Pakistan Security Brief - July 3, 2013

U.S. drone strike kills 17 Haqqani militants in North Waziristan; Afghan Army Chief claims Pakistan complicit in U.S. drone strikes, claims Pakistan could end Afghan war in weeks; TTP Militants kill 6 FC members, wound 7; Second round of IMF talks conclude; John Kerry to visit Pakistan; Security forces make arrests in Quetta, foiling terrorist plots;  Supreme Court awaits government investigation results against Musharraf; Nawaz Sharif visits China; IDPs to return to South Waziristan; 8 killed in Karachi; India, Pakistan to accelerate talks; New York Times Pakistan bureau chief blacklisted.

U.S. Drone Strike

  • A U.S. drone stroke killed 17 suspected Haqqani Network militants on Tuesday evening in Sarai Darpa Khel, just outside Miram Shah, North Waziristan. According to Pakistani security officials and Taliban commanders, two missiles were fired at a house near the Miram Shah Bazaar, killing the militants. The strike is the deadliest this year, and the second drone strike since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took power on June 5. Just hours after the strike, the Foreign Office of Pakistan released a statement condemning the attacks, calling them a violation of Pakistan’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity,” noting that U.S. drone strikes have a detrimental effect on cooperation between the two nations.[1]    

  • In a BBC interview on Wednesday, Afghan Army Chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi claimed that the Pakistani government is working with the U.S. on drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, claiming that the government identifies the militants it wants the U.S. to eliminate. Karimi also claimed that, “the drones are never used against Haqqani militants or Afghan Taliban."[2]

Afghan-Pakistan Relations

IMF Talks and Economy

  • Talks between Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and the visiting delegation of the International Monetary Fund led by Jeffrey Franks concluded on Wednesday, with both sides agreeing to end electricity subsidies and increase tax income in order for Pakistan to receive a new bailout package.[5]

  • Following the success of the talks, the Karachi Stock Exchange jumped up by 281 points, or 1.32 percent.[6]

  • The Pakistan Rupee hit a record low on Wednesday according to Geo News, reportedly falling to Rs 100.5 to a dollar.[7]

Domestic

  • On Wednesday, the Supreme Court disposed of new petitions calling for a treason case against former President Pervez Musharraf and, instead, ordered the government to continue its investigation against Musharraf. According to an official statement, the government has proclaimed that it, “would proceed in accordance with the law and prosecute Musharraf for treason” after consulting with other political parties.[8]   

  • Following a Tuesday meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared that, the “JUI-F can join [the] federal cabinet in the next stage,” after the Dar and Rehman came to a consensus  on national priorities.[9] 

Sino-Pak Relations 

  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a five-day tour in China. Sharif is slated to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiant and economic and financial leaders in China. Sharif is expected to discuss trade, as well as Chinese mining and power plant investment in Pakistan.[10]

Indo-Pak Relations

  • Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz announced that Pakistan and India have expressed mutual interest in accelerating confidence building measures with one another. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are scheduled to meet in September, but Aziz announced that a meeting between the two could come sooner.[11] 

U.S.-Pakistan Relations  

  • According to a Wednesday report in Dawn, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Islamabad on July 28 and 29 to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Kerry had been expected to visit Pakistan in late June, but delayed the visit, citing the civil war in Syria as a pressing issue.[12]

  • According to an Express Tribune report on Wednesday, the New York Times Pakistan bureau chief, Declan Walsh, has been blacklisted by the Pakistani interior ministry and declared “persona non grata.” Reportedly, Walsh, “was expelled due to false journalism against Pakistan.”[13]                     

Militancy   

  • Ahmad Farooq, al Qaeda’s head of media in Pakistan, acknowledged the death of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) deputy leader Wali-ur-Rehman in a video released by al Qaeda on June 26, calling Rehman a leader of true Pakistani Muslims, rather than the democratically elected government.  Farooq also criticized the May 11 elections, citing the low voter turnout as evidence of the failure of democracy in Pakistan.[14]

  • Unidentified militants attacked a Frontier Constabulary unit in the Kishan Ganga region of Peshawar on Tuesday night, killing six and wounding at least seven others.  Additionally, three members of the Khasadars, a paramilitary police unit, are missing.  In a statement provided to the Express Tribune today, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan took responsibility for the attack as retaliation for the death of Wali ur-Rehman in late May.  Ehsan also reiterated that the TTP has withdrawn its offer of talks with the newly-elected government.[15]

  • Unidentified gunmen wounded three people on Tuesday in the Samanabad Chowk area of Lahore, Punjab province.[16]

  • Security forces defused a bomb on Davis Road in Lahore on Tuesday.[17]

  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed one man yesterday in the Doaba area of Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.[18]

  • On Tuesday, police located and defused a bomb at a primary school in the Serai Naurang sub-district of Lakki Marwat district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.[19]

  • Yesterday, approximately 650 families of internally displaced persons (IDPs) departed a refugee camp in Tank district, Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, to return to South Waziristan as part of an ongoing repatriation campaign.[20]

  •  Unidentified militants detonated an improvised explosive devise (IED) outside a house on Tuesday in the Shadi Khel area of Lakki Marwat district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.  Although the bomb caused some structural damage, there were no casualties.[21]

  • The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday denied bail to six terror suspects accused of carrying out attacks and bombings in the weeks leading up to the May 11 general elections. The suspects were reportedly involved in an April 11 bombing targeting Awami National Party (ANP) members as well as a May 11 bombing in Maqsoodabad, Peshawar.[22]

  •  The Federal Investigation Agency detained one unnamed man and seized hundreds of unregistered SIM cards, possibly used to plot terrorist or criminal activities, following yesterday’s raid on a shop in Mera Kachori, Peshawar.[23]

  •  In response to recent violence in Quetta and Nanga Parbat, clerics from the Sunni Ittehad Council issued a fatwa on Saturday condemning suicide attacks and militancy against foreign tourists.  The same council issued a fatwa last October condemning the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s attack on women’s education advocate Malala Yousafzai.[24] 

  • On Wednesday, security forces arrested six suspected militants in a private hospital in Quetta, all of who were reportedly wounded when the explosives and bombs they were transporting in a vehicle across the Afghan border near Noshki district exploded. In a separate incident, Frontier Corps members raided a home in Killi Nasarabad Quetta, detaining two militants and discovering a large cache of explosive. In Bolan, Levies personnel also defused a 14 kilogram explosive device and arrested two more suspected militants.[25]

  • Another victim succumbed to injuries sustained in Sunday’s suicide attack on Hazara Town, Quetta, brining the incident’s death toll to 31.[26]

  •  A bomb exploded on  Wednesday night, killing one person in the vicinity of the Aman Tanzeem checkpoint and Zakha Khel Bazar in Landi Kotal sub-district, Khyber agency.[27]

  • A woman sustained injuries on Tuesday after stepping on a landmine in the Katkot area of Mamund sub-district, Bajaur agency.[28]

  • A landmine explosion in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency killed one member of the Zakhakhel tribal militia and injured another on Tuesday.[29]

  • Five members of a local anti-Taliban militia were wounded during a routine patrol on Tuesday when a roadside IED detonated in Baizai, Mohmand agency.[30]

  • The 26,000 internally displaced persons expected to return to Chappar Ferozkhel, Orakzai agency were stopped from leaving a Hangu relief camp on Tuesday after suspected militants in the area threatened to attack the IDPs during their journey home.[31]

  • The legal advocate for the Sindh government, Shiraz Ahmed Chaudhry, speaking before the Supreme Court yesterday, claimed that a sudden spate of demotions among law enforcement officers would  undermine counterterrorism efforts; her comments address recent controversy about rectifying allegedly undeserved promotions in the police force.[32]

  • Police from the Crime Investigation Department arrested an unspecified number of individuals in connection with last week’s attack on Sindh High Court judge, Justice Maqbool Baqar, during a Wednesday raid in the Manghopir area of Karachi.[33]

  • One woman was killed on Wednesday by unidentified gunmen in the Agra Taj Colony area of Lyari, Karachi.[34]

  • One man was injured in the Qayyumabad area of Karachi last night after unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle threw a low-intensity explosive device outside a car dealership.[35]

  • 5 people were killed in Karachi in separate shootings on Wednesday. Two MQM activists were killed, one on Nauman Avenue by unknown gunmen on foot, and another by unknown gunmen on a motorcycle. An estate agent was also shot in North Karachi, and a fruit seller was killed in Eidgah. A mutilated body was also found in the Docks area.[36]

  • Unidentified gunmen opened fire in the Saddar area of Karachi on Wednesday, killing one man.[37]

  • On Wednesday, unidentified gunmen shot and killed one man in the Korangi 5 area of Karachi.[38]

  • Unidentified gunmen wounded one man in the Quaidabad area of Karachi today.[39] 

  • One man was wounded last night by unidentified gunmen near Ranchor Line, Karachi.[40]

      


 
[1]Jibran Ahmed, “Drone attack kills 17 in Pakistan’s Waziristan region,” Reuters, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/03/us-pakistan-drone-attack-idUSBRE96205820130703
Salman Masood, Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud, “U.S. Drone Strike in Pakistan kills at least 16,” Washington Post, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/world/asia/drone-attack-pakistan.html?_r=0 
“FO condemns North Waziristan drone attack,” Dawn, July 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1022504/fo-condemns-north-waziristan-drone-attack 
“KP minister vows to move ICJ against drone strikes,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187369-KP-minister-vows-to-move-ICJ-against-drone-attacks
[2] “Pakistan complicit in U.S. drone strikes: Afghan army chief,” Express Tribune, July 3, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571800/pakistan-complicit-in-us-drone-strikes-afghan-army-chief/ 
[3] “’Unleashing the Taliban’: Pakistan shuns Afghan army chief’s comments,” Express Tribune, July 3, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571856/unleashing-the-taliban-pakistan-shuns-afghan-army-chiefs-comments/ 
[4] “Af-Pak cooperation vital to peace, says UN,” Pajhwok, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2013/07/02/af-pak-cooperation-vital-peace-says-un
[5] “Pakistan, IMF finalize talks on fresh loan package,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107709-Pakistan,-IMF-finalise-talks-on-fresh-bailout-package
[6] “Karachi Stock Exchange 100-Index up by 281 points,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107679-Pakistan-stocks-close-higher-on-successful-IMF-talks
[7]“Rupee hits a century to a dollar in interbank market,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107753-Rupee-falls-to-record-Rs100-to-a-dollar-in-interbank-market
[8] “SC disposes of Musharraf treason petitions, directs govt to continue course,” Dawn, July 3, 2013. Available at http://beta.dawn.com/news/1022503/sc-disposes-of-musharraf-treason-petitions-directs-govt-to-continue-course
[9] “Maulana Fazl says close to joining the government,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107652-Fazl-claims-consensus-on-priorities-after-meeting-PML-N-leaders
[10] “PM Nawaz Sharif arrives for 5-day visit to China,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107728-PM-Nawaz-Sharif-leaves-for-5-day-visit-to-China
[11]Mariana Baaber, “Pakistan wants progress on CBMs with India: Sartaj Aziz,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-23856-Pakistan-wants-progress-on-CBMs-with-India%3a-Sartaj-Aziz
[12]“Kerry accepts invitation to Pakistan,” Dawn, July 3, 2013. Available at http://beta.dawn.com/news/1022297/kerry-accepts-invitation-to-pakistan
[13]Asad Kharal, “High-profile explusion: Declan Walsh declared persona non grata,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/571671/high-profile-expulsion-declan-walsh-declared-persona-non-grata/ 
[14]“Al-Qaeda official slams democracy, acknowledges Wali ur-Rehman’s death,” SITE, July 2, 2013. Available at http://ent.siteintelgroup.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11972:al-qaeda-official-slams-democracy-acknowledges-wali-ur-rahman-s-death&catid=9&Itemid=880
[15] “6 FC Soldiers Killed in Peshawar Militant Attack,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107714-6-paramilitary-soldiers-killed-in-Peshawar-militant-attack-
Riaz Ahmad, “Militants Kill 6 FC men in Attack on Check Post Near Peshawar: Officials,” The Express Tribune, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571813/militants-kill-6-in-attack-on-checkpoint-near-peshawar-officials/
Tahir Khan, “Part of the plan: TTP Says Govt has no Real Powers to End Bloodshed,” The Express Tribune, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571863/part-of-the-plan-ttp-says-govt-has-no-real-powers-to-end-bloodshed/
[16] “Firing in Lahore injures 3,” The Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571354/firing-in-lahore-injures-3/
[17]“Bomb Defused on Davis Road,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-187468-Bomb-defused-on-Davis-Road
[18] “Man Gunned Down in Hangu,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187358-Man-gunned-down-in-Hangu
[19]“Explosive Device Defused,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187356-Explosive-device-defused
[20] “649 IDP Families Leave for SWA,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187371-649-IDP-families-leave-for-SWA
[21]Ghulam Akbar, “Extortion Mafia: Blast in Lakki Marwat Partially Destroys House,” The Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571466/extortion-mafia-blast-in-lakki-marwat-partially-destroys-house/
[22]“Bail plea of six terror suspects rejected,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187379-Bail-plea-of-six-terror-suspects-rejected
[23] “Unregistered SIM Cards Recovered,” The Times, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-187502-Unregistered-SIM-cards-recovered
[24] “Suicide Attack the Biggest Sin in Islam: Fatwa,” The Express Tribune, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571677/suicide-attack-the-biggest-sin-in-islam-fatwa/
Jon Boone, “Malala Yousafzai: 'Fatwa' Issued Against Gunmen,” The Guardian, October 12, 2012. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/12/malala-yousafzai-fatwa-gunmen-pakistan
[25]Syed Ali Shah, “Security forces make arrests in Noshki, foil terror bids in Quetta and Bolan,” Dawn, July 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1022547/security-forces-make-arrests-in-noshki-foil-terror-bids-in-quetta-and-bolan
[26] “Hazara Town Blast: Death Toll Rises to 31,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107735-Hazara-Town-blast%3a-Death-toll-rises-to-31
[27] “Blast in Landikotal Kills One,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187368-Blast-in-Landikotal-kills-one
“Blast in  Khyber Agency Kills Aman Tanzeem Volunteer,” The Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571341/blast-in-khyber-agency-kills-aman-tanzeem-volunteer/
[28] “Woman Injured in Bajaur Landmine Last,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187375-Woman-injured-in-Bajaur-landmine-blast
[29]“Volunteer Killed in Tirah Blast,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-187497-Volunteer-killed-in-Tirah-blast
[30] “Five peace body members hurt in Mohmand blast,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-187367-Five-peace-body-members-hurt-in-Mohmand-blast
[31] “Terrorist threat stops IDPs’ return to Orakzai,” Dawn, July 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/news/1022400/terrorist-threat-stops-idps-return-to-orakzai
[32]Naeem Sahoutara, “Overnight Withdrawal Of Policemen Will Affect Counter-Terrorism Efforts,’” The Express Tribune, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571562/overnight-withdrawal-of-policemen-will-affect-counter-terrorism-efforts/
Faraz Khan, “Out-of-Turn Promotions: Sindh Govt Fears Surge in Attacks if Officers Demoted,” The Express Tribune, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571561/out-of-turn-promotions-sindh-govt-fears-surge-in-attacks-if-officers-demoted/
[33] “Justice Maqbool Baqar Attack: Mastermind Arrested in Karachi,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107794-Justice-Maqbool-Baqar-attack:-Mastermind-arrested-in-Karachi-
[34] “Woman Among Five Gunned Down in Karachi,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107766-Woman-among-five-gunned-down-in-Karachi
[35]“Cracker: Man Injured in Explosion Outside Car Showroom,” The Express Tribune, July 2, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/571542/cracker-man-injured-in-explosion-outside-car-showroom/
[36]“Two MQM activists among five killed,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-187453-Two-MQM-activists-among-five-killed
[37] “Woman Among Five Gunned Down in Karachi,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107766-Woman-among-five-gunned-down-in-Karachi
[38]“Woman Among Five Gunned Down in Karachi,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107766-Woman-among-five-gunned-down-in-Karachi
[39]“Woman Among Five Gunned Down in Karachi,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107766-Woman-among-five-gunned-down-in-Karachi
[40]“Woman Among Five Gunned Down in Karachi,” The News, July 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-107766-Woman-among-five-gunned-down-in-Karachi