Pakistan Security Brief
Clashes between Jaesh-ul-Islam and Shia Harazas kill two in Quetta; More details regarding the Pakistani military deployment to Islamabad released; U.S. equates Lashkar-e-Taiba with al Qaeda; Indian army’s new chief issues warning to Pakistan against border provocations; Pakistani government gives India proposal to improve bilateral nuclear arms relations.
More details emerged on August 1 regarding the Pakistan government’s July 25 decision to invoke Article 245 and deploy Pakistan Army troops to Islamabad for enhanced security. The Pakistan Army will deploy five companies to protect sensitive installations in Islamabad including the main offices of the judiciary, the House of Parliament, the President and Prime Ministers’ houses, foreign missions, and foreign offices. One military company will deploy to Margalla Hills to protect the road between Islamabad and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. The News reported on August 1 that 350 Pakistan Army troops will assist the civilian administration with security duties in the capital. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan supposedly told The News that the army has no political objectives and only the limited objective of providing security in Islamabad.
On August 1, the Indian army’s new chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag issued a warning to Pakistan on his first day that Indian troops would retaliate immediately to provocations by Pakistani forces along the Line of Control. The warning was in reference to allegations that Pakistani soldiers beheaded an Indian soldier on January 8, 2013.
The U.S., in a show of solidarity with India, announced that it equates Lashkar-e-Taiba with al Qaeda and has promised to help disrupt both groups. The U.S. statement came after Secretary of State John Kerry’s July 31 visit to New Delhi for the fifth U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi. Both Kerry and India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj urged Pakistan to prosecute those responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attack.
According to a July 31 Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) report, a senior Pakistani official told reporters in Washington last week that the Pakistan government has given India a “very comprehensive proposal” to improve bilateral nuclear arms relations. The official admitted that progress on nuclear-arms relations will move slowly. Experts also doubt that the proposal will change Indo-Pak relations substantially or that the proposal reflects a sincerity to reduce conventional or nuclear weapons. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace expert Ashley Tellis told NTI that “managing the bilateral nuclear rivalry is of low priority to both sides” as Modi and Sharif consider domestic issues more important.