Pakistan Security Brief - January 8, 2013

Drone kills 9 militants including al Qaeda trainer; Pakistani, Indian forces clash again in Kashmir, U.S. urges restraint; Pakistan Army denies security to long march; TTP denies threats against long march; Gov’t vows to provide Qadri security; Taliban threaten anti-polio workers against resuming work; several killed, wounded in violence across northwest Pakistan, Karachi, Quetta; Al Qaeda suspect’s trial begins in U.S.; Pakistan Army to assist in voter verification starting tomorrow; JuD chief meets Baloch political leader; U.S. deans protest against use of fake vaccination campaigns by U.S.

Drone Strike

  • In the fourth drone strike in North Waziristan since the start of 2013, at least seven suspected militants were killed by four missiles in two separate attacks by American drones in the village of Haiderkhel, in Mir Ali sub-district. Pakistani officials believe that a Somali or Emirati “tactical trainer” for al Qaeda and two foreign fighters reportedly from Uzbekistan are among the dead.[1]

Indo-Pak Clashes, Relations

  • Two Indian soldiers were killed and one wounded in a border clash with Pakistani troops in Mendhar, Kashmir. The clash is the second violent incident between Indian and Pakistani forces in the area in three days. Indian officials condemned Pakistani forces for violating the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC), allegations which Pakistani officials deny. Military commanders from the two countries have been in contact since the incident.[2]

  • In response to an alleged attack on Sunday by Indian troops across the LoC, the Pakistani Foreign Office on Monday summoned the Deputy High Commissioner of India in order to lodge a protest. Pakistan alleges that the Indian soldiers attacked a Pakistani checkpoint killing one soldier and wounding another.[3]

  • The US State Department on Tuesday urged Pakistan and India to end violence across the LoC in the disputed region of Kashmir, in response to a fresh set of attacks this weekend.[4]

Militancy

  • On Monday morning, militants planted a bomb in a Rashidabad health center in northwest Pakistan as a warning against re-starting an anti-polio campaign. The bomb, successfully defused, was accompanied by a letter for government authorities.[5]

  • Two gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed Muhammad Shakeel, the vice president of terrorist group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), near Kot Pindi Das on Monday. Shakeel was on his way to Lahore at the time of the attack.[6]

  • Two militants and a police officer were killed during a gunbattle in the Aba Khel area of Lakki Marwat district on Monday.  One security officer was wounded in the clashes and another militant was arrested. Separately, in the Balkhi Korona area, two militants on motorcycles fired on policemen at a roadblock. One of the militants was killed and the other arrested.[7]

  • Several people, including two policemen, were injured by an unidentified blast in Swabi Bazaar in Peshawar. Police speculate that a hand grenade was the cause of the blast.[8]

  • Police on Monday managed to defuse a 10-kilogram IED planted in a canister on the side of the road in Doaba, Hangu district thought to be intended as an attack on security forces transiting through the region.[9]

  • An IED was found in a pressure cooker and successfully defused in Khawaja Ajmer Nagri area in New Karachi, near a police checkpost on Monday.[10]

  • Police in Karachi detained 23 suspects following a search operation in Baldia Town on Tuesday.[11]

  • An engineer was killed and several others, including a police officer, were injured after a bomb planted in a rickshaw went off in Quetta on Monday.[12]

  • A hand grenade attack injured two in Quetta on Monday.[13]

Domestic Issues

  • The Pakistan Army on Monday denied a request by Pakistani cleric Dr. Tahirul Qadri to provide security for his long march to Islamabad on January 14. The army recommended Qadri contact the interior ministry on the matter. The army has previously denied that it is backing Qadri following allegations that Qadri’s political movement was an army front to weaken the government. Qadri’s organization, Minhajul Quran International, denied it had requested security from the army. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Monday that “full security” would be provided to people taking place in the march. Qadri said, following a meeting with religious organization Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), that the government would be to blame for any security incidents during the march. Qadri also released a schedule of the march which is set to begin at 9:00 AM on January 13 and make its first major stop in Muridke near Lahore.[14]

  • Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan on Tuesday issued a statement denying a claim by Interior Minister Rehman Malik that his group had threatened to attack Qadri’s upcoming long march. “We have no comments for the long march,” Ehsan said.[15]

  • Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed met with the head of Baloch nationalist party Jamhoori Watan Party’s (JWP) chief Talal Akbar Bugti on Tuesday in Lahore. The two reportedly discussed security in Balochistan and the country’s political situation. Saeed called on the government to take steps to “resolve the issues confronting Balochistan on an emergency basis.” He denounced the idea of a military operation in the province and called for an end to “Indian interference” in Balochistan.[16]

  • The Pakistan Army is slated to begin providing security to Election Commission staff going door-to-door to verify voter lists in Karachi starting on January 9. Military forces will assist local police in the task.[17]

Terrorism Trial

  • Abid Naseer, one of 12 Pakistani men arrested in Britain in 2009 on suspicion of planning bombings in Manchester’s city center has had his first court hearing in the U.S. after being re-arrested in 2010 and extradited. He allegedly has connections to al Qaeda, including to a 2009 plot to bomb the New York subway. Naseer pled not guilty to charges including but not limited to “committing and attempting to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries”. The charges against him carry punishments up to life in prison.[18]

Protest against Use of Fake Vaccination

  • The deans of 12 top US public health schools sent a letter to President Obama protesting the use of fake vaccinations as a ruse to collect DNA, as the CIA did to aide its hunt for bin Laden. The resulting suspicion towards public health workers has led to a halt in the fight against polio, attacks on anti-polio campaigns, and a rise in deaths from the measles.[19]

 


[1] Saud Mehsud, “Latest drone strike kills eight in northwest Pakistan,” Reuters, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/08/us-pakistan-drone-idUSBRE90705320130108?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29
Nasir Habib, “9 suspected militants killed in drone strike in Pakistan,” CNN, January 8, 2013. Available at http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/08/world/asia/pakistan-drone-strike/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fedition_asia+%28RSS%3A+Asia%29
“US drone attack kills four in North Waziristan: Officials,” Dawn, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/08/us-drone-attack-kills-four-in-north-waziristan-officials/
“Drone attacks kill 7 in North Waziristan,” The News, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-82869-Drone-attacks-kill-seven-in-North-Waziristan
“US drone attack in Pakistan ‘kills seven militants’,” BBC News, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20943427
“Pakistan- Drone Strike Kills 8 Militants, Officials Say,” The New York Times, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/world/asia/pakistan-drone-strike-kills-8-militants-officials-say.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
[2] Ashok Pahalwan, “India accuses Pakistan of killing soldiers in Kashmir,” Reuters, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/08/us-india-pakistan-attack-idUSBRE9070GO20130108?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
Aijaz Hussein, “India says Pakistani soldiers kill 2 Indians,” Yahoo! News, January 8, 2013. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/india-says-pakistani-soldiers-kill-2-indians-135639103.html
[3] “Pakistan protests Indian firing on LoC,” The News, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-82826-FO-summons-Indian-High-Commissioner-over-LoC-firing
[4] “US concerned over LoC violence,” Geo, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82894
[5] Javed Aziz Khan, “Militants warn against anti-polio drive,” The News, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20101-Militants-warn-against-anti-polio-drive
[6] “SSP Leader killed,” The News, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-153162-SSP-leader-killed
[7] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Three militants, police officer killed in Lakki Marwat,” Dawn, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/07/three-militants-police-officer-killed-in-lakki-marwat/
[8] “Peshawar: Blast in Swabi Bazaar,” Geo, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82893
[9] “Bombing bid foiled in Hangu,” The News, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-153163-Bombing-bid-foiled-in-Hangu
[10] “Karachi: IED planted near picket defused,” The News, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-82861-Karachi:-Improvised-explosive-device-defused
[11] “23 suspects held in Baldia Town search operation,” Geo TV, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82897
[12] “One killed, three injured in Quetta blast,” The News, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-153158-One-killed,-three-injured-in-Quetta-blast
[13] “Quetta: Grenade attack leaves 2 injured,” The News, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-82829-Quetta:-Grenade-attack-leaves-two-injured-
[14] Usman Manzoor, “Army denies Dr Tahirul Qadri’s request for security,” The News, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20084-Army-denies-Dr-Qadris-request-for-security
“Malik vows to provide security for Qadri’s march,” AFP, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/07/malik-vows-to-provide-security-for-qadris-march/
“Govt, president will be to blame for possible mishap during long march: Tahirul Qadri,” Geo TV, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82963
[15] “”TTP refutes threatening Qadri’s long march,” Geo TV, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82919
[16] “Hafiz Saeed meets Talal Bugti, urges solution to Balochistan crisis,” Dawn, January 8, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/08/hafiz-saeed-meets-talal-bugti-urges-solution-to-balochistan-crisis/
[17] “Army to join Karachi voter verification process from Wednesday,” Dawn, January 8, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/08/army-to-join-karachi-voter-verification-process-from-wednesday/
[18] “New York bomb plot: Pakistani accomplice pleads not guilty,” The Express Tribune, January 8, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/491022/new-york-bomb-plot-pakistani-accomplice-pleads-not-guilty/
“Extradited al Qaeda suspect pleads not guilty in US court,” Dawn, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/08/extradited-al-qaeda-suspect-pleads-not-guilty-in-us-court/
[19] Donald G. McNeil, Jr., “Deans condemn vaccine ruse used in bin Laden hunt,” The New York Times, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/us/deans-condemn-vaccine-ruse-used-in-bin-laden-hunt.html?_r=1&