Pakistan Security Brief - February 25, 2011

Hearing in Davis case; TTP protests Davis’ release; Data recovered from Davis’ belongings; ISI has blamed government for lax visa restrictions; Qureshi rejects bringing Davis case to ICJ; The News: CIA may seek revenge; Guardian: Frenzied speculation over case; Five militants killed in NWA; AI expels militants; NATO tankers attacked in Peshawar; ‘Target Killings’ in Karachi.

 

U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • On Friday, a hearing in the murder case against Raymond Davis took place in Kot Lakphat jail in Lahore. Public prosecutor Abdul Samad said that, “Davis refused to sign the copy [of the charge sheet] insisting that he be released and claiming that he enjoys immunity.” The murder trial has been adjourned until March 3. On March 14, a Lahore court will make a separate decision on whether Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity. A commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), Maulana Abdul Khaliq Haqqani, has protested against the freeing of Davis, warning that, “Raymond is killer of Pakistanis and tribal people. We will [kill] one by one PPP leaders if the American was released.”[i]
  • The Express Tribune reports that the Pakistani Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW) has recovered data from two cell phones, multiple sim cards, a wireless set, and a GPS device found in Davis’ possession. In particular, the GPS device revealed Davis’ previous travels to Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and various tribal areas of the country.[ii]
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has privately blamed the civilian government for permitting U.S. intelligence operatives to enter the country secretly. The ISI has reportedly faulted the Pakistani government’s lax visa policies, which, it claims, have allowed CIA employees and contractors to expand their presence in the country.[iii]
  • Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has stated that any decision to bring the Raymond Davis case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is not justified and the U.S. must demonstrate confidence in the Pakistani courts. In addition, Qureshi declared that the U.S. must understand that its engagement with Pakistan should not be similar to how it has been dealing with dictatorial regimes.[iv]
  • The News quotes an anonymous diplomatic source, which states that the CIA may seek revenge by targeting Pakistani counterparts serving as diplomats abroad. The source declared that, “Therefore, it is unlikely that they (American intelligence apparatus) would let it go without returning it to the Pakistani counterparts one way or the other. Easy prey of this revenge design of the Americans could be Pakistani intelligence staff serving abroad, chiefly in US, Europe, and Afghanistan.” The source also added that Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Hussain Haqqani has faced isolation from the U.S., stating that “All the US administration outfits in the capital are also under instructions to seek clearance from the White House before interacting with Haqqani, even for official urgencies.” U.S. officials have not yet issued a response to these allegations.[v]
  • The Guardian has issued a report on the frenzied speculation over the Davis case, stating that the incident has been mired in many different versions of the truth. A columnist with Dawn, Cyril Almeida, was quoted as saying,"This issue is mired in so many versions of the truth that it's hard to know who's telling the truth and who isn't. My guess is that all sides are lying.”[vi]
 

FATA

  • On Thursday, five militants were killed by U.S. missile strikes in North Waziristan. The separate attacks targeted a house and car near Mohammad Khel near Miram Shah, killing five and injuring several others. Two of the dead were foreign militants of Turkic origin.[vii]
  • The News reports that volunteers of the militant group Ansarul Islam (AI) entered the Zakha Khel area in Maidan to expel rival militants of Lashkar-e-Islam and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. According to local sources, AI forces faced no resistance from the militants and were able to take over the Peer Mela area.[viii]
 

NATO tankers attacked in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Eleven tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan were blown up at a terminal outside Peshawar on Friday, resulting in the deaths of four people. Senior police official Imtiaz Shah said that, “More than two dozen militants entered the terminal and planted timed devices on 12 out of a total 18 fuel tankers parked at the terminal.” The militants also shot two guards and two drivers who resisted the attack, killing all four men.[ix]
 

‘Target Killings’ in Karachi

  • Three political party activists were killed on Thursday in separate ‘target killings’ in Karachi. The Frontier Post reports that the deceased were members of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N). Security forces arrested twenty-nine suspected militants in subsequent raids in South Zone.[x]
 
 
 


[iii] Tom Wright, “Pakistan Leadership in Row Over CIA Shooting,” Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2011. Available at
[iv] “Intention to call on ICJ not justified,” The News, February 25, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=4223&Cat=13
[v] “CIA mulls targeting Pak diplomats abroad: report,” The News, February 25, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=4220&Cat=13
[vi] Declan Walsh, “Truth hard to find in US-Pakistan war of words over Raymond Davis,” Guardian, February 24, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Pakistan drone attacks 'kill five militants,'” BBC News, February 24, 2011. Available at
[viii] Said Nazir Afridi, “AI takes control of Zakhakhel area,” The News, February 25, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=32908&Cat=7&dt=2/25/2011
[x] “3 activists shot dead in Karachi,” Frontier Post, February 25, 2011. Available at http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=ts&nid=1808&ad=25-02-2011