Pakistan Security Brief - March 19, 2013

TTP flushes out AI from Tirah valley; PAF jets kill 10 in Orakzai; Pakistan issued more than 3000 visas to U.S. citizens; AJK Prime Minister says Pakistan critical component in Kashmir dispute; net foreign investments fall from last year; Doctor killed in Karachi; Lawyer killed in Peshawar; Qadri to boycott elections; Report that violence decreased last week.

Militancy

  • On Monday, Ansarul Islam (AI) chief Maulana Mehboobul Haq and his lieutenant Ezzatullah Hamkhayal fled Bagh-Maidan, in Khyber agency’s Tirah Valley, when hundreds of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants overran their headquarters and planted flags in victory. Haq and Hamkhayal retreated to a safe haven in the Pir Mela locality of Arhanga near the Orakzai Agency border.  The TTP now controls all of “Bar Qambarkhel area including Bhutan Sharif, Haidar Kandaw, Dray Stany and Dray Plara in eastern Bagh along with western Bagh.”  According to reports, the TTP's new control over the area would allow it "easy access to Orakzai and Kurram agencies and Afghanistan.”  The recent fighting has displaced thousands of locals; Pakistani authorities have reportedly "established a registration point for the newly displaced families" in Dogar.” [1]

  • On Monday, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets killed ten militants and wounded six others in the Chappar area of Mamuzai subdistrict of Upper Orakzai, during a bombing raid that destroyed six militant hideouts. [2]

  • On Tuesday in Karachi, unidentified gunmen opened fire on Dr. Asad Usman and a security guard, killing Usman and wounding the guard in Nazimabad. [3] 

  • On Monday night in Karachi, gunmen shot and killed a Pakistani soldier near Frontier Mor in Orangi Town. In Brohi Goth of Landhi, Rangers raided a torture cell, where they arrested 36 suspects and seized a large cache of weapons and explosives. [4]

  • Unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed a lawyer at Dalazak Road, Peshawar, on Monday night. [5]

  • In the Sui area of Dera Bugti district, on Monday, unidentified armed attackers kidnapped a man and fled with him to an unknown location. [6]

  • According to a report from the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), political violence across Pakistan from March 9 to 15 was lower than in the previous week: 43 people were killed and 63 injured in 17 incidents, whereas during the previous week, 106 people were killed and 156 injured in 27 incidents.  Broken down into provincial violence, “Sindh was the most volatile with 18 people killed and 14 injured, followed by FATA (15 killed, two injured), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (7 killed, 47 injured) and Balochistan (three killed).” [7]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Tuesday, an official from the Interior Ministry stated that Pakistan has issued more than 3,000 visas to U.S. officials in the last two years. A Senate Panel has directed the Interior Ministry to submit a detailed report on U.S. officials and citizens who have visited Pakistan in the last five years. [8]

Indo-Pak Relations

Elections

  • On Monday, Tahir-ul Qadri, a Muslim cleric who led a massive protest for political reform in January, announced that his party will boycott the upcoming elections. Qadri alleged the upcoming polls would be unfair, calling them a demonstration of “money, might and manipulation” by established parties. Qadri claimed that the government had “backed out” from commitments it had made during negotiations with him in January. [10]

Economy


[1] “Taliban flush out rivals from last bastion in Tirah,” Dawn, March 19, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/19/taliban-flush-out-rivals-from-last-bastion-in-tirah-2/
[2] “10 militants killed in Orakzai,” Dawn, March 19, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/19/10-militants-killed-in-orakzai-3/
[3] “Professor gunned down by unidentified men,” Express Tribune, March 19, 2013.  Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/523098/professor-gunned-down-by-unidentified-men/
[4] “Lance Naik shot dead in Karachi,” Dawn, March 19, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/19/lance-naik-shot-dead-in-karachi/
“Rangers arrest 36 suspects in raid,” The News International, March 19, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-166062-Rangers-arrest-36-suspects-in-raid
[5] “Lawyer shot dead in Peshawar,” Dawn, March 19, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/19/lawyer-shot-dead-in-peshawar-2/
[6] “Man kidnapped in Sui,” The News International, March 19, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-166203-Man-kidnapped-in-Sui
[7] “43 killed, 63 injured in second week of March,” Pakistan Today, March 19, 2013.  Available at http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/03/18/news/national/43-killed-63-injured-in-second-week-of-march/
[8] “Pakistan issued visas to 3000 US nationals,” Express Tribune, March 19, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/523118/pakistan-issued-visas-to-3000-us-officials/
[9] “‘Pakistan key party to Kashmir issue’,” Dawn, March 19, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/19/pakistan-key-party-to-kashmir-issue/
[10] “Pakistan 'anti-corruption' cleric to boycott elections,” AFP, March 19, 2013. Available at http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hXQU-kQKb9KBD1c1jBSVYfsFSFLQ?docId=CNG.778ae53698211103f8c156b8d47ac91a.1b1
[11] “Pakistan net FDI declines 9.7 per cent,” Dawn, March 19, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/18/pakistan-net-fdi-declines-9-7-per-cent/