Pakistan Security Brief - January 7, 2013

U.S. drone strikes kill 17 in South Waziristan including top TTP commander; Pakistan, India trade fire in Kashmir; Thousands of tribesmen protest killing of Maulvi Nazir by drone; Chief of General Staff retires from army; Afghan forces mortar North Waziristan; Two shot dead in North Waziristan; Kashmiri militant says jihad only way for Kashmiri freedom; LeI militant arrested in Nowshera; Three killed in Bannu explosions; LeI birthplace blown up; Head of JI-run charity killed in Charsadda; Police in northwest withdrawn from anti-Taliban leaders’ homes; IED targets NGO chief’s home in Swabi; Several dead in violence across northwest Pakistan; 2012 most violent year on record for Karachi; Several killed in Karachi violence, bomb blasts; Supreme Court rules Reko Diq mining lease illegal; Political parties consider TTP offer for dialogue; Court disposes of contempt case against MQM chief after apology; Tahirul Qadri plans to continue long march despite alleged TTP threats; DPC postpones long march; 100,000 tons of wheat to be shipped to Iran.

Drone Strikes on Top Militant Commanders

  • Three separate U.S. drone strikes in Babar Gargh village in the Shaktoi area of Ladha sub-district in South Waziristan agency killed up to 17 militants on Sunday. The strikes reportedly hit three separate compounds near the border with North Waziristan belonging to Qari Imran, a militant affiliated with North Waziristan Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur. Among the dead is senior Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander Wali Muhammad alias Mullah Toofan Mehsud. Mullah Toofan, a cousin of TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud and the head of the TTP’s suicide bomber wing, was also allegedly killed in the strike. Most of the dead were reportedly “Punjabi Taliban” militants. Pakistani intelligence officials are concerned that the strike took place in an area where numerous people kidnapped by the TTP are reportedly being held. The Pakistani government on Friday denounced drone strikes on its territory, calling them illegal and counter-productive.[1]

  • Thousands of tribesmen in South Waziristan marched on Saturday to protest the death of South Waziristan Taliban commander Maulvi Nazir in a recent drone strike. Protestors hoisted black flags and marched to Azam Warsak near Wana, South Waziristan. The protestors mainly belonged to the Ahmedzai Wazir, Sulemankhel and Dottani tribes, and demanded the government and international community take notice of the killing of innocent people in Pakistan. Markets in Wana, Dwatoi khula and Shakai remained closed to mark the occasion. [2]

Cross-Border Clashes

  • The Pakistani military claims it repulsed an unprovoked Indian attack on one of its outposts in Sawan Patra in Hajipir sector of the disputed region of Kashmir. One Pakistani soldier was killed and another wounded in the clash that took place on Sunday. Indian military spokesmen claim Indian forces never crossed the border and were responding to “unprovoked Pakistani shelling across the Line of Control that destroyed a civilian house” in Uri district. One Indian official called Pakistan’s firing “clearly an attempt on [Pakistan’s] part to facilitate infiltration of militants.” Pakistan’s government lodged an official protest over the incident with India on Monday.[3]

  • According to “official sources” in Pakistan, 25 mortar shells fired from Afghanistan landed in North Waziristan agency on Friday. The sources claim Afghan security forces in Tarkhobi, Khost fired on Pakistani border villages in the Ghulam Khan area indiscriminately.[4]

Militancy across Pakistan

  • Two people were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Dandey Darpa Khel, a village three kilometers west of Miram Shah, in North Waziristan agency on Friday. The gunmen managed to escape.[5]

  • Syed Salahuddin, the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen and chairman of the United Jihad Council, a militant umbrella group in Indian-administered Kashmir, said on Saturday during a rally in Muzaffarabad that jihad was the only way to free Kashmir from Indian control. Salahuddin stated that “ongoing Pakistan-India talks and confidence-building measures on trade and travel were a bane for Kashmiris” because these were sidelining the Kashmir dispute and that the talks were going “exactly in line with India’s strategy and [could] affect the affiliation of Kashmiris to Pakistan.”[6]

  • A policeman was killed and his body found in Shiekh Killay near Peshawar.[7] A government school was destroyed in an IED attack in Mashokhel village, Badaber near Peshawar on Thursday.[8]

  • Police arrested Abdul Haq, a militant commander affiliated with Lashkar-e-Islam, during a search operation in the Jalozai refugee camp in Nowshera on Friday.[9]

  • Three people were wounded when several explosions occurred near the home of a tribesman in Miryan, Bannu district on Friday. Another house was damaged in an explosion in Kengar village.[10]

  • An attack by militants on a checkpost in Matani near Peshawar on Friday was repulsed by security forces. Also on Friday, a bomb blast in Gula Khan Zangal, Badaber near Peshawar killed two young men.[11]

  • Security forces arrested 16 suspects during a search operation in the Ghundi area of Jamrud sub-district, Khyber agency on Saturday. Six people were killed in Dargai, Jamrud sub-district when unknown militants ambushed a car. A local tribal elder was among the dead.[12]

  • Unknown militants blew up a mosque in Malik Din Khel, Bara sub-district, Khyber agency on Friday. The mosque was reportedly the place where Khyber-based militant group Lashkar-e-Islam was formed eight years ago.[13]

  • One man was killed and three others wounded in an IED blast on the road between Manduri Killay and Baggan in Lower Kurram on Saturday.[14]

  • The provincial head of a charity run by the Jamaat-e-Islami was killed by unknown gunmen along with his driver in the Utmanzai area of Charsadda district on Saturday.[15]

  • Armed militants killed four people including one Frontier Corps soldier when they attacked a passenger train in the Mach area of Bolan district on Saturday.[16]

  • A local leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and three other people were killed when they were caught in the crossfire of a shootout between two rival groups in Dara Zinda area of Frontier Region Dera Ismail Khan on Saturday.[17]

  • Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets struck militant hideouts in the Mamuzai area of Orakzai agency, killing eight suspected militants and injuring one more on Sunday.[18]

  • An IED targeted the house of an official of a non-governmental organization in Razar sub-district of Swabi district on Sunday. There were no casualties.[19]

  • A roadside IED near the Albo security checkpost in Khwezai sub-district, Mohmand agency killed two security personnel and injured one other on Monday.[20]

  • Police in northwest Pakistan have withdrawn men deputed to guard the homes of anti-Taliban militia chiefs in Badaber, Peshawar, saying the deployments were an inefficient use of resources. The militia leaders have appealed to the Peshawar High Court to stop the move, saying they have lost many men and relatives at the hands of militants and the removal of police guards leaves them vulnerable to attack.[21]

Militancy in Karachi

  • According to a report by AFP, the year 2012 was the deadliest on record for Karachi in two decades, with over 2,000 people killed in “violence linked to ethnic and political tensions. According to the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, 2,124 people were killed this year, the most since record keeping began some twenty years ago. The level of violence, often related to strife between the city’s main ethno-political parties, has raised fears for elections due later this year.[22]

  • Twelve people were killed in various violent incidents in Karachi on Friday. Two people were killed and one injured in Essa Nagiri. A dead body was recovered on M. A. Jinnah road. A man was killed by unknown gunmen near the Samama shopping center. A man was shot dead in Korangi and a police officer was shot and killed in Gulbahar. Two people were killed in shootings on Mauripur road and in Baldia Twon respectively.[23]

  • A remote-controlled IED destroyed three shops in Karachi’s SITE area on Saturday, one of which belonged to a local political leader. Another IED went off outside the office of a political leader in Orangi Town. A hand grenade was thrown at a police vehicle in Mawaach goth, Baldia Town, injuring two officers. Elsewhere, two political activists were found shot to death in Bilal Colony, New Karachi, a man was killed in Malir Cantonment’s Northern Bypass area and man was shot and wounded in Kharadar.[24]

  • Two activists of the Sunni Tehrik (ST) were among nine others killed in Karachi on Sunday. The ST men were shot dead in New Karachi. Another man was shot dead in Gulshan-e-Iqbal block 13-D. Two people were killed in Bilal Colony, Korangi. One person was killed in the Sakhi Hassan area and another was killed in Walika, Banaras. Two young men were also found shot dead in Karachi’s Faisal Colony and Lyari.[25]

  • Police on Monday defused a home-made bomb in the Khwaja Ajmer Nagri area of Karachi on Monday. In violence in other parts of the city, a father and his daughter were shot dead while two others were injured in the Aisha Manzil area. A man was shot dead in Chanesar Goth; a body was found in Orangi Town; a truck driver was shot dead in Surjani; a man was shot dead in Sachal Goth and Rangers arrested two suspects in Lyari.[26]

Domestic Issues

  • During a Pakistan Army Corps Commanders Conference held on Friday, the army’s top brass undertook a “comprehensive review” of its strategy in the war on terror and “routine professional matters,” according to an army press release. The conference was the last to be attended by Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Waheed Arshad who retired from the army on Sunday.[27]

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the lease granted to the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to exploit gold- and copper-rich mines in Balchostan’s Reko Diz area was “illegal.” A detailed verdict will be announced at a later date.[28]

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday accepted an unconditional apology from Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain and disposed of the contempt notice against him. Hussain was due to appear in court on Monday for making allegedly contemptuous comments but had filed for an exception from appearing.[29]

  • JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday welcomed a recent TTP offer for dialogue, saying the best forum for talks with the group would be through a local Jirga. He advised the government to find a political solution to the conflict by holding “serious talks” with the Taliban. The Awami National Party on Monday decided to convene an all parties conference to deliberate the Taliban’s recent offer for dialogue.[30]

  • Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday that the TTP planned to launch terror attacks on Pakistani cleric Tahirul Qadri’s long march to Islamabad and Lahore on January 14. Malik claimed the threat was based on intercepted conversations of TTP leaders and was confirmed in statements by the TTP’s spokesman. Qadri said on Sunday he intended to go ahead with the march that he claims will draw over two million participants. He warned the government against trying to impede the march.[31]

  • Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, the leader of extremist group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat and a member of the right-wing umbrella group Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), stated on Sunday that the DPC had postponed a long march announced on Friday and due to run from January 11 to January 18 from Karachi to Islamabad. A new date has not yet been announced.[32] 

Pak-Iranian Relations

  • Pakistan is to ship 100,000 tons of wheat to Iran by the end of January or early February, according to a Pakistani grain exporting group. The amount is one-tenth the original tender agreed on by the two nations in August 2012. A director at the Pakistani grain exporter said “it seems the (Iranian) government doesn’t have the money” for the full shipment of 1 million tons at the moment. Pakistan is to receive iron ore and fertilizer in exchange.[33]


[1] Irfan Burki and Mushtaq Yusufzai, “17 killed in three drone attacks,” The News, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20057-17-killed-in-three-drone-attacks
Zahir Shah SHerazi, “Drone strikes in Waziristan tribal region kill 17,” Dawn, January 6, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/06/drone-strikes-in-waziristan-tribal-region-kill-12/
Saud Mehsud, “U.S. drone attack kills 10 in Pakistan: intelligence sources,” Reuters, January 6, 2013. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/06/us-pakistan-drones-idUSBRE90502820130106?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
“FO condemns drone attacks in Waziristan,” Dawn, January 4, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/05/fo-condemns-drone-attacks-in-waziristan/
[2] “Thousands protest killing of Maulvi Nazeer, associates,” The News, January 6, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20054-Thousands-protest-killing-of-Maulvi-Nazeer,-associates
[3] Declan Walsh, “Kashmir Clash With Soldiers From India Kills Pakistani,” New York Times, January 6, 2013. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/world/asia/pakistani-soldier-killed-in-shooting-in-kashmir.html?_r=1& 
“India and Pakistan in Kashmir border skirmish,” BBC, January 6, 2013. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20924816
“Pakistan lodges protest over ‘unprovoked’ India attack,” Dawn, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/07/pakistan-lodges-protest-over-unprovoked-india-attack/
[4] “Mortar shells fired from Afghanistan land in NWA,” The News, January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-152631-Mortar-shells-fired-from-Afghanistan-land-in-NWA
[5] “Mortar shells fired from Afghanistan land in NWA,” The News, January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-152631-Mortar-shells-fired-from-Afghanistan-land-in-NWA
[6] “Jihad can resolve Kashmir Issue,” Dawn, January 5, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/06/jihad-can-resolve-kashmir-issue/
[7] “Another policeman found dead,” The News, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-152903-Another-policeman-found-dead
[8] “School blown up in Peshawar village,” The News, January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-152632-School-blown-up-in-Peshawar-village
[9] “Militan commander held in Nowshera,” The News¸ January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-152644-Militant-commander-held-in-Nowshera
[10] “Three injured in Bannu blast,” The News, January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-152633-Three-injured-in-Bannu-blast
[11] Javed Aziz Khan, “Two killed in Peshawar blast Attack by militants repulsed,” The News, January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20028-Two-killed-in-Peshawar-blast-Attack-by-militants-repulsed
[12] “16 suspects arrested during operation in Khyber Agency,” Geo TV, January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82533
“Woman among six killed in Jamrud ambush,” The News, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20069-Woman-among-six-killed-in-Jamrud-ambush
[13] “Lashkar-i-Islam’s birthplace in Bara blown up,” Dawn, January 5, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/06/lashkar-i-islams-birthplace-in-bara-blown-up-2/
[14] “Iqbal Hussain, “Man killed in Kurram IED blast,” The News, January 6, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-152759-Man-killed-in-Kurram-IED-blast
[15] “JI charity worker gunned down in Charsadda,” Dawn, January 5, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/05/ji-charity-worker-gunned-down-in-charsadda/
[16] “Militants attack train in Bolan, FC official among four killed,” Dawn, January 5, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/05/militants-attack-train-in-bolan-four-passengers-killed/
[17] “JI charity worker gunned down in Charsadda,” Dawn, January 5, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/05/ji-charity-worker-gunned-down-in-charsadda/
[18] “Suspected militant hideouts blitzed in Orakzai tribal region,” Dawn, January 6, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/06/suspected-militant-hideouts-blitzed-in-orakzai-tribal-region/
[19] “Bomb goes off near NGO official’s residence,” The News, January 6, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-152922-Bomb-goes-off-near-NGO-officials-residence
[20] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Blast kills two security personnel in Mohmand agency,” Dawn, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/07/blast-kills-two-security-personnel-in-mohmand-agency/
[21] Ali HAzrat Bacha, “Guards withdrawn from anti-Taliban lashkar chiefs in Peshawar,” Dawn, January 5, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/06/guards-withdrawn-from-anti-taliban-lashkar-chiefs-in-peshawar-2/
[22] “2012 deadliest year in Karachi in two decades,” AFP, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82755
[23] “Violence claims twelve lives in Karachi,” Dawn, January 4, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/05/violence-claims-twelve-lives-in-karachi/
[24] “Blast destroys three shops in Karachi’s SITE area,” Dawn, January 5, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/05/blast-destroys-three-shops-in-karachis-site-area/
“Karachi violence claims four lives,” Dawn, January 5, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/05/karachi-violence-claims-two-lives/
“Multiple explosions rock Karachi,” Geo TV, January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82525
[25] “Two ST members among 7 killed in Karachi,” Geo TV, January 6, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82621
“Two found shot dead,” Dawn, January 6, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/07/two-found-shot-dead-5/
[26] “Bomb defused in Karachi’s Khwaja Ajmer Nagri,” Dawn, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/07/bomb-defused-in-karachis-khawaja-ajmer-nagri/
[27] “Corps commanders finalise trerror war strategy,” The News, January 5, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20013-Corps-commanders-finalise-terror-war-strategy
[28] “SC terms Reko Diq mining lease ‘illegal,’” Express Tribune, January 7, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/490506/sc-terms-reko-diq-mining-lease-illegal/
[29] “SC discharges contempt notice against MQM chief,” Dawn, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/07/altaf-hussain-contempt-case-supreme-court-hearing-today/
[30] “Fazlur Rehman welcomes TTP’s dialogue offer,” Express Tribune, January 7, 2013. Available at http://tribune.com.pk/story/490511/fazlur-rehman-welcomes-ttps-dialogue-offer/
“ANP decides to convene APC to end terrorism,” Geo TV, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=82820
[31] Shakeel Anjum, “TTP Planning attacks on Qadri’s rally: Rehman Malik,” The News, January 6, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20040-TTP-planning-attacks-on-Qadris-rally:-Rehman-Malik
“Qadri warns of 2m march each in Lahore, Islamabad,” The News, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20063-Qadri-warns-of-2m-march-each-in-Lahore,-Islamabad
[32] “DPC postpones long march,” The News, January 7, 2013. Available at http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20067-DPC-postpones-long-march
[33] “Pakistan to ship 100,000 tons of wheat to Iran by early Feb,” Reuters, January 7, 2013. Available at http://dawn.com/2013/01/06/pakistan-to-ship-100000-tons-of-wheat-to-iran-by-early-feb/