Pakistan Security Brief - February 28, 2011

ISI demands accountability from CIA; U.S. national arrested for overstaying visa; Express Tribune: American operatives have suspended operations; Forty-five individuals arrested for contact with Davis; TTP faces funding issues ; Talks with Ahmadzai inconclusive; Roadside blast in Kurram; Soldiers injured in blast in NWA; Charity committee leader killed in Khyber; Militants fire rockets in Darra Adam Khel; Two militant commanders killed in Swat; Oil tankers set ablaze; Military fort in Hangu used for refuge; Qadri trial commences; Improved Afghan-Pakistani coordination; Two tankers torched in Balochistan.

 

U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • The New York Times has reported that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has demanded for the CIA to account for all of its contractors operating in Pakistan, as well as a general rewriting of the rules of engagement by the CIA in Pakistan.  The director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the head of the ISI, spoke on Wednesday to discuss the Davis case and issues of accountability.[i]
  • An American national, Aaron DeHaven, was arrested on Friday for charges of illegally staying in the country. A local police official said that DeHaven would be tried under the Foreigners Act for overstaying his visa, which expired on October 23. The Guardian alleges that DeHaven had previously worked for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and now runs a company named Catalyst Services. The newspaper furthermore reports that the company is staffed by retired military and defense department personnel who offer security and protective surveillance. U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Courtney Beale has issued a statement which said that DeHaven was "not a direct employee of the US government."
  • The Express Tribune has reported that following the arrest of Davis, at least thirty American intelligence operatives suspended their operations in Pakistan, in addition to twelve who left the country due to increased scrutiny of Americans living in Pakistan. The foreign ministry states that there are 851 Americans who possess diplomatic immunity in Pakistan, of whom 297 are not currently operating in a diplomatic capacity.[ii]
  • Forty-five individuals have allegedly been arrested for their contact with Raymond Davis. Their names were recovered from Davis’ mobile phone which confiscated upon his arrest. Meanwhile, the brother of one of the men killed by Davis has announced his support for exchanging Davis for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who had been sentenced to eighty-six years in prison for attempting to kill U.S. military personnel.[iii]
 
 

TTP Funding

 
  • The Express Tribune has reported that the Tehrik-e-Taliban has faced severe funding issues, with at least three anonymous sources declaring “The Taliban have seriously run out of funds…they have hardly any money anymore. The group is in a fix even to keep its infrastructure comprising several thousand foot soldiers and a huge fleet of vehicles.”  One of the sources also added, “It seems the money has just stopped coming to them. All the avenues which they used to get funds through are not working for some time now.” Security officials have also confirmed that defections and a loss of militant strongholds in the tribal region have contributed to a decrease in attacks in recent months.[iv]
 
 

FATA

 
  • The News reports that talks between the Ahmadzai tribal jirga in South Waziristan and the government have failed to end in consensus. The government had previously lobbied for changes to the 2007 peace accord in the face of Ahmadzai opposition, resulting in the nine sub-tribes threatening to move to Afghanistan. Tribal sources reported that the two sides agreed that it would be the responsibility of the tribe to maintain order in the region. However, the Ahmadzai jirga diverged over the authorization of the government to demolish houses of suspected militants. The deadline has been extended to February 28 for the two sides to find a common solution.[v]
  • A man was killed and another injured in a roadside blast in Taida village in Kurram Agency on Sunday. The vehicle the men were traveling in hit an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by militants.[vi]
  • Two security officers were injured in a roadside blast in North Waziristan on Saturday. The soldiers were on patrol when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Dos Ali area. A curfew was enforced in Miram Shah Colony and Datta Khel bazaar following the attacks.[vii]
  • A local charity committee leader in Khyber Agency was killed by militants on Sunday. Maulana Wadood had been kidnapped from Bara sub-district a week prior. Sources stated that Wadood's close relationship with the political administration may have played a role in his death. Elsewhere in Bara, the body of a local tribesman was also recovered, after being kidnapped two weeks earlier in Tirah.[viii]
  • Militants fired rockets on a security post in Darra Adam Khel on Sunday. Security forces returned fire at the hideouts of the militants, however no causalities have been reported.[ix]

 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

 
  • On Friday, two militant commanders were killed in Kabal sub-district of Swat. The militants were shot dead by security forces who had commenced a search operation in the area.[x]
  • Oil tankers damaged in Garhi Qamardin on Friday were set ablaze on Saturday during a search operation by security forces. A local officer, Fazal Maula Khan, said that a blast took place adjacent to the vehicles and a fire erupted, engulfing the damaged tankers. Khan stated that it is yet to be determined how the attack occurred at the same site on Saturday.[xi]
  • Dawn reports on a local military fort in Hangu which has turned into a refugee shelter for the families of Tora Ghundi and Tora Warai, following recent militant attacks. A local tribal elder said that militants have aimed to strategically retake the region as well as expel security forces from both Orakzai and Kurram agencies.[xii]
 

 

Qadri Assassination Case

 
  • The trial of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of Salmaan Taseer, began on Saturday before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC). Following the recording of statements by the Chief Medical Officer and security officials, the court adjourned the case until March 5. A rally was held outside of Adiala Jail by Qadri supporters.[xiii]
 

 

Afghan-Pakistani Relations

 
  • Afghan Defense Minister Rahim Wardak has declared that “the prospect for cooperation [with Pakistan] is much brighter” following recent meetings between Afghan and Pakistani officials. Wardak stated, “We are really hopeful there are very good relations between our governments, (between) our president, their president and prime minister. I think all this will have some impact. But we still have to see how it will be implemented.”[xiv]
 
 

Blasts in Balochistan

  • On Sunday, two tankers carrying oil for NATO troops in Afghanistan were torched in Mangocher. The assailants fired upon the tankers before setting them on fire. No casualties have been reported. The Associated Press has additionally run a profile on the dangers facing NATO vehicle drivers in Pakistan, who face large risks for little pay.[xv]
 
 
 


[i] Jane Perlez, “Pakistan Demands Data on C.I.A. Contractors,” New York Times, February 25, 2011. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/world/asia/26pakistan.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
[ii] Asad Kharal, “After Davis’ arrest, US operatives leaving Pakistan,” Express Tribune, February 28, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/124965/intelligence-assets-after-davis-arrest-us-operatives-leaving-pakistan/
[iii] “Forty-five arrested for having links with Davis,” Dawn, February 28, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/28/investigation-scope-broadened-in-davis%E2%80%99-case-45-arrested.html\
[v] Mushtaq Yufuzai, "Govt-Ahmadzais talks again remain inconclusive," The News, February 26, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=33099&Cat=7
[vi] “Militants attack post with rockets in Darra,” The News, February 28, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=33512&Cat=2&dt=2/28/2011
[vii] "2 soldiers hurt in roadside blast," The News, February 27, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=33293&Cat=7
[viii] Said Nazir Afridi, "Militants kill local Zakat committee head in Bara," The News, February 28, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=33470&Cat=7
[ix] “Militants attack post with rockets in Darra,” The News, February 28, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=33512&Cat=2&dt=2/28/2011
[x] "Two militants shot dead in Swat," Dawn, February 26, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/26/two-militants-shot-dead-in-swat-2.html
[xi]Ali Hazrat Bacha, “Blast sets damaged tankers ablaze,” Dawn, February 27, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/27/blast-sets-damaged-tankers-ablaze.html
[xii] "No end to attacks in Kurram," Dawn, February 26, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/26/no-end-to-attacks-in-kurram-2.html
[xiv] “Afghan defence minister sees better Pakistan cooperation,” Dawn, February 26, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/26/afghan-defence-minister-sees-better-pakistan-cooperation.html
[xv] “Gunmen torch two Nato oil tankers near Quetta,” Dawn, February 27, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/27/gunmen-torch-two-nato-oil-tankers-near-quetta.html