Pakistan Security Brief - October 30, 2012

Bomb explodes in Bacha Khan Markaz; Protesters demonstrate against shrine attack; British anti-terrorism law expert to meet with parliamentarians; Police suspect two boys involved in Malala attack; Hafiz Saeed offers support to America in wake of Hurricane Sandy; Hafiz Saeed’s brother preaches religious tolerance; HuT has attempted to penetrate Pakisan’s military three times in the past ten years; PPP rally attack suspect killed; Pakistan fearful of U.N. sanctions; Reporters without Borders concerned with threats to journalists; new Indian External Affairs Minister seeks to strengthen Indo-Pakistani ties; Canadian Foreign Office says nothing to do with Imran Khan interrogation; Military analyst says it will be difficult to obtain records pertaining to the Asghar Khan petition; Pakistan’s elections will not be delayed; Chief Justice Chaudhry says expatriate Pakistanis should have the right to vote.

Militancy and Extremism

  • Unidentified individuals placed a remote-controlled bomb under a bridge near Bacha Khan Markaz in Peshawar on Tuesday. Police officials said no one was hurt in the blast.[i]

  • Hundreds of protesters demonstrated on Monday against the Sunday bombing of a Sufi shrine in Nowshera that killed four and injured 34. Former Jamaat-i-Islami leader Qazi Hussain Ahmad condemned the attack as an anti-Islam conspiracy, while patron-in-chief of Kakakhel Mian Feroz Jamal said that, “we cannot tolerate the disgracing of religious and holy places. It may be Taliban, Americans, or Jews, but we warn them against bombing shrines.”[ii]

  • British lawyer and anti-terrorism law expert Lord Alexaner Charles Carlyle will be interviewed by a live video conference call meeting by Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security on Wednesday to discuss legislation pertaining to terrorism. This meeting occurs as the Investigation for Fair Trial Bill, 2012 is being discussed in parliament. The Bill would provide for the “collection of evidence by means of modern techniques and devices to prevent and effectively deal with scheduled offences and to regulate the powers of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” though some have deemed it too intrusive.[iii]

New Malala Yousafzai Suspects

  • Pakistani police now suspect that two boys were involved in the attack on Malala Yousafzai. They claim that one of the boys “distracted the van driver, while the other asked someone to point out Malala.” Police, who were already searching for the adult suspect Attah Ullah Khan, are now searching for the two young boys.[iv]

Hafiz Saeed

  • Hafiz Saeed said on Tuesday that his group, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), “is ready to send its volunteers, doctors, food, medicines and other relief items on humanitarian grounds if the US government allows us.” The U.S. has a $10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed, who is the founder of the Pakistani-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). He said that despite the opinions that America holds of him and his group, he felt it was their “Islamic duty to help Americans trapped in a catastrophe.”[v]

  • According to an article by the Washington Post, the brother of Hafiz Saeed, Hafiz Muhammad Masood, lived in America for 21 years preaching religious tolerance. He was forced to return to Pakistan for false Visa charges, and had to leave his wife and children. Now he is a spokesman for the charity organization JuD that his brother Saeed is in charge of. According to the article, the different personalities of these two men “illustrate the often contradictory nature of Pakistan itself, a country that behaves like both friend and foe to its chief patron, the United States – frequently at the same time.”[vi]

HuT Infiltration In The Pakistani Military

  • The August third conviction of Brigadier Ali Khan and four other army officers was the third attempt to “penetrate into the military in the past 10 years,” by the banned Islamic organization Hizbut Tahrir (HuT). HuT activists Abdul Qadir and Dr Ahmed established links with Khan and then developed “relations with the officers through common friends.” According to an investigation report by the Special Investigation Branch, “Brig Khan, with the help of the four military offices, was planning to target the civilian and military leadership in an air attack to clear the way for establishing the Caliphate governance system in Pakistan.”[vii]

Attack Suspect Killed

  • On Tuesday, the premier suspect in an attack on a Pakistan People’s Party rally on October 7 that killed seven and injured 10 was killed in Sukkur, Sindh. Details are still unclear as to what happened, though some reports say that Azizullah Janwari was killed when several associates tried to free him from police custody.[viii]

U.N.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to sources in Pakistan’s Ministry of Law, Pakistan is concerned that the U.N. may place sanctions on it next year for failing to curb money laundering and terrorist financing. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a money laundering watchdog created by the U.N. Security Council, singled out Pakistan earlier this year for ineffectively responding to terrorist financing schemes. Allegedly, Pakistan is now lobbying countries such as China and India, protesting that the FATF is dominated by Western countries with political agendas. The Pakistani government as well as the State Bank both say they are determined to “comprehensively strengthen [Pakistan’s] anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime.”[ix]

  • In the lead-up to the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan, Reporters Without Borders expressed serious concern about the threats journalists face on the job in Pakistan. They said that threats to journalists are increasing, and demanded that the U.N. Human Rights Council direct Pakistani authorities to provide greater protection for journalists.[x]

Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • India’s new External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid declared on Sunday that he was committed to further improving Indian-Pakistani ties. He explained that “we want to be able to look at possible roots towards being able to work more closely together, be able to understand each other’s problems and to the extent that we can solve each other’s problems mutually and by convergence of opinion on both our countries.”[xi]

Canada-U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • The Canadian Foreign Office said on Monday that it was not responsible for detaining and questioning Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan at the airport on Friday. The office said that U.S. officials had deplaned Khan and his associate Fauzia Kasuri and questioned them for two hours at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Khan stated that he was asked about his position on drone attacks while Deputy U.S. Ambassador Richard Hoagland said that U.S. officials never brought drones up, but that Khan did. Workers for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demonstrated in front of the Punjab Assembly on Monday against Imran Khan’s offloading from the U.S. bound flight in Canada. They claimed that this action “was tantamount to disgracing the whole Pakistani nation.”[xii]

Domestic Politics

  • A Military analyst commenting on the Asghar Khan said on Monday that it will be extremely difficult for the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to collect records on the money that was distributed to politicians in the 1990s. He said that orders such as these were always verbal and that the General Headquarters or the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has not and does not keep written records of such actions. He said that for this reason he believes that nothing will happen to the two generals convicted in the Asghar Khan petition. He did however say that he thinks this will make army generals “think twice before getting involved in such ‘adventures.’”[xiii]

  • Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Tuesday that Pakistan’s elections would not be delayed, and that the interim government would be “set up from march 19 following the completion of the five-year assemblies’ term on March 18.” He also told media that the presence of an independent media and judiciary makes it impossible for the government to delay general elections.[xiv]

  • In a hearing of a case related to voter lists on Tuesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry let it be known that he believes non-resident Pakistanis should have the right to vote. This was after the court had been told that, “the procedure to enable non-resident Pakistanis to vote in the elections was encountering difficulties.” Chaudhry said the non-residents have been sending significant remittances to the country.[xv]

 


[i] “Blast near Bacha Khan Markaz,” The News International, October 29, 2012. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-73384-Blast-near-Bacha-Khan-Markaz.
[ii] Suhail Kakakhel, “Hundreds protest against Nowshera shrine attack,” Dawn, October 29, 2012. Available at: http://dawn.com/2012/10/30/hundreds-protest-against-nowshera-shrine-attack/.  
[iii] Amir Wasim, “British expert to brief PCNS on anti-terror laws,” Dawn, October 30, 2012. Available at: http://dawn.com/2012/10/30/british-expert-to-brief-pcns-on-anti-terror-laws/
[iv] Ashley Fantz, “Pakistan official: Boys involved in Malala attack,” CNN, October 30, 2012. Available at http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/29/world/pakistan-teen-activist/index.html
[v] “Hafiz Saeed offers US storm aid,” Dawn, October 30, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/10/30/hafiz-saeed-offers-us-storm-aid/
[vi] Muhammed Muheisen, “Pakistani brothers reflect their countries contradictions,” Washington Post, October 28, 2012. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pakistani-brothers-reflect-their-countrys-contradictions/2012/10/28/f29af3ea-1c52-11e2-8817-41b9a7aaabc7_story.html
[vii] Malik Asad, “Hizbut Tahrir made three attempts to penetrate army,” Dawn, October 29, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/10/30/hizbut-tahrir-made-three-attempts-to-penetrate-army/
[viii] “PPP Khairpur rally attack suspect killed in alleged encounter,” Dawn, October 30, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/10/30/ppp-khairpur-rally-attack-supsect-killed-in-alleged-encounter/.
[ix] Qaiser Butt, “Anti-terror financing legislation: Pakistan lobbies friends to ward off possible UN sanctions,” Express Tribune, October 30, 2012. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/457792/anti-terror-financing-legislation-pakistan-lobbies-friends-to-ward-off-possible-un-sanctions/.
[x] “Threat to journalists in Pakistan alarms Reporters Without Borders,” Express Tribune, October 30, 2012. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/458292/threat-to-journalists-in-pakistan-alarms-reporters-without-borders/.
[xi] “New Indian FM vows to improve ties with Pakistan,” The News International, October 30, 2012. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-18475-New-Indian-FM-vows-to-improve-ties-with-Pakistan.
[xii] Muhammad Saleh Zaafir nd Wajid Ali Syed, “Canadian clarification on Imran episode sought,” The News International, Otober 30, 2012. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-18486-Canadian-clarification-on-Imran-episode-sought.; “Protest against offloading Imran,” Geo, October 30, 2012. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-140098-Protest-against-offloading-Imran
[xiii] Qaiser Butt, “Asghar Khan case verdict: Rigging proof hard to come by, says Army veteran,” Express Tribune, October 30, 2012. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/458059/asghar-khan-case-verdict-rigging-proof-hard-to-come-by-says-army-veteran/
[xiv] “Elections will not be delayed: Kaira,” Geo, October 30, 2012. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=73464
[xv] “Non-resident Pakistanis should be given right to vote: CJ,” DDawn, October 30, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/10/30/non-resident-pakistanis-should-be-given-right-to-vote-cj/