Pakistan Security Brief - July 2, 2013

Death toll of Badaber blast rises to 18, Nawaz Sharif makes emergency visit to Quetta, calls for apprehension of Quetta bombers; Pakistan attempts to repair Afghan relations; Progress made on IMF talks; ISAF chief General Dunford meets with army chief General Kayani; John Kerry meets with Sartaj Aziz; Civilian deaths in drone strikes at an all-time low; IED kills one, wounds 3 in Kurram; 10 killed in Karachi; Karachi slated for a record year of extortion; JUI-F chief calls for federal anti-terror strategy; Power tariffs increase; Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to meet in September; Musharraf cites “security concerns” in missing court appearance; Government seeking to re-open case against Zardari.

 

 Afghan-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, Foreign Office Spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry attempted to cool tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, following Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s incensed reaction to Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz’s proposed power sharing agreement between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban. According to Chaudhry, “Pakistan wants to see a peaceful, united, prosperous and stable Afghanistan. To that end Pakistan has been making constructive contributions.”[1]

IMF Talks and Economy

  • According to a Dawn report on Tuesday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Jeffery Fran, leader of the IMF delegation, are closer to an agreement on a $5.4 billion loan package after a meeting on Monday. Pakistan is also looking to receive a $5.6 billion loan from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. In exchange for the loan, the government has pledged to reduce its fiscal deficit by 4.5 percent over the next three years.[2]

  • On Tuesday, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) announced an increase in power tariffs of Rs1.12 ($.01) per unit. The change is expected to raise Rs 6 billion ($60 million) retroactively for May.[3]

  • According to Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif on Monday, terrorism within Pakistan can only be resolved if the economy is revamped, and social inequalities are eliminated from Pakistan. Sharif also urged the federal government to provide basic services like education and health services, which could stave off extremism.[4]

 U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander General Joseph E. Dunford met with Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani on Tuesday. Reportedly, the two discussed matters of mutual interest and coordination measures between Pakistani and ISAF forces.[5]

  • The Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday in Brunei during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional forum. According to The News, bilateral relations and Afghanistan were discussed during their brief meeting.[6]   

  • According to a report released by Bureau of Investigative Journalism on Tuesday, civilian deaths due to drone strikes are at an all-time low. Reportedly, both the number of drone strikes and the average number of deaths per strike have fallen dramatically; the average number of deaths per strike is now approximately 4, one third of what it was in 2009.[7]

  • According to a Tuesday Defense News report, the Pakistani military may receive some of the surplus U.S. equipment from the Afghanistan drawdown. However, the U.S. equipment will not include Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, which are sorely needed by the Pakistan Army. Pakistan’s own MRAP development has been slow, and financially hamstrung. According to the report, “Pakistan is finding it extremely difficult to meet the day-to-day costs of military operations” even without the development of an MRAP vehicle.[8]

  • U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson met with Pakistan Higher Education Commission Executive Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmed to celebrate the U.S.-Pakistan Higher Education Initiative, linking five major Pakistani universities with five U.S. universities to strengthen civic engagement in higher education in Pakistan.[9]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet in September at the U.N. General Assembly, according to special advisor Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday. [10]

  •  Sartaj Aziz met with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday in Brunei in the first high-level dialogue between Indian and Pakistan officials since Nawaz Sharif’s May 11 election. The two discussed bilateral trade and expressed mutual interest in strengthening ties, using the Pakistan-India Joint Business Council as a means of maintaining cooperation. According to Aziz, improving relations with India is one of Nawaz Sharif’s top priorities.[11]

 Sino-Pakistani Relations

  • According to a Tuesday report in the Express Tribune, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will ask China for aid in several energy projects when he visits Beijing on July 4. In particular, Sharif hopes for cooperation and loans on a 1,100 MW nuclear power plant, a 969MW hydropower project and an oil refinery at Gwadar port.[12]

Domestic

Militancy  

  • The death toll of a Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) car bomb attack in Badaber, just outside Peshawar, rose to 18 on Monday morning after a critically wounded man expired from his wounds. A total of 47 people were wounded in the blast that took place on Sunday. [15]

  • Following Sunday’s bombings, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Quetta on Tuesday on an emergency basis to discuss the law and order situation of Balochistan's capital with Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Abul Malik Baloch. During the visit, Sharif challenged the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau to catch the culprits of the bombing, and scolded law enforcement officials, declaring, ”the administration here needs to bring improvement in their governance and the authorities in police need to realize their duty.”[16] 

  • Echoing statements from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called for a comprehensive, federal anti-terrorism policy on Tuesday. According to Jan Achakzai, Rehman’s spokesman, “the confidence of the people in the government will shatter if it fails to give any roadmap to arrest the situation.”[17]

  • A tribesman was killed, and three others were wounded on Monday after a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in Akka Khel, Kurram agency. The victims were riding in a vehicle en route to Parachinar.[18] 

  • According to military officials on Tuesday, 50,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) will complete repatriation to Kurram agency’s Parachamkani area by the start of Ramadan. The citizens had been displaced after military operations to clear the region began in early May.[19]

  • On Monday, despite the expiration of many of the Afghan refugee registration cards, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) declared that Afghan refugees in Pakistan will continue to be protected as refugees, and no action will be taken against them.[20]

  • Unknown gunmen riding a motorcycle shot and killed a shopkeeper on Toghi Road, Quetta on Tuesday.[21]  

  • 10 people were killed on Monday in Karachi in a series of attacks across the Sindh capital. In New Karachi, two Sunni Tehreek (ST) activists were shot by unknown gunmen on motor bikes, while a third ST activist was shot and killed at a factory in Baldia. Authorities have designated the attacks as political target killings. In Gulzar-e-Ibrahim, a senior Jamiat-e-Islami (JI) activist was shot and killed at a steel mill. Two brothers were slain in Labour square, while a young man was gunned down in Kalri. Bodies were also found in Sohrab Goth, Kati Pahari and Lyari.[22]   

  • According to Karachi's Citizen's Police Liason Committee (CPLC) chief on Tuesday, Karachi is set to have a record year for extortions. 630 complaints have already been registered this year, compared to 589 all of last year.  Reportedly, the TTP has contributed to this growth, ramping up extortion demands and killing dozens of policemen in the city.[23]

  • On Tuesday, five people were wounded  in Lyari after an unknown perpetrator threw a grenade down Alfalah road, Karachi.[24]

  • On Monday, unknown men intermittently fired weapons in the streets of Lyari, Karachi panicking residents throughout Bihar and Kalri. No casualties have been reported yet.[25] 

  • District police arrested five people accused of murder and other crimes throughout Karachi on Monday.[26]

  • Three men lobbed grenades into the home of a man in Dargai, Charsadda, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday, destroying the man’s home. Police arrested two of the men following the attacks, while the third man managed to escape.[27] 


[1]  Baqir Sajjad Syed, “FO defends Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan,” Dawn, July 2, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1022113/fo-defends-pakistans-role-in-afghanistan
[2] “Govt hopes for $5.4 bn from IMF, $5.6 bn from others,” July 2, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1022116/govt-hopes-for-54bn-from-imf-56bn-from-others
[3] “Power tariff increased by Rs1.12 per unit,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/570993/power-tariff-increased-by-rs1-12-per-unit/ 
[4] “Terrorism to be resolved through economic overhaul: CM Shahbaz,” Dawn, July 2, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1022246/terrorism-to-be-resolved-through-economic-overhaul-cm-shahbaz
[5] “ISAF commander and army chief talk coordination measures,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571402/isaf-commander-and-army-chief-talk-coordination-measures/ 
[6] “Sartaj Aziz, John Kerry meet in Brunei,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107613-Aziz,-Kerry-discuss-bilateral-relations-in-Brunei- 
[7] “Civilian deaths in Pakistan drone attacks at all-time low: Report,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571174/power-crisis-pm-to-carry-wish-list-of-projects-to-beijing/
[8] “Continuing IED attacks draw attention to Pakistan’s MRAP shortage,” Defense News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130701/DEFREG03/307010019/Continuing-IED-Attacks-Draw-Attention-Pakistan-s-MRAP-Shortage
[9] “Linking of top Pakistani, U.S. universities celebrated,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-187212-Linking-of-top-Pakistani,-US-universities-celebrated
[10] “Sharif, Singh likely to meet in September,” Dawn, July 2, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1022238/sharif-singh-likely-to-meet-in-september
[11] “Sartaj Aziz, Salman Khurshid meet in Brunei,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107615-Sartaj-Aziz,-Salman-Khurshid-meet-in-Brunei  
“Pak-India ties: Economic cooperation and trade to take things forward,” Express Tribune, June 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571428/pak-india-ties-economic-cooperation-and-trade-to-take-things-forward/  
[12]Zafar Bhutta, “Power crisis: PM to carry wish list of projects to Beijing,” Express Tribune, June 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571174/power-crisis-pm-to-carry-wish-list-of-projects-to-beijing/
[13]“BB case: Musharraf fails to appear in court for security reasons,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571285/bb-case-musharraf-fails-to-appear-in-court-for-security-reasons/ 
[14]Ansar Abbasi, “Pakistan files appeal to reopen Swiss cases,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-23829-Pakistan-files-appeal-to-reopen-Swiss-cases
[15] “More casualties: Death toll of Badhaber blast rises to 18,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571021/more-casualties-death-toll-of-badhaber-blast-rises-to-18/ 
[16]“Nawaz arrives in Quetta to review law and order situation,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107641-PM-arrives-in-Quetta-to-assess-law-and-order-situation-  
“Balochistan crisis: Nawaz directs ISI, IB to catch Hazara town bombers,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571395/hazara-tragedy-nawaz-sharif-visits-quetta-to-discuss-security-situation/
[17] “JUI-F urges govt to frame anti-terrorism policy,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187243-JUI-F-urges-govt-to-frame-anti-terrorism-policy
[18]Mehdi Hussain, “Roadside explosion: One killed, three injured in IED blast,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571023/roadside-explosion-one-killed-three-injured-in-ied-blast/ 
[19]Delawar Jan, “Officials say 50, 000 Kurram IDPs repatriation to complete before Ramazan,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-187222-Officials-say-50,000-Kurram-IDPs-repatriation-to-complete-before-Ramazan
[20] “DPs can live in Pakistan after expiry of cards,” Dawn, July 2, 2013. Available at http://beta.dawn.com/news/1022120/dps-can-live-in-pakistan-after-expiry-of-cards
[21] “Shopkeeper shot dead in Quetta,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107622-Shopkeeper-shot-dead-in-Quetta
[22]“Four religious activists among 10 killed,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-187146-Four-religious-activists-among-10-killed
[23]“For Karachi, 2013 will be a record year of extortion demands: Police,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571302/for-karachi-2013-will-be-a-record-year-of-extortion-demands-police/ 
[24] “5 injured in Lyari grenade attacks,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571375/5-injured-in-lyari-grenade-attack/ 
[25]“Heavy gunfire shakes parts of Lyari,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107570-Heavy-gunfire-shakes-parts-of-Lyari
[26] “Five ‘outlaws’ arrested,” The News, July 2, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-187154-Five-outlaws-arrested
[27] “Property destroyed: Extortionists lob grenade inside house,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571105/property-destroyed-extortionists-lob-grenade-inside-house/