Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – November 15, 2010
Drone strike kills four militants in North Waziristan; suicide bombing hits busy market in South Waziristan; bomb blast targets home of slain anti-Taliban elder in Peshawar; U.S. in “balancing act” when pressuring Pakistan to pursue Mumbai mastermind Sajid Mir.
A suspected U.S. drone strike killed at least four militants in North Waziristan on Saturday. Missiles fired from the drone struck a vehicle carrying militants as it traveling in Ahmad Khel village. One report indicates that a compound in the village was also hit in the attack. (For daily updates on key issues and events in North Waziristan CLICK HERE)
Two people were killed and nine others wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a busy marketplace in South Waziristan on Sunday. The bomber reportedly detonated his vest in Shakai village as members of the local peace committee tried to arrest him. Another report suggests that the attack was part of a turf war between the Taliban and the Maulvi Nazir faction and claims that one of Nazir’s deputies, Tasil Khan, was the likely target of the attack. The report also indicates that the peace committee opened fire on the suicide bomber, which caused the explosives to detonate before he reached his target.
On Monday, a bomb explosion in the Adezai area of Peshawar killed two people and wounded three others. The blast occurred outside the home of an anti-Taliban tribal elder, Abdul Malik, who was killed in a suicide attack last year. Police said that the elder’s son, Noor Malik, was present at the time of the attack but was not injured.
Security forces killed at least six militants during various clashes while conducting a search operation in Matta sub-district of Swat on Sunday. Troops imposed a curfew and launched a search operation in the area following an attack on a security checkpoint near Shakar Dara on Saturday night. Security forces claim to have arrested 120 suspected militants and seized a large cache of arms and ammunition as a result of the operation.
- An article in the Washington Post examines the political challenges the Obama administration faces with Pakistan when it comes to pursuing Sajid Mir, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. While several senior U.S. security officials have pledged the United States’ determination to bring Mir to justice, others have noted that the Mir case is a “balancing act” in which the U.S. can “only push so far.” One U.S. law enforcement official said, “Sajid Mir is too powerful for [Pakistan] to go after…too well connected” and pointed out that the U.S. priority was to get Pakistan to “go after the Taliban and al-Qaeda,” suggesting that pushing Pakistan too hard on the Mir issue could endanger that mission.
- Former President Pervez Musharraf continued his media tour on Friday to drum up support for his power bid in Pakistan’s 2013 elections. Musharraf called himself a “viable alternative” to the current civilian government in Pakistan that he claims has “never performed in its history.” Musharraf further outlined his viability as a candidate, saying, “now that Pakistan is in turmoil, the people of Pakistan remember what they had.”
According to a senior EU aid official, floodwaters that continue to inundate large sections of Pakistan could persist for up to another six months. Peter Zangl, the director general of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), told reporters on Friday following a five-day trip to Pakistan that the only prospect of “getting rid of the water is evaporation” which could take between two and six months depending on climate conditions and flood depth. Zangl added that in the meantime displaced flood victims would need to continue to rely on aid agencies “to survive and to live with minimum respectability.”
On Monday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani urged flood relief donors to be patient with Pakistan as it takes the necessary steps to implement economic reforms. Speaking at the Pakistan Development Forum, Gilani said that the donors’ “support and commitment is required over a much longer period, during which we can channel your assistance towards institutional and structural reforms.” Many foreign donors have been reluctant to provide flood aid to Pakistan due to a lack of transparency and the fact that government has not yet passed reforms to widen the country’s tax base.