Pakistan Security Brief
New book claims ISI colonel gave up bin Laden, Pakistan aware of raid; India accuses Pakistan of violating ceasefire; Pakistani delegation visits India; Backlash against Chinese investment in Pakistan; hundreds of violent Blasphemy law protestors arrested; Violence in Karachi claims four lives; Pakistanis go unpaid due to economy pressures.
New Osama bin Laden Raid Revelations
A new book by American author and journalist Richard Miniter claims that the U.S. was given Osama bin Laden’s location by a colonel in Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and that Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had been briefed on, and gave his tacit consent to, the raid by the U.S. five months prior to its execution. Miniter claims Pakistan was much more involved in the operation to kill bin Laden than is publicly admitted to and says this may explain why the U.S. did not cut off aid to Pakistan in the aftermath of the raid. Interestingly, Miniter also claims that the compound housing bin Laden turned out to be built on land that was “carved out” from and “owned by the Kakul Military Academy,” Pakistan’s equivalent to West Point Military Academy.
According to Indian Border Security Force officials, Pakistan violated the ceasefire across the Kashmir Line of Control (LoC) on Tuesday. Officials claim Pakistani forces engaged in thirty minutes of small arms firing on three Indian posts across the LoC, though no casualties were reported. Indian officials claim that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire fifteen times over the last eighteen days.
A delegation of Pakistani parliamentarians departed for India on Wednesday for a four-day visit during which the delegation is expected to discuss issues relating to bilateral trade and visa policies with its Indian counterpart. The delegation is also expected to participate in the fourth round of the India-Pakistan Parliamentarians dialogue.
According to a report by NPR, increased foreign investment by China has led to a backlash in southern Pakistan where some locals and activists accuse China of trying to be a “new colonial power.” The report cites a recent attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi as indicative of the increased resentment. China recently pledged to increase its investment in Pakistan from $7 billion to $30 billion. Locals protest that when Chinese firms begin construction projects they utilize Chinese laborers or Pakistanis immigrating from other parts of the country, rather than natives of Sindh or Balochistan where the projects are taking place.
Police in Islamabad filed a case against 150 people for violently protesting and calling for action to be taken against a mentally-handicapped Christian child accused of violating Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Police charged protestors for damaging property and blocking roads by burning tires. Amnesty International has called on the Pakistani government to reform its blasphemy laws and to protect the young girl with Down’s syndrome from persecution.
Three dead bodies were found in Karachi on Wednesday near the old airport, Risala police station and Old Sabzi Mandi. One of the bodies bore evidence of torture. In a separate incident, unknown attackers shot and killed one person standing outside his house in North Karachi’s Sector 4. Elsewhere, five people were wounded when unknown assailants opened fire at a tomb in the Lyari area.
The Washington Post reports on how Pakistan’s battered economy has led to an increasing trend of both public and private sector workers going unpaid for long periods of time. The report says the Supreme Court recently had to step in to order that three months’ back wages be disbursed to public-sector female health workers.
Amnesty urges Pakistan to reform blasphemy laws,” Dawn, August 22, 2012. Available at http://dawn.com/2012/08/22/amnesty-urges-pakistan-to-reform-blasphemy-laws/