Pakistan Security Brief - May 1, 2012

Obama administration speaks publicly about drone strikes; White House counterterrorism advisor says strikes are “ethical;” ACLU asks U.S. Justice Department to release documents pertaining to drone program; Pakistan’s Foreign Office lodges formal protest against Sunday’s drone strike; CNN reports on “treasure trove” of documents recovered from bin Laden’s compound; Huffington Post says Pakistan failed to give answers about bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan; Nawaz Sharif to organize mass movement to force Prime Minister Gilani to step down; Pakistani courts to hear petitions seeking Gilani’s removal; Death toll for security operation in Lyari reaches 33; Afghan government official claims ISI killed senior Taliban members; Red Cross confirms that it had contact with British aid worker’s kidnappers.

U.S. Drone Program

Osama bin Laden

  • CNN reported on the "treasure trove" of more than 6,000 documents that were recovered by U.S. Navy Seals during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in May 2011. According to the documents, bin Laden appears to have been a micro-manager who was deeply involved in the intricate details of al Qaeda’s internal affairs within Pakistan. He also understood the danger of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions that had been “decimating” al Qaeda’s leadership since 2008. The documents also revealed that al Qaeda reportedly told the Pakistani Taliban to stop its counterproductive killing of Pakistani civilians.[4]

  • According to Huffington Post, one year since the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden, Pakistan has “failed to answer tough questions” about whether its government and/or military were giving bin Laden safe haven. Pakistan formed a committee to investigate bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan and the circumstances surrounding the raid, but a spokesman for the committee said last week that the findings might not be released publicly. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate said that bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan was due to an “intelligence failure,” but suspicions have increased since one of bin Laden’s wives recently revealed that bin Laden lived in five houses and fathered two children that were born in Pakistani government hospitals.[5]

Domestic Politics

  • Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif said Monday that if Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani does not resign, Sharif and his party are planning to launch a mass movement with other opposition parties such as the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Jamaat-e-Islami to force Gilani to step down. The PTI has not yet signed on to work with PML-N, but the two parties met on Tuesday to discuss how to force Gilani to leave office. [6]

  • The Islamabad High Court will hear a petition on May 2, which calls for the removal of Gilani from the prime minister’s office and the dissolution of the federal cabinet. The petition filed by Advocate G.M. Chaudhry on Monday states that Gilani is disqualified from being a member of the National Assembly and is no longer prime minister due to his contempt conviction. Another petition seeking Gilani’s removal will be heard in the Sindh High Court on May 3.[7]

Lyari

  • The security operation against gangs and criminal elements in Karachi’s Lyari area entered its fifth day on Tuesday, with the death toll reaching 33, including six policemen. Criminals used hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades and sophisticated automatic weapons against the security forces. Approximately 150 families from neighborhoods affected by the operation were relocated to safer parts of the city on Monday.[8]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • An Afghan government official claimed on Monday that Pakistan’s ISI allegedly killed the Afghan Taliban military council’s deputy head, Maulvi Ismail, along with 25 other senior Taliban members for holding secret peace talks with the U.S.[9]

Militancy

Military

 

 

       



[1] Greg Miller, “Brennan speech is first Obama acknowledgment of use of armed drones,” Washington Post, April 30, 2012. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/brennan-speech-is-first-obama-acknowledgement-of-use-of-armed-drones/2012/04/30/gIQAq7B4rT_story.html?tid=pm_world_pop
Huma Imtiaz, “(C)overt war: Despite Pakistan’s protest, US defends drone strikes,” Express Tribune, May 1, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372391/covert-war-despite-pakistans-protest-us-defends-drone-strikes/
[2] “Reaction: US rights group seeks all facts,” Express Tribune, May 1, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372392/reaction-us-rights-group-seeks-all-facts/
[3] Kamran Yousaf, “Pakistan lodges formal complaint over N Waziristan drone attack,” Express Tribune, April 30, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372224/pakistan-lodges-formal-complaint-over-n-waziristan-drone-attack/
[4] Peter Bergen, “Bin Laden: Seized documents show delusional leader and micromanager,” CNN, May 1, 2012. Available at http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/30/opinion/bergen-bin-laden-document-trove/index.html?hpt=hp_c1
[5] Zarar Khan and Chris Brummitt, “Osama Bin Laden Raid: One Year Later, No Answers From Pakistan,” Huffington Post, May 1, 2012. Available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/osama-bin-laden-raid-anniversary-pakistan_n_1466797.html
[6] Zia Khan, “Unseating the premier: Nawaz warns of grand opposition alliance,” Express Tribune, May 1, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372452/unseating-the-premier-nawaz-warns-of-grand-opposition-alliance/
[7] Malik Asad, “Petition seeks PM’s removal,” Dawn, April 30, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/05/01/petition-seeks-pms-removal/
Qaiser Zulfiqar and Zeeshan Mujahid, “Post conviction: Petitions pour in courts seeking premier’s removal,” Express Tribune, May 1, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372430/post-conviction-petitions-pour-in-courts-seeking-premiers-removal/
[8] “Lyari operation - day 5: One police official killed,” Express Tribune, May 1, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372561/lyari-operation-day-5-one-police-official-killed-10-others-injured/
“Lyari operation enters fifth day as residents relocate to safer areas,” Dawn, May 1, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/05/01/lyari-operation-enters-fifth-day/
[9] “25 Taliban killed for holding talks with US,” Pajhwok Afghan News, April 30, 2012. Available at http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2012/04/30/25-taliban-killed-holding-talks-us
[10] “Red Cross was in contact with Khalil’s kidnappers,” Dawn, April 30, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/05/01/red-cross-was-in-contact-with-khalils-kidnappers/
[11] “Blast on Saryab Road: FC convoy targeted in Quetta,” Express Tribune, May 1, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372570/blast-on-saryab-road-fc-convoy-targeted-in-quetta/
[12] “Targeted attack: Police officer killed in Peshawar roadside blast,” Express Tribune, May 1, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372407/targeted-attack-police-officer-killed-in-peshawar-roadside-blast/
[13] Naveed Akbar, “National security: The army supports democracy, says Gen Kayani,” Express Tribune, May 1, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/372464/national-security-the-army-supports-democracy-says-gen-kayani/