Pakistan Security Brief - March 10, 2010
Militants attack NGO office in Mansehra; ISI chief’s term extended one year; Pakistani lawmakers decline extra screening at US airport; 29 Brigadiers approved for promotion.
Militants raided an office staffed by the NGO World Vision on Wednesday, killing six Pakistani aid workers. Militants entered the office, located in Ogi, Mansehra district, and opened fire on the people in the office. A henceforth unknown group calling itself Jund-al-Hafsa called the BBC to claim responsibility for the attack. The attack is unusual as Mansehra been largely untouched by the violence that has affected much of the NWFP. World Vision halted all operations across Pakistan in response to the attack. The NGO was conducting relief operations in a part of the North West Frontier Province that was badly affected by the deadly 2006 earthquake.
The Pakistani army announced on Tuesday that Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of the Inter-Service Intelligence, had his term extended for one year. The reason given for the extension is the continuity of command, given Pasha's intimate involvement in ongoing military and intelligence operations against the Taliban and Pakistan. US officials believe that Lt. Gen. Pasha is committed to eliminating the militant network in Pakistan and support the army’s decision.
US officials invited a delegation of Pakistani legislatures to the US as an attempt to establish relations with political officials from the tribal areas, but the Pakistani officials declined an extra security screening at Regan National Airport and returned home. Prior to leaving the US, however, the lawmakers still met with Richard C. Holbrooke and visited the Pentagon and National Security Council.
The Pakistani army approved the promotion of 29 Brigadiers to the rank of Major General on Wednesday. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired the meeting.
“Attack on NGO office, five dead [translated]” BBC Urdu, March 10, 2010. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2010/03/100310_mansehra_update.shtml.