Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – March 23, 2010
Mullah Omar names two new deputies; Pakistan requests military and economic assistance from US; Gen. Kayani meets with Gen, Petraeus; plot to kidnap Jordanian ambassador to Pakistan foiled; key Taliban commander killed in Swat; Pakistan attempts to reopen case against nuclear scientist; elders hand over militants in Orakzai; an election office attacked in DI Khan; a former Nazim killed; Pakistanis celebrate Pakistan Day.
New Taliban Deputies
- Mullah Omar named two new deputies to replace Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was arrested in February. Abdul Qayuum Zakir and Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor were reported to have replaced Baradar. “The aim was to send ‘a message that one arrest will not affect our movement,’ a senior Taliban leader said.”
- Prior to strategic talks scheduled for Wednesday, Pakistan sent a 56-page document to the U.S. outlining the basis of a comprehensive aid package it expects to receive from Washington. The document requests additional military and economic aid including help to assuage Pakistan’s water and power shortages. It asks the U.S. to supply Pakistan with surveillance aircraft, and support it in developing its civilian nuclear program. Some U.S. officials see the document as an implicit offer to crackdown on the Afghan Taliban if some or all of the requests can be met.
- Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani met with Central Command Chief General David Petraeus who commended Kayani on “Pakistan’s hard-fought gains” against the Taliban on Monday. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also met with U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. They reviewed the agenda for tomorrow’s strategic dialogue and both indicated that they had a strong desire to strengthen US-Pakistan relations.
- Jordan’s ambassador to Pakistan was the target of a Taliban kidnapping plot that was foiled by authorities in Islamabad. Two highly experienced Taliban militants were arrested and confessed to the plot.
- Security forces killed key Taliban commander Bakht Marin and two other Taliban in Swat on Monday. Concurrently, 500 suspected terrorists were arrested in a search operation outside Mingora City.
Abdul Qadeer Khan
- The Pakistani government sought a court’s permission to reopen a case against nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan regarding “his role in nuclear weapons-related discussions and transactions with Iran and Iraq.” It plans to investigate Khan’s recent disclosure of information to the Washington Post regarding the transfer of nuclear know-how to Iraq and Iran. Khan has been under various forms of house arrest since 2004.
- Elders of Orakzai Agency handed over six militants to security forces on Monday. The militants had surrendered the day before to elders in Orakzai’s Feroz Khel area. Meanwhile clashes over a land dispute between the Kalakhel and Afridi tribes left one member of the Kalakhel tribe dead in Khyber Agency. 
Dera Ismail Khan
- On Monday, between five and eleven people were injured when unknown attackers threw two grenades at the election office of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam in Dera Ismail Khan. One man may have been killed in the attack.
- Two men, including a former union council Nazim, were killed in a shooting in Dera Ismail Khan on Monday. Another man was seriously injured.
- Today, Secretary Clinton said Pakistan was “close to her heart” in an address on the occasion of Pakistan Day. On behalf of President Obama and the American people she congratulated Pakistanis as they celebrated the anniversary of the 1940 Lahore Resolution where Indian Muslims made the first formal calls for an independent state.