Pakistan Security Brief - May 3, 2012

U.S. Ambassador says U.S.-Afghan agreement does not preclude possibility of drone strikes in Pakistan; U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher writes letter to Prime Minister Gilani; National Assembly passes resolutions concerning Gilani and formation of new province; National Assembly Speaker says no decision yet on Gilani’s disqualification; Certain PML-N leaders not in favor of mass protest; Two explosions kill five people in Bajaur agency; Inspector General of Sindh says Lyari operation to end in “day or two;” Neither India nor Pakistan willing to withdraw troops from Siachen; Aid agencies in Pakistan suffering from fallout after Osama bin Laden raid.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker indicated on Wednesday that the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed by the U.S. and Afghanistan does not preclude the possibility of drone strikes inside Pakistan after U.S. forces have left Afghanistan in 2014. The agreement states that the U.S. will not “launch offensive actions against other states from Afghan soil,” but according to Crocker, the two states can consult on an appropriate “defensive” response in the event of threats to Afghanistan. Crocker urged Pakistan to take action against “militant safe havens” within the country and prevent cross-border attacks by militants.[1]

  • The Express Tribune reported that U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who recently introduced a resolution seeking self-determination for Balochistan, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemning the recent “state sponsored violence” in Balochistan and calling Pakistan “a failed state.” Rohrabacher alleged that the Pakistani military and intelligence services continuously “diverted money” intended to help the Pakistani people “into funding terrorism and buying weapons to repress their own people.”[2]

Domestic Politics

Militancy

  • On Thursday, two explosions killed at least five people in Chamarkand village in Bajaur agency, which is located in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The first blast killed two pro-government tribal elders, while the second bomb exploded ten minutes after security forces arrived on the scene, killing two paramilitary soldiers and one tribal policeman.[8]

Lyari

  • Inspector General of Sindh Mushtaq Shah said Thursday that police are hopeful that the ongoing security operation against criminal elements in Karachi’s Lyari area will end in “a day or two.” The operation continued for a seventh day on Thursday, with reports that at least eight people were killed and 41 others were injured during the past 24 hours. The police have not yet arrested any suspected criminals.[9]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • The Washington Post reported that both Pakistani and Indian officials have acknowledged that deploying troops to Siachen Glacier in northern Kashmir, the site of an avalanche that buried 138 soldiers and civilians alive last month, is expensive and “useless,” but neither side seems willing to withdraw its troops and change the status quo. According to an Indian major general, India is unlikely to agree to demilitarize Siachen without concessions from Pakistan on issues such as stopping cross-border terrorism. India also wants Pakistan to accept its map, which Pakistan refuses to do, since it would be “tantamount to” accepting India’s “illegal occupation” of the glacier.[10]

Aid Work in Pakistan

  • According to the New York Times, the detention of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA track Osama bin Laden, has had a negative effect on aid agencies within Pakistan, especially Save the Children. Afridi told interrogators from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate that he was introduced to the CIA through Save the Children, but the aid group adamantly denied the claim and said it was being made a “scapegoat” by a “desperate” man. Save the Children complained that its senior managers have been forbidden from leaving Pakistan, its staff members have been denied visas, and its aid supplies have been blocked by customs officials. This has led to approximately 35,000 infants being deprived of medical care over a three-month period. Other aid groups have also complained of problems due to Pakistani officials suspecting their employees of being spies.[11]

       

 



[1] “Drone attacks to continue after ’14, says US,” Dawn, May 2, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/05/03/drone-attacks-to-continue-after-14-says-us/
[2] Huma Imtiaz, “Pen friends: Rohrabacher writes letter to Gilani, calls Pakistan a 'failed state,'” Express Tribune, May 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/373354/pen-friends-rohrabacher-writes-letter-to-gilani-calls-pakistan-a-failed-state/
[3] “Resolutions passed: South Punjab province, reposing confidence in Gilani,” Express Tribune, May 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/373427/resolutions-passed-south-punjab-province-reposing-confidence-in-gilani/
[4] “No decision regarding Gilani’s disqualification yet: Fehmida Mirza,” Express Tribune, May 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/373434/no-decision-regarding-gilanis-disqualification-yet-fehmida-mirza/
[5] “Resolution against Gilani: PPP lawyers create ruckus in Rawalpindi District Court,” Express Tribune, May 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/373421/resolution-against-gilani-ppp-lawyers-create-ruckus-in-rawalpindi-district-court/
[6] Abdul Manan, “Internal politics: Entire party not sold on mass protest,” Express Tribune, May 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/373329/internal-politics-entire-party-not-sold-on-mass-protest/
[7] “Memo commission: Counsels to present concluding arguments,” Dawn, May 3, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/05/03/memo-commission-counsels-to-present-concluding-arguments/
[8] “Bombs kill five in Pakistan’s tribal areas,” AFP, May 3, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/05/03/bombs-kill-five-in-pakistans-tribal-areas-officials/
[9] “Lyari operation to be completed soon, assures IG Sindh,” Dawn, May 3, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/05/03/lyari-operation-to-be-completed-soon-assures-ig-sindh/
“Lyari operation - day 7: IG Sindh hopeful of achieving target by Friday,” Express Tribune, May 3, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/373446/lyari-operation-day-7-ig-sindh-hopeful-of-achieving-target-by-friday/
[10] Richard Leiby and Simon Denyer, “India and Pakistan remain frozen on glacier border dispute,” Washington Post, May 2, 2012. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/india-and-pakistan-remain-frozen-on-glacier-border-dispute/2012/05/02/gIQARHjrwT_story.html
[11] Declan Walsh, “Fallout of Bin Laden Raid: Aid Groups in Pakistan Are Suspect,” New York Times, May 2, 2012. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/world/asia/bin-laden-raid-fallout-aid-groups-in-pakistan-are-suspect.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1