Pakistan"s Instability Vectors
Karachi Targeted Killings
and targeted killings in Karachi, Pakistan"s
commercial capital are ongoing now for a long period and have many dimensions
apart from political rivalry between the Awami National Party (ANP) and the
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). There are issues related to real estate,
contracts, weapons running and so on apart from criminal networks which have
been existing in the city for long. More over there is a complex dynamics of
ethnicity with Mohajirs who have migrated from India
after Partition clashing with the Pashtuns while the local Sindhi are also
hostile along with a section of the Balochis. The main coalition Party, Pakistan
People"s Party (PPP) is required to take the lead but the party"s Home Minister
Zulfikar Mirza and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah have failed to interject
between the ANP and the MQM leading to continued terror attacks chronologically
indicated as below-
4 - 12 people were killed by
unknown assailants in different incidents.
20 - Six killed in Malir, Orangi
Town and Gulistan-e-Jauher areas
21 " Three killed and their bodies disposed in Karachi's
Pak Colony, Surjani Town
and Baldia Town.
24 - Four
people killed in an armed attack on a party office of the Muttahida Qaumi
Movement (MQM) in Gulistan-i-Jauhar. Seven vehicles were set on fire by
unidentified men in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Landhi and Bufferzone areas while a
furniture market was also set alight in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
25 Five shot
dead in separate incidents
in Balochistan, Central Secretary-General of the Balochistan National Party -
Mengal (BNP - M) and former senator Habib
Jalib Baloch was shot dead in Quetta
on 14 July. This is likely to be a major set back to
the efforts of the government to bring peace to the troubled province and also
assuage the sentiment of separatism there. Previously four people had been
killed on 5 July. The killing of the Balochistan National Party - Mengal's
Central Secretary-General Habib Jalib Baloch is however speculated to be by intelligence
agencies given that the outfit involved was unheard of and Mr Jalib was a
leading moderate with some left inclinations.
US Drone Attacks
There have been
112 suspected US drone strikes between January 2008 and end of June 2010 as per
research by the BBC Urdu News service report with approximately 900 killed
during the period in these strikes whereas during the same period Taliban
backlash has resulted in killing more
than 1,700 people and injuring many more, the BBC research shows. The main areas of strike including
fatalities caused by suspected drone attacks were S Waziristan 279, N
Waziristan 386, Bajaur 14,
Bannu 5, Orakzai 8, Kurram 54. On the other hand terrorist attacks with
casualties were Peshawar 362, Lahore
253, Khyber 120, Rawalpindi 98, Lakki Marwat 93, Kohat 91, Dera Ismail Khan 77,
Lower Dir 75, Karachi 69, Dera
Ghazi Khan 50. [Based on Daily Times Report]. During the month three drone
attacks were recorded date wise as follows:-
15 - Suspected
US missiles killed seven people and injured five in Mada Khel
area of the northwest region.
24 - 18 militants including
foreign fighters were killed in the Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan bordering
25- Four militants were killed in
Shaktoi area in South Waziristan.
3 - Ten suspected militants killed and several injured in Orakzai Agency.
5 - 10 militants killed and four injured when fighter jets bombed
hideouts in Orakzai.
6 - Pakistani forces killed 23
militants in Lower Dir district.
9 - Pakistani fighter jets killed
23 Taliban fighters and injured over 20 others in Dalai, Kandai and Zorando
Kalay areas of Orakzai Agency
10 - Fifteen militants were
killed when jet fighters attacked their hideouts in the Orakzai.
15 - 15
suspected militants killed in different parts of the Orakzai tribal region.
17 - 15 suspected militants
killed in the Orakzai Agency.
18 - 25 killed in fighter jets and helicopter gun ships
bombed in Orakzai Agency.
19 " 42 militants killed in Kurram and Orakzai
21 - 25 militants killed in clashes with security forces in
the Orakzai tribal region.
25 - Twenty-one militants were killed during a
fresh military operation in Kurram Agency and Upper Orakzai Agency
9 - A suicide bomber killed over 65
people and injured over a 100 in an attack outside the office of a senior
government official in the Mohmand Pashtun tribal region in Yakaghund tehsil.
10 - Eleven people killed when
unknown armed men fired on a passenger bus in Afghanistan"s
Waza area on way from Parchinar in South Waziristan to Peshawar
- Three Pakistani soldiers killed in Taliban
attack on an army patrol in Makeen district of South Waziristan area
15 - A
suicide attack targeted a Pakistani military convoy killing five in the
northwestern Swat valley.
16 - Eight killed in Khyber, on major supply route for NATO
17 - 18 people killed as militants
ambushed a convoy of private vehicles in the restive Kurram tribal region.
18 - A suicide bomber wounded
several worshippers in Sargodha city in Punjab
24 - The only son of the Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information, Mian Iftikhar Hussein, Mian Rashid
Hussein was shot dead by some unknown gunmen in his native town Pabbi
26 - A suicide bomber killed seven people while
trying to walk into the home of Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister in Pakistan's
northwestern province of Khyber
6 July the Army claimed that 80 per cent of the Kurram tribal region has been
cleared of militants and the military operation in the area was still underway.
However continued terror attacks in the country have raised serious questions
of the viability of the strategy to tackle the insurgency which has been based
on a militaristic hard line and kinetic
operations approach. While a large number of casualties to terrorists have been
claimed whether these are of actual Taliban or include over ground supporters
or merely tribal who are not with the government such as the Mehsuds remains to
be seen. What is also seen is that support mechanisms of the Taliban seem to be
strong in the tribal areas and have also spread in Punjab therefore it is
providing the Taliban adequate
infrastructure to strike terror through periodic high value suicide bomb
attacks as that in Mohmand. While number of attacks has certainly gone down
their intensity seems to be almost the same, thereby indicating that there is
more pain for the people now not just of the tribal area but also the minority
community in other areas of Pakistan.
Mohmand blasts in particular were a grim reminder of the manner in which the
Taliban are ensuring that any negotiations between the government and the
tribal are scuttled. The Taliban has been carrying out attacks on jirgas and
other activities where such groups are gathering to make peace with the
government for it knows that in case they lose support of the tribal they would
find it difficult to survive. A large number of foreign elements in the area
are also suspect and the pro and anti government Taliban are fueling such
incidents. Government efforts to win over the Mehsuds have also not succeeded
so far and it is also attempting to get some more local tribes to come to its
Given the state
of conduct of counter militancy and counter terrorism operations in Pakistan
and past history of employment of laws, the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill
2010 tabled in the Senate by Interior Minister Rehman Malik to amend the
Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 is unlikely to have a major impact on the government"s
abilities to clamp down on terror unless the existing and new laws are
implemented in full measure. Firstly the Pakistan Army responsible for
operations in the Western tribal areas has not been requiring any laws really
to enforce its writ and has been taking very harsh and para legal measures to
do so in the process having displaced a large number of people, under the
environment there is no checks on the Army per se. In the counter terror field
the political angle cannot be overlooked and here the anti terrorism bill has a
scope for abuse thereby reducing its impact and scope for the accused to get
away given long legal procedures involved. Therefore a holistic appraisal may
reveal that the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2010 in unlikely to have a
major impact on the ongoing operations in the country.