Pakistan Security Brief - May 3, 2013

Prosecutor in charge of Bhutto assassination case assassinated; Pakistani prisoner attacked in Indian jail; ANP candidate and son shot dead; Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leaves country until after elections; MQM office targeted in blast; TTP warns people not to vote; Musharraf's APML party to boycott elections; Demonstrations marking bin Laden's death held; India thanks Pakistan for cooperation after Singh's death; India asks for probe into LeT connections to Singh's death; Sharif prioritizes countering extremism; Five dead in attack on checkpost in South Waziristan; PPP Secretary General is open to PTI alliance; Karzai says he will not allow foreign checkposts in Afghan territory; Obama names James Dobbins special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; Khassadar force member and family members killed; Body of Baloch activist found in Karachi; Arrests made in anti-polio workers' attack case; Four killed in Karachi.

Political Violence

  • Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali, the Federal Investigation Agency's prosecutor in charge of the investigation into Benazir Bhutto's death and the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was attacked and killed by gunmen on Friday in Islamabad. A woman passing by was also killed when Ali's car swerved while under attack, and Ali's bodyguard and one of the attackers were wounded. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack. In response to the attack, lawyers for the Rawalpindi and Islamabad High Court announced a strike.[1]

  • In a letter to the press and notices posted around Peshawar, the TTP has warned people not to vote in the May 11 elections, claiming that democracy is contradictory to the teachings of Islam. The TTP's stated aim is to derail the elections by creating as many obstacles as possible to their success, including killing politicians.[2]

  • On Friday, an anti-Taliban candidate from the ANP, Sadiq Zaman Khattak, and his young son were shot to death in Karachi as they left a mosque. Elections in his NA-254 constituency have been postponed due to the incident.[3]

  • A blast targeting a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) office injured eight people on Karachi's Burns Road on Thursday night. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsibility for the attack, although the MQM blamed the “militant wing” of a “Punjab-based party”.[4]

Indo-Pak Relations

  • A Pakistani prisoner has been hospitalized in India after being attacked in an Indian jail the day after an Indian prisoner died from being attacked in a Pakistani jail. The prisoner, Sanaullah Haq, sustained severe injuries to the head and is in critical condition. He was imprisoned in 1999 for being a Pakistani militant operating in Indian Kashmir. Pakistan has condemned the incident and been promised access to the prisoner only once his condition has stabilized, despite its requests for Haq to be transferred to Pakistan for treatment. Two prison officials have been suspended.[5]

  • Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jillani reported that his Indian counterpart thanked him on Thursday for the role Pakistan played in the aftermath of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh's death. Jilani said that while Singh's death was a “condemnable act”, India knew that Pakistan was not behind it and appreciated Pakistan's cooperation in repatriating Singh’s body to India and obtaining visas for his family.[6]

  • India has asked Pakistan to hold an in-depth investigation into whether Sarabjit Singh's death was a premeditated action by militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), possibly in revenge for India's recent hanging of two prominent Pakistani militant group members, LeT operative Ajmal Kasab and Jaish-e-Muhammad operative Afzal Guru.[7]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • President Obama reportedly plans to name veteran diplomat James Dobbins as his special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Dobbins is currently the director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center.[8]

Domestic Politics

  • In an interview on April 26, a leader of Nawaz Sharif's party speaking on the ordering of political priorities should Sharif, who is seeking reelection as prime minister on May 11, come to power, said Sharif plans to counter extremism by courting the support of military commanders and political rivals, followed by fixing the country's power sector and state-run companies.[9]

  • General Pervez Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party announced on Friday that it will boycott elections on May 11 in protest of Musharraf's papers being rejected and a lifetime ban on his involvement in politics.[10]

  • Due to security threats, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto has left Pakistan and will not return until after May 11's elections. He still plans to lead the campaign via video link. Party leaders cited security concerns as the reason for Bilawal’s absence.[11]

  • The PPP’s Secretary General announced on Thursday that his party would be open to an alliance with any other party, particularly the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).[12]

  • Militancy

  • Four people were killed and two injured in two separate incidents in Karachi on Friday. Two of the dead were lawyers.[13]

  • One security personnel and four militants were killed in an attack on a checkpost in South Waziristan on Friday.[14]

  • Five members of the TTP reportedly involved in attacks on anti-polio workers were arrested in Karachi by the police’s Crime Investigation Department on Friday.[15]

  • A body was found in Karachi on Friday that turned out to be that of Baloch activist Naseebullah Baloch, who had been missing since April 28. He had been hanged to death.[16]

  • Militants in Bara sub-district, Khyber Agency killed a Khassadar Force member, his wife, and his daughter-in-law in their house on Thursday after abducting his two sons earlier in the day.[17]

Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations

  • At a news conference in Copenhagen on Friday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that Afghanistan will not allow foreign posts on its side of the Durand Line, referencing a contentious Pakistani checkpost in disputed territory.[18]

Bin Laden Death Anniversary


[1] Declan Walsh, “Prosecutor in Bhutto Killing is Assassinated,” The New York Times, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/04/world/asia/prosecutor-in-bhutto-killing-and-mumbai-attacks-assassinated-in-pakistan.html?_r=0
 “Gunmen kill Pakistani prosecutor investigating Bhutto assassination, Mumbai attack,” The Washington Post, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/lead-prosecutor-in-case-involving-pakistans-ex-military-ruler-pervez-musharraf-shot-to-death/2013/05/03/9ba3f026-b3a8-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html
 “BB murder case prosecutor shot dead in Islamabad,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://beta.dawn.com/news/795313/bb-murder-case-prosecutor-shot-dead-in-islamabad
[2] Umer Farooq, “May 11: Taliban warn against casting vote in general polls,” The Express Tribune, May 3, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/543963/may-11-taliban-warn-of-casting-vote-in-general-polls/
[3] “Gunmen kill Pakistani prosecutor investigating Bhutto assassination, Mumbai attack,” The Washington Post, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/lead-prosecutor-in-case-involving-pakistans-ex-military-ruler-pervez-musharraf-shot-to-death/2013/05/03/9ba3f026-b3a8-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html
 “ANP election candidate, son gunned down in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, May 3, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/543952/anp-candidate-gunned-down-in-karachi/
 “Election postponed in NA-254 after ANP candidate killed in Karachi,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/05/03/anps-election-candidate-killed-in-karachi/
[4] “MQM blames militant wing of 'a Punjab party' for Karachi blast,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/05/03/mqm-blames-militant-wing-of-a-punjab-party-for-karachi-blast/
[5] Ashok Pahalwan, “Pakistani attacked in India jail over Indian prisoner's death,” Reuters, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/03/us-india-pakistan-prisoners-idUSBRE9420A520130503
 “Pakistan foreign ministry demands immediate transfer of inmate,” The Express Tribune, May 3, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/543917/pakistani-attacked-in-indian-jail-prison-officer/
 “Pakistani beaten in Indian jail; Islamabad calls it retaliation for fatal attack in Pakistan,” The Washington Post, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/india-says-pakistani-prisoner-in-kashmir-in-critical-condition-after-attack-by-other-inmates/2013/05/03/9b52ed26-b3bb-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html
 “Pakistan seeks transfer of attacked prisoner from India,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://beta.dawn.com/news/795315/pakistani-attacked-in-indian-jail-prison-officer
[6] Mariana Baabar, “India thanks Pakistan for help in Sarabjit case,” The News, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-22645-India-thanks-Pakistan-for-help-in-Sarabjit-case
[7] Amir Mir, “India wants Pakistan to probe LeT link into Sarabjit attack,” The News, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-175023-India-wants-Pakistan-to-probe-LeT-link-into-Sarabjit-attack
[8] Mark Landler, “Obama to Name Veteran Troubleshooter for Afghanistan-Pakistan Post,” The New York Times, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/04/world/asia/james-dobbins-to-be-named-for-representative-for-afghanistan-and-pakistan.html
[9] Haris Anwar and Augustine Anthony, “Sharif Sees Quelling Militants as Job One in Pakistan Return,” Bloomberg, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-02/sharif-sees-quelling-militants-as-job-one-in-pakistan-campaign.html
[10] “Musharraf's party boycotts elections,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/05/03/musharrafs-party-boycotts-elections/
[11] “Bilawal not to return to Pakistan for elections,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/05/03/bilawal-not-to-return-to-pakistan-for-elections/
[12] Zahid Gishkori, “PPP ready to form alliance with PTI,” The Express Tribune, May 3, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/543789/politicking-ppp-ready-to-form-alliance-with-pti/
[13] “ANP election candidate, son gunned down in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, May 3, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/543952/anp-candidate-gunned-down-in-karachi/
[14] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Attack on checkpost in S Waziristan kills one security man, four militants,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.beta.dawn.com/news/795317/attack-on-checkpost-in-s-waziristan-kills-one-security-personnel-four-militants
[15] “Attackers of polio workers arrested in Karachi: CID,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/05/03/attackers-of-polio-workers-arrested-in-karachi-cid/
[16] “Another 'missing' Baloch activist turns up dead,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/05/03/another-missing-baloch-activist-turns-up-dead/
[17] “Militants kill Khassadar Force man, wife, daughter-in-law,” The News, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-22642-Militants-kill-Khassadar-Force-man,-wife,-daughter-in-law
[18] “We won't allow foreign posts on our soil: Karzai,” Pajhwok Afghan News, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2013/05/03/we-won%E2%80%99t-allow-foreign-posts-our-soil-karzai
[19] Hannah Allam, “Al Qaida faithful mourn bin Laden, but few others do,” McClatchy, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/05/06/113850/small-rallies-for-bin-laden-erupt.html#.UYQe3LuXR8Z
Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Pakistani Taliban vow to follow in bin Laden's footsteps,” Dawn, May 3, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/05/02/pakistani-taliban-vow-to-follow-in-bin-ladens-footsteps/
 “JUI leaders, supporters pay tributes to bin Laden,” The News, May 3, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-22643-JUI-leaders,-supporters-pay-tributes-to-bin-Laden