Pakistan Security Brief

Mullen: U.S. and Pakistan cannot afford to allow security ties to unravel; Pakistan working to guarantee a fundamental role in Afghanistan; Kurram elders to take kidnappings up with KP governor; Mohmand jirga to impose fine on tribesmen sheltering insurgents; Eighty militants surrender in Mohmand; Market blown up in Orakzai; Tribal elders in Bajaur to form peace committees; Special powers of Rangers extended in Karachi.


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated that leaders of the U.S. and Pakistan cannot afford to allow security ties to unravel. Before heading to Islamabad to meet with Pakistani officials, Mullen brought up the issue of alleged ties between the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the Haqqani network, declaring that, “We’re working our way through the relationships that the ISI has with the Haqqani network and the strain that that creates. I’ll see General Kayani here shortly and these are issues I address with him every single time we engage. And I certainly intend to (raise that) this week.” The Associated Press states that Mullen reportedly has a “good relationship with Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.” Mullen also said that he foresees the U.S. continuing to provide training support to the Pakistani military in the future.[i]

Afghan-Pakistani Relations

  • As President Obama has announced the beginning of a U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, Reuters reports that the Pakistani military is working to secure ties with Afghanistan to guarantee a fundamental role in a negotiated settlement of the conflict. The media outlet cites foreign affairs expert C. Raja Mohan, who states that “Karzai – who has often blamed Pakistan for fueling the insurgency in his country – had responded to the Pakistani military overtures because he saw Pakistan as his hope for survival once the United States leaves.”[ii]


  • In response to the recent kidnapping of thirty-five people from Thall-Parachinar Road in Kurram Agency, administration officials and thirty tribal elders of the agency have agreed to take up the incident with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor. A member of the National Assembly from Kurram Agency, Sajid Hussain Turi, said that “this was for the first time that the two major tribes in the volatile Kurram Agency — Turi and [Mangal] — had passed on the buck to the government regarding safety of their tribesmen on Thall-Parachinar Road…in the past, the two tribes were holding each other responsible for any untoward incident in the tribal area.” Turi stated that the government must ensure the safety of passengers traveling on the route, as well as recover the thirty-five missing people. In addition, he said that the Mangal and Turi tribes would each support a military operation against militant groups inciting sectarian clashes in the agency.[iii]
  • A jirga of Mehsud Safi and Dawaizi tribal elders in Mohmand Agency have decided to impose a $23,500 (Rs 2million) fine on tribesmen providing shelter to insurgents operating in the area. In addition, the elders from the Pandyali and Safi sub-districts unanimously decided that the houses of tribesmen sheltering militants would be torched. Dawn reports that security forces claim to have cleared almost 90 percent of Safi and Dawaizi sub-districts, as military helicopters continue to strike suspected militant hideouts in the area. Meanwhile, eighty militants have surrendered to security forces in Sagi Bala. The News reports that the militants had previously attacked a checkpoint at Spin Tangi in Safi sub-district.[iv]
  • On Wednesday, militants blew up a market in the Feroz Khel area of Orakzai Agency. Ten shops were destroyed in the blast. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[v]
  • Tribal elders in Bajaur Agency have announced that they will form peace committees at the village level to “extend cooperation to the security forces in the fight against militancy” and “[protect] government installations in their respective areas.”[vi]

‘Target Killings’ in Karachi

  • On Wednesday, the Sindh government extended special powers given to Rangers, as the mandate for increased authority expired on April 18. A correspondent for the Express Tribune reports that “apart from their power to conduct search and raid operations and arrange security check-posts in Karachi, the Rangershave the authority to engage, detain and interrogate suspects, before handing them over to the police.” Meanwhile, ‘target killings’ continued on Wednesday in Karachi, as five people were killed in separate incidents.[vii]

[i] “US, Pakistan cannot allow ties to unravel: Mullen,” Reuters, April 20, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Pakistan military strives to secure central Afghan role,” Reuters, April 19, 2011. Available at
[iii] Inamullah Khattak, “Kidnapped passengers: Kurram jirga to take up issue with governor,” Dawn, April 20, 2011. Available at
[iv] “Mohmand tribes vow to flush out militants,” Dawn, April 20, 2011. Available at
[v] “Terrorists blow up market in Ferozkhel,” Dawn, April 20, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Bajaur elders to form peace committees,” The News, April 20, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Rangers in Karachi: Special powers deadline extended,” Express Tribune, April 20, 2011. Available at
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