Pakistan Security Brief - June 21, 2011

Obama to make Afghan drawdown announcement Wednesday; Pakistani brigadier arrested for ties to militants; Six Haqqani militants killed in Monday drone strike in Kurram;  Car-bomb targeting anti-Taliban militia leader kills three; Government imposes Section 144 in response to Balochistan attacks; Focus of India-Pakistan talks will be terrorism; Chief Justice nominates heads for investigatory commissions on the Abbottabad raid and the Saleem Shahzad murder; Trial against rangers to close in seven days; Pakistan comes in 12th in Foreign Policy failed states index.


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • On Wednesday, President Obama will announce his plans for a U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan. The President is reportedly likely to order the withdrawal of 3,000-5,000 troops this July, followed by the eventual withdrawal of the 30,000 troops, added in December 2009, by 2012.  President Obama is expected to outline plans for gradual withdrawal of troops leading to an Afghan security force takeover in 2014.[i]

  • In response to reports that the U.S. is talking to the Taliban about a political solution in Afghanistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussein warned that if the talks excluded Pakistan and Afghanistan, they “would bear no fruitful results.” He also discussed recent “border violations” by U.S. and Afghan forces and condemned the activities of NATO and Afghan forces that he described as being “against national integrity and sovereignty.”[ii]

  • According to the Express Tribune, U.S. military personnel “tried to crash the gate of the Frontier Corps Complex in Hayatabad, Peshawar, a few days ago.” The U.S. soldiers had lived in the complex until recently, when Pakistan requested a reduction of U.S. military personnel in the country. The soldiers were reportedly returning to the complex to retrieve their belongings. Pakistani newspaper the Express Tribune claims the U.S. soldiers “resorted to hooliganism . . . by kicking the gate and hurling abuses upon the FC personnel,” when they were refused entry. Pakistan has lodged a complaint to the U.S. ambassador, and has instructed their embassy in Washington “to raise the issue at [the] appropriate level.”[iii]

Pakistani Military Affairs

  • According to reports, the Pakistani military has detained a senior army officer, Brigadier Ali Khan, on charges that he has ties to the banned extremist group Hizb-ul-Tahrir. An army spokesman emphasized that the Pakistani military had a “zero-tolerance policy” when it came to ties to extremists and militants. Hizb-ul-Tahrir is an international Islamist extremist group calling for an Islamic caliphate across the Muslim world. The Hizb-ul-Tahrir has not directly used violence in Pakistan, but “many critics say it has ties to militant organizations and encourages young men to radicalism.”[iv]

  • The Pakistani Army’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has claimed that quotes attributed to Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in a recent New York Times article were “fabricated.” The article, which highlights Gen. Kayani’s struggle to maintain influence in the Pakistani military after falling on the wrong side of recent controversies with the U.S., quotes Gen. Kayani comparing Pakistan to “a mortgaged house” and the U.S. to a lender forced to intervene when Pakistan could not “pay back the loan.”[v]

FATA

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

  • On Monday, a car-bomb targeting the leader of an anti-Taliban militia killed three people outside of Peshawar. One of those killed was a 9-year-old child. AFP reports the bombing took place outside the compound of “local anti-Taliban vigilante commander Altaf Khan in the restive [Matani] suburb of Peshawar.” In a separate incident, a leader of the anti-Taliban Adezai Qaumi Lashkar and two police officers were killed in “a powerful car bomb attack at a security post in Matani Monday night.” According to The News, “[the] leader of the local Qaumi Lashkar Ijaz Bacha had established a police post . . . in the wake of frequent militant attacks on Adezai and Matani villages.” Ten people were also wounded in the attack.[vii]

  • On Monday, police detained a 9-year-old girl who had allegedly been forced to wear explosives “and told to blow herself up a police checkpoint.” The girl claimed she was “abducted several days ago in . . . Peshawar and . . . taken to Lower Dir near the Afghan border.”[viii]

Balochistan

India-Pakistan Relations

Judicial Probes

  • Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has named commission heads for the investigations of the May 2 Abbottabad raid that killed Osama Bin Laden and the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad. Justice Javeb Iqbal will lead the investigation of the Abbottabad raid, and Justice Saqib Nisar will lead the investigation of the Shahzad murder. Regarding the Shahzad investigation, The News reports Saleem Shahzad’s autopsy was performed forty-eight hours after his death.[xi]

Karachi

Failed States Index

 


[i] “Obama to reveal Afghan troop decision Wednesday,” AFP, June 20, 2011. Available at
“Obama to announce Afghanistan withdrawal plans Wednesday,” Washington Post, June 21, 2011. Available at
[ii] “US-Taliban talks sans Pakistan, Afghanistan won’t succeed: KP minister,” The News, June 21, 2011. Available at
[iii] FC complex incident: Pakistan protests against US soldiers’ misconduct,”
[iv] “Pakistan arrests brigadier on suspected militant ties,” Reuters, June 21, 2011. Available at
[v] “Kayani’s statement fabricated, says ISPR,” Dawn, June 21, 2011. Available at
[vi]“Security official dead in South Waziristan attack,” Dawn, June 21, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Car bomb kills three in NW Pakistan: Police,” AFP, June 20, 2011. Available at
“Adezai lashkar leader, 2 cops die in car blast,” The News, June 21, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Pakistan detains girl with suicide vest,” AFP, June 20, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Balochistan insurgency: Section 144 imposed after bomb attack in Quetta,” Express Tribune, June 21, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/192678/one-killed-seven-injured-in-blast-outside-college-in-quetta/
“Pakistan car bomb kills six,” AFP, June 20, 2011. Available at
[x] “Terrorism focus of talks with Pakistan: india,” The News, June 21, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Shahzad autopsy performed 48 hours after death: report,” The News, June 20, 2011. Available at
[xii] “Rangers killing: ATC to conclude trial in 7 days,” Express Tribune, June 20, 2011. Available at
[xiii] “2011 Failed States Index,” Foreign Policy, June 17, 2011. Available at
“Pakistan ranks 12th on failed states index: report,” Express Tribune, June 21, 2011. Available at