Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – June 25, 2010
Pakistan continues to approach Afghan government with offers to facilitate power sharing agreement with Haqqani network; security heightened in Peshawar in response to report of a possible terrorist attack; two NATO tankers blown up on the outskirts of Peshawar; two terror suspects arrested in Lahore; Sindh’s Home Minister criticizes judiciary’s release of hundreds of terror suspects; CID arrests three suspected LeJ activists in Karachi; top commander of TTP Swat arrested in Karachi; US Vice President Joe Biden phones President Zardari to discuss bi-lateral issues; evidence in trial of five Americans convicted in Pakistan reveals they were in contact with HuJI chief.
Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan
Pakistan is attempting to capitalize on recent US troubles in Afghanistan in order to put itself in a position to influence the country’s political future, according to an article in the New York Times. Pakistani officials have approached Afghan President Hamid Karzai with the claim that they can broker a power-sharing agreement between the Haqqani network and the Afghan government. Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Asfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha have made several recent trips to Kabul in an effort to convince Karzai and the Afghan government that the US military effort in the country “will not succeed.” The article also infers that General McChrystal's recent firing is likely to further benefit the Pakistani effort to exert control in Afghanistan. 
Police in Peshawar have heightened security in response to reports of a possible terrorist attack in the city. As part of the increased security measures, the District Coordination Officer announced that it was now imposing Section 144, temporarily banning certain activities, until further notice. The Peshawar District Administration has also ordered that all non-residents staying in the city register with local police stations.
Two parked NATO fuel tankers were destroyed in a bomb explosion on the outskirts of Peshawar on Thursday. No casualties were reported and fire crews managed to quickly get the blaze under control. Police have also indicated that they have arrested several suspects from the area.
Two suspected terrorists have been arrested in the Ferozwala area of Lahore. Authorities said that the two men are believed to have been involved in the May 28 attack on an Ahmadi mosque that left more than 70 people dead. During the arrest, law enforcement personnel seized two trucks found to be carrying a large quantity of explosives, including 300 hand grenades, 15 land mines, and 15 suicide jackets as well as several thousand bullets and 16 walkie-talkies. Police also indicated that further arrests have been made acting on the information provided by the two suspects.
Speaking to the Sindh Assembly on Thursday, Sindh Home Minister Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza harshly criticized Pakistan’s judicial system for its failure to convict terror suspects. Mirza claimed that since 2002 approximately 380 suspected terrorists, many of whom had arrested with explosive materials in their possession, were now “roaming freely—thanks to the judiciary.”
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) arrested three suspected members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi during a raid in Karachi on Thursday. Arms and ammunition were also seized during the operation, which took place in Laiquatabad and Orangi Town. A CID spokesman said that one of the suspects was wanted by police in connection with six cases of sectarian killings.
Police have arrested a key Tehrik-e-Taliban Paksitan (TTP) commander, identified as Zafar Hussain, during a crackdown in Baldia Town on Thursday. Hussain was a top commander from the TTP’s Swat chapter and was wanted for his involvement in various terrorist activities throughout Khyber-Pakhtunkwha.
US Vice President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation with President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday to discuss various bi-lateral issues. Zardari said that his country was committed in the fight against militancy until its “complete eradication,” adding that Pakistan would not allow extremists to “impose their vicious agenda on the people.” During the phone call, Biden also reaffirmed US support for democracy and stability in the region.
- Evidence presented during the trial of five Americans convicted on terrorism charges on Thursday indicates that the accused were acting at the behest of Qari Saifullah Akhtar, leader of the Pakistani chapter of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI). Various emails, phone calls, and other documents showed that the men had been in contact with Akhtar who urged them to travel to Pakistan to wage “jihad” against those siding with “the forces of the infidel.”