Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf announces commitment to supremacy of parliament; President Zardari issues ordinance protecting former Prime Minister Gilani’s decisions; Pakistani official says U.S. contemplating saying “sorry” for Salala border strike; U.S. welcomes election of new Pakistani prime minister; Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan says U.S. and Taliban “need to be serious” about negotiations; Indian authorities arrest key suspect in 2008 Mumbai terror attacks; Afghan militants kill six Pakistani soldiers near border; Incidents of violence in Karachi leave seven people dead, five others injured; TTP beheads seven Pakistani security officials.
Prime Minister’s Disqualification and New Prime Minister
During an address to the nation on Friday, Pakistan’s new prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf stated his commitment to ensuring the supremacy of parliament, to strengthening democracy, and to holding free and fair elections. Ashraf also retained most of the key members of former Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani’s cabinet, including Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, and Defence Minister Naveed Qamar. 
On Sunday, President Asif Ali Zardari issued an ordinance giving constitutional protection to any governmental decisions made between April 26 and June 19, the period during which Gilani was ruled ineligible as prime minister following his contempt conviction by the Supreme Court. The ordinance extends to all agreements made with other countries and prevents any governmental decisions from being challenged in court. On Saturday, the Lahore High Court agreed to hear two contempt of court petitions against Zardari. The petitions allege that Zardari was previously barred by the Lahore court from conducting political activity while in the presidency but had not complied with the order.
Pakistani political groups have reacted differently to Ashraf’s election as prime minister. Altaf Hussain, chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) coalition, defended Ashraf’s tenure as Minister of Water and Power and praised him as a “worker” not born with a “silver spoon.” Addressing a gathering of Mohajir, Hazara, and Pashtun people in Karachi on Sunday, Altaf also called for ethnic unity and for MQM supporters to make room for other ethnicities in the party. On the other hand, Shahi Syed of the Awami National Party (ANP), another coalition member, refused to meet with Ashraf, demanding that the ANP be given the same treatment as the MQM in the coalition. Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Abdul Aleem Khan said on Sunday that Ashraf’s replacement of Gilani would further disappoint the masses. Meanwhile, the Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) agreed to participate in talks with Ashraf if certain issues, such as bringing in a caretaker setup for holding early elections and appointing a Chief Election Commissioner, were considered.
On Saturday, a senior Pakistani official told The News that the Obama Administration was contemplating using the term “sorry” in some form while also considering rehabilitating Pakistan’s road infrastructure in an effort to reach a compromise with Pakistan. Technical negotiations over the reopening of the NATO supply route, which was closed in November following a border strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, had concluded and a final agreement was now dependent upon both countries’ political leadership, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.
On Friday, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland welcomed Ashraf’s appointment as prime minister, stating that the U.S. hopes “this will open space to continue to roll up our sleeves and get back on track with all of the things that we want to do with Pakistan.” Ashraf, in his first speech to Pakistan’s parliament on Friday, expressed his intention to develop “cordial relations with the United States and [the] international community.” 
Speaking with U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter on Sunday, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik assured the diplomat that law enforcement officials would provide full protection for U.S. diplomats in Islamabad after the U.S. State Department last week released a report noting an increase in harassment of U.S. diplomats by the country’s security agencies. Malik reassured the U.S. ambassador that “Islamabad [will assure] full protection to all diplomats guaranteed under the Vienna Conventions.” Munter responded by presenting Malik with formal recommendations for improving the security and safety of U.S. officials operating in Islamabad.
The provincial government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is continuing surveillance of all foreigners moving throughout sensitive areas such as Malakand and Kohat, promising that any foreigner caught in sensitive areas without a “no objection certificate” (NOC) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be “returned respectfully to Islamabad.” Though a recently published U.S. State Department report denotes such actions in Peshawar and other areas of the country as “harassment of their officials,” the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs Department recently issued reinforcing directives that require police in the area to intercept any diplomatic vehicle seen travelling into a prohibited area.
Taliban Negotiations and Afghanistan
In an interview with Reuters, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq said the U.S. and the Taliban “need to be serious” about negotiations for a peace deal to be reached. Sadiq said Pakistan supported a peace deal between the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban but noted “a lack of clarity on both sides.” He encouraged the Taliban to be clear on whether it wanted substantive peace talks or simply the release of former officials currently held at Guantanamo Bay, and observed that the U.S. position was hindered by bureaucratic infighting.
On Saturday, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime released its annual report and declared Pakistan a poppy free country. According to Geo News, Pakistan is Afghanistan’s most vital supply route for poppy smuggling, two-thirds of which goes through Makran, a strip of land in southern Balochistan.
On Thursday, Indian authorities arrested Sayed Zabiuddin—also known as Abu Hamza and Abu Jindal—an Indian-born member of the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba, for his alleged involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Zabiuddin, who was arrested in a New Delhi airport after arriving from an unspecified Middle Eastern country, was said to be the voice heard in a Karachi control room guiding the ten Pakistani militants who carried out the terror attacks. Prior to Thursday, the only other arrest made in connection with the attacks was of Ajmal Kasab, one of the Pakistani gunmen who later spoke about an Indian man who gave the Pakistani militants knowledge of the Mumbai area.
Brigade commanders from India and Pakistan met on Saturday in an effort to alleviate bilateral tensions resulting in small clashes between the two countries’ militaries over past ten days. Fighting began after a Pakistani sniper killed an Indian Border Security Force soldier on June 11. The resulting flare up between the two countries led to the deaths of six soldiers and fueled India’s subsequent deployment of artillery along the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border separating India’s and Pakistan’s territorial claims in the Jammu and Kashmir region.
Pakistani security forces claimed that six soldiers were killed when 100 militants reportedly ambushed three separate military posts in the border village of Sunai Darra in Upper Dir district on Sunday. The security forces reportedly killed up to 15 militants in retaliatory fire, according to Pakistani military spokesman Colonel Wasim Ahmed. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan later telephoned Geo News to claim credit for the attack. Sirajuddin Ahmad, a spokesman for the Mullah Fazlullah-led Taliban militants also told reporters in Afghanistan via telephone that militants killed 17 soldiers without suffering a single casualty and that the ambush was actually carried out on a border post in Shoray Kandau. No independent source has verified either claim.
Unidentified assailants riding on motorcycles near Draban Chungi opened fire on an auto rickshaw heading to Dera Ismail Khan city from Draban on Sunday, killing its driver instantly. 
One member of the Buledi tribe was killed and another injured in Wagan, located in Sindh province’s Larkana district, on Sunday when unidentified armed men riding motorcycles opened fire on them at a hotel in the village of Lalu Rank. Police believe the two men were most likely targeted in retaliation for the Buledis’ killing four people of the Magsi community.
Five people were killed and five others injured in separate incidents across Karachi on Sunday. Police found five bodies near Baghdadi, Manghopir, Dhobi Ghat, and Saudabad. Unidentified assailants also shot and injured five civilians in Baldia Town, Shah Faisal Colony, Kharadar, and Gulberg area. Two policemen were also killed in an incident of “target killing” when gunmen opened fire on a police mobile of Sir Syed police station in Nagan Chowrangi on Sunday night.
Two gunmen riding a motorbike killed three policemen on routine patrol in a drive-by shooting in Quetta, Balochistan on Sunday, according to a local police official speaking to AFP. Gunmen riding on motorcycles also killed eight men at a laundry in Quetta on Saturday. No group has claimed credit for either attack.
Two paramilitary Frontier Corps soldiers were injured on Friday night when suspected militants fired three rockets at the Tochi Scouts Camp in Miram Shah, North Waziristan. Pakistani security forces responded with heavy mortar and artillery shelling into the mountains of Spalga, Surkot, and Anghar Killay, though no casualties were reported.