Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief-November 4, 2010
Drone operations kill at least 13 militants in North Waziristan; General Petraeus meets with Gen. Kayani to discuss a potential North Waziristan operation; Pakistanis face visa discrimination in the UK; Lack of funds to force UNICEF to shutter facilities by Dec.31st.
At 13 people have been killed in as many as three separate US drone strikes in the last 24 hours in North Waziristan. In the first attack, initially reported yesterday, five Uzbek militants were killed after the vehicle they were riding in was struck by a missile in the Qutub Khel area of Miran Shah. Later in the day, U.S. drones targeted a suspected militant compound in Khaso Khel village near the town of Mir Ali, killing four. A third drone operation targeted a vehicle carrying militants in Pai Khel village in Datta Khel sub-district, also killing four. According to reports, security officials are working to establish the identity of those killed to see if any high value targets were among drone yesterday’s causalities.
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, met in Islamabad Wednesday with his Pakistani counterpart Chief of the Army Staff, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. During the meeting, General Petraeus reiterated Washington’s demand that Pakistan undertake a military operation to target the Haqqani network and other militant groups operating in North Waziristan. According to government officials, General Kayani has affirmed that the Pakistani military has no immediate plans for an incursion and that at most it would consider targeted operations against only select militant groups in North Waziristan.
The United States Embassy in Islamabad released a press statement on Wednesday calling media reports of a NATO air incursion into Pakistani territory “entirely false.” The US Embassy press release said that NATO and the Pakistani Air Defense Forces were in agreement that, contrary to media reports from earlier this week, no airspace violation occurred. However, NATO’s denial did not stop members of both the opposition party (PML-N) and the Jamaat-e-Islami from walking out of a Senate meeting yesterday, in protest of NATO’s alleged air incursion.
An independent inspector charged with monitoring the activities of the United Kingdom’s Border Agency has found that the agency may be unlawfully discriminating against Pakistani visa applicants. According to the inspector, John Vine, it is harder to enter the UK from Pakistan than it is from other countries, like Bahrain or Dubai, and that Pakistani applicants often face a “higher evidential requirements for entry.”
15 militants were arrested late Wednesday night in a major police operation across the district of Lakki Marwat. Members of an elite anti-terrorism police force launched simultaneous raids in the Tajori, Dhoda, and Daulat Tajazai areas of the district. In addition to apprehending the 15 suspected militants, police also confiscated a number of “sophisticated weapons” and large amounts of ammunition.
The bodies of five people were found in various parts of Karachi on Thursday. According to reports, one of the dead was an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) for the police. Security officials are said to be working to establish if any of the others were also victims of targeted killings. The Guardian Newspaper reports that over a 1,100 people have been killed Karachi so far this year, with as many as 80 people killed since mid-October alone. The article claims that more people have been killed as the result of ethnic and political feuding in Karachi than have been killed by Taliban suicide attacks. If the bloodshed continues at its current rate, violence in Karachi will likely reach a fifteen year high.
During a press conference on Thursday, a spokeswoman for United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) warned that the organization will be forced to close its facilities in Multan, Sukkur and Hyderabad by December 31st if the group does not receive additional funding. UNICEF reports that a lack of funding is seriously impacting its relief efforts and aggravating the suffering of thousands of flood victims. The UNICEF spokeswoman said, “We are very grateful for everybody’s generosity but it is simply not enough.”