January 19, 2024

Politics: PTI Out of Electoral Race as Party; PTI-EstablishmentTussle Intensifying

The country continued to witness ongoing bloodshed during the week, marked by 16
militant attacks resulting in 11 fatalities and 20 injuries. The attacks encompassed a variety of
methods, including physical assaults, targeted killings, IED explosions, grenade attacks, and a
suicide bombing. In response, security forces conducted six actions, leading to the death of six
militants and the apprehension of two.
In the political arena, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) faced a setback as the Supreme
Court upheld the decision to strip the party of its iconic poll symbol, the ‘bat.’ This decision,
criticized for its political implications, prompted PTI to launch a media campaign against Chief
Justice Faiz Isa. Simultaneously, the caretaker government formed a joint investigation team to
probe a social media campaign against Supreme Court judges. Further complicating PTI’s
situation, the Lahore High Court upheld the rejection of Imran Khan’s nomination papers for two
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) experienced significant divisions. Former TTP
spokesperson Asad Mansoor accused Nooruli Mehsud of collaborating with the ISI and
orchestrating the killing of Umar Khalid Khorasani. These internal strife and power struggles
within TTP could potentially lead to further fragmentation. Additionally, TTP announced new
appointments for Southern Punjab and Karachi. Hafiz Gul Bahadur’s group indirectly confirmed
the death of a key commander, Muhammad Yasir.
Tensions between Pakistan and Iran witnessed following an Iranian strike within Pakistani
territory. Pakistan condemned the violation of its airspace, leading to the downgrading of
diplomatic relations and reciprocal strikes at terrorist hideouts in Iran. Regional players, including
China, Russia, and Turkey, intervened to mediate tensions. A National Security Committee
meeting was summoned, indicating the possibility of sustained tensions.
The visit of JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazal ur Rehman to Afghanistan so far did not bring about
any qualitative change in bilateral relations.

To access the complete security assessment report
(12 – 18 Jan 2024)

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