Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistani government-aligned militant commander Turkistan Bhittani accuses local district officials in Tank of facilitating Beitullah Mehsud’s supporters while reportedly setting up a parallel administration in the area; al Qaeda deputy al Zawahiri calls on Pakistanis to wage war against the U.S. in Pakistan and Afghanistan; clashes between militants and the Pakistani military continue as IDPs return to the area.
- A militant commander aligned with the Pakistani government, Turkistan Bhittani, accused the local Tank district administration of assisting Beitullah Mehsud’s supporters. This comes amid news that Bhittani and his men have vacated Tank after being asked to do so by the Pakistani government which deployed its forces to the city on Saturday; locals reportedly claimed that Bhittani had “set up parallel administration in Tank” and “set up checkpoints and carried out patrolling.”
- Al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri made a speech on Tuesday, released on audio tape, calling on Pakistanis to join the “holy war against the United States in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
- The Pakistani government has indicated that it may begin fresh proceedings to detain and try Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed if the Punjab government decides to “[withdraw] its petition against his release.” Pakistani government officials believe that letting Saeed go free would be “a public relations disaster that Pakistan can ill afford.”
- Nine people were killed in fresh clashes in the Kabal area of Swat on Tuesday. The Pakistani military also destroyed several militant hideouts in Buner district and claims to have killed a wanted terrorist leader, Abu Laith, during its operations in the region. The clashes continue as refugees start returning to Swat in greater numbers.
- Security forces and militants exchanged fire in Khyber agency on Tuesday after a tanker carrying oil supply to NATO forces in Afghanistan was ambushed;two civilians were killed in the crossfire.
“'Insurgents killed' in Swat clash”, BBC, July 15, 2009. Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8151085.stm