Pakistan-Afghanistan Update: Bombings and Gunmen Strike Kabul in Multiple Attacks; PTI Presses for Sharif Disqualification

Topline

  • At least 24 people have been killed and dozens injured in a double bombing outside Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry in Kabul on Monday; the dead include a Kabul police district commander and an army general. The attack, which was claimed by the Taliban, was followed later Monday evening by a car bombing outside the offices of CARE International in the Shar-e-Naw neighborhood; two gunmen holed up in the charity’s offices overnight but were eventually killed by Afghan security forces, and only six people were reported to have been wounded in that attack. Afghan security officials report they have retaken control of portions of the Janikhel district, and have resumed security convoys along the Helmand-Kandahar highway. The PTI has appealed the Supreme Court’s rejection of its petition seeking Prime Minister Sharif’s disqualification from office, and held a protest walkout from the national assembly on Monday after Speaker Ayaz Sadiq did not act on a parallel motion for Sharif’s disqualification. Pakistan’s military accused Indian forces of “unprovoked firing” across the Line of Control on Monday night. Pakistan international airlines missed its revenue target for the first six months of the year by 21%, and revenue dropped compared to the same period last year.

Pakistan – Security

  • Counterterrorism Response: Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf met with Punjab law officials on Monday to review prosecutions of terrorist suspects in the province. The senate held debate on Monday over the attack on the Quetta Civil Hospital, with senators from the MQM, PKMAP, and other parties criticizing a “failure of intelligence agencies”; no government ministers attended the session. [ET]
  • Border Firing: Pakistan’s military public relations arm accused Indian forces of “unprovoked firing” across the Line of Control around midnight on Monday; no casualties have been reported.
  • Karachi Crackdown: Karachi police announced the arrest on Monday of five suspects, who they said were “foreign-trained”, linked to multiple sectarian attacks against the Sunni Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. The group was accused of plotting additional attacks timed to Eid ul Azha. [ET]

Pakistan – Politics and Diplomacy

  • Opposition Protests and Other Political Activity: In a filing on Monday, PTI has appealed the Supreme Court registrar’s rejection of its petition seeking the disqualification from office of Prime Minister Sharif and his family members. In the National Assembly, PTI legislators staged a protest walkout after Speaker Ayaz Sadiq forwarded two petitions seeking Imran Khan’s disqualification to the Election Commission but did not act on parallel PTI petitions against Sharif. Imran Khan addressed a protest held by Pakistan Steel Mills workers in Karachi on Monday, saying that “your issues will not subside unless you take to the streets and pressurise the rulers to resolve them”. [ET] [ET] [ET]
  • MQM in Turmoil: Five more MQM party offices were demolished in Karachi on Monday as part of the ongoing crackdown against the party. Banners denouncing “traitors” to former party chief Altaf Hussain were hung near the Sindh High Court building on Monday, although the party’s London office denied involvement. In a resolution on Monday, the Karachi District Council condemned Hussain’s criticisms of Pakistan.

Pakistan – Economics and Development

  • NFC Award: Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah noted previous commitments by Finance Minister Dar to finance the National Finance Commission revenue-sharing formula by the end of this calendar year, saying “we hope that this agreement will be honoured”.
  • PIA Misses Revenue Targets: Pakistan International Airlines missed its revenue targets for the first six months of the year by 21%, officials told a senate committee in hearings on Monday. Revenue declined to Rs 43.19 billion, from Rs 46.15 billion during the same period last year. [ET]

Pakistan – Remainders

  • Indian Ambassador Calls for Increased Trust, Talks on All Issues [Dawn]
  • Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet’s Powers Clipped After Supreme Court Ruling [ET]
  • Belarus and Kazakhstan Back Pakistan’s Nuclear Suppliers Group Membership [Dawn]
  • Pakistan Navy Developing Maritime Doctrine [Dawn]
  • Energy Targets Set to Miss Deadlines [ET]

Afghanistan – Security

  • Kabul Attacks: A double bombing outside the Afghan Ministry of Defense on Monday afternoon killed at least 24 people and wounded as many as 90 more; fatalities reportedly included an army general, police colonel, and the deputy director of the elite VIP protection force. An Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed that a Kabul police district chief was among those killed, along with five police officers. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombings, one of which they said was planted and the other carried out by a suicide bomber; some accounts suggest both bombings were carried out by suicide attackers. Hours later, a third attack struck the Shar-e-Naw neighborhood, beginning with a car bombing and followed by an attack by at least two more gunmen on the offices of the charity CARE International. Police sources say they rescued 42 civilians, including 10 foreign nationals, after an 11-hour siege; around six people were wounded in that attack. CARE confirmed that its staff were safely evacuated; the Taliban have not claimed responsibility for that attack. [WSJ] [WAPO] [LAT] [AFP] [AJE] [TOLO] [TOLO] [TOLO] [TOLO]
  • Other Attacks and Operations: Security officials claim to have retaken control of portions of the Janikhel district on Monday, although a spokesman for the provincial governor said that operations were still underway. Helmand provincial officials reported that security convoys had resumed travel on the Helmand-Kandahar highway, but that it remains closed to civilian traffic for now. [Pajhwok]

Afghanistan – Economics and Development

Afghanistan – Remainders

  • Abdullah Vows Anti-Corruption Efforts [TOLO]
  • Ahmad Wali Massoud Calls on Supporters Not to Fire Off Weapons on Massoud Day [TOLO]
  • Commentary: Afghanistan’s National Unity Government Rift: Crisis Averted (For Now) – “Although the direct ‘crisis’ has been averted and the two leaders are expected to work with each other again, going forward, the fundamental issues remain: a deep disagreement over how the elections went, why the NUG came into being and what this means for the balance of power and legitimacy within the partnership – complicated by the (ebbing and waning) conviction that the other side is not acting in good faith.” [AAN Part 1] [AAN Part 2]
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s