/pakistan-militants-attack-administrative-compound.html?ref=global-home  “Peshawar blast: Assistant political agent succumbs to injuries,” Dawn, February 19, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/19/peshawar-blast-assistant-political-agent-succumbs-to-injuries/
[4] “Fading hopes: Pakistan clerics reject Kabul moot invitation,” Express Tribune, February 18, 2013.  Available at  http://tribune.com.pk/story/508875/fading-hopes-pakistan-clerics-reject-kabul-moot-invitation/ “Pakistani clerics to boycott peace conference,” Business Week, February 19, 2013.  Available at http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-02-18/pakistani-clerics-to-boycott-peace-conference
[5] “Afghan forces arrest Pakistan Taliban commander,” BBC, February 19, 2013. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21504250 “Former Pakistani Taliban  no. 2 arrested in Afghanistan: reports,” Dawn, February 18, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/18/former-pakistani-taliban-no-2-arrested-in-afghanistan-reports/
[6] “Intra-TTP rift led to commander Afridis murder,” The News International, February 17, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-160472-Intra-TTP-rift-led-to-commander-Afridis-murder
[7] Hidayatur Rahman, “Failed assassination bid: Hoti escapes suicide attack,” Express Tribune, February 16, 2013.  Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/508145/failed-assassination-bid-hoti-escapes-suicide-attack/
[8] “Four soldiers injured in NWA roadside blast,” The News International, February 18, 2013.  Available at  http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-160720-Four-soldiers-injured-in-NWA-roadside-blast
[9] “Gunmen kill two NATO convoy drivers,” Express Tribune, February 18, 2013.  Available at  http://tribune.com.pk/story/509168/gunmen-kill-two-nato-convoy-drivers/
[10] “CD shops, net cafes face Taliban threat in Nowshera,” Dawn, February 19, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/19/cd-shops-net-cafes-face-taliban-threat-in-nowshera/  
[11] “Eight militants killed in Orakzai,” Dawn, February 15, 2103.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/15/eight-militants-killed-in-orakzai-8/  “Jets pound suspected militant hideouts in Orakzai tribal region,” Dawn, February 17, 2013.  Available at  http://dawn.com/2013/02/17/jets-pound-suspected-militant-hideouts-in-orakzai-tribal-region/ “10 militants killed in Orakzai shelling,” The News International, February 18, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-160640-10-militants-killed-in-Orakzai-shelling
[12] “Six rockets fired on SWA,” The News International, February 18, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-160648-Six-rockets-fired-on-SWA
[13] “Cop shot dead, school blown up in Peshawar,” The News International, February 18, 2103.  Available at  http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-160721-Cop-shot-dead,-school-blown-up-in-Peshawar
[14]“FC soldier found dead in Kurram Agency,” The News International, February 17, 2013.  Available at  http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-160473-FC-soldier-found-dead--in-Kurram-Agency
[15] “70 Baloch fighters lay down arms,” The News International, February 19, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-160918-70-Baloch-fighters-lay-down-arms
[16] “Two target killers killed in Hub shootout,” The News International, February 19, 2013.  Available at  http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-21078-Two-target-killers-killed-in-Hub-shootout
[17] “Target killing: Doctor, son shot dead in Lahore,” Express Tribune, February 19, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/508975/target-killing-doctor-son-shot-dead-in-lahore/
[18] “Four ASWJ activists murdered,” The News International, February 19, 2013.  Available at  http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-160774-Four-ASWJ-activists-murdered  “Bomb blast at Sharea Faisal: no casualties reported,” The News International, February 18, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-88629-Bomb-blast-at-Sharea-Faisal;-no-casualties-reported “Loud blast heard near Karachi’s Sharea Faisal,” Dawn, February 18, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/18/loud-blast-heard-near-karachis-sharae-faisal/
“Violence claims eight more lives in Karachi,” Dawn, February 18, 2013.  Available at  http://dawn.com/2013/02/18/violence-claims-eight-more-lives-in-karachi-3/
[19] “Karachi violence leaves seven people dead,” Dawn, February 17, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/17/karachi-violence-leaves-seven-people-dead/
[20] “Karachi violence death toll reaches 7,” The News International, February 17, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-88414-Karachi-violence-death-toll-reaches-7 “Two shot dead, six injured in Karachi,” The News International, February 16, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-88366-Two-shot-dead,-six-injured-in-Karachi “Hand grenade defused in Bannu,” The News International, February 17, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-160478-Hand-grenade-defused-in-Bannu
[21] “Bridegroom among 8 gunned down in Karachi,” The News International, February 15, 2013.  Available at  http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-88225-Bridegroom-among-8-gunned-down-in-Karachi-
[22] “60kg opium, 100kg hashish seized,” The News International, February 19, 2013.  Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-160791-60kg-opium,-100kg-hashish-seized “461kg hashish seized,” The News International, February 16, 2013.  Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-160244-461kg-hashish-seized
[23] “New beginnings: China takes control of Gwadar port,” Express Tribune, February 19, 2013.  Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/509277/new-beginnings-china-takes-control-of-gwadar-port/
[24] “Pakistan Continues Short-Range Ballistic Missile Tests,” Defense News, February 19, 2013. Available at http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130218/DEFREG03/302180016/-1/7daysarchives/Pakistan-Continues-Short-Range-Ballistic-Missile-Tests
[25] “Strike paralyses Indian Kashmir as curfew lifted,” Express Tribune, February 16, 2013.  Available at  http://tribune.com.pk/story/508259/strike-paralyses-indian-kashmir-as-curfew-lifted/
[26] “Real Estate: Abu Dhabi group to invest 45 billion in Pakistan,” Express Tribune, February 16, 2013.  Available at  http://tribune.com.pk/story/508144/real-estate-abu-dhabi-group-to-invest-45-billion-in-pakistan/
[27] “Pakistan, Iran sign agreement on border security management,” The News International, February 18, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-88641-Pakistan,-Iran-sign-agreement-on-border-security-management
[28]Zarah Malik, “Pakistan finance minister resigns, to be replaced by state minister,” Reuters, February 19, 2013.  Available at  http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/19/us-pakistan-resignation-idUSBRE91I0HY20130219
[29] “MQM quits provincial, federal govts,” Dawn, February 19, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/02/17/mqm-quits-provincial-federal-govts/
[30] “Final autopsy report: NAB officer ‘Kamran Faisal’s death suicidal in nature’,” Express Tribune, February 19, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/508518/final-autopsy-report-nab-officer-kamran-faisals-death-suicidal-in-nature/