Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – December 10, 2010
Suicide car bombing targets hospital in Hangu; anti-Taliban militias threaten to withdraw support for the government; key Taliban commander killed in South Waziristan clashes; Pakistani media sources apologies for publishing stories based on anti-India WikiLeaks hoax.
At least 11 people were killed when a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a hospital for Shia Muslims in the Pass Kili area of Hangu district on Friday. Local police said that the vehicle had been loaded with approximately 550 lbs. of explosives. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities believe that the bombing was a sectarian attack.
On Thursday, three anti-Taliban militias in Peshawar district threatened withdraw their support for the government if they do not receive their promised assistance within the next ten days. Local government officials told the chiefs of the Adezai, Baza Khel, and Taila Band militias that they will arrange for them to meet with the provincial governor and other top government and police officials in order to address these issues. Dilawar Khan, chief of the Adezai lashkar, said that the government has not delivered on its promises to provide arms, ammunition, and food for the militias nor have they provided the promised compensation for the families of slain militiamen. According to some members of the Adezai lashkar, the group is prepared to approach the Taliban with a peace agreement should the deal with the government fall through.
Police arrested three suspected Taliban militants during a raid in the Sirband area of Peshawar on Thursday. A wanted Taliban commander, named Gud Mula, was among those apprehended in the raid. According to police, the militants were plotting to carry out attacks in the city during the month of Muharram.
Security forces killed at least four militants, including a key Taliban commander, during clashes in the Janta area of South Waziristan on Friday. Militants exchanged fire with troops while the soldiers were conducting a search operation in the area. Asmatullah Shaheen, a close aide to former Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Beitullah Mehsud, was among those reported killed in the attack.
A suspected U.S. drone strike in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan killed at least four militants on Friday. Two missiles reportedly struck a vehicle and a house in Khaddar Khel village. The identities of those killed in the attack are still unknown. (For daily updates on key issues and events related to North Waziristan CLICK HERE)
Several Pakistani media outlets have issued apologies for publishing stories based on false diplomatic cables allegedly released by WikiLeaks which appeared to provide credence to extreme right-wing anti-India conspiracy theories in Pakistan. The false documents claim that the U.S. believed India was carrying out “genocide” in Kashmir comparable to the ethnic killings in Serbia. The stories also claim that the cables depicted U.S. diplomats making disparaging remarks about top Indian generals –one was called “rather a geek”—while openly praising Pakistani military leaders.
- On Thursday, Transparency International’s 2010 Global Corruption Barometer indicates that police in Pakistan are the most frequent recipients of bribes in the country. The corruption level of Pakistani police was rated at 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most corrupt. In Pakistan, civil servants, political parties, and members of the parliament/legislature were also ranked at 4 or higher on the corruption index. The report also reveals approximately three-quarters of the Pakistani population believes the government has been ineffective in fighting corruption while a similar percentage of the population views corruption in the country as having increased over the last three years.