Pakistan Security Brief

Two separate drone strikes kill 9 on Thursday; senior Taliban leader killed in Wednesday strike; Clinton discusses Pakistan before House Committee; Scaparrotti accuses Pakistan of collaborating with militants, Pakistan responds; Malik reacts to BBC documentary; Suicide bomber kills two police officers in Noshwera; Thousands of protesters rally against Zardari in Lahore; Pakistan tests nuclear-capable missile; AP highlights Malik Ishaq story; Pakistan considers proposal to end ban on exporting fuel to Afghanistan; Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to be complete by 2013.

Drone Strike

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton credited a successful U.S.-Pakistan partnership for significantly diminishing the operational strength of al Qaeda’s leadership in her appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday. Clinton urged a skeptical Congress to maintain its faith in the U.S. relationship with Pakistan and informed the Committee that the U.S. had given Pakistan a “frank” message  to “squeeze” the Haqqani Network and eliminate militant safe havens. In her testimony, Clinton said that Pakistan had a "crucial role to play in this process and a big stake in its outcome." Clinton also emphasized the administration’s strategy of “fight, talk, build” which seeks to fight militants while remaining open to peace negotiations.[2]

  • On Thursday, the deputy U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti, suggested that Pakistani forces were colluding with insurgents on cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.  In a statement to Pentagon officials, Scaparrotti said, "You'll see what just appears to us to be a collaboration or was a collaboration or at a minimum looking the other way.” However, Scaparrotti emphasized that he hopes to rebuild the ties between U.S. and Pakistani forces which have disintegrated in recent months and cited cooperation between the two countries as a vital component to successfully curbing cross-border activity. On Friday, Pakistani officials denied Scaparrotti’s accusation. Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said, “I completely reject this, this is wrong and baseless.”[3]

  • On Thursday, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik joined Major General Athar Abbas’ criticism of the BBC documentary “Secret Pakistan” which revealed the widespread support that Taliban commanders receive from Pakistan. Malik alleged that the statements of Taliban commanders were untrue and claimed that the Taliban was attempting to alienate Pakistan from its allies. As a counterclaim to the BBC interviews, Malik cited the high number of suicide attacks in Pakistan as proof against Pakistani support of the Taliban.[4]



Nuclear Capabilities


  • An Associated Press article presents Malik Ishaq’s recent release from prison as an illustration of the dangers of the long-standing Pakistani policy of striking deals with militants. Ishaq, who founded Laskhar-e-Jhangvi  (LeJ), an anti-Shia militant group, was jailed in 1997 for links to the murders of 70 Shias. Ishaq successfully intimidated of judges and witnesses to prevent convictions, but remained in prison for 14 years nonetheless. Ishaq was released in July as part of a government effort to absorb militant leaders into mainstream politics. Shortly after Ishaq’s release, however, he began meeting with known terrorists and engaging in inflammatory rhetoric against Shias forcing authorities to put him back in prison.[8]



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