Pakistan Security Brief - September 2, 2010

Pakistan Security Brief – September 2, 2010

Death toll rises in Lahore triple suicide attack; State Department designates TTP as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, issues rewards for Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman; Justice Department unveils charges against Hakimullah Mehsud.

 

Punjab

  • The death toll from Wednesday’s triple suicide attack on a Shia procession in Lahore has risen to a total of at least 31 people killed with another 280 wounded. Security in the city remains on high alert as hundreds attend funeral precessions for the victims of the attack. Angry demonstrators marched through the streets and set fire to police vehicles in an expression of outrage at the security establishment’s failure to prevent sectarian attacks. In the wake of Wednesday’s bloodshed, Interior Minister Rehman Malik warned of the inherent difficulties of preventing terrorist attacks against large religious processions and said that he will soon make an appeal to religious leaders to limit the number of processions.  The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) released a press statement on Thursday claiming responsibility for the bombings, saying the attack was revenge for the death of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) leader Mulana Ali Shair Haidree who was killed by Shia extremists in Sindh province in August 2009. A separate claim of responsibility was also made by a spokesman from the Al-Almi faction of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an anti-Shia sectarian group.[1]

 

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan

  • On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the State Department has official designated the TTP as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The State Department also declared senior TTP officials Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.  According to State Department sources, these new designations will make it easier for US officials to “prosecute those who knowingly provide material support to TTP and its senior leaders” as well as “stem the flow of finances to TTP.”  Furthermore, the Reward for Justice Program announced a $5 million reward for any information leading to the capture of Mehsud or Rehman.[2]

  • On Wednesday, the United States Department of Justice unsealed a two-count federal indictment which was filed  against Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the TTP.  Mehsud is charged with  one count of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals outside of the United States and one count of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against U.S. nationals outside of the United States stemming from his alleged involvement in both the December 2009 suicide attack at Camp Chapman in Afghanistan, which left seven CIA operatives dead, as well as the failed Times Square bombing in May 2010.[3]

 

Flooding

  • The United States announced on Thursday that it plans to employ as many as 4,800 households in Pakistan's Swat Valley for at least the next 21 days as part of a new funded jobs program that will financially compensate residents for work on damaged infrastructure, including road clearing, bridge repair, and tree planting.  The initiative hopes to spur local economic regeneration in the heavily damaged Swat Valley.  [4]

  • The World Bank announced on Wednesday that it would provide an additional $100 million in emergency funding to Pakistan, bringing the total amount pledged by the organization to $1 billion.  The interest-free funding will come from the World Bank’s International Development Association, which focuses on providing assistance to the world’s poorest countries.[5]

  • As many as 16 children have reportedly died from gastroenteritis while taking refuge in various relief camps throughout Sindh province.  The deaths renewed concerns about access to clean drinking water and seemed to validate recent claims by UNICEF and other relief organizations that children are being disproportionately affected by the flooding and its aftermath.[6]

 

FATA

  • Five to six masked gunmen opened fire on three female teachers in Bajaur Agency on Thursday, killing one and seriously wounding the other two.  The teachers came under attack as they were walking home from their school in Khar.  Intelligence officials have confirmed the incident but so far no arrests have been made.[7]

  • The government has announced that it will offer compensation to non-combatants who were killed or injured in Tuesday’s military airstrike against militants in the Tirah valley of Khyber Agency.  The announcement comes after a jirga of Kukikhel tribe elders strongly condemned the airstrike, calling it an overly “brazen” use of force.[8]



[1] “Pakistan mourns as Lahore bombing toll rises to 31,” BBC News, September 2, 2010. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11161486. “Malik to appeal religious leaders to limit processions,” Dawn, September 2, 2010. Available at http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-rehman-malik-outside-na-qs-04. “Lahore triple blasts leave 29 dead, over 200 injured,” The News, September 1, 2010. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest-news/620.htm.
[2] “US adds TTP to terrorism blacklist ,” Dawn, September 1, 2010. Available at http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/12-us+adds+pakistani+taliban+to+terrorism+blacklist--bi-03?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dawn%2Fnews%2Fworld+%28DAWN.COM+-+World+News%29&utm_content=Google+Reader. Philip J. Crowley, “Designation of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and Two Senior Leaders,” State Department Bureau of Public Affairs, September 1, 2010. Available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/09/146545.htm.  
[3] Charlie Savage, “US Adds Legal Pressure on Pakistani Taliban,” The New York Times, September 1, 2010. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/world/asia/02talib.html?_r=2&ref=asia
[4] “U.S. launches job program as giving slows for Pakistan flood relief,” CNN, September 2, 2010. Available at http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/09/01/pakistan.us.flood/#fbid=StqwKXSld2c&wom=false.
[5] “World Bank Raises Pakistani Flood Aide to $1 Billion,” RTT News, September 2, 2010. Available at http://www.rttnews.com/Content/GeneralNews.aspx?Node=B1&Id=1408511.
[7] “Militants Kill Female Teacher in Bajaur,” Dawn, September 2, 2010. Available at http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-bajaur-female-teacher-killed-qs-05.
[8] Ibrahim Shinwari, “Compensation to be given for air strike victims,” Dawn, September 2, 2010. Available at http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/06-compensation-for-air-strike-victims-290-rs-08.