Daily Brief: U.S. to send top military official to ease tension with Pakistan

The Rack: Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, "Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down" (AFJ). Bringing in the big guns Senior U.S. military commander General James Mattis will reportedly travel to Pakistan sometime this month for talks with Pakistani Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss the results of investigations ...

CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images
CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images
CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images

The Rack: Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, "Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down" (AFJ).

Bringing in the big guns

Senior U.S. military commander General James Mattis will reportedly travel to Pakistan sometime this month for talks with Pakistani Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss the results of investigations into a NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November (NYTETDawn). Pakistan's Defense Minister on Tuesday urged the government to reopen its border to supplies destined for NATO troops in Afghanistan once the coalition has met Pakistani demands, which could include imposing higher fees on trucks using Pakistani roads (DawnThe NewsETAP).

The Rack: Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, "Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down" (AFJ).

Bringing in the big guns

Senior U.S. military commander General James Mattis will reportedly travel to Pakistan sometime this month for talks with Pakistani Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss the results of investigations into a NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November (NYTETDawn). Pakistan’s Defense Minister on Tuesday urged the government to reopen its border to supplies destined for NATO troops in Afghanistan once the coalition has met Pakistani demands, which could include imposing higher fees on trucks using Pakistani roads (DawnThe NewsETAP).

Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) faces two legal cases this month, one will begin with a hearing tomorrow, and concerns seven suspected militants who have been held by the ISI since 2010, as well as four other detainees who have died over the past six months in ISI custody (NYT). The second case will begin with a hearing on February 29 accusing the ISI of vote-rigging by illegally donating $6.5 million in order to influence the general election in 1990. Meanwhile, a Pakistani-American cab driver pleaded guilty in Chicago on Monday to sending money to Ilyas Kashmiri – a Pakistan-based al-Qaeda operative now thought to be dead – with the intention of helping Kashmiri purchase explosives (AP).

The International Monetary Fund on Monday warned Pakistan that it must protect a "highly vulnerable" economy by reducing inflation, decreasing its budget deficit, and widening its tax base (BloombergAFP). Pakistani and Iranian officials agreed during meetings on Monday to "intensify" work on a multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline despite strong U.S. opposition (ETDawn). Pakistani authorities hope this deal will help alleviate the country’s severe energy shortages. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also signed an agreement on the import of liquefied natural gas from Qatar on Monday at the start of a three-day visit with officials there (ETDawn).

Reuters reports on Pakistan’s millions of child laborers, forced into work by poverty and rising fuel and food costs (Reuters). Finally, casualties from Monday’s factory collapse in Lahore have risen as high as 18, with 13 survivors rescued from the rubble, as police filed a criminal complaint against the owners of the illegally-constructed building, who have fled (DawnBBCAFPReutersCNNAP).

Petty dispute?

An Afghan security officer on Tuesday opened fire at a checkpoint during an argument, killing two police officers and three private security guards (AP). And a NATO helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, but no one on board was killed (AP). 

Food fight

A new reality television show pitting eight Pakistani chefs against eight Indian chefs first aired in India just last week, but the captain of the Pakistan team, Mohammad Naeem, has already quit, alleging the judges’ bias toward India (AP). As co-host Ira Dubey said in one of the show’s first episodes, " Now the world’s greatest rivalry is going to get spicier."

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Jennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.

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