Pakistan Security Brief - September 29, 2011

State Department “close” to naming Haqqani Network as FTO; Senator Graham suggests military options beyond drones; Pentagon remains united on Mullen comments; PM Gilani hosts All Parties Conference; Grossman discusses way forward for U.S.-Pakistan relations; U.S. and Pakistan discuss U.S. military presence in Pakistan; Musharraf weighs in on U.S.-Pakistan relations; Aid organization used as CIA cover; Pakistan releases associate of bin Laden; Police arrest 2 TTP militants; Pakistan closes border crossing with Afghanistan; Balochistan political leader killed by gunmen; Three killed by militants in Balochistan; Security forces kill ten militants.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • In a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, Clinton said that the U.S. was close to naming the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and was currently in the “final, formal review [stage] that has to be undertaken to make a government-wide decision to designate the network as [an FTO].” This statement came after Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and Lindsey Graham (R) sent a bipartisan letter on Wednesday urging Clinton and the U.S. Department of State to do so.[1]

  • In an interview on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Graham claimed that U.S. lawmakers might support military options beyond drone strikes in Pakistan. Graham clarified that he did not support sending U.S. troops into Pakistan but suggested that the use of U.S. strike aircraft within Pakistan remained an option. Graham added, “If people believe it’s gotten to the point that that is the only way really to protect our interests I think there would be a lot of support.”[2]

  • During a press conference on Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little refuted the notion that U.S. officials were in disagreement over “Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan” or U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s comments last week regarding the Haqqani Network as a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, as had been reported by the Washington Post. Little contended that “everyone [at the Pentagon] understands there’s a link between elements of the Pakistani government and the Haqqanis.” In a separate statement, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that Mullen’s comments were “consistent with our position” but were not articulated in “language that [Carney] would use.”[3]

  • Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani hosted an All Parties Conference (APC) to address security issues in the wake of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan. The APC was attended by 58 leaders representing political, religious, and military interests and included the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and ISI spy chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha briefed the committee on the relevant domestic and international issues facing Pakistan as a result of the recent dispute with the U.S. At the conference, Gilani announced that Pakistan would not be pressured by the U.S. and added that Pakistan’s national interests must be respected.[4]

  • In an Express Tribune interview in Islamabad on Wednesday, U.S. Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, said that “terrorism and extremism” are threats to both the U.S. and Pakistan and must be dealt with through “continued engagement.” Grossman proceeded to assure Pakistan that the U.S. still views the country as an ally and friend.[5]

  • The U.S. and Pakistan are continuing discussions over the deployment U.S. military personnel in Pakistan; however, the “nature and size of the U.S. military presence in Pakistan remains in doubt” following U.S. accusations linking Pakistan’s ISI to the Haqqani Network last week. Despite this, U.S. officials expect Pakistan to authorize between 100 and 150 U.S. military personnel. U.S. officials cited that most of the U.S. personnel would be dispatched to “help Pakistan maintain and operate military equipment rather than special forces.”[6]

  • Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf  in an interview with The Daily Telegraph emphasized the need for Pakistan to explain why the Haqqani Network has been allowed to operate in Pakistani territory. In Musharraf’s view, the Haqqanis play an important role in assisting Pakistan to block India from creating an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan. He further indicated that the relationship between the two countries could be mended through straight talk and a U.S. understanding of Pakistani strategic interests.[7]

International Aid Workers

  • Save the Children, a Western aid organization, removed eight of its aid workers from Pakistan in late July after receiving warnings from U.S. officials at the Peshawar consulate. The warning came in response to fears that the aid workers would be detained by the ISI for their connection to Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor that assisted in the CIA operation to locate bin Laden. Although Afridi only maintained tangential connections to Save the Children, ISI interrogations revealed that the doctor used Save the Children as a cover while conducting his covert work for the CIA. A spokesman for Save the Children said, "We are shocked by the allegations that our name has been falsely used in this way. Save the Children's work in Pakistan is helping the most vulnerable children and their families."[8]

Al Qaeda

Karachi Violence

Balochistan

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa


“Haqqani Network: Senators Want Group Added To Terrorist List,” Huffington Post, September 28, 2011. Available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/28/haqqani-network-terror-list_n_985635.html
[2] “Use of bombers in Pakistan under study: US senator,” Dawn, September 29, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/29/use-of-bombers-in-pakistan-under-study-us-senator.html
[3] “No disagreement in Pentagon on Pakistan role: US,” Dawn, September 28, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/28/no-disagreement-in-pentagon-on-pakistan-role-us.htmlWhite House won't second Mullen on Pakistan,” AP, September 28, 2011. Available athttp://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110928/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_us_pakistan
[4] “APC on Pak-US strained ties begins,” Geo, September, 29 2011. Available at http://geo.tv/9-29-2011/86865.htm
[5] “Interview With Pakistan's Express News,” U.S. Department of State, September 28, 2011. Available at http://www.state.gov/s/special_rep_afghanistan_pakistan/rmks/174553.htm
[6] “Fewer trainers seen among US military in Pakistan,” Dawn, September 29, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/29/fewer-trainers-seen-among-us-military-in-pakistan.html
[7] Duncan Gardham,” Musharraf: Why Haqqani terrorist group can help Pakistan,” Telegraph, September 28, 2011. Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8794677/Musharraf-Why-Haqqani-terrorist-group-can-help-Pakistan.html
[8] Declan Walsh,”Aid agency withdrew Pakistan staff after CIA fake vaccination scheme,” Guardian, September 28, 2011. Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/28/aid-agency-pakistan-cia-vaccination
[9]Osama bin Laden's bodyguard freed by Pakistan,” Telegraph, September 28, 2011. Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8794513/Osama-bin-Ladens-bodyguard-freed-by-Pakistan.html Tucker Reals, “Pakistan frees Osama bin Laden bodyguard,” CBS, September 29, 2011. Available at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20113195-503543.html
[10] “CID arrest two TTP activists,” Geo, September 28, 2011. Available at http://geo.tv/9-28-2011/86834.htmCaught: CID arrests two suspected militants,” Express Tribune, September 28, 2011. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/262468/two-taliban-militants-arrested-in-karachi-operation-cid/
[11] “Pakistan closes Afghan border route after bombing,” Dawn, September 29, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/29/pakistan-closes-afghan-border-route-after-bombing.html
[12] “BNP-M leader killed,” Dawn, September 28, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/28/bnp-m-leader-killed.html
[13] “Three killed in ambush Quetta, Dawn, September 29, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/29/three-security-men-killed-in-ambush.html
[14]“Ten militants killed in Orakzai,” Dawn, September 29, 2011. Available at http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/29/ten-militants-killed-in-orakzai.html