Pakistan-Afghanistan Update: Modi Pledges Economic Aid During Ghani Visit; TTP and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar Claim Quetta Bombing

Topline

  • Pres. Ghani arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday for a two-day visit; in a joint statement, Prime Minister Modi announced an additional $1 billion in economic assistance, and both leaders “expressed grave concern at continued use of terrorism and violence in the region for achieving political objectives”. Both the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar issued separate claims of responsibility for a bombing in Quetta on Tuesday that killed two police officers and wounded ten people. Police continue to investigate the suicide bombing attacks in Shikarpur on Monday, with one attacker under investigation. A spokesman for Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin told TOLO on Tuesday that earlier complaints from Chief Executive Abdullah regarding a peace agreement between HIG and the government had been resolved, and that Abdullah would make an announcement regarding the deal after Eid holidays. The news is otherwise limited given the holidays in both countries.

Pakistan – Security

  • Quetta Bombing: Two police officers were killed and at least ten people wounded in a bombing near a police training center in Quetta on Tuesday; both the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar splinter group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, which officials say was remotely-detonated.
  • Shikarpur Bombing: Police in Shikarpur are reported to have arrested nearly two dozen people in connection to Monday’s bombing of a Shia mosque and Eid prayer ground; one of the surviving attackers, reported to originally be a resident of Swat and a student at a Karachi seminary, has been transferred to the Sindh Counter-terrorism Department for questioning.

Afghanistan – Security

  • Attacks and Operations: Pres. Ghani attended the funeral for Nangarhar provincial police chief Brig. Gen. Zorawar Zahid on Tuesday, saying that “we are mourning the demise of a martyred hero, but they must know that thousands of other heros will emerge from each drop of blood of each hero”. A magnetic mine placed on a police vehicle in Kabul killed one police officer and injured another on Wednesday morning; no claim of responsibility has been reported. [TOLO] [TOLO]

Afghanistan – Politics and Diplomacy

  • Ghani Visits India: Pres. Ghani arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday, meeting with Prime Minister Modi; in their talks and in a joint statement afterwards, the two leaders “expressed grave concern at continued use of terrorism and violence in the region for achieving political objectives” and “agreed that this phenomenon presented the single biggest threat to peace, stability and progress in the region”. Although Ghani is reported to be seeking additional Indian military assistance, the joint statement did not provide details beyond a “resolve to counter terrorism and strengthen security and defence cooperation“. Prime Minister Modi pledged an additional $1 billion in economic assistance, but the timelines or mechanisms for disbursal of that aid were not specified. The two countries also signed an extradition treaty, and prior to Ghani’s trip, the Indian embassy in Afghanistan announced 1,000 scholarships for Afghan students to study in India during the 2017-18 academic year. [Khaama Press] [TOLO]
  • Hezb-e-Islami Talks: On Tuesday, a spokesman for Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin said that Chief Executive Abdullah had earlier objected to unspecified portions of a peace agreement between HIG and the government, but claimed that “the disputed topics have been resolved” and that Abdullah would make an announcement after the Eid holidays.

Afghanistan – Remainders

  • Lawyers Union Criticizes Unity Government for Failing to Implement Reforms [TOLO]
  • Archaeologists Map Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage [AFP]
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