Pakistan-Afghanistan Update: Kashmir Border Clashes Escalate; SIGAR Investigating LOTFA Oversight

Topline

  • News coverage remains light as the Eid holidays continue. Border clashes continued with India on Tuesday and Wednesday, with at least twelve civilians reportedly killed and fourteen injured; more than 20,000 civilians on the Indian side of the border are reported to have fled their homes. A second Predator strike was reported on Tuesday, the fourth in three days; it reportedly killed three unidentified militant suspects in North Waziristan’s Datta Khel area. The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction has accused the UN Development Program of failing to exercise effective oversight over the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, which supports Afghan police salaries. Two people were killed in a bombing targeting Mohmand polio vaccination workers. Kabul Bank investigations will be reopened in an appellate court by Thursday, Afghan attorney general’s office officials say.

Pakistan — Security

  • Border Clashes with India: Cross-border artillery fire continued between India and Pakistan along the Kashmir border on Tuesday, leaving at least three civilians dead and another three injured. On Wednesday, as many as nine people were reported to have been killed on the Pakistani side of the border; Indian officials report at least eleven people, including three soldiers, were injured in the exchange. More than 20,000 residents are reported to have fled the area on the Indian side. In a statement on Tuesday, Pakistani Foreign Advisor Sartaj Aziz called on India to “immediately cease fire and shelling and help us preserve tranquility.”
  • Predator Strikes: Dawn reports that a second Predator drone strike took place on Tuesday in North Waziristan’s Datta Khel region, the fourth strike in the past three days; three unidentified militant suspects were reported to have been killed and five injured.

Pakistan — Economics and Development

  • Polio Crisis: A bomb planted in front of the home of a polio vaccination worker in the Safi tehsil of the Mohmand Agency killed two people and wounded one on Wednesday; no claim of responsibility was reported. Health officials in Karachi have established increased checkpoints to screen entrants to the city for polio vaccinations, particularly those from the northwest; checks on rail passengers are still awaiting federal ministry approval. [ET] [WAPO]

Afghanistan — Security

  • SIGAR Investigates LOTFA Mismanagement Charges: In a series of letters released on Monday, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction accused the UN Development Program of failing to exercise oversight over the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, which is primarily used to pay Afghan national police salaries. SIGAR is investigating charges that Afghan interior ministry may have diverted as much as $200 million from the fund over the past ten years; a separate Pentagon Inspector General report found that the interior ministry could not account for $27 million in pension deductions in 2013, and the UNDP said its own investigations had turned up $38 million in irregularities. SIGAR challenged a UNDP response that it lacked a mandate to investigate the interior ministry’s pension deductions policy; in a statement on Monday, the UNDP said it was working to strengthen oversight of the trust fund. [Khaama Press] [TOLO] [SIGAR Letter] [SIGAR Letter 2] [UNDP response]

Afghanistan — Politics and Diplomacy

  • Kabul Bank Investigations: Following Pres. Ghani’s executive orders, the Attorney General’s office will re-submit the Kabul Bank case to an appellate court within two days, and is working to arrest those charged with corruption within the next fifteen days, officials there said Tuesday.

Afghanistan — Remainders

  • Helmand Suicide Attack Targeting Former District Police Chief Kills Four [TOLO]
  • Five Paghman Gang Rapists Executed Despite Calls for Stay [Khaama Press] [Khaama Press] [WSJ] [Guardian] [BBC]
  • Kabul Provincial Councilors Complain of Delayed Election Results [TOLO]
  • Commentary: To Syria, Not Afghanistan: Central Asian Jihadists Neglect Their Neighbor – “Afghanistan will very likely continue to be an insurgency supported overwhelmingly by Afghans and Pakistanis, not by foreign jihadis from further abroad in any significant number – especially not from Central Asia.” [Christian Bleuer, AAN]
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