Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – May 27, 2010
Pakistani Taliban commander is reported killed in eastern Afghanistan; White House officials demand that Pakistan make “real progress” against Tehrik-e-Taliban; U.S. provides $228 million reimbursement to Pakistan for counterterrorism activities; Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff meets with General McCrystal and President Karzai in Kabul; 40 militants are killed during operations in the Orakzai Agency; Taliban militants kill pro-government tribal leader and his family in the Bajaur Agency; four people murdered in targeted killings in Balochistan; Pakistan eases YouTube ban.
Pakistani Taliban leader reported killed in Afghanistan
Mullah Fazlullah, a leading figure in the Pakistani Taliban’s (TTP) Swat chapter, has reportedly been killed in the Barg-a-Matal district of Afghanistan's Nuristan province. Fazlullah is believed to be among seven militants killed on Wednesday. About 400 Afghan police supported by village militias have been fighting hundreds of TTP militants who crossed into Afghanistan and attacked the district. General Zaman Mamozai, the commander of the Afghan Border Police in the Nuristan Province, said the information came from local residents where the fighting is taking place.
The Obama Administration has told Pakistani officials that it expects “real progress” to be made against the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) in the coming weeks. The White House has said that Pakistan is “on a clock” to launch a new offensive against the TTP, which was allegedly behind the Times Square plot.
According to a U.S. embassy statement, Pakistan has been reimbursed $288 million from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for costs incurred during counter-terrorism activities. The CSF is an incentive program that allows the U.S. to provide Pakistan with financial assistance for combating terrorism.
Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, met the ISAF Commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McCrystal and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Thursday to discuss current ISAF operations against the Taliban. According to sources, Karzai also assured the cooperation of Afghanistan in Pakistan’s efforts to fight terrorism.
Pakistani warplanes bombed militant positions in the Orakzai Agency on Thursday, killing 15. This brings the militant death toll to 40 in the past 24 hours. Sources are reporting that militant commander Wali Muhammad may also have been killed. The Pakistani army has recently turned its attention to this the Orakzai, where many militants are believed to have fled from earlier offensives in South Waziristan.
Taliban militants killed a pro-government tribal leader and his family in the Bajaur Agency on Thursday. The killings demonstrate the increased threat that Islamist militants pose in Pakistan’s northern tribal areas following military offensives in South Waziristan and the Orakzai Agency.
Two militants were killed in clashes between security forces and TTP militants during a five hour search operation in the Baidara area of the Swat district. Pakistani security forces evacuated nearly 1,000 residents before conducting their operation. One of the militants killed was identified as Qari Akhtar, a TTP commander in Swat.
Four people were killed in separate incidents on Wednesday in Balochistan. In Turbat district, unidentified gunmen opened fire at a barbershop, killing a barber and a passerby. Meanwhile an army officer was killed in Khuzdar district when two motorcycle riding gunmen intercepted a passenger van and pulled the officer out before shooting him. Also on Wednesday, a policeman was killed in Dera Murad Jamali when unidentified gunmen shot him in the district’s Somer Khan area.
Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted a supplementary report to a Pakistani court on Wednesday that accuses the deceased TTP chief, Baitullah Mehusud, of masterminding Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. The FIA report also addresses the ongoing investigation into the cleanup of the crime scene, inadequate security, and failure to conduct an autopsy of Ms. Bhutto.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology said on Wednesday that the government will partially restore access to YouTube while continuing to block videos and web pages “displaying profane or sacrilegious material.” Whereas the Facebook ban was ordered by Pakistan’s courts, the government acted on its own in blocking YouTube.