Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan speaks out against NATO raid in UNSC; CIA pauses Pakistan drone strikes; Pakistan to “end secret agreements” with U.S.; Haqqani denies withholding information from Abbottabad commission; army denies ISI chief sought coup support; Pakistan deadliest for journalists in 2011.
NATO Raid and Fallout
Speaking in the UN Security Council (UNSC), Pakistan’s acting representative to the UN made a statement calling the November raid by NATO forces on a Pakistani border outpost a “transgression of Pakistan’s territorial integrity and a flagrant violation of the UN Charter.” The raid of November 26 resulted in the deaths of at least 24 Pakistani soldiers.
According to the head of Pakistan’s senate committee on defense, the CIA has stopped launching drone strikes on the Pakistani side of the border in order to prevent aggravating the already strained ties between the U.S. and Pakistan following the November NATO raid. Javed Ashraf Qazi said, nonetheless, that he believed the U.S. would launch another strike if they had intelligence on a high-profile target. The 33-day hiatus is the longest in the drone program since it began in 2004.
According to top government officials, two top parliamentary committees in Pakistan tasked with reviewing Pakistani policy towards the U.S. in the wake of the NATO raid, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and the Special Parliamentary Committee, are preparing to make recommendations that call for the end of secret agreements with the U.S. Some of the changes that may be wrought include beginning to tax NATO tankers travelling through Pakistan to Afghanistan and a “strict ban on drone strikes” inside Pakistan.
Former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani denied claims that he withheld information from the Abbottabad commission investigating the bin Laden raid. Haqqani was responding to claims made in the media that he concealed the nature of his activities during a trip to London in the days following the raid which alleged related to the ongoing memogate scandal. Meanwhile, the Washington Post profiles Haqqani’s “fall from grace” as a result of the memogate scandal, taking him from “salons of Washington to virtual isolation in Islamabad and a possible treason charge.”
On Wednesday, the Pakistan Army officially denied that the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha made a trip to Gulf Arab states in the wake of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden seeking support for a military coup against President Zardari’s government. The statement is a belated rebuttal to claims made in The Independent newspaper.
Deadliest for Journalists
According to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Pakistan was the deadliest country in the world for journalists for a second year running in 2011. Seven of the 43 journalists killed worldwide in relation to their work were killed in Pakistan.
Simon Denyer, “For ex-Pakistan ambassador to U.S., an abrupt fall from grace.” Washington Post, December 21, 2011. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/for-ex-pakistan-ambassador-to-us-an-abrupt-fall-from-grace/2011/12/20/gIQA7WhK7O_story.html