Daily brief: Security operations begin in Karachi
Pushing out Killings continue in Karachi as security agencies began a "surgical operation" Wednesday in nine areas of the city, arresting at least eleven people suspected of taking part in the violence (Dawn, ET, Dawn, Dawn, ET, Dawn). The operation comes after Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik warned that criminals in the city should, "leave ...
Killings continue in Karachi as security agencies began a "surgical operation" Wednesday in nine areas of the city, arresting at least eleven people suspected of taking part in the violence (Dawn, ET, Dawn, Dawn, ET, Dawn). The operation comes after Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik warned that criminals in the city should, "leave Karachi immediately and go somewhere else. Otherwise, stern action will be taken against them" (Dawn). Leaders from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have told the Tribune that the country’s army will not be called in to restore order in Karachi (ET). Bonus read: Shaheryar Mirza, "Karachi’s deeper problems" (FP).
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) in meetings with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has reportedly offered the restoration of nearly $800 million in military aid to Pakistan, on the condition that U.S. military trainers be allowed back in the country (ET). In North Waziristan, militants killed an Afghan refugee they accused of being a U.S. spy (Dawn). And in other news, Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar is currently in China for meetings with her Chinese counterpart (Dawn, ET).
Carlotta Gall has a must-read profile of exiled Baluch political leader Brahumdagh Bugti, and the little-discussed war being fought for Baluchistan’s independence from Pakistan (NYT). And an audit by Pakistan’s inspector general has revealed the embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars in flood relief aid destined for Baluchistan (ET).
Three stories round out the day: Pakistani police have arrested three suspects in the kidnapping of American aid expert Warren Weinstein from his home in Lahore (CNN, ET, CBS/AP). The police inspector general in Islamabad told a Pakistani Senate panel Tuesday that slain minority affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti was killed by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), despite some reports that his death was linked to a family dispute (ET). And facing severe power shortages, Pakistan’s government announced Tuesday that they had signed a deal handing over control for 10 years of four power generation companies to the private sector (Dawn, ET).
Joshua Partlow reports that between now and March, Afghanistan’s security forces will receive nearly $2.7 billion in military equipment that NATO planners call the "iron mountain," including new vehicles that have never been deployed to the country, aircraft, and tens of thousands of guns (Post). U.S. officials have also reduced their estimates of how much they will spend on the country’s armed forces by 2014 from $8 billion to $3 billion. And Reuters looks closely at Afghanistan’s police forces, whose development has cost $29 billion since the fall of the Taliban, but who continue to be seen by many Afghans as corrupt and unreliable (Reuters).
An official on the Nawa district council was killed by two gunmen in the Helmand province capital of Lashkar Gah Tuesday, and Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday denounced the Taliban’s use of child suicide bombers in a meeting with 20 young men who had either turned themselves in to Afghan authorities or been arrested (AP).
Finally, German officials are increasingly concerned that two German men who went missing near the Salang Pass north of Kabul on Friday have been kidnapped (Times, Reuters, BBC, CNN). The Times of London reports that Russia is planning to re-open its cultural center in Kabul, which was built in 1982 to showcase the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, but was destroyed during the country’s civil war (Times). And Afghanistan’s government is increasingly encouraging the use of birth control, in order to curb what will be an estimated doubling of the population in 30 years (Reuters).
A British-Pakistani woman was arrested in Rawalpindi after assaulting airport security agents who tried to stop her from taking 89 cartons of cigarettes on a flight to Manchester, England (Dawn). The woman, who holds a black belt in Karate, allegedly slapped one female officer and "pounced" on two others before being detained.
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