Pakistan-Afghanistan Update: U.S. General Killed in Training Center Shooting; PML-N Seeks Support Ahead of Rallies

Topline

  • The PML-N government continues to seek support from other parties as the PTI prepares for its protest movement on Islamabad next week. The government served legal notices against Tahirul Qadri of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek on Wednesday, charging him with inciting violence and tax evasion. A U.S. two-star general, the deputy commander in charge of the training mission for Afghan national security forces, was killed when an Afghan soldier opened fire at a training facility in Kabul on Tuesday. The Afghan election audit proceeds slowly, but IEC officials maintain that the process will be completed within twenty days. A Predator drone strike killed at least five suspected militants in North Waziristan on Wednesday.

Pakistan — Security

  • Predator Strike: At least five militants, several of whom were reported to be foreigners, were killed in a Predator drone strike in the Datta Khel area on Wednesday. No further details on the targets have been reported. [Dawn]
  • Indian Border Security Force Soldier Detained: On Wednesday, Pakistani security forces detained an Indian Border Security Force soldier who is alleged to have crossed the Line of Control into the Bajwat sector near Sialkot. The soldier, who has not been publicly identified, is now said to be under interrogation. [Dawn]

Pakistan — Politics and Diplomacy

  • PTI Protests: At a Tuesday press conference, Imran Khan pledged to “reveal exactly how the elections were rigged and by whom” at next week’s planned demonstrations. Khan demanded new elections, and the resignation of current election commission members. The same day, Prime Minister Sharif held meetings with opposition leaders from the PPP, JUI-F, Quami Watan Party, and others, as the government seeks to shore up support. In parliamentary sessions the same day, top government ministers urged the PTI “to postpone the march and not to adopt the mind-set of Dr Tahirul Qadri”. Following separate phone discussions with Prime Minister Sharif, former Pres. Zardari spoke by phone with Imran Khan and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Sirajul Haq; on Wednesday, PPP opposition leader Khurshid Shah and Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq met, pledging afterwards to work to “alleviate the situation” and mediate between the government and the PTI. Sharif is also reportedly reaching out to the MQM for meetings on Thursday. Meanwhile, Dawn reports that Rawalpindi police are preparing lists of senior PTI activists to arrest in order to forestall the party’s march on Islamabad. [ET] [Dawn]
  • Charges Brought Against Qadri: Meanwhile, the government has taken a harder line against Tahirul Qadri; on Wednesday, the Punjab government filed a police complaint against Qadri on charges of inciting violence in Lahore. Also on Wednesday, the Federal Board of Revenue has sent notice to Qadri of Rs 350 million in unpaid income taxes, warning that his accounts and those of his Minhajul Quran International organization would be frozen if he failed to pay the dues. Speaking to supporters on Tuesday, Qadri alleged that the government was harassing drivers and the public transportation sector in order to deter participation in his August 10 “Martyr’s Day” rally. Qadri is reportedly meeting with Imran Khan on Wednesday. [Dawn] [Dawn] [Dawn]

Pakistan — Remainders

  • Power Tariff Increase Frozen [ET]
  • Three Killed in Clashes Between Rival Militant Groups in Tirah Valley [Dawn]
  • Finance Minister Dar Nominated to Head Electoral Reform Committee [Dawn] [ET]
  • Prime Minister Sharif Meets with Visiting Secretary General of the OIC [Dawn]
  • Auditor General Boycotts Public Accounts Committee [ET]
  • Sindh Government Divides Karachi Into Three ‘Zones’ [ET]
  • Treason Court Declines Musharraf Appeal to Shift Trial to Karachi [ET]

Afghanistan — Security

  • Two-Star General Killed in Insider Attack: An Afghan soldier opened fire on ISAF and Afghan army personnel at the Afghan army officer’s training school on Tuesday, killing Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, who served as the deputy commander for ISAF’s Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. He is the highest-ranking U.S. officer to die in Afghanistan since the U.S. intervention began in 2001. A visiting German general and Gen. Ghulam Sakhi, the Afghan commander in charge of the facility, were also wounded along with as many as fifteen others. Preliminary investigations suggest that the shooting was not premeditated; the gunman, identified as Rafiqullah, a Paktika native who had served two to three years in the army, was killed. Pres. Karzai issued a statement condemning the incident. [Reuters] [BBC] [Guardian] [AJE] [TOLO]
  • Uruzgan Insider Attack: In a separate incident on Tuesday evening, an Afghan policeman killed seven colleagues at a checkpost in the capital of Tirin Kot. The gunman fled the area. [TOLO]
  • Border Tensions with Pakistan: Kunar provincial officials report continued cross-border artillery fire by Pakistani forces into the province, although no casualties were reported. Speaking to the press on Monday, Pakistani foreign advisor Sartaj Aziz demanded that Afghanistan take action to capture and hand over Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Maulana Fazlullah.

Afghanistan — Politics and Diplomacy

Afghanistan — Remainders

  • Concerns Over Declining National Revenue [TOLO]
  • Karzai Condemns Reported Civilian Casualties in NATO Airstrike in Herat [TOLO]
  • Commentary: Stabilizing Provincial Afghanistan: How to Get it Right – “As the local-level foreign official presence phases out of more volatile and remote areas, how should donor assistance strategies adjust?” [Frances Brown, South Asia Channel]
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