Pakistan Security Brief - January 9, 2013

Indo-Pak border clash intensifies as India alleges mutilation of soldiers’ bodies; new details on drone strike that killed al Qaeda operativeInterior Ministry intercepts report of threat; TTP polio attackers arrested; Islamabad preps for long march; PPP, PML-N close to consensus on interim-PM candidate; Albanian terrorist supporting Pakistani groups convicted; NATO supply truckers on strike; IED blast in Landi Kotal; Hand grenade attack on police in Swabi; Militant asks air force to stop bombings; Kidnapped Sikh found dead.

Indo-Pak Border Clash Intensifies

  • More details have surfaced on the alleged Pakistani attack on Indian troops in Kashmir on Tuesday, including accusations that the Pakistani soldiers involved mutilated the bodies of the two Indians they killed, taking the head of one back with them. Indian military spokesman Col. Jagdeep Dahiya claims that Indian troops saw Pakistani soldiers cross the Line of Control (LoC) under heavy fog and found the mutilated bodies later, though they did not themselves see the killings take place. The Indian foreign secretary in Delhi summoned Pakistan’s top envoy, Salman Bashir, to discuss the incident; Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid promised a “proportionate” retaliation; and Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony called the mutilations “inhuman.” Pakistan denies all allegations of an attack, calling them “baseless and unfounded” propaganda and offered to hold an investigation through the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan.[1]

  • Pakistani military officials on Wednesday claimed that India’s allegations of a cross-border attack in Kashmir yesterday are false and an attempt to divert attention from India’s weekend attack on Pakistani troops across the same border that killed one and injured two. Pakistan’s Director General of Military Operations has reportedly been in contact with his Indian counterpart over the issue. Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar added that she is “appalled” at the accusations and that Pakistan has fully investigated the issue.[2]

  • Pakistan’s army is implementing some changes to their concept and methods of war-fighting, focused on being able to respond to the “full spectrum of threat” as quickly as possible. The new emphasis is on being able to prepare for low intensity conflict and to mobilize faster than India in the case that India employs its “cold start” mobilization doctrine. At an Army Mobilization Exercise at Siaklot garrison, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani emphasized these changes and the need for flexibility.[3]

Drone Strike Update

  • The death count of Monday night’s two drone strikes in North Waziristan, one in Haider Khel village and the other in Hassu Khel, has reportedly risen to 12. Among the dead are Sheikh Yasin al Kuwaiti, a senior al Qaeda operative, his wife and daughter, local militants, and possibly two Uzbek militants.[4]

Militancy

  • Five TTP members from Karachi have been arrested for killing four female polio vaccinators in Karachi last month. The men also allegedly had plans to attack Karachi airport.[5]

  • The Pakistani Interior Ministry reportedly intercepted a call between an associate of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud and another Taliban member planning an attack on the January 14 long march in Islamabad.[6]

  • A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Landi Kotal sub-district, Khyber agency killed one anti-Taliban tribal militiaman and wounded another. The source of the IED has yet to be discovered.[7]

  • Two motorcyclists threw hand grenades at policemen patrolling a bazaar in Swabi district, injuring three. Three suspects have since been apprehended. The three wounded policemen are in intensive care but are expected to live.[8]

  • Izzatullah Hamkhayal, deputy chief of militant organization Ansarul Islam, asked Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar to stop Pakistani jet fighters from conducting air strikes in Khyber agency’s Tirah valley, claiming that they were angering locals and disrupting elections.[9]

  • Mohinder Singh, a Sikh kidnapped six weeks ago, was found dead and mutilated in the Chora area of Khyber agency. After his kidnapping, his family appealed to tribal and political sources for help, to no avail.[10]

Domestic Issues

  • Lacking guidance from the central government, Islamabad’s city administration is preparing for January 14’s long march, arranged by Pakistani cleric Dr. Tahirul Qadri, with containers to seal off roads, crowd dispersal methods such as tear gas, and thousands of police on standby. It will likely be determined today whether the government will allow the march to take place at all. Alleged concerns include inconveniencing foreign diplomats, the weather, and possible terrorist activity.[11]

  • The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are reportedly close to agreement on selecting a consensus candidate for the position of caretaker prime minister to oversee the upcoming national elections. Though no names have been hinted at yet, both parties have agreed that the chosen candidate will have tested democratic credentials and will not likely be cowed by pressure from Pakistan’s military establishment.[12]

Terrorism

  • An Albanian man living in Brooklyn was sentenced to 15 years in prison for supporting a terrorist group. The architecture student was caught financing a Pakistani terrorist organization and then attempting to travel to the tribal areas of Pakistan for further involvement.[13]

Supply Chain

  • Truckers transporting NATO supplies from the Pakistani port of Karachi to Afghanistan have gone on strike to protest a new customs system. The system’s goal is to reduce theft, but the truckers claim it will hurt their business and are refusing to work until the system is done away with. 4,000 vehicles carrying supplies have been blockaded since the beginning of the strike six days ago.[14]  



[1] “India says Pakistan ‘beheaded’ Kashmir soldier,” BBC, January 9, 2013. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20954975
“Pakistan’s treatment of slain troops ‘inhuman’: India,” Dawn, January 9, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/pakistan-treatment-of-slain-troops-inhuman-india/
“Pakistan terms Indian allegations “baseless and unfounded”,” Dawn, January 9, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/india-summons-pakistans-envoy-after-border-attack/
Tom Wright, “India, Pakistan Tensions Rise Over Kashmir Killings,” The Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2013. Available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324081704578230891451301124.html
[2] “Pakistan ‘appalled’ by Indian allegations: Khar,” Dawn, January 9, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/pakistan-appalled-by-indian-allegations-khar/
“Pak denies its troop killed India jawans,” The News, January 9, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-83051-Pakistan-denies-its-troops-killed-Indian-soldiers--
[3] Shakil Shaikh, “Be ready to deal with any threats, COAS Kayani tells army,” The News, January 9, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20108-Be-ready-to-deal-with-any-threats,-COAS-tells-army
[4] “Al Qaeda man killed in drone attack,” Dawn, January 8, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/al-qaeda-man-killed-in-drone-attack/
[5] “Taliban suspects arrested over Karachi polio killings,” Dawn, January 9, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/police-arrests-five-over-polio-killings-in-karachi/
[6] “Phone call planning attack on Jan 14 rally intercepted,” Dawn, January 8, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/phone-call-planning-attack-on-jan-14-rally-intercepted/
[7] “Tribal volunteer killed in IED blast,” The News, January 9, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-153368-Tribal-volunteer-killed-in-IED-blast
[8] “Three cops injured in Swabi attack,” The News, January 9, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-153362-Three-cops-injured-in-Swabi-attack
“Policemen hurt in Swabi grenade attack,” Dawn, January 8, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/policemen-hurt-in-swabi-grenade-attack-2/
[9] “AI seeks end to air strikes in Tirah,” The News, January 9, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-153361-AI-seeks-end-to-air-strikes-in-Tirah
[10] “Kidnapped Sikh found dead in Bara,” The News, January 9, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-153358-Kidnapped-Sikh-found-dead-in-Bara
[11] “Islamabad braces itself for Qadri’s march,” Dawn, January 8, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/islamabad-braces-itself-for-qadris-march/
[12] Amir Mir, “PPP, PML-N to bring anti-establishment caretaker PM,” The News¸ January 9, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20109-PPP,-PML-N-to-bring-anti-establishment-caretaker-PM
[13] Mosi Secret, “Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Terrorism Case,” The New York Times, January 8, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/nyregion/brooklyn-man-sentenced-to-15-years-in-terrorism-case.html?_r=1&
[14] “Nato supply truckers go on strike,” Dawn, January 9, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/09/nato-supply-truckers-go-on-strike/