Pakistan Security Brief - November 5, 2013

Quetta Shura reportedly meets in Islamabad and agrees to participate in Afghanistan peace process; TTP leadership has not yet chosen successor for Hakimullah Mehsud; Abdullah Mehsud reportedly not killed in drone strike; Afghan President condemns timing of U.S. drone attack; U.S. Secretary of State and Prime Minister discuss drones in phone call; JUI-F chief calls Hakimullah Mehsud a “martyr,” says PTI should not unilaterally block NATO supply lines; Pakistan successfully tests Short Range Surface to Surface Missile; Pakistan asks for $700 million World Bank loan for hydropower project; Police in Faisalabad arrest four alleged TTP members; 13 killed in Karachi violence; Peshawar bomb kills one, injures seven; Police arrest 256 in Peshawar operations.

Afghanistan Reconciliation Process

  • According to a Friday report in The Daily Beast, the Quetta Shura, the leadership council of the Afghan Taliban usually based in Balochistan, held a meeting in Islamabad on October 29 to discuss participating in the Afghanistan peace process. The Shura reportedly decided to participate in negotiations after concluding that, given their current strength, renewed violence will not be enough for them to accomplish their goals in Afghanistan. According to the report, Pakistan played a role in convincing the Afghan Taliban to lower its demands for negotiations.[1]

Death of Hakimullah Mehsud

  • According to a Saturday report in The Frontier Post, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership is meeting in North Waziristan to determine who should replace Hakimullah Mehsud as the leader of the TTP. A decision will be made within the next several days. The process of selecting a successor has reportedly been slowed down due to the meeting constantly shifting locations in an attempt to stave off potential American drone strikes.[2]

  • TTP militant Abdullah Bahar Mehsud, who had been reported killed in the Friday drone strike in North Waziristan, denied reports of his death in an interview with Geo News on Sunday.[3]

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday that the American drone strike that killed TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud happened at “an unsuitable time” and that he hopes it does not derail the peace process.[4]

  • On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud “is known to have targeted and killed Americans, many Afghans and many Pakistanis” but declined to confirm that his death was the result of an American drone strike. He also said that the U.S. is “sensitive” to Pakistan’s concerns about drone strikes.” The State Department has still not officially confirmed that the United States was responsible for the drone strike which killed Mehsud.[5]

  • On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss drone strikes. Sharif reiterated his opposition to drone strikes to Kerry.[6]

  • On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that there are “tensions and occasional misunderstandings” between the U.S. and Pakistan, but that the U.S. hopes to continue to cooperate with Pakistan on shared interests such as security and economics.[7]

  • On Monday, U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf declined to give specifics about the protest lodged with the American ambassador to Pakistan after the drone strike which killed TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud.[8]

  • On Tuesday, the leader of the Jamaat-Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Fazlur Rehman said that TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud is “a martyr” because he was killed by the United States. He also said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan should not block the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supply lines to Afghanistan on his own and should instead work through an All-Parties Conference. He called on the TTP to push ahead with peace talks.[9]

Domestic

  • On Tuesday, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations website, Pakistan conducted a test of Hatf IX, a Short Range Surface to Surface Missile. The missile has a range of about 60 kilometers. The test was deemed a success.[10]

  • According to a Tuesday report in The Express Tribune, Pakistan has approached the World Bank to ask for a $700 million load to help finance the Dasu hydropower project in Kohistan district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. A World Bank delegation is already in Pakistan to determine whether to give Pakistan the loan.[11]

Militancy

  • According to a Tuesday report in The News, police in Faisalabad, Punjab have arrested four people believed to belong to the TTP, who were reportedly planning to kidnap a member of the Punjab Assembly.[12]

  • On Tuesday, 13 people were killed throughout Karachi in separate incidents. The incidents occurred in several areas including the Korangi, Orangi and Lyari neighborhoods. Three of the dead belonged to the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a front group of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.[13]

  • A bomb blast in the Khalid bin Waleed Town area of Peshawar killed one person and injured seven on Monday.[14]

  • On Tuesday, police arrested 256 people throughout Peshawar as part of ongoing operations in the city.[15]  



[2] “TTP Leadership Meets in N. Waziristan to Choose New Chief,” The Frontier Post, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/51927/
“No Decision Yet on New Taliban Chief Appointment: TTP S. Waziristan,” The Frontier Post, November 2, 2013. Available at: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/51936/
[3] “TTP Leader Abdullah Denies Reports of His Death,” Geo News, November 3, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-124920-TTP-leader-Abdullah-denies-reports-of-his-death
[4] “Karzai Criticises Timing of Killing of Pakistan Taliban Chief,” The News, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-125069-Karzai-criticises-timing-of-killing-of-Pakistan-Taliban-chief
[5] “After Militant’s Killing, Kerry Says Sensitive to Pakistan Concerns,” Reuters, November 4, 2013. Available at: http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/11/04/pakistan-drone-usa-kerry-idINDEE9A30BO20131104?feedType=RSS&feedName=southAsiaNews
“US Could Not Confirm Death of Hakimullah: State Department,” The News, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/article-124920-TTP-leader-Abdullah-denies-reports-of-his-death
[6] “John Kerry Telephones PM Nawaz,” The News, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-125164-John-Kerry-calls-PM-Nawaz
[7] “US Admits to Tensions with Pakistan, Defends Hakimullah’s Killing,” Dawn, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054093/us-admits-to-tensions-with-pakistan-defends-hakimullahs-killing
[8] Anwar Iqbal, “Nothing to Report on Pakistan’s Protest: US,” Dawn, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054222/nothing-to-report-on-pakistans-protest-us
[9] “Fazl Calls Hakimullah a Martyr, Asks TTP to Salvage Peace Effort,” Dawn, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054282/fazl-calls-hakimullah-a-martyr-asks-ttp-to-salvage-peace-effort
[10] “Pakistan successfully Test Fires Hatf IX,” Dawn, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054272/pakistan-successfully-test-fires-hatf-ix
[11] Shahbaz Rana, “Key Project: Islamabad Approaches World Bank for Dasu Dam,” The Express Tribune, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/627129/key-project-islamabad-approaches-world-bank-for-dasu-dam/
[12] “Faisalabad Police Nab Four Terrorists,” The News, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-26484-Faisalabad-Police-nab-four-terrorists
[13] “13 Dead in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/627389/11-dead-as-karachi-violence-spirals-out-of-control/
[14] “Child Killed, 6 Hurt in Peshawar Blast,” Dawn, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054202/child-killed-6-hurt-in-peshawar-blast
[15] “Peshawar Operation: 256 Suspects Detained,” Dawn, November 5, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1054276/peshawar-operation-256-suspects-detained