Pakistan Security Brief - January 23, 2013

Supreme Court to independently probe death of man investigating corruption against PM; Case against PM Ashraf resumes today; Indian and Pakistani Kashmir ministers denounce rising tensions, Indian foreign minister says too early to normalize cross-border relations; top PML-N leader killed in Karachi; S. Waziristan Taliban kills Afghan “spy” responsible for Nazir drone attack; IED injures four in N. Waziristan; Violence across northwest Pakistan, Karachi; Police concerned about foreign madrassa students; prosecutors want leniency for David Headley; U.S., Pakistan positive on bilateral relations.

Case against Prime Minister and Death of Investigator

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court will conduct its own investigation into the death of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) employee Kamran Faisal, out of concern that the official investigation will not be “free and fair” if conducted internally by the government. Faisal’s family, who suspect foul play behind Faisal’s apparent suicide, welcomed the inquiry. Around 100 NAB employees held a candlelight vigil for Faisal on Tuesday and, expressing their belief that Faisal was murdered, stated their intention to file a petition calling for a Supreme Court inquiry into the matter. The court’s inquiry will be run alongside that of the official government.[1]

  • Hearing of the Rental Power Projects (RPP) case against Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf and fifteen other officials will resume today. None of the officials have yet been arrested in connection with the Rs. 22 billion ($225 million) scam.[2]

Indo-Pak Tensions

  • Prime Minister of Pakistani-administered Kashmir Chaudhry Abdul Majeed and Chief Minister of Indian-administered Kashmir Omar Abdullah both on Wednesday denounced the recent notice in an Indian newspaper telling residents how to prepare for a potential nuclear war. Majeed called the warning a “pressure tactic”, while Abdullah called the advisory a “daft idea.”[3]

  • Following souring relations along the Line of Control (LoC), Indian Defense Minister A.K. Anthony said that India-Pakistani relations will take time to normalize, calling his policy one of “wait and see,” and saying that talks of normalizing relations were “premature.”[4]

PML-N Leader Killed

  • In protest against the killing of its deputy secretary in Karachi, main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) staged a walk-out from Parliament on Wednesday. PML-N Joint Secretary Mian Taimur and his father Mian Arbab were shot by unknown gunmen while in a car in Karachi on Wednesday morning. This is the second targeted killing of a politician in the city in a week. The PLM-N blamed the government for failing to keep law and order in Karachi.[5]

Militancy

  • The mutilated body of a man accused of being an Afghan spy was left on a roadside in Wana, South Waziristan on Wednesday. A note on the man’s body said his death was an example of what happens to spies. The note claimed that the man was responsible for facilitating U.S. drone attacks, including the one that killed Maulvi Nazir on January 2 and four other senior members of the South Waziristani Taliban. The man was accused of giving Nazir a digital Quran fitted with tracking technology in order to allow drones to find him.[6]

  • A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) on Tuesday injured four soldiers of the Frontier Corps (FC) on their way from Thall to Spin Wam in North Waziristan agency. Security forces were not able to make any arrests.[7]

  • An explosion in a house in Jandri Kallay, Orazkai agency killed five and injured three on Wednesday. All the victims are suspected of being militants who were allegedly constructing an IED that detonated prematurely.[8]

  • A 25-year-old member of the Sunni Islamist Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) group was shot to death during an ASWJ protest in Hyderabad on Tuesday, leading to the shutdown of many commercial areas in the city.[9]

  • Four people were killed in a house in the Gul Bagh area of Badaber, near Peshawar, by unknown gunmen on Wednesday morning.[10]

  • Two former members of an anti-Taliban militia were killed and one wounded by armed men in Kari Haider Khel, Tank district on Tuesday while riding a motorcycle. Their bodies were dumped near a stream. The “Bhittani Taliban,” reportedly a faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack.[11]

  • An eye doctor was shot dead outside his clinic in Peshawar on Tuesday. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the incident.[12]

  • Two blasts went off in Bacha Khan Chowk in Peshawar on Tuesday. Shops were damaged but there were no deaths.[13]

  • Twelve people died in violence in Karachi on Tuesday, including a leader of opposition party PML-N, a doctor, a police inspector, and a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist. Some deaths were the result of target killings, while others were accidental or caught in cross-fire.[14]

  • Two consecutive blasts in Chota Lahor sub-district near Swabi damaged two school vans on Tuesday. Drivers were waiting in the vans to take children home, but no one was injured. The school reported having received threats from militants in the area before.[15]

  •  A Sikh trader was kidnapped from outside his house by armed men on Monday night in Quaidabad, Peshawar.[16]

  • tribal peace jirga in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday asked the government to tighten security in Swabi district, following growing concerned about growing acts of terror. The jirga also requested that the military cease operations in the tribal areas, and condemned the killing of innocents in Khyber and North Waziristan.[17]

Madrassa Concerns

  • According to a report citing police figures, despite lower numbers of foreign students studying in Punjab’s madrassas since 9/11, the approximately 450 remaining students, mostly from Indonesia and Thailand, worry police because many have no visa or are on expired visas. A police report suggested that the Punjab government sweep the schools for illegals, and deport them back to their home country.[18]

Terrorism Sentencing

  • U.S. prosecutors are seeking less than the maximum life sentence for American terrorist facilitator David Headley who pled guilty in Chicago for his involvement in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed over 160 people. Headley reportedly cooperated extensively with law enforcement officials, providing useful information to both American and Indian authorities, and testified against others in return for the death penalty and extradition being taken off the table as options. He now could face up to life in prison, but his attorneys, citing his cooperation, are asking for a sentence of 30-35 years. Headley will be sentenced on Thursday.[19]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • After a meeting on Tuesday at the Pakistani Foreign Office, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson issued a statement on the “positive trajectory” of bilateral relations but did not mention the issue of drones or the U.S.’s upcoming “manual” on the use of such weaponry.[20]



[1] “Pakistan top court to probe corruption official Kamran Faisal’s death,” BBC, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21162012
Waseem Abbasi, “100 NAB officers to file petition in SC today,” The News, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20453-100-NAB-officers-to-file-petition-in-SC-today
[2] “Supreme Court to hear rental power case today,” Geo, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=84977
[3] “Pakistani Kashmir PM terms nuclear warning as “pressure tactic”,” Dawn, January 23, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/23/pakistani-kashmir-pm-terms-nuclear-warning-as-pressure-tactic/
[4] “Pak-India ties will take time to normalise: Indian Defence Minister,” Geo, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85063
[5] “PML-N protests leader’s killing in Karachi,” Dawn, January 23, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/23/pml-n-protests-leaders-killing-in-karachi/
“Gunmen kill PML-N leader, father in Karachi,” Geo, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=84951
[6] “Body of ‘Afghan spy’ dumped in South Waziristan: Officials,” Dawn, January 23, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/23/body-of-afghan-spy-dumped-in-south-waziristan-officials/
[7] “Four soldiers injured in NWA blast,” The News, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155987-Four-soldiers-injured-in-NWA-blast
[8] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Blast in Orakzai tribal region kills five, injures three,” Dawn, January 23, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/23/blast-in-orakzai-tribal-region-kills-five-injures-three/
[9] “Hyderabad shut after ASWJ man’s killing,” Dawn, January 23, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/23/hyderabad-shut-after-aswj-mans-killing/
[10] “Peshawar: Four killed in Budh Bair,” Geo, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=84983
[11] “Targeted attack: Two former peace militia members killed,” The Express Tribune, January 23, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/497896/targeted-attack-two-former-peace-militia-members-killed/
“Two peace body members killed in Tank,” The News, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155993-Two-peace-body-members-killed-in-Tank
[12] “Another doctor killed in Peshawar,” The News, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20464-Another-doctor-killed-in-Peshawar
[13] “Two blasts in Peshawar, no casualties reported,” Geo, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=84925
[14] Kamran Mansoor, “Target killings claim 12 more lives in Karachi,” The News, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20446-Target-killings-claim-12-more-lives-in-Karachi
[15] “Two school vans damaged in Swabi blast,” The News, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155981-Two-school-vans-damaged-in-Swabi-blast
[16] “Another Sikh kidnapped from Peshawar,” The News, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155992-Another-Sikh-kidnapped-from-Peshawar
[17] “Jirga concerned at growing acts of terror in Swabi,” The News, January 23, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-155994-Jirga-concerned-at-growing-acts-of-terror-in-Swabi
[18] Mohammed Asghar, “Foreign madressah students worry Punjab police,” Dawn, January 23, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/23/foreign-madressah-students-worry-punjab-police-2/
[19] “Prosecutors want less than life term for American who laid groundwork for 2008 Mumbai attacks,” The Washington Post, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/prosecutors-want-less-than-life-term-for-american-who-laid-groundwork-for-2008-mumbai-attacks/2013/01/22/b72b2068-64f6-11e2-889b-f23c246aa446_story.html
“U.S. seeks long prison sentence for man who aided Mumbai plotters,” Reuters, January 22, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/23/us-usa-security-headley-idUSBRE90M02F20130123
[20] “Khar, Olson satisfied over ‘trajectory of ties’,” Dawn, January 23, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/23/khar-olson-satisfied-over-trajectory-of-ties/