Pakistan Security Brief
The contents of memo are revealed, Haqqani denies involvement, Gilani announces Haqqani’s recall; Suicide bomber killed in Karachi; Zardari installs Abdi as new PPP leader in Karachi; ATC acquits Sufi Mohammad’s sons of terrorism charges; Gilani threatens “action” against Hayat; Reuters chronicles rise of Imran Khan, a dozen former PML-Q members join PTI; Police kill two militants in Peshawar;Tethyan Copper accuses Baloch officials of violating law; Pakistan phone companies to screen texts for "obscene" language.
On Thursday, The Cable obtained a copy of the memo that has been at the center of the latest complication in U.S.-Pakistan relations. The memo, allegedly authored by Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani and delivered shortly after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, proposes that the U.S. support a reshuffling of the Pakistani government where civilian officials curb the dominance of the military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) leadership and form a new civilian national security team. It also delineated a six-point plan that the newly installed national security institution would follow to help the U.S. achieve its interests in the region. Haqqani has denied any connection to the memo, and suggested that President Asif Ali Zardari’s position could be in danger if “memo-gate” continues to escalate. According to Dawn, the affair has exposed the tense rift between Pakistan’s powerful military establishment and weak civilian government. On Friday, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani informed members of that National Assembly that Haqqani has been recalled to Islamabad to provide an explanation. Gilani also emphasized that President Zardari had no involvement with the memo.
A suicide bomber killed himself with his own explosives in Karachi on Friday when Rangers raided his building. The militant has been identified as a “foreigner” but no further information on his identity has been released.
On Thursday, President Zardari dissolved the provincial leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Karachi and installed Senator Faisal Raza Abdi as the party division’s new president. Zardari also acknowledged plans to make changes to other regional party leadership in order to mobilize for the next election.
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) acquitted three sons of militant leader Sufi Mohammad of charges against them in a terrorism-related case on Thursday. The court announced, however, that it would continue to hear other cases against the men. The three are implicated in several cases involving “murder, terrorism and revolt.”
On Thursday, Prime Minister Gilani threatened to take “action” against Minister for Housing Faisal Saleh Hayat. Gilani said that PPP leadership pressured him to act against Hayat who recently filed a case with Pakistan’s Supreme Court accusing the PPP of corruption.
Reuters reports on the journey of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan from cricket star to politician as speculation continues to grow that Khan's popularity among Pakistanis and vision of a "fresh start for Pakistan" may result in his election as Pakistan's next prime minister. On Thursday, a dozen former members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) announced they would join Khan’s PTI party.
On Friday, the Tethyan Copper Company, owned jointly by Chile’s Antofagasta and Canada’s Barrick Gold, alleged that Balochistan officials violated Pakistani law when they rejected the company’s mining lease application. The rejection came earlier this week and threatens the future of Tehtyan Copper’s Reko Diq copper-gold project.
A letter composed by an official at the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) reportedly calling for the screening and censoring of text messages containing "obscene" words was leaked to the media on November 14 . The PTA released the list of banned words and has called on Pakistani phone companies to begin screening messages on November 21.