Pakistan Security Brief
Large IED facility discovered in Miram Shah during ground operations; Cache of explosives recovered; Sharif vows to target and eliminate all militants and sanctuaries; North Waziristan operation planned in 2010, delayed by Gen. Kayani; New Chief Justice appointed; Leaked report details NSA spying on Pakistan; Sindh administration gives aid to IDPs; Registration of IDPs enters new phase.
North Waziristan Offensive
On July 1, Director General (DG) of the Pakistan Army’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asim Bajwa, told journalists that security forces discovered a large improvised explosive device (IED) factory in Miram Shahand recovered a huge cache of explosives as part of the recent ground operation in North Waziristan Agency. Bajwa said that security forces found 225 explosives-filled cylinders, 700 pipe bombs, 10 anti-tank mines and a training facility within the factory. Gen. Bajwa reiterated that recent U.S. drone strikes are in no way related to the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan. Gen. Bajwa advised Afghan authorities to arrest Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah, who he believes is hiding in Afghanistan. According to Gen. Bajwa, the operation in North Waziristan has killed 376 “terrorists” so far.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in an official statement on July 1 that Pakistan’s armed forces will eliminate all militants and militant sanctuaries indiscriminately in North Waziristan Agency. Sharif spoke with the chief of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Air Marshal Muhammad Tahir Rafique Butt, on July 1 in Islamabad. During the meeting, Sharif praised the efforts of the PAF in the ongoing military operation.
On June 30, former DG ISPR Major General (retired) Athar Abbas told BBC Urdu that the Pakistani military’s leadership favored launching an offensive in North Waziristan in 2010, but the operation was delayed until now because of then-army chief General (retd.) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s indecision on whether to conduct an operation at the time. Pakistan’s military leadership first planned to launch an operation between 2010 and 2011 but postponed the operation after Kayani decided against it, Abbas claims. Abbas blamed Kayani’s personal weakness and fears that he would be held accountable for domestic backlash from the operation. Abbas also mentioned the challenges of addressing the Haqqani Network, domestically unpopular pressure from the U.S., and mass internal displacement as reasons the offensive was repeatedly delayed.
President Mamnoon Hussain, on July 1, confirmed Justice Nasirul Mulk as the new Chief Justice of Pakistan, replacing Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. Mulk currently occupies the position of Acting Chief Election Commissioner and serves as a justice in Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
On June 30, unidentified individuals planted explosive devices that detonated in two houses in Achini and Kagawala villages in Peshawar district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Police defused a roadside improvised explosive device in Peshawar district near the border with Khyber Agency on June 30. Police didn’t report any casualties from the three incidents.
The Baloch Human Rights Organization (BHRO), Baloch National Movement and the outlawed Baloch Students Organization-Azad appealed to the United Nations and other human rights groups regarding human rights violations. On June 30, the three groups separately issued statements about the arrest of several people, the arson of a dozen houses and the beating of women and children in Shabiq area of Turbat district, Balochistan.
On June 30, a leaked classified document publicized that in adherence with a 2010 certification sanctioned by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was allowed to spy on 193 foreign governments, including Pakistan. The NSA was also allowed to spy on political organizations in Pakistan, including the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Internally Displaced Persons/ Refugee Crisis
The FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) told Dawn on July 1 that, with the evacuation of civilians ending due to imminent ground operations in North Waziristan, the FDMA will start registering Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) that have not yet registered at a government registration checkpoint. To that end, the FDMA will establish new registration points in multiple locations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province including Bannu and Peshawar. Many of the unregistered IDPs include families that chose to reside with host families or rent houses across the province. FDMA officials predict that the new phase of registration will net 30,000 new registered individuals. According to an FDMA official and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), 62,000 IDPs left North Waziristan before the operation began and 466,287 IDPs have been registered at Saidgai in Frontier Region Bannu since the operation began.
On June 30, Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah presented General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff, with a check for Rs 50 million ($500,000) to aid IDPS from North Waziristan. The Chief Minister took this occasion to reiterate Sindh’s support of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the IDPs.