Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – October 13, 2010
Anti-Taliban tribal elders gunned down in Mohmand; ten militants killed during two-day search operation in Mardan; Supreme Court postpones corruption case against President Zardari until November 1; new assessment concludes Pakistan suffered $9.5 billion in property damage from floods.
Three anti-Taliban tribal elders were killed and two others wounded during a shootout with suspected militants in Mohmand Agency on Tuesday evening. The shooting occurred after the gunmen reportedly stopped the elders’ vehicle at a checkpoint in Baizai sub-division.
On Tuesday, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Kurram Agency’s main town of Parachinar where he received a briefing on the areas law and order situation. The trip marks Kayani’s first visit to the region since three Pakistani soldiers were killed by NATO helicopters in Kurram Agency on September 30.
- On Tuesday, security forces killed as many as ten suspected militants while conducting a search operation in various areas of Mardan district. One soldier was also reported killed during the clashes. Army and local police launched a two-day joint operation in Mardan district on Monday following the killing of Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan, a well known religious scholar and vice chancellor of Swat Islamic University. Security forces claim to have arrested approximately 800 suspected terrorists during the course of the operation.
Zardari Corruption Charges
- The Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to postpone the hearing in the corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari until November 1 so that the government can appoint new counsel. Zardari is charged with his alleged involvement in the laundering of millions of dollars in Switzerland. In December of last year, the Supreme Court struck down an amnesty which protected Zardari and around 8,000 other people from prosecution on corruption charges, a move that some analysts believe may signal increasing political tensions between the government and the judiciary.
Two NATO helicopters reportedly violated Pakistani airspace in the Chaman area of Balochistan on Tuesday. A Pakistani military officer indicated that NATO aircraft in the Killi Luqman area “crossed 200 yards into our territory and went back after a moment” and said that a complaint had been filed with NATO officials in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, a Baluchi political activist and leading member of the Balochistan National Party was shot to death while walking in his hometown of Kalat. Police said that Nooruddin Mengal was gunned down by two unknown attackers riding a motorcycle. Mengal is the third high-ranking member of the Balochistan National Party to be killed this year.
A police van was damaged in a roadside bomb blast while patrolling on the outskirts of Quetta on Tuesday. Unknown persons detonated the explosive device via remote control as the police vehicle reached the western bypass in the Akhtarabad area. No casualties were reported.
On Wednesday, an assessment conducted by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank concluded that the widespread flooding in Pakistan has caused $9.5 billion in damage to the country’s property, crops, and infrastructure. Pakistani government officials initially estimated the damage to be at a much higher total of $43 billion. According to officials from Pakistan’s Finance Ministry, the assessment also determined that as much as $30 billion is needed to cover the total cost of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
On Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged his country’s full support for Pakistan throughout the reconstruction process in the wake of the country’s flood disaster. Erdogan flew to Islamabad for a visit with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who thanked Erdogan for Turkey’s “generous and substantial funds” for flood relief and reconstruction, which totals $200 million between private and government donations. During the meeting, Erdogan also invited Gilani to attend the second High Level Cooperation Council Meeting in Ankara next month.