Pakistan Security Brief - March 1, 2013

TTP expresses confidence in conclusion of APC conference; Pakistan will begin construction of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline on March 11; Malik says LeJ involved in 80 percent of terrorist attacks in Pakistan; Lahore police issues most wanted terrorist list; Several dead in Karachi; Eight militants killed in Orakzai agency; Zardari meets with Hazara delegation; Pakistan releases Indian prisoners; PAF chief wants normal relations with India; WHO will hold a meeting in Egypt to discuss attacks on polio vaccination teams; Pakistani officials delays pursuing bailout package.

Taliban Negotiations

Iran-Pakistan Relations

Militancy

  • Speaking to the media in London on Friday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the recent bombing on the Hazara community, is involved in 80 percent of terrorist activities in Pakistan. Malik also asked the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to consider links between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and LeJ.[3]

  • On Friday, Geo reported that the Pakistani government has decided to buy mobile scanners to detect explosive material concealed in vehicles to prevent additional terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The Interior Ministry prepared a purchasing summary which will be sent to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf for approval.[4] 

  • On Thursday, the Lahore police published a most wanted terrorist list on their website including 109 terrorists from LeJ, the TTP, Sipha-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), and Tehrik-e-Taliban Qari Ubaidullah Group. The police issued a Rs10 million (approximately $102,000) reward for Matiur Rehman, an LeJ member wanted in connection with an assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. [5]

  • On Thursday, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) launched an aerial assault against militants in Mamuzai sub-district of Orakzai agency, killing at least eight militants and injuring 12 more. The assault also destroyed three militant hideouts.[6]

  • Two people were killed on Thursday when an improvised explosive device detonated in Barsagi village of Mohmand agency.[7]

  • On Thursday, a bomb disposal unit defused an 8kg improvised explosive device (IED) planted at Sarokhel Bridge near the Doaba Police Station in Hangu district. Police officials suspect the IED targeted the Thal Scouts who often use the route to travel between Thal and Kohat.[8]

  • Karachi police captured four people in connection with targeted killings on Friday. A police official stated that the four people arrested confessed their involvement in over 30 killings and are wanted in 25 different cases of sectarian violence.[9]

  • In Karachi, four people were killed and two others in injured on Friday. One person was shot and killed in Baldia Town and another in Orangi town. A gunshot victim was found dead on Napier Road in Old City. Unidentified assailants opened fire on two people in Hassan Square killing one and injuring the other. One person was injured in a firing incident in Mehmoodabad area.[10]

  • On Friday, police arrested six suspects and recovered several weapons during a raid in Moach Goth area, Karachi.[11]

IMF Bailout

Domestic Politics

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, Pakistani officials released 11 Indian prisoners at the Wagah land border crossing. The prisoners were arrested for violating Pakistan's maritime boundary, and have completed their prison terms compliant with Pakistani law.[17]

  • On Thursday, Tahir Rafique Butt, the Chief of the PAF, met Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro to discuss military cooperation. During the meeting, Butt briefed Yusgiantoro on the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and stated that Pakistan wants to normalize relations with India, as stability in the region would be mutually beneficial.[18]

Polio


[1] “Taliban welcome JUI-F APC declaration for peace talks,” Dawn, March 1, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/01/taliban-welcome-jui-f-apc-declaration-for-peace-talks/
[2] “Iran pipeline work to begin March 11: officials,” Express Tribune, March 1, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/514290/iran-pipeline-work-to-begin-march-11-officials/
“Pakistan to do what it deems fit, says Khar,” The News, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-21292-Pakistan-to-do-what-it-deems-fit,-says-Khar
[3] “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi involved in 80pc terror activities: Malik,” Geo, March 1, 2013. Available at www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=90296
[4] “Government to spend 10 billion, on mobile scanner vehicles,” Geo, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=90243
[5] “Lahore police issues details of wanted terrorists,” The News, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-90163-Lahore-police-issue-details-of-109-wanted-terrorists-on-website-  
[6] “Eight militants killed in air strike,” Dawn, March 1, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/01/eight-militants-killed-in-air-strike-2/
[7] “Two killed in Mohmand blast,” The News, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-162865-Two-killed-in-Mohmand-blast
[8] “IED defused in Hangu,” The News, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-162861-IED-defused-in-Hangu
[9] Four target killers held in Karachi, claim police,” Geo, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=90294
[10]“Four including woman killed in Karachi violence,” Geo, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=90247
[11] “Four including woman killed in Karachi violence,” Geo, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=90247
[12] “Pakistan decides not to seek IMF bailout before elections,” The News, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-21296-Pakistan-decides-not-to-seek-IMF-bailout-before-elections
[13] “Long time coming: President visits Quetta weeks after Hazara massacres,” Express Tribune, March 1, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/514222/long-time-coming-president-visits-quetta-weeks-after-hazara-massacres/
[14] “Investors to get security in Fata, says governor,” Dawn, March 1, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/01/investors-to-get-security-in-fata-says-governor-2/
[15] “Pakistan’s former President Musharraf plans to return home for election bid,”The Washington Post, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/pakistans-former-president-musharraf-plans-to-return-home-for-election-bid/2013/03/01/735403d8-8273-11e2-a671-0307392de8de_story.html
[16] “Pakistan textbooks raise debate about 'curriculum of hate',”The Christian Science Monitor, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2013/0228/Pakistan-textbooks-raise-debate-about-curriculum-of-hate
[17] “7 Indian fishermen, 4 others released today,” Geo, March 1, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=90288
[18] “Pakistan wants normal relations with India, says Air Chief,” Express Tribune, March 1, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/513949/pakistan-wants-normal-relations-with-india-says-air-chief/  
[19] “WHO, Islamic leaders summit to stop polio worker attacks,” Dawn, March 1, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/01/who-islamic-leaders-summit-to-stop-polio-worker-attacks/