Pakistan-Afghanistan Update: Police Gunman Kills Three Americans at Kabul Hospital; Pakistan Auctions 3G/4G Licenses

Topline

  • Three American doctors were killed by an Afghan police gunman at Kabul charity hospital on Thursday. Pakistan successfully concluded bidding for 3G and 4G wireless spectrum licenses on Wednesday, taking in roughly $1.1 billion. The Pakistani military carried out airstrikes in Khyber on Thursday, killing as many as two dozen militant suspects. The head of Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue acknowledged that it is withholding Rs 97 billion in refund dues, which if released will drop collections down below the rate of nominal GDP growth. The Afghan Deputy Minister for Public Works was reportedly freed in a second rescue operation on Tuesday in Kapisa. The Electoral Complaints Commission says it has processed provincial complaints and is preparing for appeals following the announcement on Saturday of preliminary vote counts.


Pakistan — Security

  • Airstrikes in Khyber: Pakistani military spokesmen announced that fighter jets carried out bombings on suspected militant targets in the Khyber Agency on Thursday, backed by ground operations. Military officials report that as many as two dozen militants were killed, although there is no independent confirmation. [AJE]
  • TTP Talks: Government negotiatiors and intermediaries for the Pakistani Taliban met on Wednesday and agreed on the importance of extending the lapsed ceasefire agreement between the two sides; Maulana Sami-ul Haq told reporters afterwards that he would meet directly with TTP officials to seek the ceasefire’s reinstatement.


Pakistan — Economics and Development

  • 3G Auction Brings in $1.1B: The final round of bidding for 3G and 4G wireless spectrum licenses concluded on Wednesday, with just over $1.1 billion bid in total. Most bidding remained close to the base price offered by the government, and the total fell short of some initial optimistic projections by the finance ministry; nonetheless, officials touted the sale — which had been repeatedly delayed under the previous government — as a success. Zong Telecom, a Chinese-owned firm, was the only bidder on 4G spectrum; an additional license set aside for new entrants to the market is also available. [Dawn] [Dawn] [ET] [ET]
  • Tax Revenues: Speaking before the Senate on Wednesday, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Bajwa acknowledged that the FBR was withholding Rs 97 billion in refunds due to taxpayers; if repaid, the FBR’s total collections through the start of this week amount to Rs 1.574 trillion, an 8.6% increase in collection over the same period in the previous year, or below the effect of nominal GDP growth.


Pakistan — Remainders

  • Karachi Bombing Kills Three, Including Prominent Police Officer [Dawn] [AP] [WSJ]
  • PEMRA Delivers Notification to GEO TV on License Revocation Petition [Dawn]
  • Sindh High Court Adjourns Ruling on Musharraf Exit Plea Until May 7 [AFP] [ET]
  • 15 Seminaries Received Rs 258M from External Donors, Interior Ministry Tells Senate [Dawn] [Dawn] [ET]
  • Shoe Thrown at Shahbaz Sharif [Dawn] [ET]
  • Pakistan Seeks Direct Oil Supply Contract for PSO from Saudi Refineries [ET]
  • Prime Minister Sharif Approves Five New Boeing 777s for PIA [APP]
  • Commentary: State of Anarchy – “While the government still pins hopes on the talks making some headway, the TTP itself is broiled in bloody infighting that has killed dozens of militants.” [Zahid Hussain, Dawn]


Afghanistan — Security

  • Three American Doctors Killed in Hospital Shooting: An Afghan police officer working for the Afghan Public Protection Force opened fire at CURE International Hospital in Kabul on Thursday, killing three American doctors who were entering the facility. Their identities have not yet been released. The hospital, sponsored by a U.S. Christian nonprofit organization, primarily offers maternal and child healthcare. The gunman unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide by gunshot after the incident, but remains alive and has been arrested, Ministry of Interior officials report. Taliban spokesmen did not initially claim responsibility for the attack. [AP] [AJE] [TOLO] [Khaama Press]
  • Deputy Minister Rescued: The Interior Ministry reported that Afghan police rescued Deputy Minister of Public Works Ahmad Shah Waheed during an operation in Kapisa province on Tuesday evening, following an unsuccessful rescue operation in Kabul’s Deh Sabz earlier in the day. No further details have released about his health or the identity of his kidnappers.
  • Northern Militias Clash: The Afghan Ministry of Interior has dispatched around 100 Afghan National Civil Order Police to Faryab after the death of a local militia commander, Atta Mohammad, was killed by rivals, sparking violent clashes between two rival villages. Observers report a general trend towards rearmament by northern militia forces. Separately, the Post profiles Abdul Rashid Dostum, the prominent Uzbek commander and the vice presidential running mate for Ashraf Ghani; his spokesman denies any intent to rearm.


Afghanistan — Politics and Diplomacy

  • Vote Counting: The Electoral Complaints Commission announced on Wednesday that it had completed the initial round of provincial complaints investigations, resulting in the voiding of results from 74 polling centers. An ‘open investigations’ and appeals phase will begin after the announcement of preliminary results on Saturday. [TOLO]


Afghanistan — Remainders

  • Pentagon Dossier to Provide Congress with Information on Foreign Nationals Held at Bagram [Reuters]
  • Parliament Summons Central Bank Governor [TOLO]
  • Commentary: Hazaras Overturning All Expectations – “The tug-of-war over the Hazara vote for a potential second round has already started.” [Qayoom Suroush, AAN]
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