Pakistan Security Brief - July 10, 2012

U.S. urges Pakistan to “put squeeze on the Haqqani Network”; Pakistan forgoes $1.3 billion in Coalition Support Fund reimbursement; Pakistani Ambassador Sherry Rehman says approval of U.S. drone strikes not part of supply route deal; Pakistani National Assembly passes contempt of court exemption bill; TTP commander arrested in Battagram; Six people killed in incidents across Karachi.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell urged Pakistan to “put the squeeze on the Haqqani Network.” His comments came after a meeting of the “trilateral core group,” consisting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the U.S., in Tokyo during which the three leaders discussed a range of security and cross-border issues. Meanwhile, the U.S. House was scheduled to vote on Monday on the Haqqani Network Terrorist Designation Act of 2011, which designates the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The vote has been delayed.[1]

  • A senior Pakistani official in the finance ministry said that Pakistan would forgo $1.3 billion in reimbursement claims made under the U.S.’s Coalition Support Fund (CSF). Following the reopening of the NATO supply route, the U.S. agreed to release $1.2 billion in CSF funds—disbursed to countries aiding U.S. counterterrorism efforts—nearly half of the $2.5 billion amount that Pakistan says it is owed. The $1.3 billion figure will be excluded from Pakistan’s reimbursement claims during the July 2010 to April 2011 period. Additionally, the Express Tribune reports that Pakistan will not be charging the U.S. transit fees for NATO supplies.[2]  

  • Despite last week’s announcement of the reopening of the NATO supply route, no NATO supplies have yet cleared the Karachi port, according to the general manager of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT). The official stated that thousands of NATO vehicles and containers were stranded at the KPT and that it would take nearly a month to clear them. The delays were attributed to enhanced security measures requiring port authorities to scan every container due to parliamentary guidelines.[3] 

  • Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman said approval of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan was not part of the deal that led to the reopening of the NATO supply route last week. Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Rehman pointed out that Pakistan considered the drone strikes counterproductive to Pakistani interests because they radicalized “foot soldiers, tribes, and entire villages in [the] region,” and that there are now “better ways of eliminating al Qaeda.” The Ambassador added that Pakistan has consistently deemed the drone strikes in violation of international law.[4]

  • On Monday, Maulana Samiul Haq, chairman of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), announced two additional marches in protest against Pakistan’s reopening of the NATO supply route. The first protest, scheduled for July 14-15, will run from Quetta to Chaman, near the Afghan border in Balochistan province. The second, set for July 16-17, will begin in Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and end in Torkham, a key crossing point for NATO supplies entering Afghanistan. The announcement followed a DPC-organized march that concluded Monday in Islamabad, where nearly 30,000 protesters listened to hard-line Islamist clerics, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, speak against the “anti-terror alliance” between the U.S. and Pakistan. The protests occurred without incident. Similarly, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced on Monday that his party would hold nationwide protests against the government’s decision.[5] 

Domestic Politics

Militancy

  • Police in Battagram on Monday arrested the commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Hazara division, Mohammad Iqbal, alias Qari Basit, and his accomplice Ijazul Haq. Police also seized weapons and explosives during the raid on a mosque in the Gang Gori area in Hazara district. According to Battagram’s District Police Officer (DPO), Qari Basit maintains ties with Maulana Fazlullah and masterminded an attack on a police convoy in Torghar district and a suicide attack targeting the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) provincial president in Battagram that killed 12 policemen. Interrogation of the suspects revealed that Fazlullah, who is hiding in Afghanistan’s Kunar province according to Qari Basit, had ordered them to attack the police headquarters in Torghar and the army headquarters in Kabulgram village in Shangla district.[7]

  • One person was killed and another injured in a series of violent incidents in Balochistan. A worker was injured in Quetta, Balochistan on Monday evening when unidentified assailants fired eight rockets at a private oil and gas exploration company in Barkhan district, according to local Levies sources. In Mastung district, unidentified gunmen killed a local schoolteacher.[8]

  • Six people were killed in separate acts of violence throughout Karachi on Monday. Unidentified assailants killed four people, including an activist of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Nazimabad, FB Area Block 22, Zia Colony, and Sher Shah. Police also found two bodies in Shafiq Morr and Bhains Colony.[9]

  • Unknown militants blew up a state-run boys middle school in the Safi area of Wali Kor in Mohmand agency on Monday night. No casualties have been reported.[10]  

India-Pakistan Relations


[1] Patrick Ventrell, “Daily Press Briefing,” U.S. Department of State, July 9, 2012. Available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2012/07/194761.htm
Huma Imtiaz, “Terrorists?: US Congress to vote on Haqqani network bill,” Express Tribune, July 9, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/405792/terrorists-us-congress-to-vote-on-haqqani-network-bill/
[2] Shahbaz Rana, “War on terror bills: Pakistan forgoes $1.3b claim under CSF,” Express Tribune, July 10, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406110/war-on-terror-bills-pakistan-forgoes-1-3b-claim-under-csf/
[3] Kazim Alam, “No activity on Nato supplies yet, say KPT officials,” Express Tribune, July 10, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406021/no-activity-on-nato-supplies-yet-say-kpt-officials/
[4] “Drone attacks not okayed by Pakistan: Sherry,” Dawn, July 10, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/10/drone-attacks-not-okayed-by-pakistan-sherry/
[5] “Pakistani Islamists to march on Afghan border,” AFP, July 9, 2012. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/pakistani-islamists-protest-over-nato-supply-routes-190640084.html
Kalbe Ali and Amir Yasin, “’Long marchers’ enter capital, peacefully,” Dawn, July 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/10/long-marchers-enter-capital-peacefully/
“NATO supplies issue: JUI-F to hold nationwide protest on July 13,” Express Tribune, July 10, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406071/nato-supplies-issue-jui-f-to-hold-nationwide-protest-on-july-13/
[6] Sajjad Tarakzai, “Pakistan MPs pass bill exempting PM from contempt,” AFP, July 10, 2012. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-mps-pass-bill-exempting-pm-contempt-092724585.html
“Contempt of Court bill challenged in Supreme Court,” Express Tribune, July 10, 2012. http://tribune.com.pk/story/406199/contempt-of-court-bill-challenged-in-supreme-court/
[7] “TTP Hazara head arrested: DPO,” The News, July 10, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-15953-TTP-Hazara-head-arrested:-DPO
“Militant commander arrested in Batagram,” The News, July 9, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-58120-Police-arrest-key-militant-commander-in-Batagram
[8] “Rocket attack injures gas company worker,” The News, July 9, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-58123-Rocket-attack-injures-oil/gas-exploration-company-worker
“Three killed in Mastung firing incidents,” Geo News, July 10, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=58157
[9] “Six, including ANP activist, killed in city violence,” Daily Times, July 10, 2012. Available at http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\07\10\story_10-7-2012_pg12_13
[10] Mureeb Mohmand, “Boys’ school blown up in Safi,” Express Tribune, July 10, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406217/boys-school-blown-up-in-safi/
[11] Zahid Gishkori, “Govt denies covert deal in release of Surjeet, Chishti,” Express Tribune, July 10, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406076/govt-denies-covert-deal-in-release-of-surjeet-chishti/