Pakistan Security Brief - October 7, 2011

Obama reminds Pakistan to remain mindful of U.S. interests; Gates echoes sentiments of Mullen; Pakistan warns Afghan officials against jumping to conclusions; Kayani claims army is ready for cross border attacks; Court finds MQM main instigator of Karachi violence, PML-N chief calls for ban of militant party wings; Rangers arrest two dozen in strike crackdown; Abbottabad Commission frees bin Laden family; Families of kidnapped boys have “lost hope”; Pakistan Army soldier dies in firefight; Two men killed by landmine, bodies discovered, and rockets fired in Balochistan; Musharraf accuses India of seeking an “anti-Pakistan Afghanistan”.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • In a press conference on Thursday, President Obama assured Pakistan that U.S. aid to Pakistan’s flood victims would not be hindered by the “poor decisions [of Pakistan’s] intelligence services” but warned that Pakistan must remain mindful of U.S. interests in order to maintain a “long-term strategic relationship” with the U.S.  Obama noted that Pakistan’s vested interests in Afghanistan have led to Pakistan’s interactions with “unsavory characters” in the past but applauded the role of Pakistan in rooting out al Qaeda operatives along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, labeling Pakistan an “effective partner.”  Obama also suggested that the U.S. would work to improve “conversations” between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Afterward, Pakistan’s Senate Foreign Affairs Committee chair, Salim Saifullah, warned Obama that continued U.S. criticism of Pakistan would encourage militants, evoke anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, and may endanger the “prospect of peace in Afghanistan.”[1]

  • During an award ceremony at West Point on Thursday night, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, “echoed the sentiments” of former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, noting links between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Haqqani Network. Gates indicated that it would be in the best interest of the U.S. to maintain efforts at altering Pakistan’s current “hedging strategy” when dealing with militant groups.[2]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

Karachi Violence

Abbottabad Commission

Kidnapped Boys

  • The parents of 27 boys kidnapped by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) over a month ago have reportedly “lost hope” that the boys will be safely recovered.  The families have not been contact with the boys’ abductors since the militant group released a video outlining its demands.[8]

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Balochistan

  • Two men were killed when their motorcycle set off a landmine in Dera Bugti on Thursday. In another incident, two bullet-ridden bodies were found in Turbat. Both men were kidnapped separately within the past month. Later, a rocket was fired by unidentified militants at Mand town of Kech district on Thursday, although no injuries were reported.[10]

Pakistani Politics

  • Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf accused India of seeking to create an “anti-Pakistan Afghanistan” to promote Indian strategic interests in South Asia. Musharraf alleged that Afghanistan’s intelligence officers, soldiers, and diplomats are “indoctrinated against Pakistan” while receiving training in India. Musharraf conceded that India did not seek to confront Pakistan militarily, but contended that India sought to dominate Pakistan though economic and diplomatic policy. According to the New York Times, Pakistan has attempted to strengthen its relationship with China in recent weeks to offset India’s gains in the region. However, China has largely rebuffed Pakistan’s efforts in light of Pakistan’s instability and U.S. interests in the region.[11]



[1] Barack Obama, “News Conference by the President,” The White House, October 6, 2011. Available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/06/news-conference-president Mackenzie Weinger, “Pakistan official warns Obama,” Politico, October 7, 2011. Available at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65397.html#ixzz1a6bQjJHf
[2] “Gates: Pakistan spy agency tied to militant group,” Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2011. Available at http://online.wsj.com/article/APc05a634052fc4767861fed4ae3d43da6.html
[3] “Pakistan rejects 'finger pointing' over Karzai plot,” BBC, October 6, 2011. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-15205386
[4] “Army ready to counter cross-border attacks,” Dawn, October 7, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/07/army-ready-to-counter-cross-border-attacks.html
[5] “Court accuses Pakistan coalition of Karachi murder role,” BBC, October 6, 2011. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-15206172 “Parties with ‘militant wings’ must be banned, says Nawaz,” Dawn, October 7, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/07/parties-with-%E2%80%98military-wings%E2%80%99-must-be-banned-says-nawaz.html
[6] “Partial strike in Karachi on Sunni Tehrik’s call,” Dawn, October 7, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/07/partial-strike-in-karachi-on-sunni-tehrik%E2%80%99s-call.html
[7] “Abbottabad commission allows bin Laden’s family to leave country,” Geo, October 6, 2011. Available at http://geo.tv/10-6-2011/87206.htm
“Bin Laden death: 'CIA doctor' accused of treason,” BBC, October 6, 2011. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-15206639
[8] “Families of kidnapped Bajaur youths losing hope,” The News, October 7, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=71279&Cat=2
[9] “Soldier killed, three wounded militants arrested,” The News, October 7, 2011. Available at   http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=71356&Cat=7
[10] Saleem Shahid, “Two killed in Dera Bugti landmine blast,” Dawn, October 7, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/07/two-killed-in-dera-bugti-landmine-blast.html “Rocket fired in Turbat,” The News, October 7, 2011. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=24041
[11] “India wants an ‘anti-Pakistan’ Afghanistan: Musharraf,” Dawn, October 6, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/06/india-wants-an-anti-pakistan-afghanistan-musharraf.html Jane Perlez, “Pakistan Pulls Closer to a Reluctant China,” New York Times, October 7, 2011. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/world/asia/pakistan-pulls-closer-to-a-reluctant-china.html?ref=world