Pakistan Security Brief - November 12, 2013

Haqqani Network’s Nasiruddin Haqqani killed in Islamabad, TTP blames ISI; TTP commander says that the TTP will not participate in talks with the government; Interior Minister says that TTP talks are off; Prime Minister is warned that he and his family may be targeted by the TTP; Government possibly considering trade of TNSM founder Sufi Muhammad for captured professor; Clerics call on Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar to stop TTP attacks; Indian External Affairs Minister and the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs meet in India; Iran says it is willing to renegotiate gas prices; Nine killed in Balochistan attacks; Three Shia killed in Punjab; Two killed and one injured in Punjab bomb blast; Four injured in attack on NATO trucks in Khyber agency; Eleven killed in Karachi violence; IMF says that Pakistan has largely met conditions for $6.7 billion loan; New Anti-Terrorism Act to go into effect; JUI-S supports cutting NATO supply lines; JI protests in Peshawar against NATO supply lines; Malala Yousafzai’s book banned by All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association; Former President Musharraf asks to be removed from the Exit Control List.

Haqqani Network

  • On Sunday, Nasiruddin Haqqani, brother of Haqqani Network chief Sirajuddin Haqqani and an important fundraiser for the group, was killed by unknown gunmen in Islamabad. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) blamed Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI) for the killing, while Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS)said that it was the result of “internal conflict.” According to a Sunday report in The New York Times, Pakistani sources believe that the NDS may be responsible for the attack.[1]

  • On Tuesday, the Afghan Taliban said that the death of Nasiruddin Haqqani was a “big loss” but denied that it would hamper its efforts. The Afghan Taliban blamed his death on “the defeated enemy.”[2]

TTP

  • On Saturday, Ehsanullah Ehsan, a TTP commander, said that the TTP will not engage in talks with the government in the wake of former leader Hakimullah Mehsud’s death. He said that he believes that the Pakistan Army played a role in the deadly drone strike.[3]

  • On Monday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the National Assembly that talks with the TTP are off and will not be started again until American drone strikes on the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) stop.[4]

  • According to a Friday report in The Long War Journal, the TTP released a statement describing its new deputy, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, as a “top intellectual” who is responsible for planning several high-profile suicide attacks.[5]

  • According to a Monday report in The News, security agencies have warned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family not to attend open public events due to concerns that they may be targeted by the TTP in response to the death of Hakimullah Mehsud. Reports have surfaced that four TTP suicide bombers have travelled to Lahore to assassinate Sharif.[6]

  • On Sunday, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement praising the TTP and its recently deceased leader Hakimullah Mehsud as well as offering condolences for his death.[7]

  • On Saturday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said at a meeting with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah Khan that the federal government would work with the K-P provincial government to create a strategy to approach militancy in the province after talks with the TTP fell apart.[8]

  • According to a Sunday report in Dawn, the TTP demanded the release of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) founder Sufi Muhammad, who was imprisoned in 2009 and is new TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah’s father-in-law, in exchange for the release of the former Vice Chancellor of Islamia College University Peshawar, Ajmal Khan, who has been in TTP captivity since 2010. Later on Sunday, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid denied making such a proposal. According to a Monday report in The News, the government is considering the trade as a way to restart talks with the TTP.[9]

  • On Sunday, clerics belonging to the Sunni Ittehad Council, a group of religious leaders of the Barelvi school of Islam, called on Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar to put a stop to attacks by the TTP and convince the group to accept the Constitution of Pakistan.[10]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On Tuesday, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and the Pakistani Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz met on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Gurgaon, India to discuss bilateral relations. Khurshid brought up recent tension at the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.[11]

  • On Monday, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that, despite “very disappointing” behavior by Pakistan, India believes that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants a better relationship. Khurshid said that India will give Pakistan “the benefit of the doubt” in recognition of the Pakistani government having to deal with major internal problems.[12]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a Sunday report in The News, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency has reported that Iran is willing to negotiate a lower price for Iranian gas sold to Pakistan.[13]

Militancy

  • On Friday, nine people were killed in several attacks throughout Balochistan. Three militants and one Frontier Corps soldier died in a clash in Kech district. Two more Frontier Corps personnel were injured. Several other attacks by unidentified gunmen occurred in Quetta, and two people were killed at the border town of Chaman.[14]

  • On Saturday, unidentified gunmen killed three people in two separate attacks on Shia congregation halls in Gujranwala district, Punjab.[15]

  • On Tuesday two members of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a banned Deobandi sectarian group, were arrested in Gujranwala district, Punjab.[16]

  • Two children were killed and another injured by a bomb explosion in Kotlan Arab Ali Khan, Gujrat district, Punjab on Saturday.[17]

  • On Sunday, security forces shelled Miram Shah, North Waziristan in retaliation for an attack on a check point. There were no casualties. A curfew was imposed on Miram Shah on Monday.[18]

  • On Saturday, unidentified gunmen attacked two North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supply vehicles in Jamrud, Khyber agency, injuring four people.[19]

  • On Sunday, eleven people were killed in violence throughout Karachi, including a policeman, who was killed by unknown gunmen in the Orangi Town area.[20]

  • On Tuesday, police raided an empty house in Shah Faisal Colony, Karachi and found a large stockpile of weapons. The police claim that the occupants of the house were planning an attack on a Muharram procession.[21]

  • On Monday, police arrested 32 people in Peshawar as part of the ongoing operations in the city. Over 100 were detained on Saturday.[22]

  • Hammad Adil, a suspected terrorist held in a Rawalpindi jail, reportedly confessed to a range of terrorist plots during questioning on Friday. He supposedly admitted to planning an attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad as well as an attack on an Islamabad restaurant.[23]

Domestic

  • On Friday, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) regional adviser, Jeff Franks, said that Pakistan has largely met the conditions of the IMF’s $6.7 billion loan. He said that the government is making a serious effort to increase revenue. He did express concern that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are too low.[24]

  • According to a Saturday report in The News, the amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act, passed in October, will go into effect immediately, pending approval by the National Assembly. The new laws give law enforcement more latitude in detaining suspects. According to a Friday report in The Washington Post, activists and human rights groups, including Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission, have expressed concern that the new law infringes on rights and gives the government too much power.[25]

  • At a meeting with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) leaders on Monday, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shah Farman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) sought the support of the JUI-S to help stop NATO supply lines through the province, as well as Karachi. The JUI-S leaders promised to support the PTI on the issue.[26]

  • A Sunday press release by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Army’s public relations wing, condemned the Saturday statement by Manawar Hassan, the head of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) saying that former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was a martyr, calling it “an insult to the thousands of Pakistani civilians and soldiers killed.” On Monday, JI General Secretary Liaquat Baloch responded to the army’s condemnation by saying that the ISPR press release was political in nature, and inappropriate for a supposedly apolitical military. On Monday, Punjabi Taliban leader Asmatullah Muavia criticized the army’s statement, calling Hassan’s critics Western puppets. He added that he is now against talks with the government. [27]

  • On Monday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he is confident in the Pakistan Army’s competence and called soldiers who died fighting terrorism martyrs.[28]

  • On Friday, the JI staged a protest in Peshawar against NATO supply lines to Afghanistan running through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and threatened to block the supply lines if American drone strikes do not stop.[29]

  • On Sunday, the president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association announced that Malala Yousafzai’s book, I Am Malala, will be banned by his organization due to its alleged pro-Western anti-Islamic content.[30]

  • On Tuesday, the Sindh High Court asked several officials for opinions on a petition submitted by former President Pervez Musharraf to be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL), which prevents him from leaving the country despite being bailed on all of the cases against him.[31]  



[1] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Senior Haqqani Leader Shot Dead; Buried in Miramshah,” Dawn, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055650/senior-haqqani-leader-shot-dead-buried-in-miramshah
“Umer Nangiana, Tahir Khan, “High-Profile Assassination: Haqqani Network Key Leader Slain Near Islamabad,” The Express Tribune, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/630710/high-profile-assassination-haqqani-network-key-leader-slain-near-islamabad/
Declan Walsh, Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud, “Militant Leader is Killed in Pakistan,” The New York Times, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/asia/leader-in-insurgent-network-is-killed-in-pakistan.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
[2] “Afghan Taliban Condemn Killing of Haqqani Network Leader,” Dawn, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055876/afghan-taliban-condemn-killing-of-haqqani-network-leader
[3] “Wide Reaching Ramifications: Taliban Say Talks are off the Table,” The Express Tribune, November 10, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/629904/wide-reaching-ramifications-taliban-say-talks-are-off-the-table/
[4] Raja Asghar, “Plan for Taliban Talks Shelved for Now: Nisar,” November 12, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055713/plan-for-taliban-talks-shelved-for-now-nisar
[5] Bill Roggio, “Pakistani Taliban’s New Deputy Emir Directed Suicide Operations, is an Intellectual,” The Long War Journal, November 8, 2013. Available at: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/11/pakistani_talibans_n.php
[6] Amir Mir, “TTP Fidayeen Dispatched to Lahore, PM Warned,” The News, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26587-TTP-Fidayeen-dispatched-to-Lahore,-PM-warned
[7] David Barnett, “AQAP Praises Hakeemullah Mehsud and Pakistani Taliban,” The Long War Journal, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2013/11/aqap_praises_hakeemullah_mehsu.php
[8] “New Strategy on Taliban Talks with KP Govt’s Support: Nisar,” Dawn, November 10, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055241/new-strategy-on-taliban-talks-with-kp-govts-support-nisar
[9] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “TTP Links Prof Ajmal Khan’s Release to That of TNSM Chief,” Dawn, November 10, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055435/ttp-links-prof-ajmal-khans-release-to-that-of-tnsm-chief
“TTP Denies Demanding Release of Sufi Muhammad for Freeing Prof Ajmal,” The News, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26597-TTP-denies-demanding-release-of-Sufi-Muhammad-for-freeing-Prof-Ajmal
“Govt Approaching TTP Notables for Smooth Dialogue,” The News, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26596-Govt-approaching-TTP-notables-for-smooth-dialogue
[10] “Clerics Ask Mullah Umar to Help Stop Attacks,” Dawn, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055531/clerics-ask-mullah-umar-to-help-stop-attacks
[11] “Sartaj Aziz and Salman Khurshid Discuss Pak-India Ties,” The Express Tribune, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/630922/sartaj-aziz-and-salman-khurshid-discuss-pak-indo-ties/
[12] “India Ready to Give Pakistan ‘Benefit of the Doubt,’” Dawn, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055591/india-ready-to-give-pakistan-benefit-of-the-doubt
[13] “Iran Ready to Renegotiate Gas Price with Pakistan,” The News, November 10, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-213396-Iran-ready-to-renegotiate-gas-price-with-Pakistan
[14] Syed Ali Shah, “Nine Killed in Balochistan Violence,” Dawn, November 8, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055033/nine-killed-in-balochistan-violence
[15] “Attacks on Imambarhahs Kill Three in Gujranwala,” Dawn, November 9, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055230/attacks-on-imambargahs-kill-three-in-gujranwala
[16] “Two SSP Activists Detained,” The News, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-213859-Two-SSP-activists-detained
[17] “Two Boys Killed in Gujrat Blast,” Geo News, November 9, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-125819-Two-boys-killed-in-Gujrat-blast
[18] “Curfew in Miramshah After Attack on Post,” Dawn, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055727/curfew-in-miramshah-after-attack-on-post
[19] “Four Injured as NATO Trucks Attacked in Khyber Agency,” The News, November 10, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-213427-Four-injured-as-Nato-trucks-attacked-in-Khyber-Agency
[20] “Policeman Among 11 Killed in Karachi Violence,” Dawn, November 10, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055433/policeman-among-11-killed-in-karachi-violence
[21] “Terror Bid Foiled, Arms Recovered from Shah Faisal Colony,” Geo News, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-126150-Terror-bid-foiled-arms-recovered-from-Shah-Faisal-Colony-
[22] “Peshawar Operation: 32 Suspects Arrested,” Dawn, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055632/peshawar-operation-32-suspects-arrested
“Peshawar Raids: Over 100 Suspects Detained,” Dawn, November 9, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055221/peshawar-raids-over-100-suspects-detained
[23] “Detained Terrorist Confesses to Involvement in Attack on Danish Embassy,” November 8, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/629124/detained-terrorist-confesses-to-involvement-in-attack-on-danish-embassy/
[24] “IMF Satisfied with Pakistan’s Economic Progress,” Dawn, November 8, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055026/imf-satisfied-with-pakistans-economic-progress
“IMF Warns Pakistan on Foreign Exchange Reserves,” The Express Tribune, November 8, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/629143/imf-warns-pakistan-on-foreign-exchange-reserves/
[25] “Pakistan Creates its Own Patriot Act to Deal with Terrorists,” The News, November 9, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-125755-Pakistan-adopts-its-own-Patriot-Act,-HR-Groups-worried
Tim Craig, “Pakistan Creates its Own Patriot Act to Deal with Terrorists; Human Rights Groups Worried,” The Washington Post, November 8, 2013. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pakistan-creates-its-own-patriot-act-to-deal-with-terrorists-human-rights-groups-worried/2013/11/08/67ed58ca-4071-11e3-a751-f032898f2dbc_story.html
[26] “A friendship of Convenience: JUI-S Extends Support to PTI to Stop NATO Supplies,” The Express Tribune, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/630628/a-friendship-of-convenience-jui-s-extends-support-to-pti-to-stop-nato-supplies/
[27] “JI Chief’s Remarks an Insult to Pakistan’s Martyrs: ISPR,” Dawn, November 10, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055439/ji-chiefs-remarks-an-insult-to-pakistans-martyrs-ispr
“ISPR Release Political, Army Should  Not Interfere in Politics: JI,” Dawn, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055642/munawar-stands-by-his-remarks-as-ji-council-meets
“Asmatullah Muavia Slams Munwar Hassan’s Critics,” The News, November 11, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-126065-Asmatullah-Muavia-hails-Munawar-Hassans-remarks
[28] “Nawaz Hails Pak Army ‘Martyrs’ for Ensuring Better Tomorrow,” Dawn, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055855/pm-visits-ghq-briefed-on-security
[29] Ali Hazrat Bacha, “JI to Block NATO Supplies After 20th,” Dawn, November 9, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055178/ji-to-block-nato-supplies-after-20th
[30] “Pakistani Private Schools Ban Malala’s Book,” Dawn, November 10, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1055440/pakistani-private-schools-ban-malalas-book
[31] “Musharraf Requests to be Removed from ECL,” The Express Tribune, November 12, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/630900/musharraf-requests-to-be-removed-from-ecl/