Pakistan Security Brief - November 4, 2013

Sources confirm that TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in the American drone strike on Friday; Internal TTP power struggle to determine Mehsud’s replacement; Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani appointed interim head of TTP; TTP spokesman says talks with the government are off;  Afghan Taliban condemns drone strike;  Interior Minister condemns drone attack, says Pakistan will reevaluate relationship with U.S.; PTI and JUI-F threaten to close NATO supply routes through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; American Ambassador summoned to Foreign Office to receive complaint about drone strikes; Prime Minister says drone strikes are counterproductive; Security increased in Quetta and Peshawar after Hakimullah’s death; MQM and PPP leaders condemn JI leader calling Mehsud a martyr; Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs and Indian External Affairs Minister to meet in Delhi next week; Iran calls on Pakistan to finish gas pipeline; Five Shia killed in sectarian attacks in Karachi; Two NATO oil tankers destroyed in Balochistan, 3 culprits killed; Residents leaving Lyari due to gang violence; World Bank delays $1 billion load; Musharraf granted bail in Lal Masjid case.

Taliban Response to U.S. Drone Strike

  • By Saturday, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and American sources confirmed, either publically or anonymously, that the American drone strike on Friday in Dande Darpa Khel, North Waziristan did kill TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud. A TTP commander said, “We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack.” The TTP also released a picture of Mehsud taken shortly before his burial on Saturday.[1]

  • On Saturday, multiple rumors were reported regarding whom the TTP would choose to replace Hakimullah Mehsud. The Express Tribune reported that the TTP leader in South Waziristan, Khan Saeed Mehsud, also known as “Sajna” had been appointed as the new head. Another leader who was mentioned as being a candidate was Maulana Fazlullah, who leads the Swat Taliban. Dawn reported that Fazlullah, based in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province, is against Khan Saeed’s elevation, and is holding his own meetings to determine his group’s future plans. According to The News, Hakimullah Mehsud’s loyalists are also unhappy about Khan Saeed Mehsud, and have proposed another fighter close to Hakimullah, Sheharyar Mehsud, as the new head of the TTP’s North Waziristan-based faction.[2]

  • On Sunday, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani had been appointed the temporary head of the TTP, and that, contrary to some reports, a permanent replacement for Hakimullah Mehsud has not yet been selected.[3]

  • On Sunday, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that the TTP will not hold talks with the government, which he deemed a “puppet government of the U.S.” He said that the government was playing a double game by insisting it wanted talks with the TTP, and he implied that the government was in some way linked to the drone strike that killed Hakimullah Mehsud. He vowed that the government would pay a price for its actions.[4]

  • On Saturday, the Afghan Taliban released a statement condemning the American drone strike that killed TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud. The Taliban termed it a “terror act.” The Afghan Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network also responded, accusing the United States of “waging a war against Muslims and the Islam” and vowing revenge.[5]

Pakistani and American Responses to U.S. Drone Strike

  • On Saturday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the drone strike which killed TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was “an attack on regional peace” and that continuing talks with the TTP is not possible anymore. He added that Pakistan will review ties with the United States and that a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on National Security to discuss relations with the U.S. will occur upon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s return from the United Kingdom. On Monday, he said that talks will be put on hold only until a new TTP chief is appointed.[6]

  • On Monday, the Federal Cabinet decided to continue pushing ahead with negotiations with the TTP, despite the death of the TTP’s leader. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that “the drone strike inflicted serious damage” on the peace process, but that it will not derail the talks.[7]

  • United States State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Friday that the U.S. considers Pakistan’s talks with the TTP to be an internal matter in which the United States is not involved. She also said that the U.S. is watching the talks closely.[8]

  • In response to the drone strike which killed TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan promised on Saturday to follow through on his threat to close North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supply routes through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Khan had previously vowed to close the supply lines in the event of an American drone strike. On Monday, Khan said that he will cut the supply lines on November 20th if the government does not convince the United States to end drone attacks. The Jamiat-e-Ulema-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) offered support for the PTI’s position and called for another All-Parties Conference. On Monday, the JUI-F submitted a resolution condemning drone strikes and threatening to cut the supply lines.[9]

  • Interior Minister Pervaiz Rashid said on Saturday that blocking NATO supply lines through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is a futile gesture that will not stop American drone strikes. He also expressed hope that the death of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud will not derail talks with the TTP.[10]

  • On Monday, NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that keeping the NATO supply lines in Pakistan open is in Pakistan’s interest, and expressed confidence that Pakistan would realize this and not block them.[11]

  • On Saturday, the American Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to receive a protest about the drone strike on Friday. He was reportedly warned to “take this government seriously” and that if the U.S. continues drone strikes, “there will be a standoff.”[12]

  • On Monday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made his first public comments after the death of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud, saying that his government still wants to “give peace a chance” and that he condemns “senseless force” against Pakistanis. He also said that “drone attacks are counterproductive” in achieving peace in Pakistan.[13]

  • According to a Monday report in Geo News, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that, prior to the drone strike on Friday, a U.S. official promised him that the drone strikes in Pakistan would stop during the negotiations with the TTP.[14]

  • On Saturday, security was increased in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan due to concerns about unrest or attacks following the death of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud.[15]

  • Security was increased in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday following the death of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud. Protection for government locations in Peshawar, the provincial capital, was increased to counter possible revenge attacks from the TTP.[16]

  • On Sunday Jamaat-e-Islami chief Manawar Hassan called Hakimullah Mehsud a “martyr,” prompting Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain to denounce the statement and term Mehsud a “murderer of thousands of innocent citizens.” Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said in a tweet that the JI had demonstrated that they are “anti-[Pakistan].”[17]

  • On Friday, Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) leader and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed urged the government to attempt to shoot down American drones in Pakistani airspace to send a message that the drones violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.[18]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • The Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Asia Europe foreign ministers’ meeting in Dehli on November 10th to discuss ties between the two countries.[19]

  • On Sunday, Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sweets at the Wagah border crossing for Diwali, a Hindu holiday.[20]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday that gas is ready to be shipped to Pakistan through the proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, and that Pakistan should complete its side of the pipeline.[21]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a Sunday report in The Express Tribune, the United States Inspector General has issued a report finding that $90 million issued to Pakistan through the Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) are at risk of being wasted due to the capacity restraints of the ASF.[22]

Militancy

  • On Monday, five Shia were killed and three injured in several attacks throughout Karachi. The attacks occurred in the Manghopir, Tariq Road, the Central district, and Gulshan-e-Iqbal areas of the city. The police said that the motives for the killings appeared to be sectarian.[23]

  • On Monday, unidentified gunmen destroyed two NATO oil tankers in Bala Nari, Bolan district, Balochistan, injuring one of the drivers. Frontier Corps personnel killed three suspects in the attack later on Monday in Bakhtiarabad, Sibi district.[24]

  • On Friday, in response to the shelling of parts of Miram Shah, North Waziristan by Pakistani security forces last week, the main Pakistani Taliban faction in North Waziristan, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, urged residents of the town to move to safer areas in anticipation of more violence.[25]

  • On Sunday, a grenade attack on a tribal jirga in Mamra, Orakzai agency killed four people and injured two. In addition, one of the attackers was also killed while trying to escape.[26]

  • On Sunday an explosion in a seminary in Quetta injured two people. Police said that the explosion was caused by “Afghans” who were building a bomb, which accidentally detonated.[27]

  • Five people in Hyderabad, Sindh were injured by an explosion on Sunday. Police reportedly believe that extortion is the motive.[28]

  • According to a Sunday report in The Express Tribune, residents in the Lyari neighborhood of Karachi are rapidly leaving the area in response to a surge in gang-related violence.[29]

  • A bomb planted in a telephone exchange building detonated in Peshawar on Monday. There were no casualties.[30]

  • On Sunday, unidentified attackers set fire to the property of a construction company in Shankolai, Swat district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after the company reportedly refused to pay an extortion demand.[31]

  • On Saturday, Islamabad police arrested 36 people during a raid in the Shehzad Town area of the city.[32]

  • During targeted operations in Karachi on Saturday, police arrested 57 people.[33]

Domestic

  • On Sunday, the World Bank (WB) delayed approval of a $1 billlion loan to Pakistan due to Pakistan’s failure to meet conditions relating to energy and taxes.[34]

  • On Monday, a court in Islamabad granted bail to former President Pervez Musharraf in a murder case regarding the 2007 Lal Masjid incident. Musharraf has now been bailed from all the cases he has been implicated in. His name remains on an Exit Control List, however, preventing his departure from the country.[35]

  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani observed an Army exercise on Monday in Bahawalpur, Punjab.[36]  

  • In a statement issued by the Sindh Rangers on Monday, army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani reportedly praised the Rangers and the Karachi police for their efforts to restore order to Karachi during the operations that have been ongoing in the city since September.[37]  



[1] Mehreen Zahra-Malik, Jibran Ahmed, “Pakistani Taliban Chief Killed in Drone Strike,” November 2, 2013. Available at: http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/11/01/pakistan-drone-hakimullah-idINDEE9A00A920131101?feedType=RSS&feedName=southAsiaNews
“TTP Confirms Image Released on Social Media is Mehsud’s,” Geo News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-125101-TTP-confirms-image-released-on-social-media-is-Mehsuds
[2] Tahir Khan, “KhanSyed Mehsud Alias Sajna Replaces Hakimullah Mehsud as New TTP Chief,” The Express Tribune, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/626173/khan-syed-mehsud-alias-sajna-replaces-hakimullah-mehsud-as-new-ttp-chief/
Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Pakistani Taliban Meeting Chooses Khan Said ‘Sajna’ as New Chief,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053612/pakistani-taliban-meeting-chooses-khan-said-sajna-as-new-chief
Armir Mir, “TTP Power Struggle Intensifies,” The News, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26441-TTP-power-struggle-intensifies
[3] “Pakistan Taliban Appoint Interim Leader: Spokesman,” Dawn, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053844/pakistan-taliban-appoint-interim-leader-spokesman
[4] Mushtaq Yusufzai, “No Peace Talks with Govt: TTP,” The News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26449-No-peace-talks-with-govt%3a-TTP
[5] “Afghan Taliban Condemn Hakimullah Mehsud’s Killing,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053625/afghan-taliban-condemn-hakimullah-mehsuds-killing
[6] “Pakistan to Review US Ties After ‘Attack on Peace,’ Says Nisar,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053627/pakistan-to-review-us-ties-after-attack-on-peace-says-nisar
“Peace Talks with TTP Over, Chaudhry Nisar Laments,” The Express Tribune, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/627003/peace-talks-with-the-ttp-over-chaudhry-nisar-laments/
“Peace Talks Won’t Move Forward Until Taliban Appoint New Chief: Nisar,” The News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-125109-Peace-talks-wont-move-forward-until-Taliban-appoint-new-chief%3a-Nisar
[7] “Cabinet Gives Nod to Move Forward Taliban Peace Dialogue,” Dawn, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054078/cabinet-gives-nod-to-move-forward-taliban-peace-dialogue
[8] “US Closely Following Pakistan’s Talks with TTP,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053567/us-closely-following-pakistans-talks-with-ttp
[9] “Imran Vows to Block NATO Supplies in KP,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053624/imran-vows-to-block-nato-supplies-in-kp
“NATO Supplies to be Blocked After Nov 20, Imran Tells  NA,” Dawn, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054075/nato-supplies-to-be-blocked-after-nov-20-imran-tells-na
“JUI-F to Support NATO Supplies Blockade Decision Unconditionally,” Dawn, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053850/jui-f-to-support-nato-supplies-blockade-decision-unconditionally
“Lawmakers Move to Block NATO Supplies, End Drone Strikes,” Dawn, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054063/lawmakers-move-to-block-nato-supplies-end-drone-strikes
[10] “Blockade  of NATO Supplies Won’t Stop Drones: Govt,” Dawn, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053782/blockade-of-nato-supplies-wont-stop-drones-govt
[11] “NATO Chief Urges Pakistan to Keep Afghan Transit Lines Open,” Dawn, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054076/nato-chief-urges-pakistan-to-keep-afghan-transit-lines-open
[12] Declan Walsh, “Pakistani Taliban Gather to Select Successor to Leader Killed in U.S. Drone Strike,” The New York Times, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/world/asia/pakistani-taliban-gather-to-select-successor-to-leader-killed-in-us-drone-strike.html
[13] “No Peace Through ‘Senseless Force’: Sharif,” Dawn, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054060/no-peace-through-senseless-force-sharif
Mariam Essa, “Drone Attacks Counterproductive to Peace Efforts: Nawaz,” The Express Tribune, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/626942/drone-attacks-are-counterproductive-nawaz/
[14] “US Officials Assured Drones Would Not Attack During Peace Process,” Geo News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-125023-US-officials-assured-drones-would-not-attack-during-peace-process
[15] Syed Ali Shah, “Security Beefed up in Balochistan Following Hakimullah Killing,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053634/security-beefed-up-in-balochistan-following-hakimullah-killing
[16] “Security High Alert in KP After TTP Chief’s Killing,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053607/security-high-alert-in-kp-after-ttp-chiefs-killing
[17] “Calling Hakimullah a ‘Martyr’ is Condemnable: Altaf Hussain,” The Express Tribune, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/627000/calling-hakimullah-a-martyr-is-condemnable-altaf-hussain/
[18] “Hafiz Saeed Urges Govt to Shoot Down US Drone,” Geo News, November 1, 2013. Available at: www.geo.tv/article-124750-Hafiz-Saeed-urges-govt-to-shoot-down-US-drone
[19] “De-Escalating Border Tension: Sartaj Aziz to Meet Indian Counterpart in Delhi Next Week,” The Express Tribune, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/626750/de-escalating-border-tensions-sartaj-aziz-to-meet-indian-counterpart-in-delhi-next-week/
[20] “Pak, Indian Troops Exchange Sweets,” The News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26465-Pak,-Indian-troops-exchange-sweets
[21] “Iran Tells Pakistan to Build its Own Section of Gas Pipeline: Oil Minister,” The Frontier Post, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/52375/
[22] Shahbaz Rana, “Constraints: US Aid for Pakistan at Risk of Being Wasted, Misused, Says Report,” The Express Tribune, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/626481/constraints-us-aid-for-pakistan-at-risk-of-being-wasted-misused-says-report/
[23] “Gunmen Kill Five Shias in Karachi,” Dawn, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054067/gunmen-kill-four-shias-in-karachi
[24] “Gunmen Torch Two NATO Fuel Tankers in Balochistan,” The Express Tribune, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/626978/gunmen-torch-two-nato-fuel-tankers-in-balochistan/
“FC Kill Gunmen Suspected of Torching NATO Tankers in Sibi,” Dawn, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054068/fc-kill-gunmen-suspected-of-torching-nato-tankers-in-sibi
[25] “Miramshah Families Asked to Leave Area,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053526/miramshah-families-asked-to-leave-area
[26] “Hangu: Four Killed in Grenade Attack on Lower Orakzai Jirga,” Geo News, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-124991-Hangu-Four-killed-in-grenade-attack-on-Lower-Orakzai--jirga
[27] Syed Ali Shah, “Blast Inside Quetta Seminary Leaves Two Injured,” Dawn, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053849/blast-inside-quetta-seminary-leaves-two-injured
[28] “Five Injured in Hyderabad Cracker Attack,” Geo News, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-125004-Five-injured-in-Hyderabad-cracker-attack
[29] “As Gang War Intensifies, Many Lyari Residents Move Out,” The Express Tribune, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/626559/as-gang-war-intensifies-many-lyari-residents-move-out/
[30] “Bomb Blast Blows up Building in Peshawar,” The Express Tribune, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/626851/bomb-blast-blows-up-building-in-peshawar/
[31] “Militants Torch Construction Machinery,” The News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-212157-Militants-torch-construction-machinery
[32] “Islamabad Police Arrests 36 Suspects in Search Operation,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053613/islamabad-police-arrests-36-suspects-in-search-operation
[33] “Karachi Raids: Five Alleged Target Killers Among 57 Arrested,” Dawn, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1053609/karachi-raids-five-alleged-target-killers-among-57-arrested
[34] “WB Delays $1 Bn Loan to Pakistan,” The News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26462-WB-delays-$1-bn-loan-to-Pakistan
[35] Salman Masood, “Pakistan Court Grants Bail to Musharraf,” The New York Times, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/world/asia/pervez-musharraf-bail.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
[36] “PM, Army Chief to Witness Pak Army Exercises Today,” The News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-125057-PM,-army-chief-to-witness-Pak-army-exercises-in-Bhawalpur-
[37] “Kayani Lauds Rangers, Police for Restoring Peace in Karachi,” Dawn, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054077/kayani-lauds-rangers-police-for-restoring-peace-in-karachi