Pakistan Security Brief
Military operations continue in Orakzai; three men missing after interviewing senior Taliban members; police arrest six in Timergara; Pakistani intelligence warned the government of upcoming suicide attacks; military operations have failed to eliminate top TTP leadership; three men shot in Balochistan; Pakistan’s Parliament will vote on proposed changes to the Constitution this week.
Security forces and jets continued to target and bomb militants in Orakzai on Tuesday. Operations in various areas of the agency—Goeen, Sangara, and Kasha—left at least 14 militants dead. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman for Orakzai, however, said the reports were false as the destroyed houses were empty at the time of the bombings. An official from Orakzai, Riaz Mehsud, announced that security forces have cleared militants from 90 percent of lower Orazai. Militants also attacked a Frontier Corps checkpoint in neighboring Hangu district, and personnel at the checkpoint returned fire with artillery. (For detailed daily updates on Pakistani military operations in Orakzai, CLICK HERE).
Two former Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) officers and a journalist are missing after conducting interviews in Kohat. The report, which was published on Monday, says the journalist, Asad Qureshi, was making a documentary on al Qaeda and the Taliban. The two ISI officers were assisting Qureshi during interviews with members of the two movements. Unknown men reportedly picked up the Qureshi and the officers after the three met with senior Taliban leadership.
Police in Timergara arrested six individuals in the district of Dir on Tuesday, all of whom are believed to be connected to Monday’s deadly blast at an Awami National Party (ANP) rally. The death toll from the blast now stands at 53, while 107 people were injured.
Pakistani intelligence informed the government of militant attacks that may possibly be planned in April. Intelligence mentioned several locations in Karachi that are suspected of being the target of an upcoming attack. Officials also say a suicide bomber hailing from South Waziristan may be preparing to launch an attack in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, or Karachi.
A recent editorial from Dawn discusses the how the top TTP leadership still command the organization despite recent Pakistani military operations aimed at preventing men such as Qari Hussain from launching suicide bombings.
Three people were killed and two injured in two separate shootings in Balochistan on Tuesday. During the first incident, in Quetta, gunmen on a motorcycle shot three people near Jinnah town, killing two and injuring one. The second incident occurred in Khuzdar, where gunmen attacked a car, killing one and injuring one other individual.
Pakistan’s parliament will vote on the 18th Constitutional Amendment, a bill introducing significant changes into the Constitution, this week. The major change will strengthen the prime minister and parliament while turning the presidency to a more ceremonial position.