Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief-November 23, 2010
Pakistan delays North Waziristan military operation “indefinitely”; Taliban reconciliation talks were infiltrated by imposter; Six dead in latest Karachi gun violence; U.S. delivers over 25 million pounds of flood aid.
New allegations have emerged that the Pakistani government has “indefinitely delayed” plans to conduct military operations to route Taliban militants and al-Qaeda terrorists from bases in North Waziristan. The decision to delay operations was reportedly made after President Obama “soured” US-Pakistani relations by publically supporting India’s bid to hold a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. According to the former head of the ISI, General Hamid Gul, "This tilt to India has been very heavily felt here." (For daily updates on key issues and events in North Waziristan CLICK HERE)
Speaking yesterday at the French National Assembly in Paris, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, told the audience that he was appreciative of the “good cooperation” he has received from the Pakistani Armed Forces. General Petraeus explained that the Pakistani government understands the manifold problems posed by militant safe havens in the country, and said that the issue of Taliban operating bases in the FATA was being addressed satisfactorily.
At last month’s Taliban reconciliation talks, a man who purported to be Akthar Mohammad Mansour, the number two figure in the Quetta Shura Taliban, may actually have been an imposter with no connections to the Taliban’s senior leadership. According to reports, the alleged imposter was flown to Afghanistan under NATO protection, granted audience with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and given “a lot of money” in order to further his involvement in the peace talks. While the true motivations of the imposter remain unknown, some have suggested that the ruse may have been orchestrated by Pakistan’s intelligence services, in order to see what the Afghan government was willing to offer Taliban leaders in support of reconciliation efforts.
At least six people were killed in different instances of gun violence across Karachi on Tuesday. The shootings occurred in Wali and Bara Markets as well as in Bhittai Abad, Korangi, Bila Colony, Anda Mor, and Allah Wali areas of the city. Security forces are working to identify the victims and establish if they were victims of targeted attacks. Meanwhile, the Sindh government lifted a two-year ban on pillion riding. The ban, which made it illegal to have more than one person on a motorcycle, was intended to limit the number of assassinations perpetrated by gunmen riding on the back of motorcycles. However, this year Karachi has seen a record number of targeted killings, most of them perpetrated by gunmen on motorcycle.
The United States has officially delivered over 25 million pounds of relief aid to Pakistan, a major milestone in the U.S. campaign to help the millions of Pakistanis impacted by the flood crisis. Since their efforts began in Pakistan some four months ago, U.S. aircraft and servicemen have delivered over 25,029,046 pounds of relief aid and relocated more than 39,000 people from flood affected areas. According to comments made on Tuesday by Adm. Mike LeFever, a senior Defense attaché, there are at present “18 US military helicopters and approximately 350 service members in Pakistan supporting the Government of Pakistan’s flood relief efforts.”