Pakistan Security Brief - November 6, 2012

U.N. blacklists the Haqqani Network; Afghanistan will not negotiate with Haqqani network; Supreme Court Chief Justice says Court is ultimate authority in protecting national interest; PML-N leader meets with former ISI chief;  Inter-militant clash leaves four dead; Nine killed, nine injured in separate attacks in FATA; Three killed in Quetta; Five killed in Karachi; Karachi businesses face growing extortion threats in lead-up to parliamentary elections; Peshawar High Court orders submission of final KP missing persons list; Baloch diaspora interacting with U.S. policymakers; Pakistan says Jammu and Kashmir is disputed territory; Australia offers joint venture with Pakistan over Thar coal; Pakistan signs MoU with Russia over expansion and modernization of Pakistani steel mills; 1,000 Afghan refugee families repatriated from Lower Dir; Malala attacker’s sister apologizes for brother’s actions; U.S. court upholds Dr. Aafia Siddiqui conviction.

Blacklisting the Haqqani Network

  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Susan Rice said that the U.N. Security Council’s Taliban sanctions committee had added the Haqqani Network to the U.N. blacklist on Monday. They also blacklisted Qari Zakir, said to be “an operational commander involved in many of the network’s highest-profile suicide attacks.” The blacklist requires all U.N. member states to “implement an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo against Zakir and the Haqqani Network.” Council diplomats stated that it was notablethat the movement passed, because all 15 members of the committee must agree on it and Pakistan is one of the Council members. The U.S. has accused Pakistan’s government of supporting the Haqqani Network. Pakistan’s Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told Reuters that Pakistan has no problem with the sanctions and that “the three elements of the ban – arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban – are all already in place in Pakistan.”[i]

  • On Monday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s chief spokesman Aimal Faizi said Kabul welcomed the U.N. Security Council decision to blacklist the Haqqani network, but that it should have happened long ago. While Kabul is trying to reconcile with other Taliban groups, Faizi maintained that “we don’t want any kind of deal with the Haqqanis, who were behind many of the attacks on Afghan security forces and civilians including women and children…we have certain negotiating conditions with armed opposition groups but the Haqqanis do not meet the criteria and they are in the service of a foreign spy agency.” Both Afghan and U.S. officials have accused Pakistan’s ISI of using the network as a proxy in Afghanistan to counter India’s influence.[ii]

Military-Judiciary Clash

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court responded on Monday to comments made by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and believed by many to be veiled threats against the judiciary for vigorously pursuing cases against historical election rigging by the military. Kayani’s statement on Monday said that no single institution or individual can monopolize the determination of Pakistani national interest. Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that the Supreme Court possessed “absolute authority” concerning matters of national interest. Chaudhry said that it was the Court’s duty to ensure citizens’ social security and protect their civil rights, and that the nation’s stability no longer depended on the size of its military arsenal. He added that Supreme Court judges bore a “heavy responsibility” to “uphold the constitutional supremacy over all other institutions and authorities.”[iii]

Domestic Politics

  • On Monday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Nawaz Sharif met with former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General Hamid Gul in his continuing effort to forge political alliances before 2013’s presidential elections. Gul is one of the founding members of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a religio-political alliance of right-wing parties such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Ahle-Sunnat wal Jamaat.[iv]

Militancy

  • A fight between the Afghan Taliban and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) broke out in Andar district of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province on Tuesday. According to the Provincial Governor, the fighting left two Afghan Taliban militants and two TTP militants dead.[v]

  • Four people were killed and two were injured in different parts of North Waziristan on Monday. Unknown gunmen attacked a vehicle in Mir Ali, killing three members of the Wazir tribe. In a second incident, another vehicle was attacked on Miram Shah-Mir Ali Road, killing a Frontier Works Organization worker and injuring two of the passengers.[vi]

  • Unidentified gunmen killed three people and injured two others in Quetta, Balochistan on Tuesday. The attack took place on Spini Road when they opened fire on a vehicle.[vii]

  • After stepping up security in the area, four Levies soldiers were injured by a suicide bomber in Ekkaghund town, Mohmand agency on Monday. An assistant political agent in the area said that security was stepped up before the attack after receiving intelligence “about the entry of a suicide bomber in Ekkaghund.”[viii]

  • Unknown gunmen opened fire on a restaurant in Hyderabad, Sindh on Tuesday, killing a man in what police are calling a target killing. This killing brings the number of target killings in Hyderabad up to nine in the past four days.[ix]

  • A policeman and two militants were killed when they attacked the Shamshato check post in Peshawar on Tuesday.[x]

  • One man was killed and five others were injured when a militant opened fire on a house in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday.[xi]

  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a school watchman, “who was a retired soldier,” in Mingora, Swat on Monday.[xii]

  • Five people were killed in Karachi on Tuesday. Unknown gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a car in Saddar killing two, including a leader of the Jaffaria Alliance Pakistan (JAP). Three bodies were found in gunny bags in Kareemabad. A militant and a Ranger were injured during a search and clearance operation in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. The bomb disposal squad found and defused a bomb planted near Jinnah’s mausoleum.[xiii]

Karachi Extortion

  • As the 2013 parliamentary elections draw nearer, businesses in Karachi are receiving growing numbers of extortion threats from “ethnic communities [seeking] to use their hired guns to build financial war chests ahead of parliamentary polls due in the first half of next year.” Chairman of the All Karachi Traders’ Alliance Atiq Mir said that at least 40 percent of Karachi businesses are threatened and forced into paying extortion money. Some of the money is channeled to political parties while the rest of it “goes into the pockets of gangsters,” according to Awami National Party representative Muhammad Adeel. A local shop owner explained that “when someone comes, we humbly give them what they want…They’re quite merciful if you comply, they’re quite deadly if you don’t.”[xiv]

Missing Persons

  • The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday ordered the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Frontier Corps to submit a final list of all missing persons from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa by December 4. Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan declared that over 1,000 people were missing and that they must be brought to justice within a month. He added that until proven guilty, no-one could be labeled a criminal and that it was up to the Court to decide whether or not to convict them.[xv]

U.S.-Balochistan Relations

  • According to a Dawn article, the Baloch diaspora in the United States has been “actively interacting with US policymakers, human rights groups and the media to create awareness with respect to the situation in Balochistan.” An exclusive U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing between four members of the U.S. Congress “supported the Baloch demand for an independent state” and infuriated the Pakistani government. The Baloch diaspora is worried however, that greater cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan could lead to harsher policies from Islamabad.[xvi]

Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • A Foreign Office spokesman released a statement on Monday saying that Pakistan still views Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory. The spokesman also said that Pakistan “remained committed to [a] peaceful resolution [of the Kashmir issue] in accordance with the UN resolutions and aspiration of Kashmiri people.”[xvii]

Australia-Pakistan Relations

  • Australian Ambassador to Pakistan Peter Heyward offered to partake in a joint venture for the development of Thar coal with Pakistan on Tuesday. He said that the project could “help the country overcome its energy crises.” Heyward also claimed that Australian energy companies had been keeping an eye on developments in Pakistan, waiting for an opportunity to step into its promising market.[xviii]

Russo-Pakistani Relations

  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree signaling the approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) “approved by the Government of Pakistan regarding the expansion and modernization of Pakistan Steel Mills.” This was disclosed on the sidelines of the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM-9) on Monday.[xix]

Afghan Repatriation

  • Over 1,000 Afghan refugee families have so far been repatriated from Lower Dir district in Pakistan back to their homes in Afghanistan. Speaking to local journalists on Monday at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices at Khaima Balambat, Lower Dir, District Coordination Officer Mahmood Aslam Wazir said that families returning to Afghanistan had been provided with $150 as well as transportation, clothing and other goods.[xx]

Malala Yousafzai Attack

  • In a Tuesday interview with CNN, Rehana Haleem, the sister of Malala Yousafzai shooter Attaullah Khan, apologized for her brother’s actions. Haleem said that Khan had shamed their entire family, and that they have “lost everything.” She further added that she no longer considers him her brother, and that she hoped Malala would not consider her or the rest of her family as enemies.[xxi]

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui

  • A U.S. appeals court in New York upheld the conviction of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui for shooting at FBI agents and soldiers in Afghanistan in 2008 on Monday. Siddiqui’s lawyers have argued that she was shooting out of panic and that it had nothing to do with terrorism. Prosecution lawyers said that Siddiqui had likely premeditated the attack and that “terrorism sentencing requirements were applicable because of her willingness to harm Americans.”[xxii]              

 


[iii] Salman Masood, “Top Pakistani Generals and Judges Trade Barbs,” New York Times, November 5, 2012. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/06/world/asia/pakistan-generals-and-judges-trade-barbs.html ; “Concepts of national security and stability are changed, says CJ,” Dawn, November 5, 2012. Available at: http://dawn.com/2012/11/05/concepts-of-national-security-and-stability-are-changed-says-cj/.
[iv] “Pre-election politicking: Hamid Gul meets Nawaz Sharif,” Express Tribune, November 5, 2012. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/461101/pre-election-politicking-hamid-gul-meets-nawaz-sharif/.
[v] “Four killed in clashes between Pakistani, Afghan Taliban,” The News, November 6, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-141382-Four-killed-in-clashes-between-Pakistani,-Afghan-Taliban
[vi] “Four killed in North Waziristan attacks,” Dawn, November 6, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/06/four-killed-in-north-waziristan-attacks/
[vii] “Three gunned down in Quetta,” Geo, November 6, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74393
[viii] Shakirullah & Shah Nawaz Mohmand, “Four Levies men injured in Mohmand suicide blast,” The News, November 6, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-141379-Four-Levies-men-injured-in-Mohmand-suicide-blast
[ix] “9 targeted, killed in 4 days in Hyderabad,” Geo, November 6, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74383
[x] “Policeman, 2 attackers killed in Peshawar,” Geo, November 6, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74369
[xi] “One killed as militants storm house,” The News, November 6, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-141386-One-killed-as-militants-storm-house
[xii] “School watchman shot dead in Mingora,” The News, November 6, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-141388-School-watchman-shot-dead-in-Mingora
[xiii] “Two including JAP leader gunned down in Karachi,” Geo, November 6, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74348; “bomb successfully defused near Quaid’s mausoleum,” Dawn, November 6, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/06/report-of-bomb-near-jinnahs-mausoleum/
[xiv] Khurrum Anis and Haris Anwar, “Death Threats Placue Business as Karachi Gangs Prepare for Polls,” Bloomberg Businessweek, Novebmer 5, 2012. Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-05/death-threats-plague-business-as-karachi-gangs-prepare-for-polls#p1.
[xv] “Submit final list of missing persons, Peshawar court tells security agencies,” Express Tribune, November 6, 2012. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/461618/submit-final-list-of-missing-persons-peshawar-court-tells-security-agencies/.
[xvi] Malik Siraj Akbar, “Balochistan and US elections,” Dawn, November 6, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/06/balochistan-and-us-elections/
[xvii] “Pakistan regards Jammu and Kashmir disputed territory: FO,” Geo, November 5, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74287
[xviii] “Australia offers joint venture for development of Thar Coal,” Dawn, November 6, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/06/australia-offers-joint-venture-for-development-of-thar-coal/
[xix] “Russian PM signs decree approving expansion, modernization of PSM,” Dawn, November 5, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/06/russian-pm-signs-decree-approving-expansion-modernization-of-psm/
[xx] “1,000 Afghan families repatriated from Dir,” Dawn, November 5, 2012. Available at: http://dawn.com/2012/11/06/1000-afghan-families-repatriated-from-dir/.
[xxi] “Malala shooting: Key suspect’s sister apologizes for attack,” Express Tribune, November 6, 2012. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/461602/malala-shooting-key-suspects-sister-apologises-for-attack/
[xxii] “US: Dr. Afia Siddiqui loses appeal on shooting conviction,” Reuters, November 6, 2012. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74327.