Pakistan Security Brief - September 19, 2013

TTP gives list of prisoners to government; JI leader criticizes TTP attacks; Pakistan intends to continue negotiating with TTP; Prime Minister will not meet with President Obama at UN; Foreign Office Spokesperson condemns Afghanistan border attack; Afghan refugees will return home by 2015; Mullah Baradar may be released to Turkey or Saudi Arabia; Grenade attack in Quetta wounds seven; Russia willing to build Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline; Pakistan Judicial Commission to visit India to investigate Mumbai attacks; Three killed in explosion near Karachi hotel; TTP commander killed in Karachi; 20 people, including 12 involved in attack on NATO tankers, arrested in Balochistan; Police constable killed in Lahore; Three killed in Peshawar mosque explosion; Police post in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa attacked by militants; Two suspects arrested in connection to Chilas attack; Lower Dir to increase number of security checkpoints; Man accused of attacking Musharraf acquitted.

Talks with the TTP

  • On Thursday, Pakistan Muslim League­‑ Nawaz (PML-N) politician Javed Ibrahim Paracha announced that Tehrik i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud has given him a list of Taliban inmates being held in Pakistani prisons who the TTP wants Pakistan to release. The list allegedly contained fifty names, and included militants from the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi as well as the TTP. The TTP has denied that making these claims.[1]

  • On Wednesday, Syed Munawar Hasan, the leader of the Jamaat e Islami (JI) strongly criticized the TTP attacks on army personnel. He said that attacks against the military are unacceptable and urged the Taliban to participate in talks with the government. He added that if the Taliban and Pakistan make peace, the losers would be India and the United States.[2]

  • On Wednesday, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervez Rashid told reporters that Pakistan would continue its negotiations with the TTP despite the recent attacks on security personnel. While he hailed the sacrifices of the military, Rashid counseled patience with the Taliban.[3]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • A potential meeting between American President Barack Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this month will not happen, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aizaz Chaudhry said on Thursday, due to lack of time. Chaudhry said that both sides are trying to arrange a meeting at a different time in the next few months.[4]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday that he will make the decision as to where to release senior Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, but that Baradar would not be released into Afghan custody. According to reports by The News, Sharif is most seriously considering releasing Baradar in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.[5]

  • Foreign Office Spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the cross-border attack by Afghan forces which killed five Pakistani civilians. According to Chaudhry, Pakistan summoned the Afghan charge d’affaires to the Foreign Office and demanded an inquiry into the attack.[6]

  • Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch said on Wednesday that the government has set December 2015 as the deadline for refugees from Afghanistan to return home. According to Baloch, 1.63 million Afghan refugees live in Pakistan, and most of them are unregistered.[7]

Russia-Pakistan Relations

  • At a meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Minister of Energy Yury Sentyurin said that Russia is willing, through its state-owned energy company Gazprom, to help build a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan.[8]

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • Pakistan Judicial Commission head Chaudhry Mohammed Azhar said on Wednesday that the Commission will be going to India on September 21st to investigate the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, including cross-examining Indian doctors, investigators, and magistrates involved in the case.[9]

  • Pakistan arrested 58 Indian fishermen who crossed into Pakistani waters on Thursday. Pakistan claims to be preparing to prosecute the fishermen.[10]

  • 13 Indian MPs are in Islamabad on Thursday to participate in the Pakistan-India Parliamentary Dialogue with Pakistani legislators. The Indian delegation includes members from most of the major parties including the ruling Indian National Congress (INC) and the largest opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).[11]

Karachi Unrest

  • An explosion killed three and injured 12 others in the Landhi Majeed Colony in Karachi on Thursday. The attackers caused the explosion by throwing hand grenades near the Nawab Hotel.[12]

  • Hazrat Ali, a TTP commander, was shot and killed by agents of the Anti-Extremism Cell (AEC) in the Manghopir area of Karachi on Wednesday. Ali was killed in the gunfight, but seven other militants escaped.[13]

  • Twenty people associated with gangs in the Lyari area of Karachi were arrested  in Hub, Lasbela district, Balochistan on Thursday in a series of raids. Large amounts of arms and ammunition were also seized from the suspects during the raids. Twelve of the arrested are also accused of carrying out an attack that destroyed nine oil NATO tankers in Hub on Sunday. [14]

Militancy

  • On Wednesday, three bullet-riddled bodies were found in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Two of the bodies were found in the Chapar area, and the third was discovered in Doaba. According to the police, the deceased have been identified as kidnapping victims, and “cases have been filed against unidentified militants.”[15]

  • A gunman identified as “Momi” killed a rickshaw driver in front of the Pirwadhai Police Station in Rawalpindi district on Wednesday. A suspect has been arrested and a Kalashnikov found in his possession.[16]

  • An explosion near a mosque in the Achini Bala area of Peshawar killed three and injured several others on Thursday. Reports say that the attackers may have been inside the mosque and used hand grenades.[17]

  • Security forces arrested four alleged militants in Parachinar, Kurram agency on Wednesday. They were stopped at a checkpost and identified as wanted for terrorist activities.[18]

  • A blast on Sariab Road in Quetta, Balochistan wounded seven on Thursday. The attackers threw hand grenades at the victims and escaped.[19]

  • The Zangli police post in Badaber, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was attacked by militants with guns and explosives on Wednesday night. No casualties have been reported on either side.[20]

  • Unidentified gunmen killed a police constable in the Ichhra area of Lahore on Wednesday.[21]

  • Two militant groups, the Tariq Afridi group and the Momin group, clashed in Darra Adam Khel, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday. Five militants were killed in the battle.[22]

  • On Wednesday, police arrested two suspected militants for their alleged participation in the murder of three security personnel this August in Chilas, Gilgit-Baltistan.[23]

  • After the attack on Major General Sanaullah Khan Niazi in Upper Dir, officials and tribal elders decided on Wednesday to establish more security checkpoints in Lower Dir to ensure safety.[24]

Domestic

  • Pakistan may change its blasphemy laws after the Council of Islamic Ideology recommended that anyone who makes false accusations of blasphemy should receive the death penalty, the same punishment given to those convicted of blasphemy.[25]

  • A man accused of attacking a convoy of then-President Pervez Musharraf in 2003 was acquitted by an anti-terrorism court on Wednesday. The man, Rana Mohammad Faqir refused to leave the jail due to concerns about his security.[26]



[1] “Taliban Deny Claim Mehsud Demanded Release of 50 Militants,” Dawn, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1044033/taliban-deny-claim-mehsud-demanded-release-of-50-militants
[2] “JI asks TTP to Explain Recent Attack on Army Personnel,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-202892-JI-asks-TTP-to-explain-recent-attack-on-army-personnel
[3] “Efforts for Talks with Taliban Continue: Minister,” Dawn, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1043923/efforts-for-talks-with-taliban-continue-minister
[4] “No Sharif-Obama Meeting on UN General Assembly Sidelines,” Dawn, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1044024/no-sharif-obama-meeting-on-un-general-assembly-sidelines
[5] “Mullah Baradar may be Handed over to Turkey or Saudi Arabia,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-25541-Mullah-Baradar-may-be-handed-over-to-Turkey-or-Saudi-Arabia
[6] “Kamran Yousaf, Mohammad Zafar, “Blatant Violation: Pakistan Protests Deadly Afghan Cross-Border Raid,” The Express Tribune, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/606330/blatant-violation-pakistan-protests-deadly-afghan-cross-border-raid/
[7] Khawar Ghumman, “Afghan DPs to be Sent Home by Dec 2015,” Dawn, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1043948/afghan-dps-to-be-sent-home-by-dec-2015
[8] “Ignoring US Sanctions, Russia Offers to Build Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-25540-Ignoring-US-sanctions,-Russia-offers-to-build-Pak-Iran-gas-pipeline
[9] Meena Menon, “Pakistan Judicial Commission to Leave for India on Sept. 21,” The Hindu, September 21, 2013. Available at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/pakistan-judicial-commission-to-leave-for-india-on-sept-21/article5141947.ece
[10] “Pakistan Arrests 58 Indian Fishermen, Say Officials,” Dawn, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1044053/pakistan-arrests-58-indian-fishermen-say-officials
[11] “Pakistan-India Parliamentary Dialogue from Today,” The Hindu, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/pakistanindia-parliamentary-dialogue-from-today/article5142305.ece
[12] “Karachi Blast Leaves Three Dead, Several Injured.” The Express Tribune, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/606634/karachi-blast-leaves-several-injured/
[13] “TTP Commander Killed in Encounter,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-202884-TTP-commander-killed-in-encounter
[14] “LEAs Arrest 20 Lyari Gangsters form Hub,” The Frontier Post, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/42260/
“12 Arrested over NATO Tanker Attacks in Balochistan,” The Express Tribune, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/606480/12-arrested-over-nato-tanker-attacks-in-balochistan/
[15] “Kill and Dump: Three Bullet-Riddled Bodies Found in Hangu.” The Express Tribune, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/606173/kill-and-dump-three-bullet-riddled-bodies-found-in-hangu/
[16] “Rickshaw Driver Killed in Pirwadhai,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-202911-Rickshaw-driver-killed-in-Pirwadhai
[17] “Blast in Peshawar Mosque Leaves Three Dead, Several Injured,” The Express Tribune, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/606694/blast-in-peshawar-mosque-leaves-one-dead-three-injured/
[18] “Four Alleged Militants Arrested,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-202937-Four-alleged-militants-arrested
[19] “Grenade Attack Wounds Seven in Quetta,” Dawn September 19, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1044010/grenade-attack-wounds-seven-in-quetta
[20] “Militants Attack Police Post Near Peshawar,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-25547-Militants-attack-police-post-near-Peshawar
[21] “Constable Shot Dead in Ichhra,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-202901-Constable-shot-dead-in-Ichhra
[22] “Militant Clashes: Five Killed as Rival Outfits Trade Fire,” The Express Tribune, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/606343/militant-clashes-five-killed-as-rival-outfits-trade-fire/
[23] “Chilas Search Operation: Police Arrests Two More Suspects in Murder Case,” The Express Tribune, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/606134/chilas-search-operation-police-arrests-two-more-suspects-in-murder-case/
[24] “Lower Dir to have More Checkpoints,” The News, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-202933-Lower-Dir-to-have-more-checkposts
[25] Umer Nangiana, “Signs of Flexibility: False Accusers of Blasphemy may Face Death,” The Express Tribune, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/606325/signs-of-flexibility-false-accusers-of-blasphemy-may-face-death/
[26] Malik Asad, “Musharraf Attack Case Accused Acquitted,” Dawn, September 19, 2013. Available at: http://dawn.com/news/1043958/insufficient-prosecution-evidence-musharraf-attack-case-accused-acquitted