Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – June 11, 2009
U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan; intelligence agencies find direct links between militants and criminals in Punjab; militants surrender to security forces in Bajaur Agency; U.S. and Pakistani defense officials met in Rawalpindi; six killed in Lyari gang related violence; Australian research center says Pakistan is 5th most dangerous country.
U.S. drones killed at least 18 militants in two separate strikes on militant hideouts in North Waziristan. Pakistani officials in Miramshah said that 11 militants were killed in Bahadar Khel on Friday and 3 in Khaddi on Thursday. Both towns are known to be strongholds of Taliban groups loyal to Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Sadiq Noor, officials said. The identities of the dead, their affiliations, and whether there were any high value targets remain unclear.
Intelligence agencies forwarded information to authorities that militants in Punjab, especially in Lahore, have direct links with local criminal networks, sources told the local Daily Times newspaper on Thursday. The information claims that terrorists are aiding criminals in kidnappings for ransom and robberies in order to fund future attacks. The intelligence report cites an incident in August 2008 in which militants attacked a Lahore police officer who refused to release two criminals arrested for robbery. In response to this information, police started compiling a database of criminals in the province.
At least 64 militants, including five commanders, surrendered to security forces and denounced militancy during a meeting of Mamund tribesman in Bajaur Agency on Thursday. The militants vowed to live peacefully in the area and support the government. Meanwhile, security forces seized a large cache of weapons found during a search operation in Bajaur Agency. The weapons seized during the operation reportedly included 135 AK-47 assault rifles, 55 rocket launchers, 34 rockets, 40 artillery shells, 13 missiles, 25 remote controlled bombs, and 27 mortar shells.
Pakistani and U.S. defense officials held a series of meetings from June 7 to 10 at Pakistan’s Joint Staff Headquarters in Rawalpindi to review defense cooperation and discuss the integration of security and defense capabilities. These meetings are part of the multi-year strategic dialogue process between the two countries. The U.S. delegation, co-chaired by David Ochmanek, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Development, and David Sedney, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, praised Pakistan’s efforts to in combating militant groups.
Six people were killed in gang related violence in Lyari on Thursday when 50 members from a notorious gang, led by Baba Ladla, attacked the stronghold of a rival gang. According to sources and eyewitnesses, the fighting lasted three hours before police finally intervened. Two local residents were killed in the fighting. The gang war in Lyari reportedly started in 2003 and has so far claimed more than 4,000 lives, according to official records.
Pakistan 5th Most Dangerous
An Australian research center said that Pakistan was the fifth most violent nation in the world. The report said that Iraq is the most dangerous, followed by Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan, Israel, Georgia, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The report was prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace, and said that the world in general was becoming a more violent place.