Daily brief: Karzai slams Russian drug raid

Protesting the raids Although Afghan counternarcotics forces were reportedly involved in the recent joint Russian-American-Afghan raid on four drug labs in eastern Nangarhar that yielded nearly $56 million of heroin, Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized the operation, calling it a violation of Afghan sovereignty and demanding an investigation (Post, NYT, Tel, WSJ, LAT, AJE, FT, ...

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images

Protesting the raids

Although Afghan counternarcotics forces were reportedly involved in the recent joint Russian-American-Afghan raid on four drug labs in eastern Nangarhar that yielded nearly $56 million of heroin, Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized the operation, calling it a violation of Afghan sovereignty and demanding an investigation (Post, NYT, Tel, WSJ, LAT, AJE, FT, Independent). Afghan, Russian, and U.S. officials were said to be surprised by Karzai's reaction to the raid, which appears to be the first time in two decades that Russian security forces carried out a mission in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Criminal Justice Task Force announced earlier today that it has jailed 155 people, including 11 Afghan government officials, for links with the drug trade in the last three months (Reuters). Afghanistan produces some 90 percent of the world's opium.

Protesting the raids

Although Afghan counternarcotics forces were reportedly involved in the recent joint Russian-American-Afghan raid on four drug labs in eastern Nangarhar that yielded nearly $56 million of heroin, Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized the operation, calling it a violation of Afghan sovereignty and demanding an investigation (Post, NYT, Tel, WSJ, LAT, AJE, FT, Independent). Afghan, Russian, and U.S. officials were said to be surprised by Karzai’s reaction to the raid, which appears to be the first time in two decades that Russian security forces carried out a mission in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Criminal Justice Task Force announced earlier today that it has jailed 155 people, including 11 Afghan government officials, for links with the drug trade in the last three months (Reuters). Afghanistan produces some 90 percent of the world’s opium.

Taliban fighters briefly overran the district headquarters of Khogyani in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Ghazni earlier today, killing or capturing all the Afghan police guarding the government buildings before coalition forces retook the area (AP, Pajhwok). Pajhwok reports that another district in Ghazni, Nava, was captured by militants three years ago and is still under their control (Pajhwok).

In Paktika, around 80 Taliban were killed on Saturday morning during a failed attack on a NATO combat outpost in Barmal district, across the border from North Waziristan (AFP, Tolo, CNN, AJE). Afghan officials report that more than 100 fighters have been killed in ongoing operations in the northern province of Takhar over the last two months, and a 12 hour gunbattle in the Dishu district of Helmand left 17 insurgents dead on Saturday (Tolo, AP).

Reconciliation and reintegration

Three Taliban figures from the same tribe as the powerful Haqqani insurgent network, Maulvi Abdul Kabir, Mullah Sadre Azam, and Anwar-ul-Haq Mujahed, are said to have met with Karzai two weeks ago in an Afghan government attempt to undercut the Haqqanis’ recruitment base (AP). It’s unclear what kind of progress may have been made at the meeting.

The Journal has today’s must-read describing the hazards of reintegration (which involves lower-level fighters, as opposed to reconciliation with insurgent leadership) using an example from the northern Afghan province of Baghlan in which a commander who switched sides was targeted by the Taliban (WSJ). Commander Sher may have then been killed by coalition airstrikes during a siege by local Taliban fighters, though the coalition commander stresses that he was "definitely killed by the Taliban."

The blasts of war

Two Pakistani police officers were killed earlier today when a suicide bomber attacked a police station in the northwest district of Swabi, after a gunfight between several militants and policemen (Dawn, CNN, Geo, ET). A spokesman for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack (AFP). Adnan Afridi, a key TTP commander, was reportedly shot in Rawalpindi over the weekend (ET). In the tribal regions, local TTP fighters lashed 65 men for allegations of involvement in the drug trade in Mamozai, a town in Orakzai, and three local commanders were killed in Swat (The News, ET, Daily Times).

In North Waziristan near Mir Ali, a brother of TTP founder Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a drone strike in August of 2009, was shot and killed, and the first drone strike of the month reportedly killed a handful of alleged militants (Dawn, ET, Geo, AP, BBC, CNN, ET, Dawn). Analysts and officials continue to assess that a Pakistani military offensive in North Waziristan is unlikely in the near future (McClatchy). Bonus click: an interactive combination of drone strikes, public opinion in the tribal regions, and original research by local journalists (PakistanSurvey.org).

The Post considers the Pakistani government’s response to ongoing militant attacks on Sufi shrines across the country, describing metal detectors, armed police, iron gates, razor wire, security cameras, and anti-terrorism commandos that have variously been deployed to protect worshipers (Post).

Flashpoint

For the first time since June, when the current clashes in Indian-administered Kashmir were triggered, India’s home minister P. Chidambaram visited the area on Sunday to review the security situation and meet with Omar Abdullah, the chief minister, and army and police chiefs (AFP, HT). At least 111 people have died in clashes with Indian security forces over the last five months, most during anti-India protests across the valley.

A little friendly competition

The Afghan women’s national soccer team beat their NATO counterparts in a friendly in Kabul on Friday, 1-0 (Tolo, Times). The South Asian women’s soccer tournament is scheduled to be held in Bangladesh in the coming days.

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