Pakistan Security Brief - November 1, 2012

NGOs skeptical of Abbottabad report; Two killed, three injured in Balochistan landmine blast; British court rejects request to free Pakistani prisoner held by U.S.; Pakistani human trafficking ring dismantled in Spain; U.S. rejects JuD leader’s storm aid offer; Zardari, Federal Cabinet express solidarity with Hurricane Sandy victims; Doctors on strike in Balochistan; Chief Minister of Balochistan accused of involvement in violence against doctors; Two killed in targeted attacks in Karachi; Seven dead in Karachi violence; 2,381 murder cases registered in the last 13 months in Karachi; Information Minister Kaira calls the government elected in 1990 illegitimate; Taliban dismiss 2014 Afghanistan presidential election; SIGAR report says Afghan security forces unlikely to be self-sustaining post-2014.

Abbottabad Report

  • According to analysis by the Christian Science Monitor, NGOs such as the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan are doubtful that the report compiled by the Abbottabad commission will do anything to challenge military power or hold the government accountable for Osama bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad until his death in May 2011. Recent leaks suggest the report will exonerate Pakistani authorities; Human Rights Commission spokesman Zaman Khan explained that “in Pakistan, whenever the authorities want to hide something under the carpet and hoodwink the public, the government forms a commission.” He added that while the media and civil society have done their utmost to pressure the government to punish those responsible for either negligence or complicity, “we cannot do much because the government does not give a damn about us if it does not want to.” It is still unclear as to whether or not the report’s findings will be made public, though advisor to the Prime Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed that the report had been submitted to higher authorities and it was up to them to decide whether or not to release it.[i]  

Militancy

  • Two women were killed and three were severely wounded in a Thursday landmine explosion in Dera Bugti district, Balochistan. It is unclear who planted the device.[ii]

U.S.-British-Pakistani Relations

  • The British Supreme Court has rejected a request from a Pakistani national held by American forces in Afghanistan that Britain force the U.S. to release him. Yunus Rahmatullah was detained in Iraq by British forces in 2004 and later transferred to the U.S. custody.  U.S. forces accused him of belonging to an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group. A lower court had last year directed British forces to secure Rahmatullah’s release but retracted the order after American forces would not cooperate. While the Supreme Court confirmed the legality both of last year’s order and the decision to rescind it, it did express concern that Rahmatullah’s detention and transfer may be in conflict with the Geneva Conventions on treatment of war prisoners.[iii]

Human Trafficking

  • Barcelona police “dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to the trafficking of illegal immigrants of Pakistani nationality” in Spain on Wednesday. Officers arrested 18 people from Pakistan, Spain, and several other European countries involved in smuggling up to 1,000 Pakistanis into Europe annually for at least seven years. According to police, immigrants paid between $800 and $20,000 to be illegally smuggled into Europe and often made the trip in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.[iv]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • The U.S. on Wednesday rejected Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed’s offer of humanitarian aid to Hurricane Sandy victims. Acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner commented that “we have great respect obviously for the Islamic tradition of social assistance to those who are in need, no matter where they might be…[but] this particular offer strikes us as very hollow.”[v]

  • On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet “expressed solidarity” with victims of Hurricane Sandy and Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the Pakistani government was ready to provide any support it could to those affected by the storm. He also said that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had ordered the Pakistani Embassy in the U.S. to make a point of ensuring the “safety and rehabilitation” of Pakistani victims. President Asif Ali Zardari also “expressed grief over the widespread destruction” caused by the storm.[vi]

Balochistan

  • According to a report by Radio Free Europe, doctors have increasingly been targeted for death and kidnapping “amid the lawlessness of secessionist violence”in Balochistan. Doctors are targeted because of their wealth and lack of protection from tribal leaders. Doctors all around the province have gone on strike, demanding the authorities to provide better protection. The province’s healthcare is being threatened by the strike, with many doctors preparing to resign and move to Europe or the Middle East. The Supreme Court has order the provincial government to do more, but the government has taken no concrete steps against the criminals responsible for targeting doctors.[vii]

  • Sadiq Umrani, President of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Balochistan division, accused Chief Minister of Balochistan Aslam Raisani for involvement in violence against doctors on Thursday. Umrani said that the provincial government had failed to establish law and order. Earlier in the day, Raisani was suspended from the PPP Kalat division for “continually violating party policies.”[viii]

Karachi Violence

  • Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Mohammad Rafiq and Saeed Mansoori, an official in Karachi’s Crime Investigation Department Anti-Extremist Cell were killed in targeted attacks in Karachi on Wednesday. Rafiq was gunned down by unidentified assailants near the Al Haider Sindh Balochistan Hotel where he was investigating a case. Mansoori was shot by unknown men in Gulistan-e-Jauhar where he worked to collect information on local extortionists and militants. A school security guard was also injured in the attack.[ix]

  • Seven people died in Karachi on Thursday. Two were killed in gunfire incidents, one in Sherpao Colony, Lyari and the other in Saeed Manzil. Three bodies bearing torture marks were discovered in Ghani Chowrangi, Ramswami, and Radio Pakistan. Additionally, a policeman injured on October 25 died in a hospital during treatment.[x]

  • Justice Khilji Arif said on Thursday during a Supreme Court hearing on law and order in Karachi that he thought Rangers security forces should have double the salary of the police. According to a report presented to the court, “during the last 13 months, 2381 murder cases were registered and 761 arrests were made” in the city.[xi]

Election-Rigging Case

  • Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Wednesday that the 1990s election rigging case proved that the government elected in 1990 was illegitimate. He said that because the “mandates of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were stolen,” the government should have to validate the illegitimate government’s decisions. Kaira criticized Hamid Gul, former Director General of Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) on Thursday for his claim that he created Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) to prevent Benazir Bhutto’s rise to power. Regarding Hamid Gul, Kaira said that “no one has the right to become the security adviser of the nation himself, this is the job of the state.”[xii]

Afghanistan

  • Afghanistan’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Wednesday set the date for the next presidential election to April 5, 2014. The Taliban dismissed the election as “meaningless” and said they would continue fighting. Taliban spokesman Qari Youssof Ahmadi said “these are not elections, they are selections…The U.S. wants to select those people it wants and who will work for the purpose of the enemy.”[xiii]

  • A spokesman for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said on Wednesday that the Afghan National Security Forces would likely be unable to sustain themselves after the 2014 ISAF troop drawdown as a result of dismal troop literacy rates and a dearth of budgeting, procuring, and logistical systems. As well as criticizing Afghan forces for their inability to execute basic budget organization, a SIGAR report released Wednesday also criticized contractors in charge of running sustainability and training operations for Afghan troops for completing their responsibilities inadequately.[xiv]

        


[ii] “Two women killed in landmine blast in Dera Bugti,” Dawn, November 1, 2012. Available at: http://dawn.com/2012/11/01/two-women-killed-in-landmine-blast-in-dera-bugti/.
[iii] “British SC rejects plea to free Pakistani held by US,” AP, November 1, 2012. Available at: http://dawn.com/2012/11/01/british-sc-rejects-plea-to-free-pakistani-held-by-us/.
[iv] “Spain dismantles human trafficking ring,” AFP, October 31, 2012. Available at: http://dawn.com/2012/10/31/spain-dismantles-pakistani-human-trafficking-ring/.
[v] “US rejects Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s offer of storm aid,” Geo News, November 1, 2012. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=73638.
[vi] “Cabinet expresses solidarity with Sandy storm victims,” The News International, November 1, 2012. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-140453-Cabinet-expresses-solidarity-with-Sandy-storm-victims; “Zardari expresses grief on Sandy losses,” The News International, October 31, 2012. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-73620-Zardari-expresses-grief-on-Sandy-losses
[vii] Abubakar Siddique, Niaz Musakhel, “Doctors without order in Balochistan,” Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, November 1, 2012. Available at http://www.rferl.org/content/pakistan-doctors-demand-protection-in-balochistan/24756758.html
[viii] “Sadiq Umrani accuses CM Raisani of role in Balochistan doctors’ kidnappings,” Dawn, November 1, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/01/sadiq-umrani-accuses-cm-raisani-of-role-in-balochistan-doctors-kidnappings/
[ix] “Targeted killings: ASI and a CID officer shot dead,” Express Tribune, November 1, 2012. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/458987/targeted-killings-asi-and-a-cid-officer-shot-dead/.
[x] “Karachi killings claim seven lives,” Dawn, November 1, 2012. Available at: http://dawn.com/2012/11/01/karachi-killings-claim-seven-lives/.
[xi] “Rangers budget should be used to double police salaries: SC,” Geo, November 1, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=73707
[xii] “Govt installed after 1990 elections was illegitimate: Kaira,” Dawn, October 31, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/10/31/govt-installed-after-1990-elections-was-illegitimate-kaira/; “Kaira lashes out at Hamid Gul, asks ISI to take notice,” Dawn, November 1, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/01/kaira-lashes-out-at-hamid-gul-asks-isi-to-take-notice/
[xiii] Patrick Quinn, “Afghans set presidential poll date; Taliban jeer,” AP, October 31, 2012. Available at: http://news.yahoo.com/afghans-set-presidential-poll-date-taliban-jeer-185344558.html.
[xiv] Kevin Baron, “ANSF unable to sustain self by 2014, warns watchdog,” Foreign Policy, October 31, 2012. Available at: http://e-ring.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/31/ansf_unable_to_sustain_self_by_2014_warns_watchdog