WEEKLY SECURITY BRIEF

Vol. 5-Issue No 39

23rd November, 2020

Editorial

THE RISING THREATS

Pakistan is grappling with internal threats of terrorism, extremism and radicalization and external threats from the belligerent forces at its eastern and western borders. The complexity of situation compounds when the sources and perpetrators of both threats, internal and external, support and supplement each other.

Last week Pakistan dished out the dossier of India’s clandestine designs to perpetrate terrorism and subversion against Pakistan.  Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi along with Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar revealed in a press conference that Pakistan held irrefutable evidence of Indian terrorism and attacks in Peshawar and Quetta reflect New Delhi’s planning. National Security Advisor to the PM, Moeed Yusuf tweeted, “The world has now received irrefutable evidence of Indian state terrorism in Pakistan. This is just a slice of what we have. World cannot ignore this reality now and must force India to verifiably stop its terrorism. We know how to defend ourselves and will continue to do so.”

The ‘terror dossier’ was shared with the UN, five permanent members of UNSC and also with the Organization of Islamic Council (OIC). It seems to have unnerved India. In a very obvious reactionary statement, Indian PM Modi tried to blame Pakistan for another alleged terrorist attack by Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) inside Indian Held Kashmir which he claimed was foiled. Pakistan has vehemently denied its involvement in such activity and termed it a reaction to the ‘terror dossier’ provided to UN and OIC. Since August 2019 the Indian forces have killed more than 200 Kashmiris who raise voice against the Indian high-handedness, terming them as terrorists.

This ‘terror dossier’ was just the endorsement of what the Indian PM Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Dovel have been openly claiming to destabilise Pakistan. Ajit Doval had very clearly said while revealing his controversial doctrine of a shift from ‘Defensive to Defensive-offensive’, to exploit Pakistan’s internal vulnerabilities and hit its interests.

Recently, ever since China has effectively tackled Indian forces in Galwan at Line of Actual Control (LAC), this has upped the ante against Pakistan, not only by spewing toxic statements against Pakistan but also by continual attacks on the Line of Control. All factors show that India is deeply desirous to disrupt the CPEC too. China has put its weight behind Pakistan and warned India to desist from making any effort to undermine CPEC which is the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Internally, the terrorist groups are trying to raise their heads again, with obvious help and support of India. Peshawar and erstwhile FATA have faced a number of terrorist attacks; target killings of forces personnel, mine blasts etc. in the recent months.  Similarly, Balochistan is experiencing violence. Karachi is being targeted to hit the country’s economic hub. WSB has been pointing out the rising terrorist threat in Karachi with the suggestion to enhance intelligence operations to ferret out the sleeper cells and terrorists lurking in the city. In short, this situation across the country requires to adopt not only sustained security and intelligence measures to disrupt the connectivity between the terrorists and the Indian handlers but to also ensure political stability at home to counter these threats.

NATIONAL

Terrorism/sectarianism- At a glance

Soldier died in a skirmish

One soldier, Saddam Hussain, embraced martyrdom, while four others were injured during an operation in Spinwam near Kaitu River, North Waziristan tribal district (22 Nov). Four terrorists were killed in this encounter.

Comments & Analysis: The low intensity insurgency is continuing in North Waziristan and other parts of erstwhile FATA. The intelligence agencies must ferret out the sympathisers, supporters and sleeper cells of insurgents and terrorists to strangulate their local support and logistic supply.

Minority persons gunned down in Punjab & KPK

Three persons belonging to a minority group were gunned down in three different incidents in Peshawar, (KP), Sangla Hill and Mudh Balochan, Nankana Sahib (Punjab). (08th -15th November).

Comments & Analysis: Religious intolerance is taking its toll. Weak and ambivalent response of police emboldens the extremists. Resultantly, the trend to take the law in one’s own hands is on the rise. It is high time to take notice of this propensity and bridle it with iron hand. Strict administrative actions coupled with the support of religious ulema (religious scholars and clergy) and media can help control the trend of extremism and intolerance in the society.

Grenade attack on policemen in Quetta, Balochistan 

Five persons including three police officials namely Zohaib, Sadat and Dilawar were injured as a result of hand grenade attack on police patrolling vehicle by unidentified persons on Spinny road, Quetta (12th November).

Comments & Analysis: This incident occurred in the centre of the city. It shows the ingress of the militants. It also confirms their support and hide-outs in the nearby areas. A combing operation would be enough to secure a small city like Quetta from the terrorists and their supporters.

Tribal elder shot dead in Bajaur, KPK

A tribal elder Malik Abdul Rasheed was shot dead by unidentified assailant when he was on way to his home in Khor Chai village, Bajaur tribal District. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack while investigations are under progress (12th November). 

Comments & Analysis: This incident could be a result of enmity but the fact is that TTP has gunned down hundreds of ‘Maliks’ during the last two decades. They deserve fool-proof security.

MQM London target killer & two other culprits arrested in Karachi

Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), Karachi, arrested the MQM London target killer Kashif Ansari during a raid from cloth market, Nishtar Road, Karachi. The accused was wanted in number of terrorism cases related to murder, attempted murder arson and extortion had been jailed in various cases (11th November).

The CTD apprehended two suspects-Syed Muhammad Ali Raza and Agha Hussain, affiliated with banned Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP) from SITE area in Karachi while there two accomplices Karar Hussain and Ausat Hussain Rizvi managed to escape. They were allegedly involved in the killing of Dr. Mehmood on 2011, Shahid resident of r/o in 2013, Clifton in 2013 and two brothers Muhammad Tanveer and Muhammad Touseef during an armed attack on a bakery in Khokhra Par in 2014. The victims were reportedly targeted on sectarian grounds (12th November).         

Comments and Analysis: – Karachi, being the economic hub of Pakistan, is the prime target of local and foreign sponsored terrorists. It is very obvious that the enemies want to hit Pakistan where it hurts the most. Intelligence agencies must be aware of the vulnerabilities that are being targeted by the enemies.

DEFENCE/NATIONAL SECURITY

Pakistan-Russia Special Forces Drill “TRUZHBA-V” 

The two weeks long joint counter terrorism exercise “TRUZHBA-V” of Pakistan and Russian Federation Special Forces has started at Tarbela. A ceremony was held in this connection which was attended by the Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Danila Genich and senior officials from both the armies (08th -21st November). Seventy personnel from each side are participating in this exercise.  

Comments and Analysis: – The exercise has been taking place alternatively between the two countries since 2016 and Pakistan is hosting the drill third time. Russian Defence Ministry stated that these exercises aim to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.

COURTS HEARINGS/TRIALS/DECISIONS

IHC suggests third Consular access for Indian spy

Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadav

A three-member bench of Islamabad High Court under Justice Athar Minallah heard the case of the Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadav. The court assured the Indian High Commission (IHC) Islamabad of fair trial of the convicted spy and suggested third consular access to implement the International Court of Justice’s directive for review and reconsideration of conviction (10th November).

 During the course of hearing, the learned court hinted at providing lawyer Barrister Shahnawaz Noon of necessary documents related to the court martial proceedings against the convict, since he (lawyer) was earlier denied these documents for not having papers of attorney or ” vakalatnama ” from the IHC.  Earlier, Barrister Noon had appeared before the High Court for the release of another convicted Indian spy, Mohammad Ismail, who had completed his sentence in a Pakistani jail.

Comments and Analysis: – Commander Jadhav, was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016. The Field General Court Martial had sentenced him to death on April 10, 2017 for fomenting terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi. India later moved the International Court of Justice against the verdict. The ICJ had on May 18, 2017 stayed his execution pending a final judgement in the case. On July 17 last year, the ICJ rejected India’s appeal for Jadhav’s release but ordered Pakistan to suspend the execution. It also ruled that Pakistan would have to review the entire process of trial and conviction and provide India consular access to the spy. 

 

Irani Foreign Minister’s  visit to Pakistan

Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Jawad Zarif

 An Irani delegation led by its Foreign Minister Dr. Jawad Zarif arrived Islamabad on a two-day visit and called on Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss issues of mutual interest, security scenario in the region and Afghan peace process. He announced the opening of a border crossing point with Pakistan for facilitating trade, as the two countries agreed to deepen their bilateral cooperation (10th & 11th November).

Comments and Analysis: – During his visit, Dr. Zarif stated that Iran would open the “Rimdan crossing point”, located about 130km from Chahbahar Port in its Sistan and Balochistan Province by next week. He expressed the hope that Pakistani authorities too would open their side of the border-Gabd crossing point so that trade could be promoted. He urged Pakistan to also open Pisin-Mand crossing. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi admired the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s steadfast support for the Kashmir cause and Mr. Zarif reaffirmed the same.

India’s occupation of Junagarh

Nawab of Junagarh Muhammad Jahangir Khanji appealed to the Prime Minister to highlight the issue of liberation of the state from Indian occupation, at all international forums. He said that a secretariat of Junagarh may be established at Islamabad to bring the princely state closer to Pakistan. He said that on 09 November, 1947 India occupied the territory of Junagarh which was against the international law and norms (09th November).

Comments and Analysis: – Nawab Jehangir Khanji recalled that his grandfather Nawab Mahabat Khan in his visit to Pakistan in October 1947, signed an agreement of accession with the country. During the visit, his grandfather held a meeting with Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and decided to accede to the state to Pakistan. The treaty of accession was ratified by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. In the absence of his grandfather, India landed its troops and occupied the territory of Junagarh on November 9th, 1947. He vowed to continue the struggle for the liberation of Junagarh and said that Junagarh was part of Pakistan and it would remain so.

Pakistan presents ‘Terror Dossier’ of Indian terrorism

A joint press conference was held by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and DG ISPR Major Gen. Baber Iftikhar at Islamabad (13th November). They accused the Indian Government of fomenting terrorism in Pakistan by infiltrating terrorist to Pakistan across the borders and running training camps in Afghanistan and elsewhere with funding sponsoring and harbouring further said that Indian Intelligence Agencies RAW and DIA are maintaining links with outlawed terrorist outfits i.e. TTP Jammat-e-Ahrar, IS and Baloch separatist groups-BLA, BLF etc. added that last year Col. Pandit and Col. Maaz of Indian Army handed over nine IEDs to miscreants at LoC for sabotage in Azad Kashmir. Indian Intelligence officers Col. Rajesh met terrorists in the Afghan embassy in India several time and transferred 30 IS militants to Pakistan while the RAW officer Anurag Singh maintained contact with terrorists to damage CPEC projects in Pakistan. India has spent Rs/- 30 million for a training campaign of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. Added that big cities of Pakistan-Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar could be target of Indian sponsored terrorism in November and December this year.

The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan would share the “dossier” with the five permanent members of ONU-USA-China, UK, Russia and France to pressurize India to halt its terrorist activities in Pakistan. Further said that Pakistan has concrete evidence for using Afghanistan territory by India to carry out terrorism in Pakistan (13th November).

Comments and Analysis: – Pakistan has paid a heavy price for facing terrorism and suffered the killing of more than 80,000 persons and huge economic loss.  Pakistan has openly charged India for sponsoring terrorism at such a senior level before the media to apprise the world about the nefarious Indian designs to create instability in the country. Meanwhile, both India and Afghanistan have rejected the Pakistani allegations through their respective Foreign Ministries.

Anti-France rally/protest over blasphemous caricatures

The protest demonstrations continued in the country against the publications of blasphemous caricatures in France. The Punjab Provincial Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the French President’s statement on publication of the blasphemous caricature in France (09th November).

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) headed by Late Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi (who died a natural death after the rally ended) took out a rally from Liaqat Bagh to Islamabad on 15th November to mark protest against the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France. Their main demands were to oust the French Ambassador from Pakistan and boycott the French products. The police resorted to tear gas shelling, as a result the large mob became violent and reached Faizabad Chowk (the dividing spot between Islamabad and Rawalpindi Districts) on Murree road (16th November). Police reportedly arrested a number of TLP activist and its leadership, who were released later on.

Comments & Analysis: The rally ended peacefully after the government and the TLP leaders entered an agreement to resolve the matter without altercation.

APTTA: A Security Essential

by Tariq Lodhi

The Government of Pakistan has taken a long-awaited initiative to remove Indian placed obstacles in Pak-Afghan trade relations. The Prime Minister and his Advisor on Commerce and Investment’s visit to Afghanistan from 16-18 Nov-2020, is expected to improve the trade imbalances and situation. By coercive methods, using RAW in Afghanistan, India had brought Pak-Afghan trade to a dismal level. Pakistan and Afghan trade saw a decline of about 50% annually. Concrete confidence building measures through revision and incorporating positive amendments, to Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), and Informal Cross-Border Trade (ICBT), are expected to exponentially improve trade environment between both the countries and counter Indian hegemony on trade with Afghanistan. The trade activity is bound to improve the conditions of people on both side of the border and would discourage terrorism. This bold measure would also offer Afghanistan an opportunity to loosen Indian strangulating hold on Afghan trade and commerce routes.

 Pakistan and Afghanistan share 400-informal and 18-formal crossing points across its 2,500-km long borders. Besides Chaman and Torkham border crossings, Pakistan has also opened Ghulam Khan Terminal in June this year. With piquet dotted border, Afghanistan’s Border Security forces, under the NDS influence, has only one third of border posts as compared to Pakistan’s, thus allowing plausible justification for Afghanistan to look-the-other-way, when either organized clandestine infiltration takes place, or border raids are carried out against Pakistan. Unfortunately, under Indian pressures in 1947-63, Afghanistan had been ruthlessly used by India to fight its proxy- war and prop-up several issues and had been pressurized by India into conducting armed incursions, and precipitating pseudo revolt, using its infiltrators. However, Pakistan placed all that behind and considers Afghanistan as a brother Islamic country. In the face of increasing covert Indian activity in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully significantly enhancing Border Control Management and systems to eradicate illicit border crossings by terrorists, militants, smugglers, money-launderers and other criminals. This effort has paved way for smooth trade and commerce activity. Unfortunately, till date, India continues to use NDS through RAW and its surrogates, to frequently cause violence and mischief at border crossings, compelling indefinite closures of the most-used crossing points, with the underlying objective to discourage trade with Pakistan.

 In fact, trying to attack CPEC from all directions, India has been manipulating Afghanistan to choke Pakistan’s connectivity with CARs and decline Pakistan’s sincere offer for a profitable transit route. With Indian eyes on the vast mineral resources of Afghanistan and strategic interest to make pincer moves against Pakistan, India embarked on the Chabahar project in collaboration with Iran. India has also conducted a test run through Nhava Sheva (Mumbai)-Bandar Abbas (Iran)- Tehran-Bandar Anzali (Iran)-Astrakhan (Russia) INSTC route successfully. Encouraged, India is collaborating with Iran and Azerbaijan to construct Gazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan) railway route connecting International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200 km- long land and sea-based multi-modal transport network. India, after sabotaging sabotaged IPI by pulling out of it, is already working on Middle East to India Deepwater Pipeline (MEIDP), that would include Iran-Oman-India Pipeline (IOIP), and with the naval facility at Duqm Port, Oman, at Indian Navy’s disposal since 2018, India seems all set to threaten commerce flowing trade through Gwadar and CPEC. The MEIDP potentially poses a threat to TAPI as well, from which India, at some point in time is likely to pull out.

 To further curtail Afghan trade, and to make its economy completely dependent on India, RAW in collaboration with NDS made all out efforts to curtail air flights and surface Pak-Afghan trade. After coercing Afghanistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) in signing MoU between Arian Airlines, for airlift of fresh fruits etc., instead used the facility to smuggle out hundreds of tons of rare herbs, valued at millions of dollars, for its pharmaceutical industry in India. With near free per-kg charges for the cargo from Afghanistan to India and high rates from India to Afghanistan, ripped off the Afghan traders. Tons and tons of fruit and watermelon delivery were maliciously delayed, rendering these fruits to rot and become non-consumable. Ostensibly, RAW created video-clips of militants concealing bombs in Watermelons, and circulated these on social media, so that a plausible justification was available for delaying timely delivery of these fresh fruits to India. Under RAW’s pressures, the air cargo contract was transferred to Kam Air Limited an airline, which is under influence of the First Vice President of Afghanistan, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, having known close affiliation with Northern Alliance. Kam Air Limited has its registered offices in India, and is most effective instrument, to allow large volumes of secret cargo to be discreetly flown in or out of Afghanistan to India and other destinations. Like all other Afghan Airlines, Kam Air is also disallowed to fly in European Union and other western states, due to poor safety records.

 In our view, further steps to improve relations may include offering reciprocal arrangements for dual nationality, and relaxed, but security-wise scrutinized opportunity for Afghan Refugees to obtain residential permits, and also allowing further relaxations for Afghans to obtain citizenship, in case of being spouse, child, partner or dependent of Pakistani citizen. Pakistan may further add incentive of short haul cargo flights to and from Afghanistan, for its exports and imports, destinations in Pakistan, on subsidized rates.

 Pakistan may also consider offering similar Transit Trade Agreement to Nepal if they use the Gwadar Port or use CPEC route via Tibet and China. We must not wait for peace in Afghanistan to restore full business and trade relations with it. Afghanistan might be the way it is for many years to come as is evident from the latest Afghanistan quarterly report to Congress which has revealed a 50% spike in violence, higher enemy-initiated attacks, and gridlock in internal peace talks, casting doubt on a U.S. promise of a full withdrawal of troops by April 2021

(The writer is former Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Pakistan)

FALTERING FOREIGN RELATIONS: FACT OR FARCE

by Dr. Saeed Elahi

Certain quarters are trying to portray a bleak picture of Pakistan’s relations with some strategic partners and friendly countries, especially with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and France. India is at the forefront to vigorously create confusions to mar our relations with these countries.

Saudi Arabi and to some extent UAE have been strategic partners of Pakistan for the last many decades. The relationship is based on the concept of Ummah and very practical mutual interests of defence and economy. But very recently these countries showed pro-India tilt which did not irk Pakistan till it was done at cost of Pakistan’s interests. The sovereign countries have the right to formulate their foreign policies as per their desires and interests. Secondly, irritants in foreign relations keep cropping up which have to be tackled to run the affairs smoothly.

The UAE had shown annoyance a few years ago when Pakistan voted in favour of Turkey for Expo 2020. The Gulf News flashed a headline, ’Pakistan betrays UAE’. Pakistanis in the UAE and Pakistan expressed displeasure over this irresponsible journalism. Again, when Pakistan’s parliament voted against sending Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia for fighting against Yemen, a minister of the UAE issued a toxic statement which was responded in the same coin by the Interior Minister of Pakistan. These statements hit the relations but of course not in a very serious manner. Now the UAE has reportedly banned the issuance of work permits and visit visas to Pakistanis, along with 12 other countries, which is being depicted as a clear indication of deterioration of relations between the two countries. It was clarified that this decision was taken due to COVID-19 situation. However, some quarters have raised the question that why Indians have not been banned on the same ground when the number of Coronavirus positive cases and mortality rate are much higher than of Pakistan?  Despite these little issues, the fact is clear that Pakistan and UAE have deep relations not only on the state level but also on people to people level. It is not easy to throw spanners in these deep-rooted relations. 

As far Saudi Arabia is concerned, it is being said that it has demanded the return of $3 billion which was borrowed by Pakistan to come out of economic crunch last year. This demand is said to be the outcome of displeasure of Saudi Arabia caused by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s lack of understanding of niceties and delicacies of foreign relations. He reportedly tried to pressurize Saudi Arabia, on latter’s apathy on Kashmir issue, by showing tilt towards Iran and Turkey. Another point of annoyance for Saudi Arabia was the statement of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, to raise an organization parallel to OIC. Like UAE, Pak-Saudi relations are deep-rooted and their interests are too inter-twined to jilt each other so easily.

Besides, India is trying to exploit Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks in reaction to French President Macron incendiary comments which earned him the flak from the Muslims around the world. Indian diplomats have been trying to convince the French diplomats to stop helping Pakistan upgrade its fleet of Mirage III & V jets, three Agosta 90-B submarines (Khalid, Saad & Hamza) and air defence system.  India has acquired Rafale jets from France recently. Indian Foreign Office is pressurizing France to ask Qatar, which has Rafale jets in its fleet too, to keep the Pakistani technicians away from the Rafale jets.  Ironically, these jets had landed at Abu Dhabi first, from there they were flown to India.

Pakistan has the facility, arrangements and know-how to carry out the maintenance of Mirage III and V, but as per the agreements France has to upgrade them. Therefore, Indian malicious diplomacy might not work. But independent sources have confirmed that France is not pleased with the remarks given by the PM Imran Khan. Pakistan’s Foreign Office should make them realise that sentiments in Pakistan are quite stirred and any step contrary to that would undermine the position of any leader taking that route. Moreover, the freedom of expression is not an exclusive prerogative of any one person or country.

Pakistan needs to act prudently and ought to take quick remedial measures to remove irritants in its relations with these countries. Pakistan cannot afford to lose its great friends like Saudi Arabia and UAE who have always backed it in difficult conditions and vice-versa. On the practical side, the remittances from millions of Pakistani overseas workers, especially working in the Middle East, are vital for our economy. Our aim should be to try to enhance the volume of remittances.

 It is absolutely our right to develop and maintain relations with our old friends Iran and Turkey, but of course not at the cost of Saudi Arabia and UAE or any other country in the world. Similarly, China is our all-weather-friend, on the other hand, we have seven decades old relationship USA too. Pakistan ought to try to strike a balance in its relations with these countries, especially with the strategic partners.

(The writer is former Chairman Pakistan Red Crescent, Parliamentary Secretary Punjab and political analyst)

CRIME / LAW & ORDER

  1. Two alleged absconders – Irfan @ Fana Oudh and Babu Oudh, wanted in robbery and rape cases were killed by police during an encounter near village 52/D, Depalpur Tehsil, Okara District (07th November). 
  2. A police head constable Fayyaz Ali and a robber were killed during the exchange of firing in Meena Bazar, Karimabad Karachi (08th November).
  3. Five persons – Qaiser, Junaid, Niyaz, Abdul Rehman and Qasim-ur-Rehman were killed and three others injured in a shootout between the two groups at a musical party in the Kaghzai area Kohat Division, KPK (08th November).  
  4. Four years old child was sexually abused by a man in Rawat, Rawalpindi District. Police registered the case FIR and started investigation (08th November).
  5. A child was killed and more than thirty people mostly children injured as a result of gas cylinder explosion in the Bohri area of Kohlu Town, Balochistan (08th November).
  6. An Auqaf Department employee Intizar Hussain was shot dead by unidentified motorcyclist in Sanda Lahore (09th November).
  7. The Sindh Government recommended Quaid-e-Azam police medal for ASI police Muhammad Bakhsh Buriro and suitable reward for his daughter who made exceptional efforts leading to the arrest of an accused of rape of a woman and her minor daughter. The brave police officer used his daughter as a bait to set the honeytrap for those who had abducted and taken the five years old girl to Kashmore, Sindh (13th November).
  8. Nine people were shot dead in separate incidents in Dera Ismail Khan District (14th November).
  9. Three armed persons gunned down their rival Noman Abbas when he reached District Court Faisalabad to attend proceeding in a murder case (14th November).    

 

Crime Details Across Pakistan-09/11/2020 to 23/11/2020 

Provinces
PunjabKPKSindhBalochistanIslamabadAJ&K
Murders-96 (Lahore-1, Chakwal-1, Kana-1, Warburton-1, Okara-2, Kasur-1, Ferozewala-1,   Sargodha-10, Phool Nagar-1, Wazirabad-2, Dera Ismail Khan-2, Lahore-1, Multan-1, Sheikhupura-1, GUJRAT-1, Dera Ismail Khan-3, Dera Ismail Khan-1, Sahiwal Madhali Road-2, Gujranwala-12, Lahore-1, Faisalabad-3, Lahore Baghbanpura-1, Muzaffargarh-1, Lahore-2, Dera Ismail Khan-1, Baghbanpura Lahore-2, Taxila-1, Dera Ismail Khan-2, Nowshera Virkan-2, Gujrat-3, Kasur-1, Ichara-1, Taxila-1, Millat Park-1, Liaqat Abbad-1, Piko road-1, Jhang-2, Lorri Adda-2, Shero Kohna village-1, Taxila-1, Kot Radha Kishan-2, Multan Shuja Abbad-2, Faisalabad-2, Lahore-5, Narowal-1, Chakwal-1,   Kasur-1, Sheikhupura-4,  Faisalabad-3) Gang Rape-17 (Rawalpindi-1, Sargodha-1, Kasur-1, Lahore-1, Toba Tek Singh-1, Kahna-1, Sheikhupura-3, Bahawalnagar-1, Sheikhupura-1, Lahore Nawab town-1, Kahna-4, Chiniot-1) Robberies/Dacoits-23 (Chung-1, Manga Mandi-1, Mustafa Town-1, Defence-1, Manawan-1, Shadrah-1, Akbari Gate-1, Islamabad-1,  Defence-1, Raiwand-1, Mustafabad-1, Nawab town-1, Sanda-1, Lorri Adda-1, Shera Kot-1, Sabzazar-1, Shafiqabad-1, Misri Shah-1, Akbari Mandi-1, Shahdara-1, Nolakkha-1, Mughalpurah-1, Green City-1) Kidnapping-4 (Faisalabad-1, Sheikhupura-1, Gujranwala-1, Kidnap-1) Injured-53 (Multan-8, Dera Ismail Khan-3, Gujranwala-30, Jhang-2, Sheikhupura-3, Baghbanpura Lahore-1, Raiwind City-1, Sheikhupura-3, Sheikhupura-2) Police encounter-2 (Okara-2)Murders-88 (Peshwar-1, Peshawar Sheikh Mohammadi area-1, Kohat-5, Swabi-2, Mansehra-1, Mardan-1, Bajaur-1, Karachi-2, Hyderabad-1, Abbottabad-1, Swabi-1, Mansehra-8, Lower Dir-4, Karak-1, Peshawar-1, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-9,  Nowshera-10, Khyber-1, Kurram-8, Charsadda-1, South Waziristan-2, Peshawar-1, Bajaur-2, Peshawar-1, Lakki Marwat-2, Lakki Marwat-2, Haripur-1, East Waziristan-5, Miramshah-4, Bannu-8) Injured-92 (Kohat-3, Mansehra-3, Bajaur-2, Karachi-2, Hyderabad-1, Mansehra-4, 10, Nowshera-11, Kurram-30, South Waziristan-1, Lakki Marwat-4, Haripur-18, Peshawar-1, East Waziristan-2)    Murders-28 (Karachi-2, Sukkur-2, Karachi Karimabad-1, Karachi-1, Hyderabad-1, Karachi-1, Dadu-04, Mirpurkhas-1, Shikarpur-2, Naushahro Feroze-3, Dadu-3, Sukkur-2, Dadu-1, Karachi-1, Korangi-1, Shikarpur-1, Shikarpur-1) Gang Rape-2 (Kashmore-2) Kidnapping-1 (Karachi-1) Injured-42 (Sukkur-2, Karachi-5, Hyderabad-1, Feroze-2, Karachi-1, Dadu-13, Sukkur-15, Shikarpur-3) Police encounter-2 (Karachi-1, Korangi-1)    Murders-7 (Sorab-1, Quetta-1, Jaffarabad District-2, Chaman-1, Gwadar-2) Robberies/Dacoits-1 (Quetta-1) Kidnapping- Injured-31 (Quetta-30, Pishin-1)    Murders-1 (Islamabad-1, Islamabad-3, Housing society Koral -1, Islamabad-1, Pindorian village-1, Islamabad-1) Injured-2 (Islamabad-2)  Murders-12 (Muzaffarabad-2, Muzaffarabad-3, Muzaffarabad Nauseri sector -7) Injured-76 (Muzaffarabad-5, Muzaffarabad-38, Muzaffarabad Nauseri sector -33)  
Source: Media & National Dailies

   

REGIONAL

LAC / Indo-China border

Indian and Chinese troops remained deployed alongside LAC in the tense situation in Ladakh. The Eighth round of Corps Commanders level meeting was held on LAC (06th November).

After the meeting, Indian and Chinese Army reportedly released a joint statement describing the “talks” as in-depth and constructive. It was agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and to ensure that frontline troops exercise restraint and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation. Also agreed that the meetings and communication through military and diplomatic level would be continued to reach for settlement for de-escalation of the troops (07th November).

Comments and Analysis: – Army Chief Gen. M M Naravane on 10th November expressed hope that the Indian and Chinese armies will be able to reach an agreement for disengagement/de-escalation at all points including Tsu lake, Galwan and Depsang and de-escalation to reduce tension in eastern Ladakh. Nearly 50,000 troops of each side are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded any concrete outcome yet to resolve the standoff.

LoC/IHK

Indian Army troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in the Khanjar and Rakhchikri sectors of Kashmir along LoC. As a result, five civilians and a Pakistani soldier were killed and thirty others including five soldiers, were injured. India also reportedly suffered substantial losses in terms of troops and material as a result of befitting reply by the Pakistan Army (13th November).   

Earlier two Kashmiri youth were killed by the Indian security forces during a fake encounter in Katpora area of Sohpian District (10th November). Earlier on 08th November, four security personnel were killed during exchange of firing with unidentified persons near Machil sector in Kupwara District.

The newly formed, People Alliance on Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) led by Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti after holding a meeting in Srinagar on 08th November decided to unitedly contest the District Development Council (DDC) polls going to be held from 28th November over eight phases, in Indian held Jammu and Kashmir. Congress party also attended the PAGD meeting held in Srinagar (13th November).   

Comments and Analysis: – Indian army continued targeting innocent civilians of Azad Kashmir on LoC with ceasefire violations. This year, India committed 2660 ceasefire violations to date resulting in deaths of 20 and seriously injuring 203 innocent civilians of Azad Kashmir.

Afghanistan

Terrorism/Violence

  1. Eight civilians were killed and seven others were wounded after three mortar shells hit near a residential house in Nawabad area in the Ghazni city (08th November).
  2. Thirty peoples including ten civilians were wounded as a result of a car bomb blast near the police headquarter in Maiwand District of Kandahar Province (08th November).
  3. Eight Taliban were killed during an airstrike by the Afghan security forces in Jalgir area in Baghlan Province (08th November).
  4. Seventeen Taliban were killed during clashes with the Afghan security forces in Pashtun-Zarghun District of Herat Province (08th November).  
  5. A Defence Ministry official Hanifullah Safi Sarweyar and two police personnel were killed in separate incidents in Kabul. Two civilians were wounded due to the IED blast in Kabul. Two persons were killed and four others wounded as s result of a car bomb blast near a security checklist in Pagham District of Kabul Province (08th, 09th and 13th November).
  6. One person was killed and five others were wounded as a result of bomb blast surrounding the wall of private university in Maiden of Wardak Province (08th November).
  7. Four police personnel were killed and twenty others injured due to a car bomb blast near the police headquarter in Almar District of Faryab Province (09th November).
  8. A female Afghan police official Ms. Khatera was left blind after by three unidentified gunmen on motorbike shot and stabbed her in the eyes with gun and knife. She blamed her father and Taliban for the said attack but they denied the allegations. (09th November).
  9. In different incidents, security forces killed two suicide bombers in explosive laden vehicles who wanted to target military bases in Gerishk District of Helmand Province (09th and 12th November)
  10. Eight security forces personnel were killed and three others captured by Taliban after they attacked an army check post in Tap-e-Akhtar area, Khanabad District of Kunduz Province (09th November).
  11. A result of the crash of Afghan security forces helicopter in Hesarak District Nangarhar Province two persons of the crew were killed while the two the others injured (10th November).
  12. Radio Azadi reporter Ilyas Daee was killed and his brother injured as a result of magnetic bomb blast in his car in Helmand Province (12th November).
  13. After a fierce fighting, Afghan security forces claimed to have recapture Bala Hisar Military Base in Imam Sahib District of Kunduz Province. The battle took the life of 12 security forces personal, 10 Taliban and injured several others (12th November).
  14. Afghanistan first Vice President announced the arrest of one Aadil ex-student of Kabul University as mastermind of the deadly attack on Kabul University which took the life of 22 students/teachers on 02nd November. He alleged that the arrested person was a member of Haqqani network (14th November).

IMU Leader Killed in Afghan Forces Operation in Faryab: MoD

Aziz Yuldash, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) was killed and son Hikmat injured during an operation by the Afghan security forces in Sayed Gul village, Ghormach District of Northern Faryab Province. He was wanted in number of cases related to terrorism and killing of people (11th November).

Comments and Analysis: –

  1. IMU is an internationally “designated terrorist organization” founded in 1998. The IMU reportedly had pledged its allegiance to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but in 2015, the group’s Amir and most of its fighters publicly shifted their affiliation to Daesh, according to reports. However, the Taliban have been denying their ties with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
  2. According to NDS, Haneef hailed from Karachi and joined al Al-Qaeda in 2010 and was a close aide to Asim Umar, the head of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and was deputy Amir for AQIS was expert of making explosive material and IED devices.

Intra – Afghan dialogue

Taliban Expect new US Administration for implementing Of Doha Deal

Taliban stated that they were committed to the US-Taliban Accord, irrespective of the outcome of US Presidential elections, which was signed in Doha early this year. They called it an “excellent document” to end the war in Afghanistan. Added that the implementation of the said agreement was the most reasonable and effective tool for ending the conflict with the US,” referring to their fight against US forces. They urged the new US administration under elected president Joe-Biden to abide by the ” deal” signed by the predecessor Donald Trump in Doha and to remove the US troops from Afghanistan (11th November).

Comments and Analysis: – The two sides have agreed on almost all articles of the ground rules for negotiations except two: the religious basis of Hanfi jurisdiction and the US-Taliban deal as main base of the talks. 

Ms. Fawzia Koofi a female member of the Afghan Government negotiating team said that they are hopeful that the disputed points on procedural rules of the talks would be removed shortly to resume the meetings between the two sides. But Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh accused Taliban that they do not believe in a peaceful solution to end the war and were responsible for consistent delay in the direct talks in Doha.

Coronavirus Crisis Update

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 376,929 on 23rd November, 2020 (Monday) after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The Province-wise breakup of the total number of cases as of 09:40 pm, November 23rd is as follows:

• Sindh: 14,492

• Punjab: 13,628

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 3,037

• Balochistan: 618

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 4,933

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 159

• AJK: 1,481

Deaths: 7,696

Comments & Analysis:  The second wave of coronavirus is taking its toll. The number of corona positive patients and deaths caused by it are higher than the first wave. The government is taking baby steps a bit too late to close down the schools and other outlets like restaurants etc. The schools will be closed from 26 Nov 2020 till 10 Jan 2021.

Pakistan’s Security Barometer

Terrorism: Terrorist groups like TTP and its affiliates are continuously operating as per their twin strategy, i.e. target killing and IEDs. These groups 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 take preemptive measures to identify and locate the terrorists and their facilitators in the cities like Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.

Level of Sectarianism & Religious Extremism: On the rise. There is an urgent need to bridle the situation through all means.

Border Situation: Tense – On the LOC, the Indian border force and army carry out intense shelling and firing. On the Western border, Afghan forces and terrorists carry out small attacks on the check-posts which are effectively repulsed by the Pakistani forces.

Health Security: A new surge of Coronavirus pandemic has hit Pakistan. There is a considerable increase in the number of patients who tested positive during the last five weeks.

Social Unrest: Rising; due to exorbitant price hike and political unrest.

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

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