Pakistan Security Brief – February 3, 2012

Large explosion kills four people in Peshawar; Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants attack army checkpoint near Afghan border; Security forces kill five TTP commanders; U.S. State Department issues travel warning for Pakistan; Police arrest three alleged Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan members suspected of sectarian killings; Pakistani and Afghan officials move forward with Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline; Judicial commission investigating Mumbai attacks cancels trip to India; Bomb destroys girls’ primary school in Dera Ismail Khan district; Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani plans to appear before Supreme Court on February 13.

 

Militancy

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • The U.S. State Department “issued a new travel warning for Pakistan” on Thursday, notifying American citizens that new threats have emerged in the country due to the Pakistani reaction to the November 26 NATO airstrike. The travel warning discusses the development of “widespread demonstrations and political rallies” in response to the NATO airstrike, U.S. drone strikes, and current energy crisis in Pakistan. The warning urges U.S. citizens in Pakistan “to avoid protests and large gatherings.”[10]

International Relations

  • On Thursday, Pakistani and Afghan officials met to move plans forward for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. At the meeting, Pakistani officials asked Afghan officials to work with India to determine a “uniform transit fee” for importing gas under the TAPI project, which is expected to become finalized in the “near future.” This fee will be paid by India to Pakistan, and by Pakistan to Afghanistan. Pakistani officials also requested that Afghan officials finalize the Gas Sales Purchase Agreement with Turkmenistan, the provider of the gas for the pipeline. Afghan officials addressed security concerns around the project and assured Pakistani officials that security forces will be deployed along the pipeline’s route.[11]

  • Pakistan’s judicial commission responsible for investigating the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks cancelled its trip to India on Thursday. The commission originally planned to meet with Indian officials involved in the investigation of the attacks which claimed the lives of 165 people. Pakistani officials did not give a reason for the cancellation of the trip.[12]

  • During a television interview on Thursday, Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, Zikrian Assada, appealed to Pakistan’s government to allow his sister, who was married to bin Laden, to return home to Yemen. Assada said that his sister and her five children were at the Abbottabad compound during the raid, and his sister was left unconscious and confused about what happened after being shot in the leg. The Pakistani commission investigating the U.S. operation is waiting for statements from the interior minister and the chief of air staff, and it is expected to complete its report this month.[13]

Domestic Politics

  • On Thursday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told the National Assembly that he plans to appear before the Supreme Court again on February 13 as requested. The court summoned Gilani to appear for a second time in order to face charges of contempt of court.[14]

 


[1] “Large explosion hits Peshawar,” Dawn, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/03/large-explosion-hits-peshawar.html
“Peshawar on high alert over potential bombing,” Daily Times, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\02\03\story_3-2-2012_pg7_8
[2] “Pakistan Taliban kills 7 soldiers, abduct in strike near Afghan border,” Associated Press, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/official-clashes-kill-7-paramilitary-soldiers-18-militants-in-northwest-pakistan/2012/02/03/gIQALRhAmQ_story.html
“Militants kill Pakistani soldiers,” BBC, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16866793
“Seven Pakistani soldiers ‘killed in Taliban attack,’” AFP, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jANva__KWim_J2Rh7jvQ8OxUF-yw?docId=CNG.cda0289abd932a538b2eba06e0e2c2db.6b1
Iftikhar Firdous, “7 security personnel, 18 militants killed in lower Kurram,” The Express Tribune, February 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/331343/7-security-personnel-18-militants-killed-in-lower-kurram/
[3] “Forces claim killing 5 militant commanders,” News International, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=90996&Cat=7
[4] “3 Sipah-e-Sahaba men involved in several murders nabbed,” Daily Times, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\02\03\story_3-2-2012_pg7_28
[5] “Militants storm checkpost, kill one troop,” Geo News, February 2, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=33703
[6] “One killed in Khyber Agency blast,” Geo News, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=33730
[7] “Six militants killed in Orakzai Agency,” Geo News, February 2, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=33712
[8] Iftikhar Firdous, “Militants destroy girls school in DI Khan,” The Express Tribune, February 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/331328/militants-destroy-girls-school-in-di-khan/
[9] “Blast outside FIA officer’s residence in Quetta,” Geo News, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=33717
[10] “New security threats for Americans,” Dawn, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/03/new-security-threats-for-americans.html
[11] Zafar Bhutta, “TAPI pipeline: Pakistan proposes uniform transit fee,” The Express Tribune, February 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/331039/tapi-pipeline-pakistan-proposes-uniform-transit-fee/
Khalid Mustafa, “TAPI gas pipeline project,” The News International, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=12216&Cat=13
[12] “Pakistani fails to send team to probe Mumbai attacks,” BBC, February 2, 2012. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-16866255
[13] Syed Irfan Raza, “Govt urged to let Osama’s wife return to Yemen,” Dawn, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/03/govt-urged-to-let-osamas-wife-return-to-yemen.html
[14] “PM says he will appear before judges again,” Dawn, February 3, 2012. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/03/pm-says-he-will-appear-before-judges-again.html