Pakistan Security Brief - July 11, 2012

Secretary Clinton’s “soft” apology for Salala border strike a carefully crafted statement to accommodate multiple parties; U.S. Ambassador Munter calls on Pakistan to “do more” to address terrorism; U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee members introduce legislation to designate Haqqani Network as Foreign Terrorist Organization; President Zardari to meet with provincial governors to discuss controversial legislation; Militants to target police, security forces, and intelligence personnel; Bus bomb in Karachi kills one person, injures 15 others.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to Reuters, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “soft” apology, aimed at reopening the NATO supply route, was a carefully crafted statement meant to accommodate Pakistani sensitivities, to shield President Barack Obama from criticism during an election year, and to avoid alienating U.S. officials opposed to an apology. An unnamed U.S. official said the apology—issued to Pakistan for the Salala border strike that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead last November—was “not a full-throated apology” but instead a “statement of regret.” Reuters also noted that a key diplomatic breakthrough occurred during Clinton’s talks with President Asif Ali Zardari at the NATO summit in May, and that rising transit costs and growing pressure from NATO allies motivated the U.S. to strike a deal with Pakistan.[1]

  • In an interview with the BBC, U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter called on Pakistan to “do more” to address terrorism in order to receive U.S. financial assistance. He stated, “Pakistan should not become the problem . . . it should help resolve the problem,” and encouraged Pakistan to cooperate with the Afghan government to fight terrorist groups near the border. According to Foreign Policy, the Obama Administration intends to nominate Richard Olsen, previously the coordinating director for development and economic affairs in the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, to succeed Munter as the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.[2]

  • On Tuesday, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee introduced legislation requiring the State Department to designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The legislation is different from that on which the U.S. House delayed a vote on Monday—which would have required the Obama Administration to tell Congress if the Haqqani Network qualified as an FTO—as well as the legislation introduced by members of the House Intelligence, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees last month.[3]   

  • On Tuesday, Senators Carl Levin and Lindsay Graham of the Armed Services Committee said they would vote to approve the release of $1.1 billion in reimbursements to Pakistan through the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). While stating that Pakistan did not deserve the funds, both senators agreed that Pakistan earned the reimbursements through their “anti-terror activity and protecting [U.S. supply] lines.”[4] 

Domestic Politics

  • On Wednesday, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf received a letter from the Supreme Court asking him to reopen corruption investigations against President Zardari. Ashraf has until July 12 to comply with the order, at which time the court will resume its hearing. Meanwhile, President Zardari planned to convene a meeting on Wednesday, consisting of all provincial governors and the president of Jammu and Kashmir, regarding the contempt of court and dual nationality bills introduced by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The contempt of court legislation, which passed the lower house of parliament on Monday, would grant senior government officials immunity from contempt proceedings.[5] 

  • During a hearing on Tuesday, the Supreme Court asked the Balochistan home department and law enforcement agencies to produce all missing persons within a week’s time. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry singled out the Frontier Corps which he said was operating without oversight, was still holding a third of all missing persons reported, and was not taking action in refugee camps where several missing persons were reportedly located. Chaudhry also called for greater coordination among law enforcement agencies on the matter.[6]

  • Rehman Malik, former interior minister and now an advisor to the prime minister for interior affairs, resigned his senate seat on Tuesday. His resignation followed the Supreme Court’s previous decision to suspend his membership in the senate after failing to provide adequate evidence renouncing his British citizenship. Malik, who continues to hold ministerial rank, told the media that he would take whichever position the PPP gave him and would work in support of the dual nationality bill.[7]

Militancy

  • According to a pamphlet found by police, militants are planning to carry out attacks similar to the attack on Monday that resulted in the death of seven soldiers and one policeman at an army camp on the outskirts of Gujrat, Punjab. The pamphlet warned citizens to avoid police, security forces, and intelligence agencies’ personnel, whom militants plan to target in retaliation for the reopening of the NATO supply route last week. A Pakistani intelligence agency specifically warned that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants planned to carry out more attack on government installations.[8]

  • Four people were killed and at least fifteen others injured in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on Wednesday. One person was killed and at least fifteen people were wounded when a bomb exploded near a bus carrying employees of the government’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Organization (SUPARCO) as it passed by Moach Goth, Baldia Town in Karachi. Unidentified assailants also killed three people, including a policeman, in Lyari, Orangi Town, and Gharibabad. Late Tuesday, unidentified gunmen also killed three civilians in Keamari and Muslimabad, and police found two bodies in Sukkun Naddi and Mauripur.[9]

  • Seven people were killed and three others kidnapped during a series of armed attacks in Balochistan late Tuesday. Unidentified gunmen killed five civilians in Shamsabad, Iskalku, and Quetta. Police and Levies Forces recovered two bodies in Gidar valley and Khuzdar district. Unidentified assailants also kidnapped civilians in Quetta, Khuzdar district, and Gwadar district.[10]

  • Unidentified assailants blew up a primary school in Badhaber in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday. No casualties have been reported.[11]

  • On Tuesday, police and Bomb Disposal Squad personnel defused a 20 kilogram explosive device planted at a garden in Balochistan’s Kalat district.[12]   


[1] Missy Ryan and Andrew Quinn, “U.S. crafted Pakistan ‘apology’ to suit allies abroad, opponents at home,” Reuters, July 11, 2012. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/11/us-usa-pakistan-apology-idUSBRE86A05E20120711
[2] “Fighting terror: Munter draws up another ‘to-do list’ for Pakistan,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406541/fighting-terror-munter-draws-up-another-to-do-list-for-pakistan/
Josh Rogin, “Olsen to be next U.S. ambassador to Pakistan,” Foreign Policy, July 10, 2012. Available at http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/10/olsen_to_be_next_us_ambassador_to_pakistan
[3] Julian Pecquet, “Senators introduce bipartisan legislation designating Pakistan-based Haqqanis as terrorists,” The Hill, July 10, 2012. Available at http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/terrorism/237059-senators-introduce-bipartisan-legislation-designating-pakistan-based-haqqanis-as-terrorists
[4] “U.S. Senators for release of funds to Pakistan,” AP, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/11/us-senators-for-release-of-funds-to-pakistan/
[5] “NRO Case: PM has received SC Registrar’s letter,” Geo News, July 11, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=58365
“Contempt of Court bill: Zardari to take governors into confidence,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406579/contempt-of-court-bill-zardari-to-take-governors-into-confidence/
[6] “Balochistan case: SC wants details on bodies being recovered,” Dawn, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/11/balochistan-case-sc-resumes-hearing-3/
“Missing persons case: Supreme Court adamant on FC’s involvement,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406526/missing-persons-case-supreme-court-adamant-on-fcs-involvement/
[7] Hafeez Tunio, “Following suspension: Rehman Malik resigns from Senate,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406565/following-suspension-rehman-malik-resigns-from-senate/
[8] “Army camp attack: Pamphlet vows more attacks if NATO supplies continue,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406573/army-camp-attack-pamphlet-vows-more-attacks-if-nato-supplies-continue/
[9] “Blast in Karachi injures fifteen: reports,” Dawn, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/11/blast-in-karachi-bus-injures-fifteen/
“At least four dead in Karachi’s targeted killings,” Dawn, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/11/at-least-four-dead-in-karachi-target-killing/
“Five more fall prey to ongoing wave of violence in city,” Daily Times, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\07\11\story_11-7-2012_pg12_10
[10] “Killings, kidnappings rock Balochistan,” Daily Times, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\07\11\story_11-7-2012_pg7_4
[11] “Govt schools blown up in Badhaber, Mohmand PESHAWAR/MOHMAND,” Daily Times, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\07\11\story_11-7-2012_pg7_5
[12] “Police foil sabotage bid in Kalat,” Daily Times, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\07\11\story_11-7-2012_pg7_7