Pakistan Security Brief - January 22, 2013

New U.S. drones manual to exempt operations in Pakistan; Pakistan to protest drones to U.S.; ISI admits holding men without charge; Indo-Pak tensions increase as India issues advisory on nuclear war; ISAF asks Pakistan to crack down on IED material smuggling; S. Waziristan Taliban vow revenge for Maulvi Nazir’s death; TTP helps mediate between feuding Bajaur factions; Pakistan under pressure to take new IMF bailout; militancy across northwest Pakistan, Karachi.

Drones in Pakistan

  • An American counterterrorism “playbook” serving as a guide to lethal operations and counterterrorism policies is expected to be completed soon. While the new playbook places restrictions on the use of drone strikes in counterterrorism operations, the document reportedly grants the CIA permission to continue its strikes on al Qaeda and Taliban targets inside Pakistan outside of the playbook’s restrictions, an exemption that will remain in place for at least another year.[1]

  • In a policy statement on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that she will bring up the issue of drone strikes as a violation of Pakistan’s territorial integrity with the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.[2]

Pakistani Intelligence and Due Process

  • The ISI, Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, admitted in a court hearing to holding seven suspected militants without enough evidence to try them. The seven are among eleven arrested in connection with a suicide bombing and rocket attack, in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The men were freed in 2010 but picked by the ISI soon after their release. Four of the eleven died in custody, while several others have serious injuries. The ISI transferred the men to the Federally Administered Tribal Agency (FATA) regional administration, the chief official of which has now been summoned to explain to a court why the men have been held without evidence.[3]

Indo-Pak Tensions

  • In light of increased military activity across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir in the past few weeks, including the killing of five soldiers, villagers in the area are beginning to build bunkers and have expressed concerns about their safety should the situation deteriorate further. Officials on the Indian side of the line reportedly contributed to the fearful atmosphere after publishing an advisory  in a newspaper giving residents tips on how to build and stock bomb-resistant shelters in preparation for a possible nuclear war. Indian officials claimed that issuing the advisory was routine and not in any way a reaction to recent escalating tensions. Officials in New Delhi reiterate their commitment to peace, but are “continually assessing” their stance towards Pakistan in the wake of the cross-border killings and their attitude towards their neighbor would be “full vigilance and caution”.[4]

  • Officials from Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) on Monday arrested 27 Indian fishermen  allegedly fishing in Pakistani waters near Karachi and seized six boats. However, Pakistan on Tuesday announced orders to return all imprisoned Indian fishermen, in a gesture of goodwill.[5]

  • Continuing unrest along the LoC could lead to a stalling of the process to grant India Most Favored Nation (MFN) status in Pakistan, said Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, at a press conference. He encouraged dialogue to solve problems, but expressed concern about the potential problems a trade agreement could create.[6]

IEDs and Terrorism

  • ISAF on Monday urged Pakistan to crack down on the smuggling of fertilizers used in the production of IEDs in Afghanistan. An ISAF commander and the Directors General of Military Operations for Afghanistan and Pakistan attended a meeting of the Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) working group at army headquarters in Rawalpindi. The ISAF and Afghan officials recognized steps recently taken by Pakistan to stem the flow of IED materials but insisted that Pakistan do more in that regard.[7]

  • On Sunday, US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olsen noted his appreciation for Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, and said the U.S. will give assistance to Pakistani law enforcement agencies, including equipment to help counter bombs and suicide attacks.[8]

Militancy

  • A pamphlet distributed in Wana Bazaar in South Waziristan by Taliban militants vows to avenge the death of the group’s late leader Mullah Nazir, saying his martyrdom has made the group stronger and more united. The pamphlet confirmed the new leadership of the Maulvi Nazir-run South Waziristani Taliban, listing Bahawal Khan, alias Salahuddin Ayubi as the group’s new chief and Commander Malang, Haji Tehsil Khan, Haji Ainullah, Taj Muhammad and Muhammad Shoaib as his deputies. It also warns of strict punishments for criminals in the area, including people outside without identification and “without any purpose.”[9]

  • The TTP and its Swat branch recently held negotiations, trying to resolve differences between two militant groups in Bajaur agency, one headed by Maulvi Faqir Mohammed and the other by Maulana Abu Bakar. A spokesman for the TTP said that the dialogue was successful, and the head of each organization will have a spot in the leadership.[10]

  • Members of Khyber-based militant group Lashkar-e-Islam reportedly killed a soldier’s father and four brothers in revenge for militant deaths in the agency’s Bara sub-district on Sunday. The bodies were thrown into a field along with the killed militants’ bodies, allegedly to make it appear that security forces were to blame and to turn local opinion against them.[11]

  • A roadside blast on Monday in Pandyalai sub-district of Mohmand agency killed two soldiers and wounded five. No group has yet claimed responsibility.[12]

  • A firefight took place between police and militants after a rocket was fired on a checkpoint in Hangu on Saturday. There was no loss of life.[13]

  • The body of a 16-year-old laborer was found in a private school in Bara, Khyber on Saturday. The body had been shot multiple times.[14]

  • Two men were killed and their bodies dumped on the roadside in Kot Azam village in Tank district on Friday. The killers were gunmen allegedly wearing the uniforms of security forces.[15]

  • A district judge in Peshawar was attacked by gunmen on his way home from work on Saturday. He was injured but is expected to recover.[16]

  • An IED partially damaged a house in Rehmat Koroona, Shabqadar sub-district, Charsadda on Saturday.[17]

  • A land mine exploded near Khameesa Khan Bugti village, Charsadda on Saturday, killing two brothers.[18]

  • A girls’ primary school in Badaber was targeted with an IED on Saturday. Two rooms were completely destroyed, while others were damaged. No deaths have been reported.[19]

  • A principal and his son were shot to death in his school in Kharan, Balochistan on Friday. The attackers escaped and the motive is unknown.[20]

  • An explosion on Wednesday partially damaged the house of an official of the IB in Bannu.[21]

  • Six men were killed in incidences of violence in Karachi, in Old Golimar, Baldia Town No. 2, Old Haji Camp, Orangi Town, and Khokhrapar areas. Several of the bodies showed signs of torture.[22]

  • Shelling by helicopter gunships in Mir Ali, North Waziristan killed five, wounded nine, and destroyed several houses on Thursday. The attack was reportedly in retaliation for a remote-control explosive attack on security forces.[23]

  • An explosion in a residential building on Tuesday morning in Karachi wounded a woman and two brothers.[24]

  • A raid in Karachi on Monday resulted in the arrests of four alleged TTP members and the seizure of explosive material, hand grenades, Kalashnikovs, pistols, and cartridges. The four accused were allegedly involved in attacks, extortion, and training terrorists.[25]

  • Following a gunfight in in Sarband, near Peshawar, four militants were arrested and one wounded. The militants reportedly opened fire on the police checkpoint first.[26]

New IMF Bailout Package

  • Pakistan is reportedly being pressured by the U.S. and other major donors to seek a new bailout package from the IMF to the tune of $4-5 billion in order to “bridge the financing gap over the medium term under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme.” Creditors also want Pakistan to submit to strict IMF scrutiny to ensure implementations of IMF benchmarks. An IMF team in Pakistan for talks with the government recently returned to Washington. The mission’s chief, Jeff Franks, said on Friday the IMF would not write off or reschedule Pakistan’s current loans from the IMF. He also said that if Pakistan requested a new loan program, disbursements would follow “prior policy actions for macroeconomic stabilization.” Franks raised concerns over Pakistan’s falling exchange reserves which currently, at $9 billion, are sufficient for only two months’ worth of imports. Pakistan’s finance minister also on Friday said that talks with the IMF had been fruitful and that Pakistan anticipated recommencing talks with the IMF once the IMF team returned to Islamabad.[27]

Corruption Case against Prime Minister

  • The family of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) employee Kamran Faisal has called for an inquiry into his  apparent suicide on Friday. Mr. Faisal was investigating corruption charges against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. He allegedly had bruises on his body when he was found, leading murder to be included as a possibility for cause of death. In a three-page statement, Mr. Faisal’s father Abdul Hamid claimed that Mr. Faisal had recently had verbal disagreements with the NAB chairman and other officials.[28]

  • On Monday, Prime Minister Ashraf withdrew his review plea against the court’s verdict on the Rental Power Projects case, according to his counsel Waseem Sajjad.[29]

Domestic Issues

  • After turning down Tahirul Qadri’s invitation to join his long march in Islamabad, PTI chief Imran Khan announced on Saturday that he will hold the “biggest ever” protest in Pakistan. However, the goal of Khan’s protest will be to get free and fair elections, not to boycott them, he said. He added that all parties should be involved in choosing a caretaker government and that so far no one had approached his party to partake in the task.[30]

  • On the same day that Tahirul Qadri and his supporters left Islamabad, political party Ahle Sunnat Wal Jama’at (ASWJ) began a conference in the city and threatened a long march of its own if the supposed injustices to it were not addressed by the government.[31]

  • The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have summoned Tahirul Qadri to explain himself for violating the terms of the oath he took while seeking asylum from Canada in 2009. Qadri gained Canadian citizenship by citing threats against him from the Pakistani Taliban and other organizations in response to Qadri’s meeting with the Danish artist under fire for cartooning the Prophet Muhammad. The oath included the stipulation that he must never return to his home country.[32]

  • Asfandyar Wali Khan, chief of the Awami National Party (ANP) convening the upcoming All Parties’ Conference (APC), said in a speech that the purpose of the APC was to jointly devise strategies for countering terrorism, a problem that affected all political parties equally, rather than try to impose one party’s views on another. He added that the APC would even consult the two religio-political parties that will not be attending the conference, the Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl.[33]

  • Despite assurance from the Pakistani military that it does not support Tahirul Qadri or his political party, speculation continues to abound that Qadri enjoys army backing. The allegations prompted the army to clarify again on Monday that it has “nothing to do with” Qadri, his march, or his manifesto.[34]

FATA

  • Tribesmen ended a three-day protest in North Waziristan after coming to an agreement with officials about compensation for the injured and families of victims killed in a January 17 air raid that killed five people. The administration of North Waziristan has also announced that funds for compensating victims of earlier attacks are also available. A political representative praised the peaceful protest and agreement as a “positive approach”.[35]

  • Internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Orakzai agency who have been living in Hangu and Kohat districts for the past four years with inadequate food, shelter, healthcare, and education staged a protest, demanding the government make arrangements to send them home.[36]

  • Protesters who staged a sit-in outside the governor’s house in Peshawar last week are now concerned about the administration’s ability to keep to the terms of their agreement. Two more people were killed on Friday in a mortar shell attack, allegedly violating the government’s promise to stop indiscriminate shelling. The tribesmen have threatened to protest again.[37]

  • Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nowshera have banned entry into the Jalozai IDP camp to NGO workers, angry that they and the government are not doing enough. IDPs are also refusing to send their children to school or vaccinate them until they are provided with enough food.[38]

 


[1] Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima, and Karen DeYoung, “CIA drone strikes will get pass in counterterrorism “playbook”, officials say,” The Washington Post, January 19, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-drone-strikes-will-get-pass-in-counterterrorism-playbook-officials-say/2013/01/19/ca169a20-618d-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story.html?hpid=z2
[2] “Drone attacks issue to be taken up with US envoy, FM tells Senate,” Dawn, January 22, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/22/drone-attacks-issue-to-be-taken-up-with-us-envoy-fm-tells-senate/
[3] “Lawyer for Pakistan’s intelligence agency says suspected militants held without evidence,” The Washington Post, January 21, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/lawyer-for-pakistans-intelligence-agency-says-suspected-militants-held-without-evidence/2013/01/21/4cefe72a-63ec-11e2-889b-f23c246aa446_story.html
[4] Roshan Mughal and Aijaz Hussain, “Villagers in Kashmir brace for escalating violence,” Yahoo! News, January 21, 2013. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/villagers-kashmir-brace-escalating-violence-060909345.html
Aijaz Hussain, “India warns Kashmiris of possible nuclear attack,” Yahoo! News, January 22, 2013. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/india-warns-kashmiris-possible-nuclear-attack-131522521.html
Mohammed Iqbal, “Vigilance, caution will be our watchwords with Pakistan, says Manmohan,” The Hindu, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vigilance-caution-will-be-our-watchwords-with-pakistan-says-manmohan/article4325678.ece
[5] “Pakistan arrests 27 Indian fishermen,” The Express Tribune, January 21, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/496944/pakistan-arrests-27-indian-fishermen/
“Pakistan orders release of all Indian fishermen,” Geo, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=84908
[6] Rana Tanveer, “Fazl wary of MFN status to India,” The Express Tribune, January 18, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/495556/fazl-wary-of-mfn-status-to-india/
[7] “IED ingredients: Pakistan pressed to act against fertilizer smuggling,” Express Tribune, January 22, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/497260/ied-ingredients-pakistan-pressed-to-act-against-fertiliser-smuggling/
[8] “Pakistan to be given equipment to check terrorism: Olsen,” The News, January 21, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20418-Pakistan-to-be-given-equipment-to-check-terrorism:-Olson
[9] “Taliban vow to avenge blood of Mullah Nazir,” The Express Tribune, January 17, 2013. Available at http://purepakistan.com/sections/articles/28481/Taliban-vow-to-avenge-blood-of-Mullah-Nazir
[10] “Militant groups in Bajaur sink differences,” The News, January 19, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155169-Militant-groups-in-Bajaur-sink-differences
[11] “FC says militants conspiring to drive security forces out of Bara,” The Express Tribune, January 21, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/496734/fc-says-militants-conspiring-to-drive-security-forces-out-of-bara/
[12] Shah Nawaz Mohmand, “2 soldiers killed in Mohmand IED blast,” The News, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-155711-2-soldiers-killed-in-Mohmand-IED-blast
[13] “Rocket fired on Hangu checkpost,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-155368-Rocket-fired-on-Hangu-checkpost
[14] “Bullet-riddled body of labourer found in Bara,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-155369-Bullet-riddled-body-of-labourer-found-in-Bara
[15] “Two gunned down in Tank,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-155376-Two-gunned-down-in-Tank
[16] “Judge injured in Peshawar firing,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155388-Judge-injured-in-Peshawar-firing
[17] “House damaged in blast,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155392-House-damaged-in-blast
[18] “Two die in landmine blast,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155392-House-damaged-in-blast
[19] “School damaged in Badabair blast,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155402-School-damaged-in-Badabair-blast
[20] “Principal, son gunned down in Kharan,” The News, January 19, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155170-Principal,-son-gunned-down-in-Kharan
[21] “Bannu blast,” The News, January 18, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155040-Bannu-blast
[22] “Six killed in incidents of violence in Karachi,” Dawn, January 22, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/22/six-killed-in-incidents-of-violence-in-karachi-4/
[23] Pazir Gul, “Five killed in Mirali shelling,” Dawn, January 18, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/18/five-killed-in-mirali-shelling/
[24] “Karachi: Explosives attack on apartment injures 3,” Geo, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=84854
[25] “Police arrest four ‘Taliban’ in Karachi,” Geo, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=84821
[26] “Four militants arrested in Sarband,” Geo, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=84573
[27] Mehtab Haider, “Pakistan under pressure to seek IMF bailout package,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20387-Pakistan-under-pressure-to-seek-IMF-bailout-package
Mehtab Haider, “IMF won’t write off, reschedule Pak loan,” The News, January 19, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20357-IMF-wont-write-off,-reschedule-Pak-loan
Khaleeq Kiani, “IMF insists on reforms and policy changes,” Dawn, January 19, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/19/imf-insists-on-reforms-and-policy-changes/
IMF concerned over Pakistan’s falling reserves,” Dawn, January 18, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/18/imf-concerned-over-pakistans-falling-reserves/
Muhammad Saleh Zaffar, “Talks with IMF productive: Hafeez Shaikh,” The News, January 19, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20379-Talks-with-IMF-productive:-Hafeez-Shaikh  
[28] “Calls for inquiry into Pakistan PM corruption official’s death,” BBC, January 19, 2013. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21102391
“Kamran Faisal had altercations with NAB chief, officers: father,” The Express Tribune, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20437-Kamran-Faisal-had-altercations-with-NAB-chief,-officers:-father
[29] “Rental Power Projects case: PM Ashraf withdraws review plea,” The Express Tribune, January 21, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/496954/rental-power-projects-case-pm-ashraf-withdraws-review-plea/
[30] Sidrah Moiz Khan, “PTI will hold the biggest ever protest in Pakistan,” The Express Tribune, January 19, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/496200/pti-will-hold-the-biggest-ever-protest-in-pakistan-imran-khan/
[31] “Against persecution: ASWJ too threatens long march,” The Express Tribune, January 19, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/496117/against-persecution-aswj-too-threatens-long-march/
[32] “Canadian authorities summon Qadri for violating oath,” The Express Tribune, January 18, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/495741/qadri-summoned-by-royal-canadian-monitoring-police-for-violating-oath/
[33] Tauseef-ur-Rahman, “APC to devise joint strategy for countering terrorism: Asfandyar,” The News, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-155707-APC-to-devise-joint-strategy-for-countering-terrorism:-Asfandyar
[34] “Military, ISI do not back Qadri: officials,” The News, January 21, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155564-Military,-ISI-do-not-back-Qadri:-officials
[35] Nasruminallah,”Controversial air raid: Waziristan tribesmen end three-day protest,” The Express Tribune, January 22, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/497267/controversial-air-raid-waziristan-tribesmen-end-three-day-protest/
“NWA admin announces compensation for victims of military operations,” The News, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-155719-NWA-admin-announces-compensation-for-victims-of-military-operations
[36] “Orakzai Agency IDPs demand repatriation,” The News, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-155721-Orakzai-Agency-IDPs-demand-repatriation
[37] “Jirga asks governor to honour pledges,” The News, January 20, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155389-Jirga-asks-governor-to-honour-pledges
[38] “IDPs ban entry of NGO workers to Jalozai camp,” The News, January 19, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155160-IDPs-ban-entry-of-NGO-workers-to-Jalozai-Camp