Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – August 2, 2010
Severe flooding causes more than 1,100 deaths throughout Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Pakistani Ambassador Haqqani refutes Pakistan’s links to the Taliban; Gates defends Pakistan, hints at North Waziristan operation; MQM leader killed amid continuing violence in Karachi; Pakistan summons British ambassador following Prime Minister Cameron’s remarks about Pakistan’s links to terrorism.
- At least 1,100 people have been killed during several days of severe flooding throughout Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa caused by torrential monsoons. The Swat valley has been particularly hard-hit, and much of the infrastructure rebuilt following the military operation in May 2009 has been washed away in the flooding. Information Minister Mian Iftikhar said that 27,000 people are still stranded and are in desperate need of food and medical supplies and indicated that the death toll may be as high as 1,500. The Red Cross reports that as many as 2.5 million people have been affected by the flooding and warned that the region is at significant risk for waterborne diseases such as cholera. The Pakistani Army has mobilized 30,000 troops to aid flood victims while both the United States and the United Nations have pledged $10 million each towards helping with the relief efforts.
Two soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in South Waziristan on Sunday. The remote controlled bomb was detonated as army troops were clearing the road between the towns of Sararogha and Janata.
Security forces killed 15 militants while repelling an attack on an army checkpoint in the Daburai area of Upper Orakzai. Two soldiers were also wounded in the fighting. On Sunday, fighter jets bombed Taliban positions in Upper Orakzai, killing 15 militants and destroying four hideouts. 
On Sunday, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Hussain Haqqani, dismissed accusations about his country’s support for the Taliban as revealed by the more than 90,000 classified documents recently released by WikiLeaks. Hussain stated that “Pakistani intelligence services are working effectively to contain all the terrorists, including the Taliban from Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Regarding U.S. pressure for a potential military operation in North Waziristan, Haqqani indicated that Pakistan would launch an operation when it felt it could succeed militarily but said that “there is no way [Pakistan] will let the terrorists of any view or persuasion… congregate there.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also came to the defense of Pakistan on Sunday in response to the WikiLeaks-released documents suggesting that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was aiding the Afghan Taliban. Although Gates said that the allegations were “a concern”, he highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to battling the Taliban in South Waziristan and Swat as evidence of the country’s “change in strategic calculus.” Dawn also reported that Gates made statements hinting at a possible U.S. operation against the Haqqani network in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Raza Haider, a leader of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and member of the Sindh Assembly, was killed by unknown gunmen riding motorcycles while attending a funeral procession in the Nazimabad area of Karachi. Two other members of the MQM were also killed in the firing. At least eight other people were gunned down in separate incidents of violence throughout Karachi over the weekend including one MQM activist and two workers of the Awami National Party (ANP). A police assistant sub-inspector was also shot to death in the Orangi Town area of the city on Saturday.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi summoned Britain’s top envoy to Islamabad, Adam Thompson, in response to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks accusing Pakistan of promoting the “export of terror.” Qureshi and Thompson reportedly discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, including President Asif Ali Zardari’s upcoming visit to the U.K.
The chief coordinator of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Chaudhry Shahbaz Hussain, told reporters on Monday that former president General Pervez Musharraf will outline his party’s manifesto and announce the date of his return to Pakistan in Septermber. Hussain also indicated that the APML had been in contact with leaders of the Pakistani Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) for the past three months and said that the two factions were discussing possible unification.
- Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a van in Quetta on Saturday, injuring as many as six people including four policemen. Police cordoned off the area following the shooting incident and began a search operation to apprehend the suspects.
- Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman has been re-elected for another three-year term as chief of his faction of the Jamaat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI-F).