Pakistan Security Brief - July 12, 2012

Prime Minister Ashraf says NATO supply route decision “in interest of regional peace and stability”; Bureaucratic delays responsible for limited passage of NATO supply trucks at border crossings; Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to visit Washington for strategic dialogue; President Zardari signs bill exempting senior officials from contempt proceedings; Former Ambassador Hussain Haqqani ordered to appear before Supreme Court for memo hearing; Army helicopter crashes during test flight; TTP militants kill nine policemen in Lahore; Afghanistan-based militants launch cross-border attack in Bajaur agency.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • In a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said Pakistan’s decision to reopen the NATO supply route was “in the interest of regional peace and stability.” The route was closed last November following a U.S. border strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. During the meeting, Ashraf pledged to help with Afghanistan’s reconciliation process and committed $20 million in financial assistance. He also favored the U.S.’s new policy of “trade not aid” but noted that the U.S. should respect Pakistan’s redlines. At another appearance on Wednesday, Munter praised Pakistan as a hardworking and courageous nation, and said that Pakistan was moving toward a better future. [1]

  • Pakistani officials on Wednesday said that bureaucratic delays were responsible for the limited number of NATO supply trucks that had so far crossed into Afghanistan. Last Thursday, two trucks passed through the Chaman border crossing in Balochistan, while four trucks arriving from Karachi are currently sitting at the crossing. Meanwhile, no trucks have passed through the Torkham crossing in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Officials blamed the delays on the need to obtain permissions and process paperwork as well as enhanced security measures.[2]

  • A Pakistani diplomat confirmed that Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar planned to visit Washington soon to reach a “clear-cut” deal on the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. The deal, a resumption of the Obama Administration’s strategic dialogue with Pakistan, will reportedly entail a written agreement identifying areas of cooperation, such as the NATO supply route, as well as “no-go” areas.[3]  

Domestic Politics

Army Helicopter Crash

  • During a test flight on Wednesday, an Army Aviation M-17 helicopter crashed at Skardu airport in Pakistan’s Northern Areas, killing all five passengers. The helicopter caught fire during the flight, though the reason for the fire is not yet known.[7]      

Militancy

  • At least nine police officers were killed and eight others injured on Thursday when at least ten militants opened fire on a residence in the Ichra neighborhood of Lahore, Pakistan that was housing 32 officers training to become prison guards or wardens. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehasnullah Ehsan later claimed credit, saying the attack was in retaliation for the torture of Taliban inmates in prisons in northwestern Pakistan. Speaking via telephone from an undisclosed location, the Taliban spokesman said that attacks will continue “if [jail police] do not stop mistreatment and insult of our mujahedeen.” Police suspect the militants who carried out the attack are the same gunmen that killed seven soldiers and one policeman at a riverside military camp in Gujrat on Monday. [8]

  • Four men, including two soldiers and two personnel of a local peace militia, were injured on Thursday when suspected militants based in Afghanistan attacked them in the Katkot area of Mamund sub-district in Bajaur agency, near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Pakistani security forces killed four militants and injured six others in retaliatory fire. They also recovered scores of villagers who had been kidnapped by the militants, though dozens are still being held.[9]

  • On Thursday, police found the bodies of seven coal miners who were abducted by members of the Balochistan Liberation Army in the Soorang area of Balochistan last week. Police discovered the bodies dumped on a roadside in Degari, according to administration official Zafar Bokhari.[10] 

  • Police found the bodies of two civilians who had been kidnapped from Satellite Town over two weeks ago in the Mian Gundi area on the outskirts of Quetta, Balochistan on Wednesday. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) claimed responsibility for the killing in writing on slips found on the two bodies.[11]

  • Six people were killed in a series of violent incidents in Karachi late Wednesday. Unidentified gunmen killed five civilians, including two activists of the Awami National Party (ANP) and one activist of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), near MA Jinnah Road, Orangi town, and Nazimabad. Police also found a body in the Gulshan-e-Tauheed area of Manghopir.[12]  



[1] “Restoration of Nato routes for regional peace & stability: Ashraf,” APP, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/11/restoration-of-nato-routes-for-regional-peace-stability-ashraf/
“Pakistan moving towards better future, says Cameron Munter,” The News, July 12, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-119973-Pakistan-moving-towards-better-future,-says-Munter
[2] Rebecca Santana, “Bureaucracy slows NATO supplies through Pakistan,” AP, July 11, 2012. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/bureaucracy-slows-nato-supplies-pakistan-181011702.html
[3] Kamran Yousaf, “Khar to visit Washington to chalk out ‘clear-cut’ deal,” Express Tribune, July 12, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/407106/khar-to-visit-washington-to-chalk-out-clear-cut-deal/
[4] “President signs contempt of court bill into law,” Dawn, July 12, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/12/president-signs-contempt-of-court-bill-into-law/
“Govt to defer response in NRO implementation case,” Dawn, July 11, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/11/govt-to-defer-response-in-nro-implementation-case/
[5] “Memogate: Haqqani given 3-day deadline to submit plea seeking summoning review,” AFP, July 12, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/407265/memogate-haqqani-given-3-day-deadline-to-submit-plea-seeking-summoning-review/
“Hussain Haqqani explains why he can’t return to Pakistan for memo case,” The News, July 12, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-119984-Haqqani-explains-why-he-cannot-return-to-Pakistan-for-Memo-case
[6] Zia Khan, “Transition time: PPP, PML-N set for talks on caretaker setup,” Express Tribune, July 12, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/407162/transition-time-ppp-pml-n-set-for-talks-on-caretaker-setup/
[7] Shabbir Mir, “Skardu accident: Army chopper crash kills five,” Express Tribune, July 12, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/407164/skardu-accident-army-chopper-crash-kills-five/
[8] Waqar Gillani and Salman Masood, “Attack on Pakistan Police Compound Leaves at Least 9 Dead,” New York Times, July 12, 2012. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/world/asia/gunmen-attack-pakistan-police-compound.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss
Zaheer Babar, “Pakistani Taliban attack police compound; 9 killed,” AP, July 12, 2012. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/pakistani-taliban-attack-police-compound-9-killed-080017300.html
“TTP claims responsibility of Lahore attack,” Geo News, July 12, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=58485
[9] “Four wounded as Afghan militants attack Pakistani security forces,” Dawn, July 12, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/07/12/four-wounded-as-afghan-militants-attack-pakisani-security-forces/
“Militants coming from Afghanistan take scores of villagers hostage in Pakistan,” AP, July 12, 2012. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/police-gunmen-attack-compound-housing-policemen-in-eastern-pakistan-killing-9/2012/07/12/gJQAW5XeeW_story.html
[10] “Abductors kill seven coal miners in Pakistan,” AFP, July 12, 2012. Available at http://news.yahoo.com/abductors-kill-seven-coal-miners-pakistan-090350001.html
[11] “Two including Imam Bargah cleric beheaded in Quetta,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/406855/two-including-imam-bargah-cleric-beheaded-in-quetta/
[12] “Two gunned down in Karachi,” Geo News, July 12, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=58489
“Three political activists, minor killed in Karachi,” Daily Times, July 12, 2012. Available at http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\07\12\story_12-7-2012_pg7_28