Pakistan Security Brief
PTI, PAT call off talks with the government after workers’ arrests; Opposition parties’ jirga meeting to resolve deadlock; Intelligence agencies warn of terrorist attacks against Khan, Qadri; Kashmiri militants suspends fighting in Kashmir due to flooding; Punjabi Taliban announces cessation of violence in Pakistan, will fight in Afghanistan only; Militants kill three people in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; IED kills three in Quetta, Balochistan; Two LeT militants killed in Kunar, Afghanistan; Afghan NDS accuses Taliban Quetta Shura of perpetrating Ghazni bombings; Army chief meets U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan; Mehsud TTP faction separates from Fazlullah; Sindh TTP chapter reportedly responsible for Karachi naval dockyard attack; AQIS claims responsibility for two attacks; Ansarul Mujahdeen attacks police station in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; QWP leader killed; 235-km trench completed along Pak-Afghan border; 15 militants killed in helicopter strike in North Waziristan; Militants blow up bridge connecting Peshawar and Bara, Khyber Agency; Intelligence official assassinated in Lahore; Levies official killed in Pishin, Balochistan; Three security forces die in rocket attack in North Waziristan; Two injured in attack on NATO container in Qilla Abdullah, Balochistan; Militants attack police station, killing two and injuring one in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Police arrest two and seize explosives materials in Zhob, Balochistan; Army chief meets ISAF commander; Chinese president “looking forward to Pakistan visit.”
On September 13, a local court in Islamabad sent 91 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and 9 Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers to Adiala jail for 14 days for allegedly attacking state institutions, the Pakistan Television building and violating Section 144 of the Constitution relating to bans on public gatherings. Following the detention of workers, the PTI called off talks with the government in protest. PTI leader Arif Alvi also declared that his party would forcibly release detained workers if they were not released by the police authorities. On September 14, the Islamabad High Court ordered the release of all arrested PTI protestors.
On September 15, the political jirga of opposition parties met to formulate a strategy to resolve the latest deadlock in talks between the government and the protesting parties. According to sources, the Jirga members believed that PAT and PTI workers’ arrests had worsened the political impasse.
According to an article in The News on September 14, foreign “intelligence agencies” have warned the government of possible terrorist attacks against PTI chairman Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri. Both parties have reportedly been informed of these reports by the government. The government has also offered its assistance in preventing attacks.
On September 13, Asmatullah Muawiya, the chief of Punjabi Taliban faction of the TTP, announced the group’s cessation of violent attacks inside Pakistan while also appealing to all other militant groups to renounce violence and negotiate with the government. He added that the group would now focus on Islamic preaching within the country for the peaceful implementation of Shariah. In the video message, he also declared allegiance to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar and claimed Afghanistan as the group’s new theatre of operations. Muawiya is a former member of Jaish-e-Mohammad and joined the TTP in 2007. On September 14, a TTP commander, Abu Baseer, rejected Muawiya’s statement and accused him of being an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agent. He also insisted that the Muawiya does not represent the Punjabi Taliban faction of the TTP. Former President Pervez Musharraf welcomed the decision of the Punjabi Taliban and claimed the announcement as a victory for the armed forces of Pakistan. Following Muawiya’s announcement, the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan summoned the Pakistani Charge d’Affaires Syed Muazzam Shah on September 14 to lodge a protest against the declaration of war made by the Punjabi Taliban against Afghanistan.
On September 15, the United Jihad Council (UJC), an alliance of militant groups fighting in Indian-administered Kashmir, declared that it was suspending all jihadist activities to carry out rescue and relief work for flood victims in the region. Syed Salahuddin, the group’s supreme commander, accused the Indian government of not doing enough for the victims while also blasting the Pakistani government for not caring about the flood victims in Kashmir. The UJC includes militant groups like the al Qaeda- and Taliban-affiliated Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
On September 15, a spokesperson for the Sheheryar Mehsud faction of the TTP announced the group’s separation from TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah and denounced terrorist attacks against the Pakistani government.
As reported by Dawn on September 15, a preliminary official report on the September 6 attack on the Karachi naval dockyard stated that the TTP Sindh chapter was involved. According to the report, the attackers attempted to destroy the navy workshop and other installations. Further, officials have arrested 21 suspects including 14 military personnel.
As reported by the Long War Journal on September 13, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has claimed responsibility for two terrorist attacks in its first week of operations. AQIS reportedly claimed responsibility for an attack that killed an army brigadier on September 7 and for the September 6 attack on the naval dockyard in Karachi. AQIS spokesperson Usama Mahmoud released via Twitter an alleged diagram of the PNS Zulfiquar claimed to have been received from insiders within the Pakistani Navy.
According to The News on September 15, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) reported that a helicopter strike killed 15 militants, destroyed 10 explosives-carrying vehicles, and destroyed five hideouts in the Tabai area of North Waziristan.
On September 15, militants killed three people in attacks targeting the police in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Militants attacked the Thall police station in Hangu district, killing one policeman and injuring two others. One of the militants blew himself up when he was intercepted by the police. Ansarul Mujahdeen claimed responsibility for the attack. Separately militants attacked the house of a policeman in Dera Ismail Khan, killing the officer’s two brothers.
On September 13, a remote-controlled, vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) killed one soldier and two civilians when a vehicle carrying soldiers from the Frontier Corps was passing through a market in Quetta, Balochistan. The attack also injured 16 people.
On September 14, two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) fighters were reportedly killed in a NATO airstrike in the Torgat area of Watapur district in Kunar province of Afghanistan. Afghan officials also reported 82 rockets being fired from Pakistan into Dangam district in the Kunar province.
On September 14, officials from the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) accused the Taliban’s Quetta Shura of carrying out recent deadly car bombings in eastern Ghazni province. The NDS said that six out of the 21 suicide bombers were trained in Quetta, Pakistan and deployed to Ghazni for the attack.
On September 15, army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif met International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander Gen. John Campbell in Rawalpindi to discuss matters of mutual interests including the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the situation in Afghanistan and coordination along the Pak-Afghan Border.
As reported by Dawn on September 12, the Frontier Corps has finished digging 235 kilometers of trench along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Colonel Faheem of the Frontier Corps stated that the goal of the trench is to tighten security and prevent the infiltration of terrorists and narcotics across the border.
On September 15, militants killed a Levies force official who had just finished an assignment protecting a polio vaccination team in the Killi Karbala area Pishin, Balochistan. Deputy Commissioner Basheer Bazai told The Express Tribune that the Levies official was not targeted because of the polio campaigns in the area.
On September 13, militants attacked a NATO container truck, injuring the driver and another in the Bypass area of Chaman, Quilla Abdullah, Balochistan. The container was carrying equipment for NATO and U.S. troops from Karachi to Afghanistan.
On September 13, army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif met Richard Olson, the United States Ambassador to Pakistan, at the army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. They reportedly discussed strategic cooperation between Pakistan and the U.S. including Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the overall security situation in the region.
In a press release issued on September 13, Chinese President Xi Jinping said he was looking forward to visiting Pakistan as early as possible and expressed good wishes and solidarity for the success of the PML-N government in improving the socio-economic development of Pakistan. While talking with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, he termed the Pakistan-China friendship as strategic and all-weather.