Pakistan Security Brief
The Pakistani military’s operation into South Waziristan continues into its twelfth day; a large car bomb kills scores in a busy Peshawar market; Secretary of State Clinton begins her official visit to Pakistan; the UNHCR says U.S. drone strikes into Pakistan may be a violation of international law.
Military forces claim that they have killed two-hundred and forty militants since Operation Rah-e-Nejat (Path to Deliverance) began twelve days ago. The military has made progress along its three axes but reports encountering stiff resistance. The TTP continues to release contradicting statements saying that larger numbers of soldiers have been killed in the operation. The Pakistani military still restricts press from entering the area (Read more on the operation in South Waziristan Agency).
A large car bomb exploded in the busy Peepal Mandi bazaar in Peshawar on Wednesday, killing at least ninety people. This attack is the “deadliest to hit Pakistan this year.” The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has denied responsibility for this attack but this is the latest in a string of attacks since the Pakistani military began Operation Rah-e-Nijat into South Waziristan. The attack brought down a number of buildings near the site and injured dozens more people.
US Secretary of State visited Islamabad on Wednesday and met with government officials. This visit was an effort to show the Pakistani government that the United States supports its struggle against extremist groups and more specifically it’s offensive into Waziristan. This meeting comes shortly after the most recent attack in the Peshawar bazaar. Clinton describes this as a “critical moment” in the relationship between Pakistan and the United States.
The United States was warned by UN Human Rights Council that the use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan could violate international law. The US has used drones to kill around six-hundred people in Pakistan since August of 2008. President Obama has increased the use of drones this year. Some officials hinted that these attacks are arbitrary executions.