Pakistan Security Brief - January 30, 2013

Clashes between TTP and rival group AI escalate; PAF kills 23 militants in Tirah Valley and eight in Orakzai agency; Several dead in Karachi and Balochistan; Possible terrorist plot stopped in Quetta; Sectarian killings increased by 352 percent; Iran gas pipeline approved; Pakistan requires IMF bailout; Gwadar deep water port to be transferred to China; 800 police officers deployed to protect polio vaccination teams. Six witnesses to testify in defense of Hafiz Khan; Pakistan registers UN protest over Kashmir deaths, India denies.

Militancy

  • On Wednesday, fighting between militant groups Ansarul Islam (AI) and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Khyber agency continued into the fifth consecutive day as both groups sought control of the Tirah Valley. AI is an officially banned militant organization, but is currently defending the Tirah Valley from the TTP. However, critics of AI claim that it is motivated to control the profitable trade in Khyber agency. Pakistani security official stated that the TTP and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI), a militant group supporting the TTP, killed 20 AI militants in the last two days.  Pakistani Air Force (PAF) jets reportedly killed at least 23 TTP and LI insurgents during multiple aerial assaults in the Tirah valley and in the Mamuzai area of neighboring Orakzai agency. Security forces targeted the TTP and LI in Dwatoi, Wacha Wona, Baragat and Takhtakai areas destroying caches of weapons, ammunition, and rations. Meanwhile, Pakistani soldiers were reportedly sent to fight alongside AI to prevent the fall of Bara, a strategically vital sub-district in Khyber agency. AI spokesman Saadat Afridi stated that the entire populations of Kala Voch, Dro Adda, Haider Kandaw and Qismat Sangar are in bunkers resisting the TTP. More than 121 fighters have died during the five days. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) also bombed TTP hideouts in Orakzai agency on Wednesday killing eight militants and destroying four hideouts in the regions of Arghanjo, Mirqalamkhel and Jandary Killay. [1]

  • Four people were injured by mortar fire in the Mishti area of the Orakzai Agency on Tuesday.[2]

  • On Wednesday, the Frontier Constabulary (FC) seized a vehicle near the Baleli checkpoint in Quetta and recovered a hundred detonators, ball bearings, wires, and 25kg of explosive material thereby preventing a possible terrorist attack.[3] 

  • On Wedensday, The FC conducted a cordon and search in the Gulshan Bareech area of Quetta apprehending three suspects and recovering two rifles, a pistol, and ammunition.[4]

  • Four people were killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on a vehicle in Dera Bugti, Balochistan on Wednesday.[5]

  • A planted explosive in Achini Mera near Al-Hamra Township in Peshawar exploded killing one and injuring three on Tuesday.[6]

  • In Quetta, three people were repeatedly shot in the head after being kidnapped by unknown assailants on Wednesday.[7]

  • Four people were injured in an attack by hand grenade in Hangorabad area of Lyari on Wednesday.[8]

  • The Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) announced Wednesday that sectarian killings in Karachi increased by 352 percent in 2012 from the year previous.  The report stated that police explain the majority of the 23 killings in 2011 and the 104 killings in 2012 as militant violence, primarily against the Shia community. Sindh HRCP Assistant Coordinator Abdul Hai explained part of the cause, saying: “Our law-enforcement agencies are weak and corrupt, and this is what gives muscle to militants.”[9]

  • One man was shot and killed in Karachi near Jinnah Square on Wednesday when unidentified assailants opened fire.[10]

  • A man was injured in a shooting in the Ghas Mandi area of Karachi on Wednesday.[11]

  • Police apprehended a suspect connected with a recent shooting in Haroonabad, Karachi. Police recovered a motorcycle and a 9mm pistol.[12]

  • Unidentified assailants raided and opened fire on a house in Machar Colony, Karachi on Wednesday killing one person and injuring another.[13]

Iran Pipeline

IMF Bailout

Sino-Pakistani Relations

Polio Vaccinations

Indo-Pak Relations

  • On Wednesday an Indian newspaper reported that Pakistan has registered multiple protests over the years with the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), accusing India of killing and decapitating twelve Pakistani soldiers, and killing another 29 civilians in Kashmir since 1998. Responding to the article, Indian army spokesperson Col. Jagdeep Dahiya denied the allegations.  Dahiya claimed that the Indian army is “very professional,” and went on to say that the mechanisms in place to ensure that India and Pakistan observe the ceasefire would have reported these incidents when they happened, instead of fifteen years later.  [18]

Florida Terrorism Case

  • Six witnesses will testify via live video beamed from Pakistan supporting Hafiz Khan, a Muslim Cleric on trial in Florida who stands accused of financially supporting the TTP. Hafiz Khan claims the money was transferred for innocent reasons which the witnesses will corroborate, the defense claims.[19]

 


[1] “31 insurgents killed in Khyber, Orakzai,” The News, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20605-31-insurgents-killed-in-Khyber,-Orakzai
“24 militants killed in Tirah valley bombing, “Dawn, January 30, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/30/24-militants-killed-in-tirah-valley-bombing/
“Jets blitz suspected militant hideouts in Khyber, Orakzai; seven killed,” Dawn, January 30, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/30/jets-blitz-suspected-militant-hideouts-in-khyber-and-orakazai-tribal-region/
“Pakistan's Islamist Militia Ansar Ul-Islam And Its Fight For Influence,” Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.rferl.org/content/pakistan-ansar-ul-islam-taliban-ttp/24886662.html
“Terror bid foiled in Quetta: FC sources,” Geo, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85878
[4] “Three suspects held during operation in Quetta,” Geo, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85920
[5] “Gunmen kill four in Dera Bugti,” Geo, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85968
[6] “One killed, three injured in Peshawar blast,” The News, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-157128-One-killed,-three-injured-in-Peshawar-blast
[7] “Seven dead in separate Pakistan shootings,” CNN, January 30, 2013. Available at http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/30/world/asia/pakistan-violence/index.html
[8] Karachi: hand grenade attack injures four in Lyari,” Geo, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85874
[9] “Sectarian killings increased by 352pc last year: HRCP,” The International News, January 30, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-157072-Sectarian-killings-increased-by-352pc-last-year-HRCP
[10] “Karachi: Firing incidents kill one, injure another,” Geo, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85890
[11] “Karachi: Firing incidents kill one, injure another,” Geo, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85890
[12] “Karachi: Firing incidents kill one, injure another,” Geo, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85890
[13] “Karachi: 2 killed, 2 injrued in firing incidents,” Geo, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85911
[14] “Cabinet approves Iran Pakistan gas pipeline,” Dawn, January 30, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/30/cabinet-approves-iran-pakistan-gas-pipeline/
“Cabinet approves Pak-Iran gas pipeline project,” Geo, January 30, 2013.  Available at  http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=85952
Imtiaz Hussain, “US warns Pakistan of sanctions over Iran gas pipeline deal,” The International News, January 29, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20587-US-warns-Pakistan-of-sanctions-over-Iran-gas-pipeline-deal
[15] “IMF package vital to bail out Pak economy,” The International News, January 30, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-157093-IMF-package-vital-to-bail-out-Pak-economy
Mubarak Zeb Khan,“Tax exemption surpasses IMF loans,” Dawn, January 30, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/30/tax-exemption-surpasses-imf-loans/
[16] “Pakistan approves Gwadar port transfer to China,” Dawn, January 30, 2013.  Available at  http://dawn.com/2013/01/30/pakistan-approves-gwadar-port-transfer-to-china/
[17] Riaz Khan, “Policeman protecting Pakistani polio team killed,” Yahoo! News, January 29, 2013. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/policeman-protecting-pakistani-polio-team-killed-120627955.html
“Polio campaign: 800 policemen to guard polio teams,” CNN Top News, January 30, 2013.  Available at http://cnntopnews.com/polio-campaign-800-policemen-to-guard-polio-teams/
[18] Betwa Sharma, “Indian officials denied knowledge of complaints by Pakistan to a United Nations group,” The New York Times, January 30, 2013.  Available at http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/indian-officials-denied-knowledge-of-complaints-by-pakistan-to-a-united-nations-grou/
“Pakistan acuses India of 12 Kashmir beheadings: report,” Dawn, January 30, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/30/pakistan-accuses-india-of-12-kashmir-beheadings-report/
[19] “Live video testimony from Pakistan planned for defense witnesses in Fla. terror support trial,” The Washington Post, January 30, 2013. Available at http://www.criticalthreats.org/pakistan-security-brief/pakistan-security-brief-january-29-2013