- In a Reuters interview, former Pres. Karzai criticized new U.S. rules of engagement enacted in June, and the use of U.S. airpower in Afghanistan that the Afghan government has sought. Karzai also called for a Loya Jirga to be held to “give the country a voice”, but said he was not seeking to end the national unity government’s term in office before five years. India and Pakistan traded criticisms over Kashmir and Balochistan in the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday. Pres. Ghani continued a visit in India, meeting Pres. Mukherjee on Wednesday evening. MQM leader Farooq Sattar was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday following a car accident on Sunday. SIGAR released a ‘Lessons Learned’ study on corruption and conflict in Afghanistan, concluding that the surge of U.S. funds and lack of oversight or will to hold politically powerful figures accountable helped fuel corruption in the country. The news is otherwise limited as both countries continue to celebrate Eid.
Pakistan – Politics and Diplomacy
- Tensions with India: During debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Ambassador Tehmina Janjua welcomed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ criticism of India’s crackdown in Kashmir, calling for the UN to conduct an independent investigation of the situation. India countered with criticism of Pakistani human rights violations in Balochistan. Separately, Pakistan’s foreign ministry confirmed that it had denied an Indian request to transport wheat to Afghanistan through Pakistani land routes. [ET]
- MQM Leader Discharged from Hospital: MQM leader Farooq Sattar was discharged from a Karachi hospital on Wednesday after surviving a car crash on Sunday; Sattar told reporters after his release “to not look for conspiracy theories into this incident and only consider it as a mishap”. [Dawn]
Pakistan – Remainders
- Six Killed, More Than a 150 Injured in Multan Train Collision [Reuters] [AP] [AFP]
- Commentary: ‘We Search, We Find, We Kill’: Inside Karachi’s Gangland Purge – “While the operation has re-imposed a modicum of order, the question haunting Karachi is how long this relative peace can last.” [Taimur Khan, World Policy Journal]
Afghanistan – Security
- Attacks and Operations: Samar, a former jihadi commander, was killed in a Taliban ambush in the Baghlan-e-Markazi district on Wednesday; four other members of his family were also killed in the attack. Two children survived with injuries. No claim of responsibility has been reported, although the district police chief blamed the Taliban.
Afghanistan – Politics and Diplomacy
- Karzai Criticizes US Combat Authorities, Calls for Loya Jirga: In a Reuters interview, former Pres. Karzai criticized changes to U.S. rules of engagement in Afghanistan made in June, saying they were a violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty and that “we must remain the owners of this house, the United States of America, a guest”. U.S. officials say the measures were agreed to in conjunction with the Afghan government, which has sought greater U.S. airpower assistance. Karzai also insisted that he wanted the national unity government to complete a full five year term, but said that “the country needs a voice, the country needs to regain its confidence” and for this, a loya Jirga should be called. [TOLO]
- Ghani in India: On Wednesday evening, Pres. Ghani met with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, following earlier meetings with Prime Minister Modi. Mukherjee pledged that “India as a good friend always will be on the side of Afghanistan.” Separately, during quarterly UN Security Council debate on the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday, India’s deputy permanent ambassador raised questions as to why the Taliban’s leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada was not listed on the UN sanctions list. [TOLO]
Afghanistan – Remainders
- Report: Corruption in Conflict: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan – “The United States contributed to the growth of corruption by injecting tens of billions of dollars into the Afghan economy, using flawed oversight and contracting practices, and partnering with malign powerbrokers.” [SIGAR (pdf)] [AP]
- Report: Quarterly Secretary General’s Report on Afghanistan to the UN Security Council – “Increased tensions between the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, and the Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, persistent security challenges and rising pressure from political opposition groups contributed to growing volatility.” [UN Security Council] [TOLO]
- Commentary: Forging an Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan – “We should plan for a long-term American—and coalition—role in the country that avoids the recent pattern of nearly annual reassessments of whether the United States should stay, militarily and as a major donor.” [Group of former Ambassadors and Military Commanders, The National Interest]