Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan showed China U.S. copter wreck; U.S. basing aid to Pakistan on secret scorecard; Pakistan calls for relations with the U.S. beyond terror cooperation; American aid worker kidnapped; Army convicts soldiers in GHQ assault case; violence across FATA on Independence Day; Army to erect permanent bases in Swat; Bomb in Balochistan kills 11; MQM to rejoin coalition; Prison officials disciplined over militant escape.
- A report by the Financial Times says that Pakistan’s spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) allowed Chinese military engineers to photograph the wreckage of a downed U.S. stealth helicopter that crashed in Abbottabad during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The engineers were also allowed to sample the helicopter’s radar absorbing skin, according to anonymous U.S. intelligence officials. President Obama’s National Security Council has “been discussing this incident and trying to discuss how best to respond.” The U.S. asked Pakistan not to share the wreckage of the helicopter with anyone. Pakistan’s army chief, General Kayani, reportedly denied that the Chinese had been given access to the helicopter’s remains.
- According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the White House has “started conditioning the award of billions of dollars in security assistance to Pakistan on whether Islamabad shows progress on a secret scorecard of U.S. objectives to combat al Qaeda and its militant allies.” The system was reportedly implemented after the raid that killed bin Laden and “signals a shift” by Washington towards a performance-based payment relationship with Pakistan. The four main areas in which performance is being judged are “Pakistani cooperation in exploiting the bin Laden compound; Pakistani cooperation with the war in Afghanistan; Pakistani cooperation with the U.S. in conducting joint counterterrorism operations; and cooperation in improving the overall tone in bilateral relations.”
- On Saturday Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in a meeting with U.S. Senator John McCain reiterated a call for an “enduring partnership with the United States” that exists beyond cooperation against terrorism. Gilani told McCain he looked forward to a deeper level of engagement with the US in all areas of bilateral relations, including energy and economic cooperation.” Pakistan is in the process of reviewing travel restrictions recently imposed on foreign diplomats within the country.
- Seven to eight armed gunmen broke into the home of an “American development expert” in Lahore on Saturday and took him prisoner. Warren Weinstein, 70, is the Pakistan director for an Arlington, VA based international development consulting firm. Mr. Weinstein had been living in Lahore for the past seven years. No calims of responsibility or ransom demands have yet been issued.
Army Convictions, Investigations
- A military court in Pakistan on Saturday convicted seven people of involvement in an attack on Pakistan’s military headquarters in Rawalpindi in 2009. One of those convicted, a former soldier named Aqeel, alias Dr. Usman, was sentenced to death by hanging for his role in the siege that saw 23 people killed including 11 soldiers killed in the hours-long siege. Another soldier was sentenced to life imprisonment. The remaining civilian defendants received life in prison or seven to ten year sentences.
- Three soldiers from the paramilitary Frontier Corps were killed and 25 more wounded in a rocket attack on a military base in North Waziristan on Sunday, Pakistan’s Independence Day. The rockets hit a military camp in the North Waziristan headquarters of Miram Shah while soldiers were assembling for Independence Day celebrations.
- A mortar allegedly fired from inside Afghanistan killed a child in South Waziristan and wounded two others on Saturday. The mortar struck in the town of Angoor Adda on the border between South Waziristan and Afghanistan. Elsewhere, rockets reportedly fired from Afghanistan landed in a populated area of Bajaur agency on Sunday. Five tribesmen in Mamund were wounded in the attack that locals said was launched by assailants in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
- Two security personnel were killed and five more wounded in a landmine explosion in Orakzai agency on Monday. The explosion took place when the forces’ vehicle hit a mine during a routine patrol in the Dabori area of Orakzai. Six militants were also allegedly killed in a gun battle with security personnel.
- An AFP report outlines a plan by the Pakistani military to erect permanent bases in the Swat valley where a large-scale military offensive was conducted in 2009. The report claims that as part of the process of handing over control of the district back to civilian authorities, the military will begin moving off the streets and into three or four purpose built military cantonments. The cantonments are expected to take two years to be completed.
- Fourteen civilians died in a bomb attack on restaurant in the town of Dera Allah Yar, Balochistan on Sunday. Sixteen people were also wounded in the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but four people have been arrested in connection with the bombing.
- Two Frontier Corps personnel were injured in a grenade attack on their checkpost in the Saryab area of Quetta on Sunday. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed a local journalist on Sunday. Munir Noor was reportedly a correspondent for local online newspaper.
- The Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) has accepted an invitation from the PPP to rejoin the government treasury benches “at both the national and provincial levels.” The PPP also noted that it would welcome MQM members back into the federal cabinet. The MQM has previously left the ruling coalition three times, though this instance was the longest separation of the three.
- Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani stated during his Independence Day address that all political prisoners not wanted for additional crimes would be released.
Prison Escape Fallout
- Three prison officials in Peshawar were suspended on Saturday due to “negligence” that reportedly resulted in the escape of two top militant commanders. The Peshawar Central Prison’s superintendant, deputy superintendant and doctor were suspended, while a head constable responsible for escorting the militants during transportation was arrested.