Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – July 20, 2010
Hilary Clinton reaffirms U.S. concerns over Sino-Pak nuclear deal, notes better reception than year ago; Mumbai suspect David Coleman Headley allegedly reveals terrorist “nexus” working with ISI, Pakistani establishment; Indian diplomat suspected of spying for Pakistan arrested in New Delhi;senior BNP leader killed in Kalat District; five militants, including three suicide bombers killed in Mardan District; Christian brothers killed outside courthouse in Faisalabad; Prime Minister Gilani says government working to end sectarianism.
During a press conference on Monday U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, reaffirmed U.S. “concerns” to Islamabad over China’s civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan. Clinton said that “intensive discussion” was underway to explore the possibility of a U.S. nuclear deal with Pakistan. At the end of her two-day visit, Clinton told reporters that her reception was far less hostile than a year ago. “I could feel a change,” Mrs. Clinton said. 
India’s National Security Advisor, Shivshankar Menon, said on Tuesday that the interrogation of David Coleman Headley, a key suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, has revealed a “nexus “of terrorist groups working with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and official establishment. These comments come after Headley allegedly admitted to National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigators in Chicago last month that all ten attackers received training from Pakistan Navy frogmen. Earlier this month, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said that the ISI played a “much more significant role” in the Mumbai attacks than initially thought, “literally controlling and coordinating the attacks from the beginning till the end.” In a statement posted on its website on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the accusations as “baseless” and yet another “manifestation of the Indian establishment’s propagandistic stance toward Pakistan.”
An Indian diplomat suspected of spying for Pakistan was charged on Tuesday in New Dehli. Madhuri Gupta, who was employed at the Indian Embassy in Islamabad prior to her arrest, allegedly passed information from India’s External Intelligence Agency liaison in Islamabad to Pakistani sources. According to the Deputy Police Commissioner, Shibesh Singh, Gupta had been surveillance for six months before she was arrested.
A senior leader of the Balochistan National Party (BNP), Liaquat Mengal, was killed by gunmen in Kalat District on Tuesday. According to police sources, unidentified attackers riding a motorcycle opened fire on Mengal as he was departing for Kalat City. Meanwhile, the BNP called on United Nations to conduct an investigation into the assassination of Secretary General Habib Jalib Baloch and appealed to the International Court of Justice to oversee any future proceedings. During a press conference on Monday, the acting chairman of the BNP also claimed that the ongoing military operation in Balochistan is an “ethnic cleansing.”
Security forces killed five militants, three of them suicide bombers, as they tried to gain access to an army shooting range in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday. According to a security official, security forces opened fired on the militants afterthey refused to stop at a checkpoint just outside the Punjab Regiment Center in Mardan District. A gunfight ensued in which all five militants were killed. Four soldiers were also wounded after the three attackers wearing suicide vests detonated due to gunfire.
Following the killing of two Christian brothers accused of blasphemy on Monday outside the district courthouse, at least 400 Muslims and Christians clashed for hours on Tuesday in Warispura and Dawoodnager neighborhoods of Faisalabad. The brothers, who were accused on July 2 of distributing blasphemous pamphlets, were killed by unidentified gunmen on Monday as they exited the district courthouse. A member of their police escort also received gunshot wounds. A spokesperson for the Pakistan Minorities Democratic Foundation said that the brothers were falsely accused. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani telephoned Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday, expressing concerns about the unrest and ordering the police to bring the situation under control.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday that the government is taking steps to reduce sectarianism in Pakistan. Addressing an audience at the PM Secretariat, Gilani said measures were being taken to make Pakistan a “true citadel of Islam” by encouraging people to put aside their differences. Gilani expressed regret that “so-called think tanks” and the media in the West equate Islam with terrorism.