Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – July 14, 2010
Indian Home Secretary says Pakistan’s ISI orchestrated 2008 Mumbai attacks; U.S. General Patraeus wants Haqqani Network leaders designated terrorists; Obama Administration supports India-Pakistan talks; Secretary General of Balochistan National Party assassinated in Quetta; 3 people killed in ongoing violence in Balochistan; NATO driver killed by gunmen; 24 militants killed in Orakzai Agency; Pakistan’s Interior Minister blames Afghan militants for attacks in Pakistan.
A top Indian security official accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people. India’s Home Secretary G.K. Pillai’s comments to the Indian Express published on Wednesday come only a day before Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Islamabad to try to repair relations. “It was not just a peripheral role,” the newspaper quoted Pillai as saying. “They (ISI) were literally controlling and coordinating it from the beginning till the end.” Thursday’s meeting will be the first between Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and Pakistani Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. Upon arriving in Islamabad on Wednesday, Krishna said his visit to Pakistan is to convey a message of “peace and friendship.”
U.S. General David Petraeus is pushing to have top leaders of the Haqqani Network designated as terrorists, according to a New York Times report. Gen. Petraeus introduced the idea last week in meetings with President Obama’s senior advisors on Pakistan and Afghanistan. Senior administration officials worry that such a move may both antagonize Pakistan, an ally Petraeus believes is “indispensible” in the Afghan war, and hamper President Karzai’s efforts to reconcile with insurgent groups. From its staging grounds along the Af-Pak border, the Haqqani Network is suspected of fueling much of the insurgency in eastern Afghanistan, carrying out suicide bombings, kidnappings, and roadside bomb attacks.
The Obama Administration supports the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan, as foreign ministers from both countries are scheduled to meet in Islamabad on Thursday." Anything that reduces tensions and increases confidence and understanding between Pakistan and India is something we would encourage and support," said Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke. In a meeting with India’s Ambassador to the U.S. on Tuesday, Holbrooke added, "India has a very real role in the region for historic and strategic reasons. They can play an important role in resolving these issues."
Habib Jalib Baloch, Secretary General of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and a former senator, was killed by gunmen on Wednesday in Quetta, the provincial capital. According to sources, gunmen riding on motorcycles opened fire on Jalib outside his home in Musa Colony. Balochistan’s chief minister, Nawab Raisani, formed a judicial commission to investigate Jalib’s killing. Meanwhile, BNP activists protested throughout the city, demanding that the perpetrators be arrested. The BNP national council announced a forty-day mourning period.
At least three people were killed in ongoing violence on Tuesday. According to sources, a paramilitary soldier and suspected kidnapper were killed in a pre-dawn raid in Kalat district. “Eight suspected kidnappers were also arrested,” an unnamed official told the Express Tribune. Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers launched a search operation on Monday after two soldiers were kidnapped from their checkpoint outside Quetta. Weapons, including two AK-47s, one rocket launcher, eight hand grenades, six remote detonators, and gunpowder, were also recovered during the raid. 
The driver of a NATO tanker was killed by gunmen on Tuesday in Mastung Town, 50 kilometers from Quetta. According to sources, the tanker was returning to Karachi after delivering furl to NATO forces in Afghanistan when gunmen riding motorcycles attacked the vehicle. Security forces cordoned off the area and began an investigation.
At least 24 militants were killed when fighter jets attacked militant positions in different parts of Orakzai Agency on Wednesday. According to a Dawn News report, 36 militants, including a local commander, were also wounded in the attacks that targeted Kasha, Srigaray, Khorhi, Mamoonzai and Shakartangi areas.(For detailed daily updates on Pakistani military operations in Orakzai, CLICK HERE)
Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, told the BBC he blames militants based in Afghanistan for Friday’s attack in Mohmand Agency, which killed at least 102 people in the deadliest attack this year. Malik said that NATO and the Afghan government are not doing enough to halt the flow of militant crossing from Afghanistan into Pakistan. NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said that militants crossing the border was a “matter of concern” and a major challenge facing Afghanistan as well. “It stresses the need for strengthened co-operation between [the NATO-led force] ISAF, Pakistan and Afghanistan when it comes to control of the borders," Rasmussen added.