Pakistan Security Brief - November 15, 2013

Interior Minister orders investigation into death of Nasiruddin Haqqani; Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs says Pakistan will work with Narandra Modi if he becomes the next Indian Prime Minister; Meeting of Indian and Pakistani DGMOs coming soon; Indian security forces clash with Muharram processions in Kashmir; Gunmen kill policeman in Kashmir; Grenade attack in Karachi injures three policemen; Federal government tells provinces to be on alert for Muharram; Police arrest 12 in Lahore; Two arrested in Kurram agency.

Haqqani Network

  • On Thursday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan ordered an investigation into the death of prominent Haqqani Network leader Nasiruddin Haqqani on Sunday in Islamabad. The investigation will also examine who removed his body from the spot where he was killed and how a high-ranking Haqqani network leader was living in Islamabad supposedly without Pakistan’s knowledge.[1]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • In an interview published in The Express Tribune on Thursday, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan has no preference in the upcoming Indian elections, and that even if right-wing Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi wins, Pakistan will work with him.[2]

  • On Thursday, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the meeting between Pakistan’s and India’s Directors General of Military Operations (DGMO) will happen soon.[3]

  • On Wednesday, Indian security forces in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir clashed with people participating in Muharram religious processions. The security forces reportedly used tear gas and batons against the processions. India bans large gatherings in Kashmir.[4]

  • On Friday, unidentified gunmen in Anantnag district, Indian-administered Kashmir killed a police officer. The militants fled the scene and have not been caught.[5]

TTP

  • According to a Thursday report in The Wall Street Journal, debate in Pakistan is divided about whether Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a November 1 drone strike, is a martyr or not. Some, including Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Munawar Hasan have said that he was a martyr, while Hamid Raza of the Sunni Ittehad Council, a Barelvi organization, said that he was not because only a Muslim state can declare holy war. The debate also extends to whether Pakistani soldier who have been killed by militants qualify as martyrs, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stating that he considers them to be martyrs.[6]

Muharram Tension

  • On Friday, a hand grenade injured three policemen near a Shia congregation hall in North Nazimabad, Karachi.[7]

  • On Friday, after the end of Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, cell phone service in Multan and Gilgit was resumed, though it is still suspended in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and Quetta.[8]

  • On Thursday, the federal government alerted the provinces of threats to Muharram processions by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The federal government asked local police as well as paramilitary groups like the Rangers and the Frontier Corps to be on high-alert. Sources told the Express Tribune that Pakistani intelligence believes that Dera Ismail Khan, Hangu, Tank, Kohat, Bannu, Kurram agency, Peshawar, Haripur and Abbottabad are the cities most at risk.[9]

  • On Thursday, security forces throughout Pakistan upped security for Muharram. Some of the cities increasing security include Islamabad, Lahore, Sukkur, and Hyderabad.[10]

  • On Thursday, police arrested at least 12 people in Lahore as part of a city-wide operation to secure the city for Muharram.[11]

  • According to a Friday report in The Express Tribune, one of the six Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militants killed in a clash with police in Karachi on Thursday was Gul Hasan, the leader of the Karachi branch of the organization. The LeJ militants were allegedly planning Muharram attacks in the city.[12]

Militancy

  • Security forces in Shahidano Dhand, Kurram agency arrested two suspected terrorists. During the raid, soldiers found land mines, hand grenades, mortar shells, and explosives.[13]

  • On Thursday, a house in Ghundi, Khyber agency was bombed. The house was damaged, but there were no casualties.[14]  



[1] “Minister Orders Probe into Taliban Leader’s Murder,” Dawn, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1056427/minister-orders-probe-into-taliban-leaders-murder
[2] “Pakistan Ready to Work with Modi: Aziz,” Dawn, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1056507/pakistan-ready-to-work-with-modi-aziz
[3] “DGMOs, Security Advisors to Meet ‘Very Soon’: Sartaj Aziz,” The Express Tribune, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/632219/dgmos-security-advisors-to-meet-very-soon-sartaj-aziz/
[4] “India Forces Clash with Kashmir Muslims,” Press TV, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/11/15/334795/india-forces-clash-with-kashmir-muslims/
[5] “Unidentified Gunmen Critically Injure Cop in Jammu and Kashmir,” NDTV, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/unidentified-gunmen-critically-injure-cop-in-jammu-and-kashmir-446658
[6] Saeed Shah, “Death of Pakistani Taliban Chief Spawns Martyr Debate,” The Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2013. Available at: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303559504579197523275654010
[7] “Hand Grenade Injures Three Policemen in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/632306/hand-grenade-injures-three-policemen-in-karachi/
[8] “Ashura Observed in Pakistan, Cellphone Services Resumption Begins,” Dawn, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1056530/ashura-being-observed-across-pakistan
[9] Zahid Gishkori, “Forces Put on High Alert in View of Threats,” The Express Tribune, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/632228/forces-put-on-high-alert-in-view-of-threats/
[10] “High Alert on 9th Muharram: Major Terror Plots Foiled Amid Security Clampdown,” The Express Tribune, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/632226/high-alert-on-9th-muharram-major-terror-plots-foiled-amid-security-clampdown/
[11] “Over a Dozen Suspects Arrested in Lahore,” The News, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26677-Over-a-dozen-suspects-arrested-in-Lahore
[12] “Massacre Averted: LeJ Chief, Two ‘Bombers’ Among Six Killed by Police,” The Express Tribune, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/632115/massacre-averted-lej-chief-two-bombers-among-six-killed-by-police/
[13] “Two Alleged Terrorists Arrested,” The News, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-214444-Two-alleged-terrorists-arrested
[14] “Hujra Damaged in Jamrud Blast,” The News, November 15, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-214441-Hujra-damaged-in-Jamrud-blast