Pakistan Security Brief - November 9, 2012

Afghanistan to re-open peace talks; PM says no institutional clashes in Pakistan; Pakistan, Pakistani drones for surveillance only; Seven killed and 14 injured in a clash between scouts and militants in South Waziristan; Dera Bugti bomb injures over 12; Five killed in Karachi; Railways Minister and wife banned from U.S. entry; PML-Q lawmaker survives assassination attempt; UN envoy Gordon Brown presents petition for Malala to Pakistan government with more than a million signatures.

Afghan Reconciliation

  • Pakistan and Afghanistan will re-open talks in an effort to re-engage the Taliban in peace negotiations next week. A senior minister in Pakistan’s Foreign Office confirmed that top Afghan negotiator Salahuddin Rabbani will travel to Pakistan to discuss the Afghan reconciliation process after talks were stalled due to tensions over cross-border shelling incidents.[i]

Institutional Clashes

  • Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Friday that there was no clash of institutions in the country. His comments follow a recent “war of words” between the army, the judiciary, and parliament over who defines Pakistani national interest.[ii]

Pakistani Drones

  • Defense Minister Naveed Qamar stated on Friday that Pakistan only used its drones for surveillance purposes and that there were no weapons attached to them. He also said that Pakistan had mainly been exporting small arms to other countries but that it was now capable of exporting heavier weapons too.[iii]

Militancy

  • A clash between militants and Frontier Corps scouts in the Toakhela district of South Waziristan left seven dead and 14 injured on Friday. The militants attacked the Scouts Fort with automatic weapons and killing one scout and injuring another. The scouts returned fire on the militants, killing at least six and injuring another 13.[iv]

  • A blast in Dera Bugti, Balochistan wounded twelve people on Friday. The bomb was targeted at a lawmaker from the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), and although it exploded, he was able to survive. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.[v]

  • Five people were killed in Karachi on Friday. One person was shot and killed in Mauripur, while another person was shot dead in Sher Shah. Another man was killed in Gulshan-i-Iqbal. Two men were killed by gun fire in Quaidabad.[vi]

  • The Sindh government has banned pillion riding in Karachi and Khairpur. The ban starts at midnight on Friday and will last “until Muharram 11.” The ban is an attempt to adopt greater security measures in the violent province “ahead of the holy month of Muharram.”[vii]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Federal Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour confirmed to the Express Tribune on Friday that he had been banned from any future travel to the United States. He stated he was informed by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad that visas for him and his wife had been cancelled. This past September Bilour had offered a bounty of $100,000 for the killing of the producer of the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims”. With regards to the ban, Bilour stated he was, “not worried whether the US or UK restrict my entry into their countries; I would only be worried if I was banned on visiting [Mecca] and Medina but thanks God this didn’t happen.” The U.S. Embassy offered no comment on the issue.[viii]

U.N.-Pakistan Relations

    



[i] Kamran Yousaf, “Pakistan, Afghanistan to revive talks with Taliban,” Express Tribune, November 9, 2012. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/463060/pakistan-afghanistan-to-revive-talks-with-taliban/.
[ii] “No clash between institutions,” Geo News, November 9, 2012. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74799.
[iii] “Pakistan’s drones only for surveillance: Naveed Qamar,” Geo News, November 9, 2012. Available at: http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74803.
[iv] “SWA: Two militants killed in retaliation,” Geo, November 9, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=74771; Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Militants attack checkpost in South Waziristan; one soldier killed,” Dawn, November 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/09/one-soldier-killed-one-injured-in-militant-attack-in-s-waziristan/
[v] “PML-Q MNA survives Dera Bugti shoe bomb attack,” AFP, November 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/09/several-including-mna-injured-in-dera-bugti-blast/
[vi] “Karachi’s violence claim five lives,” Dawn, November 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/09/karachis-violence-claim-five-lives/
[vii] “Pillion riding banned in Karachi, Khairpur,” Dawn, November 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/09/pillion-riding-banned-in-karachi-khairpur/
[viii] Hasan Ali, “Anti-Islam film bounty: Bilour, wife banned from entering US,” Express Tribune, November 9, 2012. Available at:
[ix] “UN envoy presents million-signature petition supporting Malala,” AFP, November 9, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/11/09/un-envoy-presents-million-signature-petition-supporting-malala/