Pakistan Security Brief - March 27, 2013

Afghan Foreign Minister dismisses need for Pakistan in peace talks; Pakistani soldiers shell across Afghan border, Afghans cancel military visit in retaliation; ISI reports 49,000 casualties since 2001, accuses Afghanistan of supporting Taliban; Committee selects Punjabi interim Prime Minister; Army ensures Musharraf has full security detail in Islamabad; Kayani meets with Corps Commanders; 4 militants die in attack on check post; Rangers arrest 30 in Karachi; IED injures 2 in Bajaur; IED’s injure two in Peshawar; Islamabad and Rawalpindi airports on high alert.

Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations                          

  • In a conversation with reporters on Wednesday, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin said that “Afghanistan is shocked by Pakistan's "complacency" in the nascent Afghan peace process and is ready to work without Islamabad's help on reconciliation,” referencing peace talks with the Taliban.  Ludin spoke specifically to alleged Pakistani efforts to circumvent President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan government, saying that the Pakistani attempt to spark talks between the Taliban and the Afghan opposition is actively undoing all progress from the last decade.  Karzai’s chief of staff Abdel Karim Khurram explained that some of the breakdown in relations came from alleged Pakistani pre-conditions to peace talks during the February tri-lateral talks between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Britain in London.  Khurram said the Pakistani conditions were unreasonable and showed no commitment to the peace process. As a further sign of contentious relations, Ludin said an Afghan military trip to participate in a simulated military exercise at a Pakistani Staff College was canceled this week after “more than two dozen Pakistani artillery shells were fired into Afghanistan's eastern province of Kunar on March 25 and 26.”  Eleven Afghan National Army (ANA) officers who were originally meant to visit Quetta are now abstaining from the exercises.  Ludin’s comments mark a sharp reversal from President Karzai’s comments at a press conference in Kabul with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, where Karzai said that “Pakistan’s role in peace talks [is] crucial.” [1]

ISI Report

  • On Tuesday, top intelligence agencies including the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) released a report to the Pakistani Supreme Court detailing casualties from the War on Terror, saying over 49,000 had people died since 2001.  According to the report, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is fracturing and weaker than it was in 2008 because of actions by the Pakistani state.  However, splinter factions of the TTP are strong, and continue to conduct attacks on the Shia community, specifically in Quetta.  The report further said that “the Afghan government was colluding with the Swat chapter of TTP.” The report explained that “strong support” from Afghanistan, including money, weapons, logistics, and training, is “one of the main factors for increased militancy.” The agencies were presenting in front of the court in defense of their use of an act that allows the military to indefinitely detain individuals linked to terrorism in military-run jails in northwest Pakistan.[2]

Domestic Politics

Militancy


[1] “Exclusive: Afghanistan says ready to work for peace without Pakistan help,” Reuters, March 27, 2013.  Available at  http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE92Q0CQ20130327?sp=true
“Afghanistan Says Pakistan Ties Are Fraying,” Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2013.  Available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324789504578384621832773616.html
“Afghan army scraps Pakistan trip over cross-border shelling,” Reuters, March 27, 2013. Available at http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/03/27/afghanistan-pakistan-shelling-idINDEE92Q05020130327
“Pakistan’s role in peace talks crucial: Karzai,” Pakistan Today, March 26, 2013.  Available at http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/03/26/news/national/pakistans-role-in-peace-talks-crucial-karzai/
[2] “Pakistani victims: war on terror toll put at 49,000,” Express Tribune, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/527016/pakistani-victims-war-on-terror-toll-put-at-49000/
“Pakistan intelligence agency claims Afghanistan supports Taliban splinter groups,” World News, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/27/17474913-pakistan-intelligence-agency-claims-afghanistan-supports-taliban-splinter-groups?lite
[3] “Pakistani journalist to head interim Punjab administration,” Google News, March 26, 2013.  Available at http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hgM4tTP2tpuFSKwp4pv0k6QHZPCQ?docId=CNG.105014c40da7e1a6eeca9d847b1b0eea.8d1
[4] “Musharraf to enjoy full security,” Dawn, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/27/musharraf-to-enjoy-full-security/
[5] “Bilwal Bhutto in Dubai after tiff with Zardari,” Express Tribune, March 26, 2013.  Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/526623/bilawal-bhutto-in-dubai-after-tiff-with-zardari-report/
“Bhutto’s son’s role in Pakistan election uncertain,” Business Week, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-03-27/bhuttos-sons-role-in-pakistan-election-uncertain
[6] “Corps commanders meet in GHQ,” Dawn, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/27/corps-commanders-meet-in-ghq/
“Kayani assures Khoso of military’s help during polls,” Dawn, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/27/kayani-assures-khoso-of-militarys-help-during-polls/
[7] “Four militants killed in Bajaur clash,” The News, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-21860-Four-militants-killed-in-Bajaur-clash
[8] “Attack on Polio team foiled, nine suspects held,” The News, March 27, 2013. Available at www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-167713-Attack-on-polio-team-foiled,-nine-suspects-held
[9] “3 militants killed in attack on checkpost,” Dawn, March 26, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/27/3-militants-killed-in-attack-on-checkpost/
[10] “Airport security on high alert,” Dawn, March 26, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/27/airport-security-on-high-alert/
[11] “Security in capital put on high alert,” The News, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-167747-Security-in-capital-put-on-high-alert
[12] “Two people wounded in Peshawar blast,” Express Tribune, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/527460/two-people-wounded-in-peshawar-blast/
[13] “Blast outside former MPA house, no casualties,” The News, March 27, 2013.  Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-94034-Blast-outside-former-MPA-house,-no-casualties
[14] “3 militants killed in attack on checkpost,” Dawn, March 26, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/27/3-militants-killed-in-attack-on-checkpost/
[15] “Man killed,” Dawn, March 26, 2013.  Available at http://dawn.com/2013/03/27/man-killed-39/