Pakistan-Afghanistan Update: Khyber Paktunkhwa Orders Counter-terrorism Police Force; ISAF Seeks Romania Logistics Hub

Topline

  • Following Wednesday’s assassination of law minister Israrullah Gandapur, the Khyber Paktunkhwa government has approved the creation of a new special anti-terrorist police force, and has called for the redeployment of Frontier Constabulary forces in the province. US military officials are reportedly near agreement with Romania to establish a logistics hub there to replace Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airbase, for use by US forces withdrawing from Afghanistan. Bilalwal Bhutto Zardari led a rally of supporters in Karachi to mark his mother’s return to the country in 2007, and the bombing attack that killed 176 people at the time.

Pakistan — Security

  • Minister Attack Aftermath: The Khyber Paktunkhwa home ministry released a preliminary report on Wednesday’s assassination of provincial law minister Israrullah Gandapur; the bomber is reported to have been 20-22 years old and a local. Seven other people were killed and more than thirty wounded. On Thursday, the provincial cabinet approved the creation of a special anti-terrorism police force, and called for the redeployment of federal paramilitary Frontier Constabulary forces in the province.

Pakistan — Politics and Diplomacy

  • Bilawal Leads Rally: PPP leader Bilalwal Bhutto Zardari addressed crowds in Karachi on Friday, marking anniversary of a 2007 bombing targeting his mother, Benazir Bhutto, upon her return to the country, which killed 176 people. Bilalwal vowed that the PPP would “save the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from drowning in the tsunami,” blaming Imran Khan for “making excuses” for recent terror attacks. Dawn reports that Bilalwal, 25, may contest the NA-204 Larkana national assembly seat, currently held by the PPP’s Ayaz Soomro. [Dawn]

Pakistan — Remainders

  • Lahore Police Block Ahmadi Community from Taking Part in Eid Rituals [ET]
  • Death of Pakistani Reported Linked to Drug Investigations [Guardian]
  • Karachi Arrests Continue [Dawn]
  • Report: Awaran Earthquake Situation Report [National Disaster Management Authority (pdf)]

Afghanistan — Security

  • ISAF Logistics Hub Shifting to Romania: The AFP reports that the US is close to a deal with Romania to establish a transit hub at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase for U.S. troops and material returning from Afghanistan over the next year; the lease for the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan, the current main hub for incoming personnel, will expire in July 2014.
  • Security Transition: The Post notes the weaknesses of the Afghan army’s ability to repair damaged equipment and vehicles, even as it has intensified combat operations with insurgent forces as the U.S. and other international supporters have reduced their presence.

Afghanistan — Remainders

  • Ulema Council Denounces Logar Governor’s Assassination [TOLO]
  • Doubts Fall on Afghan Police as Kidnappers Extract a Dire Price [NYT]
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