Daily brief: U.S. officials believe ISI ordered journalist killed
U.S. intelligence officials reportedly believe that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) ordered the killing in May of journalist Saleem Shahzad, after Shahzad investigated connections between the ISI and militants (NYT). Intelligence was gathered about the threat to Shahzad’s life before and after his disappearance, and an official said that, “Every indication is that this was a deliberate, targeted killing that was most likely meant to send shock waves through Pakistan’s journalist community and civil society.”
Carlotta Gall has an interview this weekend a disenchanted anonymous militant commander who said that Pakistan is still working a “broad range” of militant groups, providing planning assistance, training, and protection to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Harakat-ul-Mujahideen and others (NYT). The Tribune reports that TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud is increasingly isolated and losing his grip on the organization (ET, Reuters). And the L.A. Times notes the struggles of the Pakistani army to regain its legitimacy after several months of setbacks (LAT).
Supported by helicopters and air force jets, Pakistan’s army moved into Kurram agency on Monday, in order to clear militants from the area and open a road link to the besieged city of Parachinar (BBC, AP, WSJ, Reuters). A meeting of political parties on Monday in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) opposed the operation and called for political reform in the area, as more than 1,000 families are believed to have fled the current round of fighting (ET, Dawn, ET, Dawn). The Tribune looks closely at the Turis, a Shi’a tribe in Kurram who have fought Taliban incursions, and suffered the consequences, for the last three years (ET).