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Weekly Country Report Pakistan 26 January-1 February 2009

Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) North Waziristan Agency (NWA) On 29 January 2009, the NWA Taliban distributed pamphlets in the entire Agency, warning the Pakistan Army not to undertake social development work in the region. As per the pamphlet, the ‘People in North Waziristan were informed that the Army is not allowed to set up medical camps or carry out development work, including opening schools or hospitals in villages.’ The pamphlet also barred charities from operating in the area, warning the “NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to refrain from mischief and carrying out such work otherwise they will be responsible for any losses.” 1 The security situation in NWA is peaceful since both the Pakistani government and the NWA tribes renewed a September 2006 peace agreement in February 2008. However, the US drone strikes targeting foreign militants and killing of ‘spies’ by the Taliban continue unabated. The NWA Taliban have repeatedly asked the Pakistani government to shoot down the predator drones. However, there has been no reaction from the government so far. The distribution of pamphlets is an attempt to pressurize the government to act against drones if it wants to conduct development work in the region. A day earlier, similar types of pamphlets were dropped in the adjoining South Waziristan Agency (SWA) in which tribesmen were asked not to cooperate with the Pakistani government. According to locals, the language used in the pamphlets has never been used by the people residing in the region. It was also reported that both Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief, Baitullah Mehsud, and his rival, Mullah Nazir, from Ahmadzai Wazir Tribe denied dropping the pamphlets. 2 This reinforces the speculation that they had been brought from somewhere else to flame up tension in the region. Meanwhile, a senior military official said on 28 January 2009 that Waziristan has become a hotbed for militants after the Bajaur operation, and the situation would worsen if suitable action was not taken. According to Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General (IG), Major General Tariq Khan, the border areas of Kohat and Peshawar had been evacuated, and another 7,000 officials would be recruited in the FC. 3 The NWA Taliban also shot dead a local tribesman on charges of “spying” for the US forces stationed in Afghanistan. 4 Bajaur Agency The Pakistani security forces continued its offense to eliminate Taliban presence from Bajaur Agency. On 30 January 2009, the government dismantled hideouts of militants with heavy artillery, besides blowing up the house of Imitaz alias Sheikh, a dreaded
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‘Taliban Warns Army Off Aid Work’, Dawn, 30 January 2009 ‘Taliban Forbid Tribesmen From Cooperating With Pakistan’, Daily Times, 29 January 2009 3 ‘Waziristan Has Become Militants’ Hotbed: FC Chief’, Daily Times, 29 January 2009 4 ‘Taliban Kill ‘US Spy’ in Miranshah’, Daily Times, 27 January 2009

militant commander in the Nawagai area of the Bajaur Agency. 5 Earlier, on 27 January 2009, the Taliban militants blew up a girls’ school in Nangolai area of Bajaur Agency. The incident was the first of its kind in Bajaur.6 Khyber Agency The Pakistani government continued to exert pressure on the tribes of Khyber Agency inhabiting Landikotal area to handover nine members of Shinwari tribe who have targeted government interests in the area. On 27 January 2009, the government arrested nine members of the Shinwari tribal Jirga as punishment for its failure to hand over several alleged militants to the government in the stipulated one-week time. Two of the most wanted militants were Hazrat Nabi and Hazrat Ali. 7 Meanwhile, political administration of Khyber distributed compensation money to the local families, who had suffered due to the military operation named “Daraghlum,” a Pashto word meaning “here I come” that was launched against the militants in the Jamrud area in January 2009. The Tehrik-i-Taliban-Darra Adamkhel chapter gave a deadline of one-week to the government that ends on 4 February 2009 to accept their demands saying that otherwise they would kill the kidnapped Polish geologist, Peter Stanczak. 8 The Polish geologist working for the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) is in the custody of the Taliban reportedly at a place near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He had been kidnapped from an OGDCL facility near the Jand town of the Attock district in Punjab nearly four months ago. He had been reportedly shifted from Attock in a boat through the Indus River to Kohat and then taken by the Taliban to their hideout in Darra. The Talibans’ demands include complete withdrawal of Pakistani security forces from the tribal areas and release of their captured companions. The same day, 12 Taliban militants were killed in an operation in Darra Adamkhel. The operation was planned after the military was told that the Tor Chappar Valley, “is again witnessing terrorist activity.” 9 Mohmand Agency The security forces continued to proceed against Taliban militants in Mohmand Agency. On 31 January 2009, fifty more abandoned houses of suspected militants were destroyed in the ongoing search operation in Lakaro tehsil of Mohmand Agency. The destruction of houses came in the wake of a warning by Mohmand Taliban spokesperson, Ikramullah Mohmand. He said that Mohmand Taliban would target government installations in retaliation if the government did not stop destroying their homes. 10 Earlier, on 28 January 2009, the security forces completely demolished the main bazaar of Lakaro Tehsil that comprised of more than 100 shops. Later in the day, one security personnel was injured when a vehicle of the Pakistani security forces was hit by a roadside remote-controlled device at Dojangi in Qandaro area. Pakistan Air Force also bombarded Had Kor, Sor Dagay, Charguli and Kamangara areas of Ambar Tehsil in the Agency. 11
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‘House of Militant Commander Blown Up’, The News, 31 January 2009 ‘Girls’ School Blown Up in Bajaur’, Daily Times, 28 January 2009 7 ‘Nine Jirga Members Held for Not Handing Over Militants’, The News, 28 January 2009 8 ‘Militants Threaten to Kill Polish Geologist’, Dawn, 30 January 2009 9 ‘12 Taliban Killed in Darra Operation’, Daily Times, 28 January 2009 10 ‘GHALANAI: Houses of 50 Militants Torched in Mohmand’, Dawn, 1 February 2009 11 ‘Forces Raze Bazaar in Mohmand’, The News, 29 January 2009

Orakzai Agency On 29 January 2009, Taliban militants belonging to the banned TTP kidnapped a tribal elder, Pir Askar Ali Shah Naqvi, and his three companions at Tor Ghar area near Thall, killing another companion on the spot. 12 In the second incident, unknown persons picked up Imtiaz Khan, a computer operator in National Data Registration Authority (NADRA) office in Ghaljo, at gunpoint and shifted him to an unidentified place. 13 Separately, Taliban militants kidnapped a local contractor, Fazal Akbar, from Shahokhel area while two other civilians were kidnapped from Tora Waray Road in Naryab area. 14 In recent months, the TTP has established itself firmly in the Orakzai Agency and targeted those tribes and tribal elders who have resisted their Talibanisation efforts. Subsequently, a large number of residents of Naryab, Tora Waray and Dasamand have left the area due to deteriorating law and order. It was learnt that the incidents of kidnapping and killing have increased in the area. More than 46 persons have been kidnapped from Darsamand, Thall, Tora Waray and Naryab areas, and there is no clue to their whereabouts. Kurram Agency The sectarian tensions seem to be erupting once more in to full-fledged violence in the volatile Kurram Agency. On 29 January 2009, some unknown persons kidnapped Shias and two tribal elders of Upper Kurram in two separate incidents at Lower Kurram. 15 Immediately after the kidnappings, the elder’s council of Kurram Agency, Turi-Bangash Supreme Council, held an emergency meeting, which was attended by dozens of elders belonging to both tribes of Kurram Agency. The tribal elders gave 72-hour ultimatum to the government and Joint Jirga members to punish the responsible who had violated the peace treaty and ceasefire in Kurram, and demanded recovery of Rs 40 million as punishment from the culprits. 16 North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Swat On 1 February 2009, Pakistani security forces killed 16 Taliban militants in various operations in Aligrama and Dherai areas of Kabal tehsil and Manglor area of Chaharbagh tehsil in Swat. 17 The Taliban militants from the TTP-Swat Chapter attacked the office of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in Swat on 29 January 2009. However, the police officials remained unhurt in the rocket attack.18 The terrorist attacks came on the same day when Rehman Malik, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior Affairs, warned the Swat militants to lay down their arms otherwise they would be dealt with sternly
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‘One Killed, Several Kidnapped in Orakzai Agency’, The News, 30 January 2009 Ibid. 14 Ibid. 15 ‘Sectarian Tension Erupts in Kurram Agency Once Again’, The Frontier Post, 30 January 2009 16 Ibid. 17 ‘16 Taliban Killed in Swat Operation’, Daily Times, 2 February 2009 18 ‘Taliban Attack DIG Office in Swat’, The News, 30 January 2009

under the renewed military operation that is under way in the restive Swat valley. 19 The renewed thrust in the military operation came after the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Kayani, visited Swat on 28 January 2009, and assured the troops, people and political leadership of Swat that government writ would be restored at all cost. 20 The visit came a day after the third phase of Operation “Rah-e-Haq” was started on 27 January 2008. 21 Peshawar On 31 January 2009, the Peshawar police launched an operation against Taliban and criminals in areas of Peshawar district that adjoins the Mohmand Agency. 15 militants were arrested from the area which was converted into a “no-go zone” by the Taliban militants. 22 The same day, Taliban militants fired 10 rockets at Adezai village near Darra Adamkhel. However, no casualty was reported in the attack.23 The renewed operation came after police arrested 10 Taliban militants, including a Taliban commander, Irshad Ali, from Ormar Khatako Pul on 29 January 2009. 24 Four vehicles and weapons were also seized from the house, which were allegedly used by the militants for patrolling in parts of Peshawar. According to government officials, the militants were recruiting people for the Swat Taliban group. Dera Ismail Khan (DIKhan) On 27 January 2009, terrorists killed a Shia Muslim in DIKhan while he was on his way to home. The victim was the son of a caretaker at a local Shia mosque. 25 The killing came two days after a Sunni cleric, Khalifa Abdul Qayum, who belongs to a banned militant outfit, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), escaped a bomb blast in DIKhan. 26 Six people were killed while 26 were injured in the said bomb blast. 27 Nowshera On 31 January 2009, the Nowshera chapter of the outlawed TTP reportedly dropped letters in Badrashi area, warning those involved in obscenity and other ‘un-Islamic’ activities to quit or else prepare for severe punishment. According to the letter, “We have time and again warned the women and men involved in immoral acts, writing ‘taweez’ (amulets) and other un-Islamic activities, but they have turned a deaf ear to the calls.” The letter further says that “this is the final warning to them to give up such activities. If they (the sinners) do not mend their way they would be killed and a letter would be left with the bodies to explain their wrongdoings.” 28

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‘Get Out of Swat, Malik Warns Militants’, The News, 30 January 2009 ‘Army Will Restore Writ in Swat: COAS’, Daily Times, 29 July 2009 21 ‘Troops Launch Fresh Operation in Swat’, Daily Times, 28 January 2009 22 ‘Peshawar Police Launch Operation Against Militants’, The News, 1 February 2009 23 Ibid. 24 ‘PESHAWAR: ‘Taliban Leader’ Among 10 Held in Raid’, Dawn, 30 January 2009 25 ‘Gunmen Kill Shia Muslim in DI Khan’, Daily Times, 28 January 2009 26 ‘6 Killed as Sunni MPA Targeted in DI Khan Blast’, Daily Times, 27 January 2009 27 Ibid. 28 ‘Threatening TTP Letters Found in Badrashi Area’, The News, 1 February 2009

Punjab Province On 29 January 2009, a senior police official of Rawalpindi said in a press conference that the police has made a breakthrough by busting a terrorist outfit operating in Sindh and Punjab provinces and recovered a large cache of explosive material besides detonators, and hand grenades from their hideout. According to the official, the terrorists belonged to Usama al-Kini aka Azmaray’s group who were planning to target sensitive installations as well as important political personalities on 23 March 2009. The official further said that the terrorists were involved in the killing of Lt Gen (Surgeon) Mushtaq Baig in a suicide attack on 25 February 2008 near the Nadra Kiosk at the Mall, Rawalpindi. They were also involved in the suicide attack on a bus of the Army Medical Corps on 4 February 2008 near the NLG Building in the jurisdiction of R A Bazaar Police Station claiming lives of seven Army officers and injuring 45 Army officials. The terrorists were also directly involved in the Melody Market and the Denmark Embassy suicide attacks and the blast in an Italian Restaurant in Islamabad Supermarket in 2008. 29 The arrested terrorists include Muhammad Alyas alias Qazi Jamil, Muhammad Rizwan, alias Shamsul Haq, Dr Abdur Razzaq, Faisal Ahmad Khan, Zeeshan Jalil, alias Khizar Adnan, Muhammad Sarfraz alias Gul Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Naeem Shakar alias Saeed Ullah, Muhammad Nadeem alias Salah-ud-Din Ayubi and Usma Bin Waheed alias Hidayatullah. According to police officials, the terrorists came from Wana after they were assigned their targets in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and are linked to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. 30 Balochistan Province Balochistan witnessed violent incidents during the past week. A man was killed and six others injured when unidentified attackers lobbed a hand grenade at a police patrol in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district on 1 February 2009. On the same day, 14 people were injured when a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded in the town of Dera Murad Jamali. The bomb apparently was targeted at paramilitary vehicles, which were passing through the area when the incident occurred. 31 Earlier, on 26 January 2009, a Shia Hazara leader, Hussain Ali Yousafi, was shot dead in an act of sectarian violence, which was claimed by the banned Sunni outfit, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. 32 The terrorist killing led to massive street demonstrations by Shia in Quetta in which public and private property was set on fire. Around 12 Hazaragi-speaking Shias have been killed in Quetta during January 2009 despite the provincial government’s repeated assurances of security. No arrests were made regarding the terrorist incident. Earlier, on 26 January 2009, three people were injured in a bomb blast at Golimar Chowk, Brewery Road. The explosive material was planted near a vegetable shop. 33

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‘Gang of High Profile Terrorists Busted in Pindi’, The News, 30 January 2009 Ibid. 31 ‘One Killed in Khuzdar Grenade Attack’, Daily Times, 2 February 2009 32 ‘Violence Erupts After Shia Leader Killed in Quetta’, Daily Times, 27 January 2009 33 ‘Three Injured in Quetta Explosion’, Daily Times, 27 January 2009

Sindh Province On 1 February 2009, a bomb explosion in the Saddar Town locality killed one person and wounded two others. The bomb was planted in a garbage dump, and was reported to be a locally-made improvised device that weighed one kilogram. 34

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‘Karachi Blast Kills One’, Daily Times, 2 February 2009