Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – September 24, 2010
Siddiqui sentencing draws protests across Pakistan; Senior Haqqani facilitator Qari Mansur killed in U.S. airstrike; 14 militants killed by security forces in Bajaur; President Obama calls on UN General Assembly members to help Pakistan recover from flood; Wave of target killings continue in Karachi.
The Siddiqui Sentence
Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui was sentenced yesterday in a Manhattan courtroom to 86 years in prison. The sentence comes more than two years after she was arrested in Afghanistan in July 2008 carrying explosive chemicals and documents indicting she was planning attacks against U.S. interests. While in custody Dr. Siddiqui wrestled an assault rifle from her interrogators and attempted to shoot her way out of captivity. It was for this brazen escape attempt that she was sentenced to 86 years in prison. News of the sentencing caused outrage across Pakistan as protestors took to the streets in cities from Karachi to Peshawar; several protesters burned American flags and effigies of President Obama. In Karachi protestors throwing rocks attempted to descend on the U.S. consulate but were dispersed by teargas. Members of Pakistani government have called for Siddiqui’s repatriation. Prime Minister Gilani told reporters, “We all are united, and we want the daughter of the nation to come back to Pakistan.”
Targeting the Haqqani Network:
The NATO International Security Force (ISAF) has confirmed that senior Haqqani network militant Qari Mansur was among six killed on Thursday in a precision airstrike east of Kabul. According to U.S. officials Mansur was the main facilitator between senior Haqqani leadership in North Waziristan and a network of Taliban insurgents operating around Kabul. According to the ISAF, Qari Mansur was actively preparing attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan at the time of his death. Thursday’s airstrike comes amidst four weeks of increased U.S. drone activity aimed at disrupting the Haqqani network operating in North Waziristan. 
14 militants were killed and six others injured on Thursday in clashes with security forces in the Bajaur tribal agency. The fighting occurred close to the Afghan border, in the Sparay and Manro Jungle areas of the agency. Government forces used heavily artillery to shell extremist hideouts carved into the mountainous terrain. Security officials told reporters that the militants killed were likely remnants of forces loyal to Maulvi Faqir Mohammad. Security forces were adamant that such operations would continue in Bajaur until the militant threat in the agency was neutralized. 
During his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, President Barrack Obama called on the international community to help Pakistan “recover and rebuild” from this summer’s deadly flooding. The President reiterated the United State’s long-term commitment to aiding Pakistan, and he called on all world leaders to do the same. President Obama’s comments came the same day that Vice President Biden met with British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in Washington to discuss Pakistan, among other issues. At the White House, the two men reaffirmed their mutual “commitment to sustained long-term post-flood reconstruction in Pakistan, beyond the immediate humanitarian needs” and warned that “stability in Pakistan...is vital for the stability of the region and for security in the wider world”. 
A breach in the protective embankment surrounding Manchar Lake widened to 3,700 feet on Thursday. Water from the breach has been flowing into the Indus River causing water levels to rise and submerging parts of the Indus Highway. Land routes connecting the towns of Dadu, Bhan Saeedabad and Sehwan have been rendered impassible. Government officials said they are responding to the situation. 
Karachi Target Killings
A member of the Awami National Party (ANP) was shot to death in Karachi on Thursday night. The attack occurred in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area of the city as ANP party member Abdul Munaf was operating a vending stall. This latest attack comes as part of a wave of target killings that has rocked Karachi this week following last Thursday’s murder of senior MQM party Imran Farooq in London. 
 “Dr Aafia sentenced to 86 years in prison,” The Express Tribune, September 24, 2010. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/53632/it-is-time-for-the-us-to-show-goodness-and-pardon-aafia-siddiqi/. “Pakistan to Fight for Terrorist Convict's Release,” The New York Times, September 24, 2010. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/09/24/world/asia/AP-AS-Pakistan-Al-Qaida-Suspect.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss.