Pakistan Security Brief

Afghan-Pakistani joint peace commission to be upgraded; Associated Press: U.S.-Pakistani relationship built around narrow security issues; New York Times: suspicion overwhelming U.S.-Pakistan relationship; Clinton credits Holbrooke with improvements in bilateral ties; Two FC officers killed in Kurram; Military operations in Mohmand in last phase; Three militants and security officer killed in SWA; Displaced tribesmen in Tank to return home; Power pylon damaged in Mohmand; Primary school blown up in Naushera; 5,000 Baloch youth to join army; AI leader argues Mangal Bagh has escaped to Afghanistan; NATO supply line to be blocked; One million Pakistanis remain in refugee camps; European Parliament criticizes fight on militancy.


Joint Peace Commission to be Upgraded

  • During a visit to Kabul by Prime Minister Gilani, spy chief Lieutenant General Pasha, and army chief General Kayani, Afghan president Karzai and Gilani announced plans to upgrade a joint peace commission originally established in January. The commission is meant to “carry forward the reconciliation process after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.” Pakistan’s prime minister, army chief, and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency chief are set to represent Pakistan on the peace commission. The News reports that in talks between the two counterparts over the weekend, issues of terrorism security were discussed. Gilani also stated that Pakistan welcomed consultations with the United States on security issues at hand. The media outlet additionally stated that “Gilani told President Karzai that Pakistan intended to work with Afghanistan on three tracks, the military, and intelligence and political, besides pursuing the development roadmap. He also said that recently the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan had undergone a ‘sea change,’ and termed it a ‘bilateral process.’”[i]

U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • The Associated Press reports on the current state of U.S. and Pakistani relations, arguing that the relationship has been narrowly built around “high-stakes security issues and the bonds between the CIA and Pakistan's spy agency.” Washington has therefore become frustrated due to a lack of “progress on clearing militant strongholds on the Afghan-Pakistan border and a souring relationship that included threats this month to limit CIA drone strikes and require Pakistani clearance for Washington spy operations.” Meanwhile, the New York Times analyzes the level of mistrust between the two countries.  The media outlet reports,With the Afghan endgame looming, suspicion is overwhelming faint cooperation between the United States and Pakistan, as each side seeks to secure its interests, increase its leverage to obtain them, and even cut out the other if need be.”[ii]
  • In a speech at the American Academy in Berlin, Secretary Clinton credited the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke with “setting the troubled US ties with Pakistan and Afghanistan on the right track as special envoy to the countries.” She also encouraged dialogue with the Taliban, stating, “Those who found negotiations with the Taliban distasteful got a very powerful response from Richard – diplomacy would be easy if we only had to talk to our friends. And negotiating with your adversaries wasn’t a disservice to people who had died, if by talking you could prevent more violence.”[iii]


  • Two Frontier Corps officers were killed during an attack by insurgents on a security post in Kurram Agency on Friday. A militant was killed in retaliatory fire by security forces.[iv]
  • Colonel Ijaz of the Frontier Corps has announced that military operations in Mohmand Agency are in their last phase. He additionally told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that 367 operations have been carried out in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) since 2002, resulting in the deaths of almost 2,500 militants. Meanwhile, sources report that at least 1,600 families have sought refuge at Kashmir Kor Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp to escape the current military operation in Mohmand Agency.[v]
  • Three militants and a security officer were killed in aclash in South Waziristan on Saturday. Militants attacked a security check post in the Tangi Badinzai area, killing the security personnel. The three insurgents were killed in retaliatory fire. A spokesperson for the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the security officers, but denied that the militants sustained any casualties.[vi]
  • Tribal elders and military officials have jointly decided that displaced tribesmen in Tank would return to their homes in South Waziristan beginning on April 30. A military source, Shahid Mehmood, announced that, “The safe and dignified return of Mehsud people is [the Pakistan] Army’s top priority. The damaged infrastructure of education and health has been revived by the army in affected areas while a medical team is also present in the area to provide medical cover to the returning Mehsuds.”[vii]
  • A power pylon was damaged in an explosion in Mohmand Agency on Saturday when militants planted an improvised explosive device (IED) on the pylon. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.[viii]




  • On Monday, General Kayani announced that “in the future no operation will take place in Balochistan without the permission of the provincial government.” He additionally stated that around 5,000 Baloch youth would be incorporated into the Pakistan army in April in an effort to bring the province into the “national mainstream.”[x]

Mangal Bagh Escapes to Afghanistan

  • A leader of Ansarul Islam (AI), Haji Akhunzada Qamarkhel, has announced that the chief of AI’s rival group Lashkar-e-Islam, Mangal Bagh, has fled to Afghanistan from Khyber Agency. He stated that Mangal Bagh has contacts with anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan. He has presently taken refuge with Haji Amin Shah in Naziyan area of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan after fleeing Tirah valley of Khyber Agency.” Political administration officials have not yet verified the claim made by the AI.[xi]

NATO Supply Line to be Blocked

  • The Pakistani federal government has decided to stop the transfer of supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan on April 23 and April 24 in keeping with a Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) plan to stage a demonstration. The group plans to protest against recent drone attacks in the FATA, and will be conducting a sit-in in Peshawar. Dawn cites sources who state that “the federal and provincial government decided to stop [NATO] oil tankers and food supplies during the protests to avoid any incidents of violence.”[xii]

One Million Pakistanis Remain in Refugee Camps

  • The Associated Press reports that over one million Pakistanis remain in refugee camps or with families and friends. Military operations since 2008 have led to the widespread internal displacement. In addition, an administrator in Mohmand Agency has announced that, “This month, some 5,000 families — roughly 40,000 people — have fled their homes in Mohmand” due to the military operation that commenced at the start of 2011.[xiii]

European Parliament Criticizes Fight on Militancy

  • The European Parliament has admonished Pakistan for its “slow progress in the fight against Taliban militancy in the country.” The body has furthermore “directed the European Commission to re-evaluate the size and objectives of its financial aid to Islamabad based on its ‘sincere efforts’ to eradicate terrorist groups.” The European Parliament also noted that the ISI is suspected of having provided practical and financial support to terrorist groups.[xiv]

[i] Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “Pakistan, Afghanistan to boost joint peace efforts with Taliban,” The News, April 15, 2011. Available at
[ii] Kathy Gannon, “US and Pakistan struggle with ‘unhappy’ alliance,” Associated Press, April 16, 2011. Available at
[iii] “Holbrooke set ties with Pakistan on right track, says Clinton,” Dawn, April 15, 2011. Available at
[iv] “2 FC men, militant killed in Kurram,” Dawn, April 16, 2011. Available at
[v] “2,500 terrorists killed in Fata operations: FC,” Express Tribune, April 16, 2011. Available at
[vi] “3 militants killed in S. Waziristan clash,” Dawn, April 18, 2011. Available at
[vii] “South Waziristan IDPs repatriation from April 30,” Dawn, April 16, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Power pylon damaged in blast,” The News, April 17, 2011. Available at
[ix] “School blown up in Nowshera,” Dawn, April 18, 2011. Available at
[x] “Over 5,000 Baloch to become part of army: Kayani,” Dawn, April 18, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Dreaded LI chief ‘on the run,’ Dawn, April 18, 2011. Available at
[xii] “Nato supplies to be blocked during PTI sit-in,” Dawn, April 17, 2011. Available at
[xiii] Riaz Khan and Anwarullah Khan, “Pakistanis flee troubled areas near Afghan border,” Associated Press, April 18, 2011. Available at
[xiv] “EU rebukes Pakistan for going slow on Taliban,” The News, April 17, 2011. Available at
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