Pakistan Security Brief - July 8, 2011

Mullen: Pakistan “sanctioned” Shahzad murder; U.S. says Ilyas Kashmiri is dead; U.S., Pakistani, and Afghan officials meet to discuss border incidents; Forty-two militants killed in Kurram offensive; NATO allegedly shells North Waziristan security post from Afghanistan; Pakistani Taliban commanders hosted by Afghan militant commanders across border; Eight militants killed in Upper Dir clashes; Eighty-five killed in last four days in Karachi.

 

    U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Thursday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen stated that he believed the Pakistani government had “sanctioned” the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad, making him the first U.S. official to make such a claim publicly. Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been widely suspected of abducting and killing Shahzad, but Mullen did not confirm that his suspicions were focused on the intelligence agency. Earlier this week, Obama administration officials anonymously expressed they believed the ISI was responsible for the murder. An unnamed Pakistani government spokesman rejected Mullen’s statement and said it was “irresponsible” of him to make the claim.[i]

  • On Thursday, Reuters reported the U.S. was ready to declare that they now believe terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri is dead. Kashmiri, who led the al Qaeda-affiliated Harkat-ul-Jihad-ul-Islami (HuJI,) was reported dead after a drone strike in early June. The U.S. was initially hesitant to confirm Kashmiri’s death given a history of false death reports.[ii]

  • On Thursday, U.S., Pakistani, and Afghan officials met in Peshawar to discuss recent incidents along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. A statement released after the meeting said a hotline had been proposed to facilitate communication between the Pakistani and Afghan security forces.[iii]

FATA

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

  • The Express Tribune reports army officials have asked the civilian government to take control of Swat two years after the military operation that expelled the Taliban from the region. Officials told the Express Tribune the government may be reluctant to withdraw the army and leave the task of securing Swat to the police because they think the Taliban could return. The army reportedly wants to redeploy the over 7,000 troops currently patrolling Swat to “other troubled areas.”[vii]

  • On Thursday, eight militants and two local lashkar members were killed in continuing clashes in Barawal tehsil of Upper Dir. According to The News, 800-1,000 militants crossed from Afghanistan and attacked “the civilian population and security forces checkposts.”[viii]

Karachi

  • In the last four days, up to eighty-five people have been killed in targeted killings in Karachi. Sources say up to thirty-seven people were killed on Thursday alone. Eighty-nine have been arrested in connection with the killings. Security forces have been ordered to shoot those committing violent acts on-sight. An extra 1,000 Frontier Constabulary personnel have been deployed to keep the peace in Karachi.[ix]

[i] “Mullen ties Pakistanis to Journalist’s killing,” NYT, July 8, 2011. Available at
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/08/world/asia/08mullen.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss “Pakistan Spies Tied to Slaying of Journalist,” NYT, July 8, 2011. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/world/asia/05pakistan.html “Pakistan slams US allegation over slain journalist,” AP, July 8, 2011. Available at http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110708/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_journalist
[ii] “U.S. now believes Qaeda leader Kashmiri is dead,” Reuters, July 7, 2011. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/07/us-qaeda-death-idUSTRE7664W320110707
[iii] “Pakistani, Afghan, US militaries discuss border tensions,” AFP, July 7, 2011. Available at http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110707/wl_sthasia_afp/pakistanafghanistanusunrest
[iv] “Officials say ’50 killed’ in Kurram offensive,” AFP, July 8, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/eleven-suspected-militants-killed-in-kurram.html
[v] “Nato fires 16 mortar bombs inside North Waziristan,” Dawn, July 8, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/nato-fires-16-mortar-bombs-inside-north-waziristan.html
[vi] “Cross-border cooperation: Ties that bind militants persist,” Express Tribune, July 8, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/204989/cross-border-cooperation-ties-that-bind-militants-persist/
[vii] “Army pressing reluctant civilian authorities to take charge of Swat,” Express Tribune, July 8, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/205021/army-pressing-reluctant-civilian-authorities-to-take-charge-of-swat/
[viii] “Eight militants, two Lashkar men killed in Dir clashes,” The News, July 8, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=7275&Cat=13
[ix] “Karachi's ethnic, political violence kills up to 85 over 4 days,” Reuters, July 8, 2011. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/08/us-pakistan-violence-karachi-idUSTRE7670ZA20110708