Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – June 16, 2009
Pakistani military officials claim to be taking ground preparation for operations in South Waziristan; international donors are pledging aid and equipment to upgrade Pakistani police forces; Pakistani and Indian heads of state met for the first time since last fall’s Mumbai bombing.
Analysts say that the upcoming operation in South Waziristan promises to be a much tougher challenge than Swat was; at the same time, reports continue to emerge of rifts developing within the TTP leadership. Pakistan military officials say they are “shaping the environment”, [choking the routes, controlling the exits and entrances and regulating movement]. The Pakistani army reportedly provides assistance to groups opposed to Beitullah Mehsud led by Qari Zainullah Mehsud and Turkistan Bhaitani. Reports say TTP has heavily mined the town of Wana prepares to entrench itself in high ground as the army approaches.
- Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced that the Chinese government and other donors were providing over $300 million worth of aid and equipment to upgrade the size capabilities of Pakistani police forces.
- Pakistan’s army reportedly continues to prepare the ground for a potential operation in Waziristan as reports of artillery fire striking TTP hideouts in South Waziristan surfaced. In nearby Bannu, the army reportedly continued operations in the Jani khel and Baka khel areas.
- Continuing operations in Upper and Lower Dir are said to have killed fourteen militants on Monday. The ISPR claims that the activities of the anti-Taliban tribal militia and security forces had secured most of Maidan and had killed nine militants during operations in Galgut. A soldier was said to have been killed in the fighting.
- The leaders of Pakistan and India, Asif Zardari and Manmohan Singh, met for the first time since the November Mumbai attacks and the stalling of the Pak-Indian peace process. Mr. Singh is reported to have told Mr. Zardari that “Pakistani territory must not be used for terrorism against India.”
- There are reports emerging that refugees are returning to Swat in greater numbers. The “visibly rapid return” of IDPs is speculated to be a result of the improved security situation and may even indicate that the IDP problem “may be headed for a quick resolution”. However it is doubtful there will be a full-scale return until the army wraps up its operations in the area and undertakes a massive rehabilitation effort to assist refugee repatriation, speculates one BBC reporter.
“Fresh shelling reported in South Waziristan”, Dawn News Online, June 16, 2009. Available at http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-fresh-shelling-reported-swaziristan-qs-07