Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – July 7, 2010
Taliban militants destroy three government-run schools in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; explosion in Peshawar destroys five vehicles; Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief says suicide attacks have no moral basis; outgoing U.S. Consul General says U.S. wants N. Waziristan operation; U.S. wants Pakistan to abandon Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline; President Zardari meets with Chinese hydro-power officials, pledge cooperation in fighting terrorism; at least five more people killed in Karachi violence.
FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Taliban militants destroyed three government-run primary schools in Peshawar and Bajaur Agency on Tuesday. In Peshawar, militants destroyed the Government Primary School for Boys in Khatako Pul with three kilograms of explosives planted near the main gate. In Bajaur, two schools were destroyed in Bhai Chena. According to police sources, nine suspects were arrested during a crackdown that followed the attacks. One of the suspects was in possession of seven kilograms of explosives when he was arrested in Tajabad, a suburb of Peshawar.
An explosion on Wednesday destroyed five vehicles and damaged 20 others in Faqeerabad, Peshawar. According to sources, police claimed to have arrested a suspect near the blast site. Security forces arrived on the scene and have taken over security at the site. Nearly 1.5 kilograms of explosives are believed to have been used in the bomb.
Suicide Attacks “Forbidden”
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief, Hafiz Saeed, said suicide attacks have no moral basis and elements behind such attacks should be executed: “Some foreign elements are trying to create religious discord in the country.” Saeed blamed India for the Data Darbar attacks and challenged Indian authorities to prove a JuD connection to the Mumbai attacks.
U.S. Consul General in Peshawar, Candace Putnam, said on Tuesday that the U.S. wants Islamabad to take action against militants in North Waziristan responsible for launching attacks in Afghanistan. “We very much would like to see action in North Waziristan. The Haqqani network is killing our soldiers…there is no question that extremists have found safe havens in the border areas,” Putnam told reporters in the provincial capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa before leaving her post. “However, it’s for Pakistani commanders to decide the timing of such an operation,” Putnam added.
According to a Geo News report, the U.S. is attempting to persuade Pakistan to abandon an Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. The report notes that although the Obama Administration is sympathetic to Pakistan’s energy crisis, the U.S. still regards Iran as a “rogue state.” Under Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, any international firm that does $20 million or more in oil or gas business with Iran faces a variety of U.S. sanctions. The U.S. is “stepping up pressure,” as the $7.6 billion Iran-Pakistan pipeline project violates the U.S. sanctions act.
President Asif Ali Zardari, during his six-day visit to China, met with the chairman of an unnamed Chinese firm that has expressed interest in investing $10 billion in hydro-power projects in Pakistan. Zardari also held talks with the president of Exim Bank and the officials from the Three Gorges Corporation. Talking to reporters after the meetings, Zaradari said the company will construct dams in Bunji and Kohala, which will generate 7,000 to 12,000 megawatts respectively. Also during the visit, Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Zardari expressed their commitment to strengthening relations in energy, communications, and infrastructure development and pledged to cooperate in fighting terrorism.“ China and Pakistan are both victims of terrorism,” China Central Television quoted Hu as telling Zardari.
At least five more people were killed in ongoing violence in Karachi on Tuesday. Four people, including workers of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the PPP Shaheed Bhutto group, were killed by gunmen in Sarjani Town. Six others were wounded in the gunfight that followed. In a separate incident, a woman was killed in her office in Gulistan-e-Jauhar by gunmen. Police so far arrested one suspect in the shooting.