Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief-October 14, 2010
Drone strike kills foreign militants in North Waziristan; Admiral Mullen says Pakistani military has promised campaign in North Waziristan; Seven Lashkar-e-Jhangvi members captured after plotting to kill Prime Minister; Kidnappings on the rise in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; 6,000 Pakistanis reportedly under strict surveillance for militant ties; Senior Baluchistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) member gunned down; Secretary Clinton calls on Pakistan to tax wealthy elites.
As many as 11 militants, including four foreign nationals, were killed on Wednesday in U.S. drone operations in North Waziristan. Drone aircraft fired several missiles that targeted both a car and compound housing militants in the Datta Khel area of the tribal agency. Officials have indicated that the four foreign fighters killed were from Turkmenistan and that they were members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The Datta Khel area of North Waziristan is a known stronghold of Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, and it is believed that those killed in yesterday’s drone operations were loyal to his command.
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen revealed yesterday that Pakistani Gen. Ashfaq Kayani has promised that the Pakistani military will conduct operations in North Waziristan targeting militants wanted by the United States. Speaking with a reporter in a still unreleased interview with Bloomberg News, Admiral Mullen called North Waziristan the “epicenter of terrorism” and said the Gen. Kayani had personally “committed to me to go into North Waziristan and to root out these terrorists.” No details about the scope of the operation, potential targets, or a possible start date were discussed in Wednesday’s interview. 
Seven militants have been arrested for plotting to kill Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani and other government officials during a visit to the city of Multan. According to security officials, the militants revealed their plot to interrogators after they were arrested following a firefight with security forces. The seven arrested are members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a terrorist group that is closely aligned to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and that has previously attempted to assassinate government officials including former President Pervez Musharraf and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It is also believed that some of the militants captured were involved in last year’s attack on General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. Exact details of the thwarted assassination plot were not revealed, but Abid Qadr, a regional police chief, said the operation was “almost complete.”
Pakistani security officials have revealed that kidnappings for ransom have dramatically increased over the last year in the province of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. As many as 550 kidnappings have been reported so far for 2010. There were only 330 such cases for all of 2009. The kidnapers are said to target diplomats, politicians, lawyers, doctors and university professors in particular, all of whom would fetch considerable ransoms. Although militant groups have been known to employ these kidnapping schemes, security officials believe that criminal gang syndicates perpetrated most of this year’s kidnappings for ransom. 
The Pakistani National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Human Rights revealed on Thursday that as many as 6,000 people are currently being “strictly” monitored by Pakistani intelligence services. Brigadier Javed Lodhi, the leader of the National Crisis Management Cell, told committee members that the 6,000 individuals who are suspected of having ties to 27 banned militant outfits are being closely observed and that their surveillance is in accordance with existing anti-terrorism laws. Lodhi also responded to allegations from committee members that such surveillance methods were heavy-handed by stating that the tactics of security forces had greatly improved law and order in the country. 
A senior member of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) was shot to death on Wednesday in Kalat. Assailants on motorbikes gunned down Mir Nooruddin Mengal as he made his way home from work. Mengal sat on the Party’s central executive committee, and was the most senior Party figure not living in exile. News of Mengal’s death spawned protests throughout the province, and authorities were forced to shut down the main road from Karachi to Quetta after protestors began throwing rocks at passing vehicles. 
Three bullet-riddled bodies were found in Karachi on Thursday. The bodies were founded in an abandoned vehicle in the Malir Halt area of the city. According to security officials, the men were abducted, blindfolded, and then shot at close range by their attackers. 
At a summit being held in Brussels entitled "Friends of Democratic Pakistan,” Secretary of State Clinton called on wealthy Pakistanis to join the international community in helping those afflicted by the flooding. Clinton reiterated demands that the Pakistani government expand its tax base to better include wealthy landowners and elite citizens who currently pay little to no income taxes. The Secretary told attendees, “It's absolutely unacceptable for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people while taxpayers in Europe, the United States and other contributing countries are all chipping in.”