Pakistan Security Brief - January 27, 2011

U.S. diplomat in Lahore kills two; Farooq: Al Qaeda losing ground in FATA; Ten militants killed by air assault in Mohmand; Two militants killed in suicide bombing; TTP makes demands for Colonel Imam’s body; Profile on Sajid Mir, Qureshi: “new chapter in Pak-Afghan relations.”

 

U.S. Diplomat Kills Two Gunmen

  • According to media reports, a U.S. diplomat in Lahore reportedly shot and killed two men on a motorcycle who attempted to rob him on Thursday. A third person was reportedly killed after being hit by a speeding car dispatched from the U.S. consulate to assist the diplomat. Local police told the AFP news agency that the American, identified as Raymond Davis, fired his pistol in self-defense.  An initial investigation following the incident uncovered weapons from the bodies of the dead men. The U.S. consulate has not yet issued a statement on the incident.[i]

 

FATA

  • Al Qaeda leader Ustadh Ahmad Farooq has reportedly released a recording that details how U.S. drone strikes in the FATA have resulted in the loss of al Qaeda fighters and militant hideouts. He admitted, "There were many areas where we once had freedom, but now they have been lost. We are the ones that are losing people, we are the ones facing shortages of resources. Our land is shrinking and drones are flying in the sky." The authenticity of the recording has not been verified.[ii]
  • Ten militants were killed in a bombardment by the Pakistan Army in Mohmand agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Separately, two militants were killed in a suicide bombing outside of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur agency. Local officials report that "the bombers were cornered in Saramain village, five kilometres (three miles) south of Khar but there were no injuries to anyone else after one of them was shot dead and another detonated his explosives.”[iii]
 

Death of Colonel Imam

  • The News has reported that the circumstances behind the death of Colonel Sultan Ameer Tarar, also known as Colonel Imam, are still unknown as his abductors have not returned his body or produced specific evidence of his death.  Militants affiliated with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have reportedly said they would be willing to return Colonel Imam’s body if certain demands are fulfilled by the Pakistani government. Sources allege that the militants have demanded five of their leaders be freed from government custody, as well as monetary compensation in exchange for the body of the late army officer.[iv]
 

Mumbai Attacks Suspect Profiled

  • A profile of Sajid Mir, one of the lead plotters in the Mumbai attacks, has been published by ProPublica. The report details Mir’s planning and leadership in the terrorist attack, with alleged assistance by Pakistan's intelligence service. The Pakistani government rejects any official connection to the 2008 attacks, though the report holds that “some Western anti-terrorism officials think that, at most, Pakistani intelligence officers provided limited state support for the Mumbai attacks.” The report additionally questions “whether the larger interests of the United States in maintaining good relations with Pakistan will permit Mir and other suspects to get away.”[v]

 

Pak-Afghan Relations

  • Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi proclaimed a “new chapter in Pak-Afghan relations” on Thursday. After meeting with his Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rassoul to discuss issues of trade, exchange of prisoners, and terrorism, Qureshi affirmed that the two nations will continue to work towards achieving peace and security in the region. The Foreign Minister said that the two governments had harmonized various positions on bilateral and international issues for the upcoming trilateral meeting in Washington.[vi]
 
 
 


[i] “US diplomat kills two Pakistanis in Lahore,” BBC News, January 27, 2011. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12298546
[ii] Munir Ahmed, “Al-Qaida leader admits facing pressure from drones,” Associated Press, January 27, 2011. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110127/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_al_qaida
[iii] “Forces kill 12 militants in NWA,” The News, January 27, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=10172
[iv] Mustaq Yusufzai, “Col Imam’s death still shrouded in mystery,” The News, January 27, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=27934&Cat=2
[v] Sebastian Rotella, “Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story,” ProPublica, January 26, 2011. Available at http://www.propublica.org/article/pakistan-and-the-mumbai-attacks-the-untold-story
[vi] “New chapter in Pak-Afghan relations: FM Qureshi,” Express Tribune, January 27, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/109863/new-chapter-in-pak-afghan-relations-fm-qureshi/