Pakistan Security Brief - March 22, 2011

Pakistani government opens talks with TTP; Increased unity between Taliban and al-Qaeda; Security personnel open fire on four in NWA; Eight militants killed in Orakzai; ‘Target killings’ continue in Karachi; Ten killed in attack on FWO camp; Two would-be suicide bombers killed; Five militants in Matta killed; TNSM leader arrested.

 

Taliban “Peace Talks” and Coordination

  • The Express Tribune has reported that the Pakistani government has commenced talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups operating out of the FATA in expectation of an early withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan. An unidentified source told the news outlet that, “Both sides, at the moment, are putting up their respective demands and their terms and conditions to bring an end to militancy in Fata and other regions of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.” However, the source states that the federal government will accept no role of al-Qaeda in the negotiations. The talks were prompted by NATO defense ministers recently approving a plan to gradually transition security duties to Afghan military forces in various cities in Afghanistan over the next few months. Prior to the talks, the government had withdrawn support to lashkars (anti-Taliban militias) in various areas of the FATA, encouraging the TTP to initiate attacks on the lashkars. A senior minister, Bashir Bilour, said that “militias were no longer useful but added that the government would hold talks with lashkar leaders soon regarding the threats they face from the Taliban, for siding with the government.”[i]
  • The News has reported that the recent release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, in addition to continued drone strikes in the tribal areas, have “strengthened the unity between the Taliban and al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan” in conducting joint attacks against NATO forces. Qari Ziaur Rehman, a Pakistani Taliban commander, told The News that “After the recent drone strikes in Pakistan, the Taliban and al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan have jointly decided to take revenge of these US attacks.” Rehman furthermore affirmed that, “The revenge of the US drone strikes in Pakistani tribal areas will be taken by intensifying attacks on the US installations and troops in Afghanistan.”[ii]
 

FATA

  • Four people were hurt in Miram Shah after security personnel opened fire on them for allegedly violating curfew. A curfew had been instituted around theMiram Shah-Datta Khel road due to movement by security forces. The News has also cited statements by unidentified officials who defended that the troops opened fired in self-defense after militants attacked their convoy.[iii]
  • Eight militants were killed in the Shakar Tangi area of Orakzai Agency on Monday. Militants had attacked a checkpoint before being repulsed with retaliatory fire. A soldier was also injured in the clash.[iv]

 

‘Target Killings’ in Karachi

  • Five more people were shot to death in instances of ‘target killings’ in Karachi on Tuesday. The attacks occurred in Quaidabad, North Nazimabad, and Kati Paharhi, forcing the closure of markets in the area. Investigations has commenced into the incidents.[v]

 

Attack in Balochistan

 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

 


[i] Qaiser Butt, “Government opens peace talks with local Taliban,” Express Tribune, March 21, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/135710/government-opens-peace-talks-with-local-taliban/
[ii] Mazhar Tufail, “Taliban vow to avenge drone attacks,” The News, March 22, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=37453&Cat=2&dt=3/22/2011
[iii] “Four hurt in forces fire in NWA,” The News, March 22, 2011. Available at http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=37458&Cat=7&dt=3/22/2011
[iv] “briefs…” The News, March 22, 2011. Available at http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=4815&Cat=13&dt=3/22/2011
[v] “Five more killed in Karachi; parts of city remain tense,” Dawn, March 22, 2011. Available at
[vi] Saleem Shahid, “Ten killed in attack on FWO’s Gwadar camp,” Dawn, March 22, 2011. Available at
[vii] “‘Two bombers’ killed by own bombs,” Dawn, March 21, 2011. Available at
[viii] “briefs…” The News, March 22, 2011. Available at http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=4815&Cat=13&dt=3/22/2011
[ix] “briefs…” The News, March 22, 2011. Available at http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=4815&Cat=13&dt=3/22/2011