Pakistan Security Brief - July 18, 2013

U.K Foreign Minister meets with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif; President Hamid Karzai calls the Taliban office in Qatar a plot by the U.S., Pakistan; Prime suspect in attack on Sindh High Court judge dies in custody; Four rangers accused of murder of unarmed taxi driver; NATO aircraft allegedly violate Pakistani airspace; Imran Khan calls for meeting with Nawaz Sharif, army chief; Local bodies elections to occur; 6 killed in Karachi; PML-N to pick presidential candidates; $2 billion increase in IMF loan requested; Iran, Pakistan relations strong, according to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa minister; India to raise new 50,000-strong corps along Chinese border

U.K.-Pakistan Relations

Afghan-Pakistan Relations

  • According to an Associated Press report on Thursday, President Hamid Karzai’s Chief of Staff, Karim Khorram, believes the Taliban’s office in Qatar was a plot by Pakistan or the United States to break up Afghanistan. According to Khorram, ceding portions of South and East Afghanistan to the Taliban would encourage rebellion in other parts of the country as well.[2]

  • On Thursday, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz disclosed that he plans to visit President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan on Saturday. Aziz’s visit will come amidst a cooling of relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Karzai and Aziz are expected to discuss trade and the economy, as well as the contentious Afghan war.[3]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Two NATO aircraft allegedly violated Pakistani airspace on Wednesday evening, according to intelligence sources in Pakstan. The aircraft travelled several kilometers into Pakistan across the Torkham border, before moving back into Afghanistan.  Subsequent military reports deny the incident occurred.[4] 

  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan called for a closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss American drone strikes as an All Parties Conference looms in late July. Khan noted that the meeting would help him, “ascertain all the facts before a more public APC is held to formulate a holistic counter terror policy premised on facts, and not mere political rhetoric.”[5]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On Thursday, Prime Minsiter Nawaz Sharif met with the CEO of Indian Zee TV networkSubhash Chandra to encourage the relaxation of media regulation policies between Pakistan and India; Sharif remarked that more open access to the media could foster better relations between citizens of both countries.  Sharif’s meeting with Chandra follows the Prime Minister’s announcement during a meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague that Pakistan has rekindled “backdoor diplomacy” with India in an effort to improve its relations with all countries.[6]

  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved a plan on Wednesday to station an additional 50,000 troops along the border with China; the move follows a three-week military standoff in April when Chinese forces allegedly crossed the Indian border.  The timeline for the deployment of this new contingent was not immediately clear.[7]

Kashmir Protests

  • On Thursday, Indian security forces killed six protesters and injured dozens more at a Border Security Force station in Kashmir. The protestors were demonstrating against the security force’s intrustion into a local mosque following their allegations that the volume level of prayers was too loud.[8]

Domestic

  • According to an Express Tribune report on Thursday, a high-level meeting involving  Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party leaders, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, convened on Wednesday to discuss potential candidates for the August 6 elections.[9]

  • On Wednesday, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch told the Balochistan provincial assembly that the law and order of Balochistan has improved since the formation of his government and that an elimination of negligence and corruption has been a key aspect of this improvement.[10]

  • Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif met members of a Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) delegation on Wednesday in Lahore. During the meeting, Sharif said that the Pakistan is in a critical stage with regard to terrorism, and that the survival of Pakistan will hinge on its ability to combat extremism in the country.[11] 

  • According to Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leader Senator Mustafa Kamal, the MQM and its members are supporting the London Metropolitan police in their investigation of the murder of former MQM leader Dr. Imran Farooq. Kamal also accused BBC of libeling the MQM, noting that the British media has covered none of the MQM’s “good work” in Pakistan.[12]

  • The Supreme Court of Pakistan has set a July 22 deadline for local governments throughout the provinces to submit a date for their respective local bodies elections.[13] 

Economy 

  • According to a Thursday report in The News, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has formally requested the International Monetary Fund to increase the size of its agreed upon loan from $5.3 billion to $7.3 billion. The IMF's board is expected to meet to deliberate on the deal on September 4. In a separate statement on Wednesay, Dar also claimed that the new loan would not increase Pakistan’s external debts, claiming the new loan would help Pakistan reach targets to repay the old loan.[14]

  • The Pakistani government is in the process of drawing up a list of public sector companies that will either be privatized or restructured to increase profitability, according to Mohammad Zubair, chairman of the Board of Investment. According to Zubair, the process should occur within the next month. Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan State Oil are reportedly in the list's privatization column.[15] 

  • In a meeting with public utility Hubco's chairman Hussein Dawood on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif noted that the private sector’s investment is crucial for alleviating Pakistan’s energy crisis.[16] 

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • In a Wednesday meeting with the Iranian Consul General, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Israrullah Gandapur emphasized Pakistan’s strong relations with Iran, noting that it was the first country to recognize Pakistan. In the meeting, the Iranian Consul General pledged to assist Pakistan in agriculture, industries and power generation, among other sectors.[17] 

Militancy

  • Bashir Leghari, a Lashkar-e-Jhangvi associate and the prime suspect in the June 26 attack against Sindh High Court Justice Maqbool Baqar, died on Wednesday night reportedly from injuries sustained during the standoff with police that led to his capture.  During interrogation, prior to his death, Leghari admitted the organization spent Rs 2.2 million ($21,800) on surveillance and pre-attack planning.[18]

  • Four rangers have been accused in the murder of an unarmed taxi driver on Tuesday in Karachi.  On Thursday, the court placed one of the suspects on physical remand until July 22 while an investigation into the incident is ongoing; three other suspects are reportedly on the run.[19]

  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed an imam in Gul Bahar, Karachi, on Thursday.[20]

  • A blast occurred in the Jamshed Road area of Karachi on Wednesday.  Initial reports suggest a gas cylinder explosion, but the investigation is ongoing.[21]

  • On Wednesday, unidentified gunmen killed an MQM activist and wounded his associate in Baldia Town, Karachi.[22]

  • Police launched a successful operation to rescue a kidnapped child in Karachi on Thursday.  At least three alleged abductors died in the shootout with police, and five law enforcement officers were wounded.[23]

  • Police shot and killed one suspect in Machhar Colony, Karachi, on Wednesday after the man opened fire on a law enforcement patrol; one officer was injured.[24]

  • Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a Frontier Constabulary patrol in the Kamar village of Bajaur agency, FATA, on Thursday.  The attack killed two officers and wounded four others.[25]

  • On Wednesday, unidentified gunmen shot and killed three people in the Karikot area of South Waziristan, FATA, including a tribal elder.[26]

  • Two militants died on Wednesday when the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device they were transporting detonated prematurely in the Nala area of Bara sub-district, Khyber agency, FATA.[27]

  • Two criminals and one Levies officer died during a firefight between law enforcement officers and bandits in Naseerabad district of Balochistan province on Wednesday.[28]

  • Law enforcement officers raided a house in the Gulistan area of Qilla Abdullah, Balochistan province, to recover an abducted person on Wednesday. The ensuing gun battle killed one suspect and one security officer.   Police recovered five firearms and three magazines from the residence.[29]

  • On Thursday, Criminal Investigation Department officials in Kotwali, Balochistan province, arrested 22 suspects in connection with a murder two months ago in a local hospital.[30]

  • Police announced on Wednesday that a man was found shot to death in Tank district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province several days earlier; the victim had been associated with the anti-Taliban militia of Malik Turkistan Bittani.[31]

  • On Thursday, unidentified men in Hyderabad, Sindh province, abducted a Palestinian student of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET).[32]

  • On Tuesday, police disrupted a human-trafficking operation when they raided a house in Jan Mohammad Colony of Jacobabad, Sindh province; they freed four women and a child, and detained one suspect.[33]



[1]“Nawaz meets British FM; Pakistan’s role against terror lauded,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1029943/nawaz-meets-british-fm-pakistans-role-against-terror-lauded 
“We have revived back door diplomacy with India: Nawaz Sharif,” Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/578600/we-have-revived-backdoor-diplomacy-with-india-nawaz-sharif/  
Kamran Yousaf, “Elusive peace in Afghanistan: Pakistan, UK hope Qatar deadlock is temporary,” Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/578548/elusive-peace-in-afghanistan-pakistan-uk-hope-qatar-deadlock-is-temporary/ 
[2]“Taliban office plot to break up Afghanistan: Karzai aide,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1029979/taliban-office-plot-to-break-up-afghanistan-karzai-aide
[3]“Baqir Sajjad Syed,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1029826/aziz-plans-to-visit-kabul-on-saturday
[4]Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Nato aircraft violate Pakistani airspace,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1029733/nato-aircrafts-violate-pakistani-airspace
“Reports Quashed: Military Denies Airspace Violation by NATO Aircraft,” The Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/578541/reports-quashed-military-denies-airspace-violation-by-nato-aircraft/
[5]“Imran Khan calls for closed door meeting with Nawaz, Kayani prior to APC,” Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/578638/imran-khan-calls-for-closed-door-meeting-with-nawaz-kayani-prior-to-apc/ 
[6]“Pakistani Channels in India: Nawaz Calls for Flexible Media Laws,” The Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/578600/we-have-revived-backdoor-diplomacy-with-india-nawaz-sharif/
[7]Prabhudatta Mishra, “India Proposes Boosting Troops Along Chinese Border, PTI Reports,” Bloomberg, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-18/india-proposes-boosting-troops-along-chinese-border-pti-reports.html
[8]“Indian Forces Shoot Dead Six Protesters in Kashmir: Police,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1029956/indian-forces-shoot-dead-six-protesters-in-kashmir-police
[9]“Offices of president, governors: PML-N ponders potential candidates for top jobs,” Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/578490/offices-of-president-governors-pml-n-ponders-potential-candidates-for-top-jobs/ 
[10]Amanullah Kasi, “Law and order situation improving, claims Malik,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1029841/law-and-order-situation-improving-claims-malik
[11]“Survival of Pakistan depends on ending terrorism,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-190677-Survival-of-Pakistan-depends-on-ending-terrorism:-Shahbaz
[12]“Metropolitan Police have spoken to hundreds of MQM activists: Mustafa Kamal,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-190663-Metropolitan-Police-have-spoken-to-hundreds-of-MQM-activists:-Mustafa-Kamal
[13]“SC orders provinces to submit date for LG polls,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1029982/sc-orders-provinces-to-submit-date-for-lg-polls
[14]“IMF loan not to increase external debt: Dar,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-24190-IMF-loan-not-to-increase-external-debt%3a-Dar 
“Pakistan now officially wants $7.3 bn from IMF,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-24193-Pakistan-now-officially-wants-$7.3-bn-from-IMF
[15]Shahbaz Rana, “Govt to sell state-owned companies, including PSO and Pakistan Steel Mills,” July 18, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/578342/govt-to-sell-state-owned-companies-including-pso-and-pakistan-steel-mills/  
[16]“Private sector’s role vital to check energy crisis: Nawaz,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-24188-Private-sectors-role-vital-to-check-energy-crisis%3a-Nawaz
[17]“Pak-Iranian cooperation underline,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-190647-Pak-Iranian-cooperation-underlined
[18]“‘Prime Suspect’ Held for Attack on Justice Baqar Dies,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1029752/prime-suspect-held-for-attack-on-justice-baqar-dies
[19]“CJ Takes Notice of Taxi Driver’s Murder,” The Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/578587/taxi-drivers-murder-court-awards-physical-remand-of-rangers-officer/
“Taxi Driver Killing: Court Orders Physical Remand for Rangers Man,” Dawn, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1029966/taxi-driver-killing-court-orders-physical-remand-for-rangers-man
[20]“Imam Gunned Down in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/578622/imam-gunned-down-in-karachi/
[21]“Blast Heard at Jamshed Road, Karachi,” The News, July 17, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-109809-Blast-heard-at-Jamshed-Road,-Karachi
[22]“MQM Man Killed,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-190572-MQM-man-killed
[23]"4 ‘Kidnappers’ Killed as Police Recover Child in Karachi,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-109876-Four-kidnappers-killed-as-police-recover-child-in-Karachi-
[24]“‘Bandit’ Killed, Cop Hurt in Encounter,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-190599-Bandit-killed,-cop-hurt-in-encounter
[25]“Gunmen Kill 2 Soldiers, Injure 4 in Bajaur: Officials,” The Express Tribune, July 18, 2013.  Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/578593/gunmen-kill-2-soliders-injure-4-in-bajaur-officials/
[26]“Tribal Elder Among Those Three Killed in SWA,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-24204-Tribal-elder-among-three-killed-in-SWA
[27]“Two Militants Killed in Bara Car Blast,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-190699-Two-militants-killed-in-Bara-car-blast
[28]“Five Killed in Balochistan Operations,” The Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/578482/five-killed-in-balochistan-operations/
[29]“Five Killed in Balochistan Operations,” The Express Tribune, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/578482/five-killed-in-balochistan-operations/
“ATF Man Killed in Qila Abdullah,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-190666-ATF-man-killed-in-Qila-Abdullah
[30]“Man Found Dead,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-190613-Man-found-dead
[31]“Ex-Peace Body Member Shot Dead in Tank,” The News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-190649-Ex-peace-body-member-shot-dead-in-Tank
[32]“Palestinian Student Abducted from Hyderabad,” Geo News, July 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-109850-Palestinian-student-abducted-from-Hyderabad
[33]“Kidnapped: Four Women, Minor Rescued by Police,” July 18, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/578397/kidnapped-four-women-minor-rescued-by-police/