WEEKLY SECURITY BRIEF

Vol. 4-Issue No 33

29th September, 2020

NATIONAL

Polio worker shot dead in North Waziristan/ Kidnapped in Kohlu, Balochistan

A lady health worker Naheed Gull, involved in polio vaccine campaign, was shot dead by unidentified attackers in Khushal Toorikhel area, Mir Ali of North Waziristan tribal District (21st September).   The martyredhealth worker was posted as nutritionist in the Basic Health Unit (BHU) Nathasi, North Waziristan. The incident took place at a time when the health department had launched the polio vaccination drive across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

On the same day, five polio workers, Sher Ali, Abdul Khaliq, Qurban Ali, Karam Khan and Hamaiyon Khan were kidnapped from the outskirts of Kohlu town. However, within a few hours they were recovered by the Levies from a deserted place near the town (21st September).                  

Comments and Analysis: –  In fact, the first incident in North Waziristan was a case of abduction and cold blooded murder. The gunmen forcibly pulled out Ms Gul from a rickshaw, took her to a deserted place and shot her in the head, leaving her dead on the spot. The body was brought to tehsil headquarters hospital in Mirali Town.Terrorists and extremists are bent upon using polio as the tool to terrorize the state. More than one hundred twenty Polio workers have been targeted across Pakistan during the last eight years. Especially such attacks on polio workers are common in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. This is one of the biggest hindrances to the eradication of polio from the country. Negative propaganda against the polio campaign is also taking its toll. According to a report 73 polio patients have been reported in the country in the current year. At present the polio eradication campaign for its vaccination is going on in the country.

A soldier killed in Bajaur tribal District, KPK

A soldier, Sepoy Sabir Shah, embraced martyrdom as a result of firing from across the border from Afghanistan, targeting a Pak military post in the Bajaur tribal district (22nd September).

Comments and Analysis: – The incidents of targeting LEAs’ check posts in Bajaur, by anti-Pakistan elements, Afghan forces and TTP terrorists keep coming to notice every now and then. The assailants try to halt the fencing process at the Pak-Afghan border. Pakistan is determined to complete the process of erecting the fence to stop the infiltration of terrorists, insurgents and miscreants from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

Supreme Court order to publicize judicial report about APS Peshawar incident

The Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan after hearing the case ordered to publicize the “judicial commission report” about tragic killing incident of APS Peshawar (25th September). The hearing was adjourned to next month. 

Comments and Analysis: – The tragic incident of APS, Peshawar took lives of large number of students, teachers and school staff at the hands of terrorists on 16 Dec, 2014. Thereafter “National Action Plan” was announced by the Federal Government on 24 Dec, 2014 to curb terrorism with iron hand. The incident however left certain questions in the mind of the people of Pakistan, particularly the parents of the deceased students, to reveal who was behind the incident and what were the security lapses into the matter. Finally, the Supreme Court has ordered to publicize the judicial commission report to meet the demand of the parents.

Banned outfits leader booked for fanning sectarianism in Islamabad

Islamabad police registered a case FIR against Masood-ur-Rehman Usmani, a leader of banned sectarian organization, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (AWSJ), formerly known as SSP, u/s 295-A PPC for fanning sectarism and passing objectionable remarks against another sect during the Azmat-e-Sahaba March, organized by Muttahida Sunni Council at Islamabad (19th September).    

Comments and Analysis: – The district adminstration reportedly had given NOC alongwith an SOP to be followed its instructions by the organizers of the event. But the same was violated by the said speaker.

Since beginning of the month of Muharram, various sectarian organizations including Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and (TLP) Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) started passing hateful remarks against the opposite sects on various counts. Later it turned into protest rallies/marches carrying anti-sectarian slogans in Karachi, Multan and Lahore by the secterian circles of vested interest. It not only aimed at intensifying sectarian hatered but making attempts to incite them for sectarian riots. However, some ulema intervened and foiled the conspiracies with the help of the government. Generally government’s approach to bridle sectarianism has been lackadaisical. 

CRIME / LAW & ORDER

Alleged killer of policemen killed in encounter in Karachi, Sindh

Naveed Khan @ Nomi, a hardened criminal and responsible for killing three police men was killed during an encounter by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in Gulistan-e-Johar Karachi (23rd September).        

Police Sub Inspector Killed in Karachi

Police sub-inspector Rahim Khan was killed as a result of shootout by unidentified robbers in Gulistan-e-Johar, Karachi. The criminals made good their escape after leaving the vehicle which they had snatched on gun point (25th September).

Comments and Analysis: – The law and order situation in Karachi is detearioting day by day with increased incidents of murders, kidnapping for ransom and terrorism. A comprehensive action with the co-operation of Federal and provincial level is required to finish the menac before it goes out of control.

Lahore Court awards death sentence to the Chunian child killer

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), Lahore awarded death penalty to the accused, Sohail Shahzad, on six counts in two more cases of rape-cum-murders of minors (14th September).

Comments and Analysis: – Prior to the fresh verdict, the convict had already been sentenced to capital punishment in the two other identical cases, registered by the City Chunian Police Station in 2019 u/s 302, 367-A, 377 PPC and section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997. Besides, the court also awarded life imprisonment to him on two counts with a collective fine of Rs-/6.4 million. He had killed a boy after assaulting him sexually. Later during the investigation, he confessed for committing sexual assault murder of several children.

Motorway rape case main accused remains at large

The gang-rape of a lady on motorway near Lahore on 9th September, 2020, that shook the entire nation and unleashed wide-apread protests, is still a pending case as the police are struggling to apprehend one of the suspects. As many as eight special teams have not been able to locate the prime accused identified as Abid Ali. 

Comments & Analysis: Despite a lapse of twenty days, police have been unable to arrest the culprit which has created a sense of insecurity and deep concern among the public. It is a question mark on the efficacy of the police to protect the citizens and to investigate serious cases in an effective manner. Furthermore, the cases of sexual assaults, robberies and killings are on the rise in the country. Several incidents of rapes have happened recently in various parts of the country. The Ministry of Interior and Police high command must take radical steps to train the police on modern lines and ensure posting of efficient officers on merit as per the Police Act 2002.

Karachi Court verdict death sentence in the Baldia Factory fire case

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Karachi awarded death sentence to MQM workers Zubair @ Charya and Abdul Rehman @ Bhola in Baldia town factory in the arson case. The verdict was announced after eight years of the tragic incident in which 260 precious lives had perished (22nd September).     

Comments and Analysis: – On 11th September, 2012 over 260 workers were burnt alive in the multi-storied building of  “Ali enterprises Garment Factory” in Baldia town of Karachi. The Joint Investigation Team’s report revealed that fire was not an accident rather a result of planed criminal and terror activity which was carried out over nonpayment of Rs-/ 200 million extortion and partnership in the factory profits to some activists of MQM at that time. The report held the then head of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee responsible for the incident. Eventually, ten accused were charged for putting the factory to torch. The Court in its verdict, convicted Bhola and Charya on eleven counts handing each of the duo death sentenced whereas four others-Shahrukh, Fazal Ahmad, Arshad Mehmood and Ali Mehmood were convicted for rigorous life imprisonment on two counts along with a fine of Rs-27, 77,353 as “Diyat” for each of the victim’s families. The Court acquitted MQM leader Rauf Siddiqui and three others, Iqbal Adeel Khanum, Umer Hassan and Dr. Abdul Sattar Khan due to paucity of evidence against their involvement into the incident.

REGIONAL

LAC / Indo-China border

Indian and Chines troops remained deployed in Ladakh along LOC. A meeting of the Indian and Chinese Corps Commanders was held. It was agreed that such meetings would be held till the settlement of the border dispute (21st September).

Comments and Analysis: – It was for the first time after the bloody skirmishes between the two countries that such a meeting was held. Nevertheless, the outcome was not very encouraging but at least the two sides agreed to curtail the deployment of more troops on the forward position. Conversely, the blame game continued which further exposed the lack of trust in each other. Meanwhile the two sides are consistently engaged in providing winter clothing, shelters, medical aids and other necessary items including arms and ammunition to keep their troops well-equipped during the inclement weather in harsh winter.  

LoC/IHK

As a result of unprovoked firing by the Indian Army two soldiers of Pakistan Army namely sepoy Noor Ullah and sepoy Waseem Ali were killed, and two civilians were seriously injured in Deva and Barho sectors respectively along LoC (23rd and 24th September). It is learnt that one more army brigade has been deployed along LoC after the visit of Indian Army Chief to Jammu and Kashmir (18th/19th September).

It is learnt that two persons, namely, Bhupinder Singh and Babar Qadri advocate were killed by unidentified gunmen in Badgham and Srinagar (23rd/24th September). Indian security forces during their fake operations killed two Kasmiri youth in Islamabad District and arrested several others under the bogus charges of their involvement in militancy (25th September).

Twenty-four diplomats and military attaches of the foreign embassies, Islamabad visited Line of Control in Azad Kashmir. They were briefed by the ISPR DG Maj.Gen Iftikhar Babar about the unprovked ceasefire violations with firing and artillery shelling by the Indian army which resulted in killing and injuring number of innocent residents of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (23rd September).

Indian machinations continued as a large number of domiciles were issued for demographic change in the valley. In other smoke-screen tactic, fast-food restaurants were being established with gradual opening of tourist spots to give an impression to the foreign countries that peace had returned in the IHK.

Comments and Analysis: – The nuclear flash point between India and Pakistan is being kept alive by the Indian Government. The situation is going from bad to worse. Pakistan should not let the Indian government create a demographic imbalance and demand of the UN to hold plebiscite immediately.

Afghanistan

Terrorism/Violence

  1. Twenty-four people were killed and six other wounded during an air strike by the Afghan Security Forces in village Syed Ramzan of Kunduz Province. The Taliban while condemning the incident clarified that no military operation was being carried out by the Afghan forces in the targeted area before the air strike (19th September).
  2. Afghan Ministry of Interior stated that “Pen guns and sticky bombs” were becoming popular among criminals and militants in Kabul. It placed pictures of these tiny weapons and explosive recovered by police recently (19th September).   
  3. Twenty-nine security forces personnel were killed during clashes with Taliban in different Provinces of the country including Balkh, Kandahar, Takhar and Kapisa (20th September).
  4. Three citizens including a child were killed in two magnetic mine blasts in Kabul (21st September).
  5. Fourteen Afghan Security personnel were killed during clashes with Taliban in Gizab District, Uruzgan Province (21st September).
  6. District NDS Chief Sikander Khan was shot dead by unidentified gunman in Mohmand District of Kapisa Province (24th September).
  7. Eight Taliban were killed and eleven wounded during a clash with Afghan security forces in Takhta Pul area of Kandahar Province (25th September).
  8. One local police commander Ghazi Shahid and four Taliban were killed during a clash in Badakshan Providence (25th September).

Comments and Analysis: –  Taliban and Afghan forces are continuously attacking each other causing large number of casualties on both sides. It will definitely have negative impact on the peace process. Both the parties should stop hostilities till the negotiations are underway at Doha.  Afghan Government accused that Taliban has initiated seven thousand military attacks over the last six months which killed and wounded thirty-five hundred civilians. But the Taliban rejected these numbers.

Intra-Afghan dialogue, Doha

The meetings between the contact groups of Afghan Government and Taliban are taking place intermittently to reach a mutually agreed roadmap to move forward. It is learnet that 23 points were chalked out by the two sides before starting the formal talks and efforts are being made on some critical issues including system of future Government- Islamic Emirate or Republic, Islamic jurisprudence acceptable to all sects and role/represention and protection of women in the Government and society (24th September).

Comments and Analysis: – Despite hurdles, both Afghan Government and Taliban are interested to continue talks at Doha to reach some settlement. Pakistan is doing its bit to make the peace talks successful. US Special Envoy Khalilzad recently stated before the Senate that US was hopeful about the positive out come of talks and suggested an agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan that the territory of the either side should not be used for launching terrorist activities against each other.

Coronavirus Crisis Update

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 311,516 on 29th September 2020 (Tuesday) after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The province-wise breakup of the total number of cases as of 07:00pm, September 29, is as follows:

• Sindh: 2495

• Punjab: 2,254

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 1,259

• Balochistan: 45

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 181

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 88

• AJK: 72

Deaths: 6,474

Pakistan’s Security Barometer

Terrorism: Terrorist groups like TTP have adopted new twin strategy, i.e. target killing and IEDs. They are trying to carry out target killings in big cities. Low-intensity insurgency is continuing in ex-tribal areas.

Threat Level: High – The threat level is high due to national, international and regional security environment. The intelligence agencies must keep the guards up and take pro-active pre-emptive measures.

Level of Sectarianism & Religious Extremism: On the rise. Especially, the Shia-Sunni provocations can turn into ugly sectarian violence. There is an urgent need to bridle the situation through all means.

Border Situation: Tense – Line of Control (LoC) is constantly facing Indian shelling and firing.

Health Security: Though Coronavirus pandemic is decreasing in Pakistan, the situation cannot be declared normal. A new surge is expected in December.

Note: Weekly Security Brief is an open source analysis report of Centre for Peace and Security Research (CPSR), Lahore, Pakistan.

About author

CPSS

Editor CPSS Blog

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *