Pakistan Security Brief
Drone strike kills five militants in Nangarhar, Afghanistan, TTP chief escapes attack; Pakistani airstrikes kill 19 militants in Datta Khel, North Waziristan; Police arrest TTP militant in Islamabad; LI commander beheaded in Khyber Agency; Punjab government warns of second attack on Wagah border; Defense Minister says Pakistan desires peace with India; Indian Prime Minister to tell Pakistani counterpart to refrain from internationalizing Kashmir dispute, claims report; 70 percent voter turn-out in Indian-administered Kashmir polls.
On November 24, a U.S. drone strike killed five Pakistani and Afghan militants in the Nizyan area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province near the Pak-Afghan border. According to reports, the strike targeted Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah, who narrowly escaped the drone strike. Intelligence reports claim that Fazlullah had been in the area for over a day.
On November 25, Pakistani military airstrikes killed 19 militants and injured eight others in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. The airstrikes are part of the ongoing military offensive, Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
On November 24, police arrested a suspected militant affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Islamabad. The police also recovered hand grenades, detonators, batteries, suicide jackets and explosives from the suspect.
On November 24, unidentified armed men beheaded a Lashkar-e-Islam commander in Bara sub-district, Khyber Agency. Meanwhile, security forces launched a search operation against militants in Khyber’s Akakhel area and arrested 100 suspected militants.
According to a November 25 report in The News, the Punjab Home Department has issued a warning about a possible second attack by militants at the Wagah border and on Sikh pilgrims visiting holy places in various parts of Punjab. The letter also added that militants are planning to target Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) installations in Bhara Kahu near Islamabad.
On November 25, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif stated that Pakistan desires peace with India and that the two countries should resolve their disputes through dialogue. Asif also condemned allegedly unprovoked firing by Indian forces along the Line of Control (LoC) and declared that such attacks hamper peace in the region.
According to a November 25 Economic Times report, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to tell Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to refrain from “internationalizing” the Kashmir issue if the two leaders meet at the South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal on November 25-26. Prime Minister Modi is also expected to talk to Prime Minister Sharif about repeated ceasefire violations along the LoC. No structured talks between the two leaders have been scheduled yet.
On November 25, large numbers of people turned out to vote in first phase of general elections in Indian-administered Kashmir. According to the Indian Election Commission, the voter turn-out was 70 per cent despite calls by hardline separatists to boycott elections. Indian-administered Kashmir will vote in five phases with results to be declared on December 23. Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is attempting to win the Muslim-majority state’s 87-member assembly for the first time. BJP traditionally has no base in the Kashmir Valley.