Pakistan Security Brief
Thirty five dead and 20 injured in airstrikes and ground operations in Khyber agency; New committee will be formed for talks with the TTP; Prime Minister to visit Iran in May; Three, including police inspector, killed and 15 injured in Karachi blast; Gunmen kill two in Balochistan; Protestors throw rocks at polling stations in Indian-administered Kashmir; Army bans three news sources from cantonments after they allege ISI involvement in attempted assassination of TV presenter.
Operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
On Thursday, as many as 35 suspected militants were killed, and 15 were injured in a security operation in Bara and Jamrud sub-districts of Khyber agency. The operation consisted of airstrikes carried out by jet fighters as well as subsequent ground operations. According to Dawn, the militants targeted in the strikes belonged to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Islam and were allegedly involved in recent attacks in Charsadda and Badbher in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Chaman in Balochistan, and Islamabad.
Talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan
On Wednesday, government officials and the TTP negotiating committee held a meeting in Islamabad. After the meeting, Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) leader and TTP committee member Samiul Haq said that both sides will establish a new committee to continue negotiations and address complaints. He also said that he thinks the TTP will be persuaded to extend the ceasefire that lapsed on April 10.
On Thursday, a suicide bomb blast in the Old Sabzi Mandi area of Karachi killed a senior police inspector as well as two other people and injured 15. The police inspector may have been specifically targeted in the attack; he had previously survived numerous assassination attempts.[4
On Thursday, a group of several hundred protestors threw rocks at polling stations in Indian-administered Kashmir to protest the Indian military presence in the state. Voting for the Indian elections has been taking place in Kashmir over the last several days.
According to a Thursday report in The News, the military has blocked Geo TV broadcasts, and banned the distribution of The News and Jang newspapers in all military cantonments throughout Pakistan in response to reports by those news sources that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may have had some involvement in the assassination attempt on Geo TV presenter Hamid Mir.