Pakistan Security Brief

Senator John Kerry likely to apologize to Pakistan for November NATO airstrikes; U.S. and Pakistan discussing “joint ownership” of drone strikes; Analysts believe Kabul attacks give U.S. leverage in restructuring relationship with Pakistan; Prominent Pakistani Taliban fighter appears in video after escaping from Bannu jail; TTP leader alleges that group controls 70 to 80 percent of South Waziristan; Judicial commission investigating Bannu jailbreak requests more time; Pakistan considering U.S. proposal for funding Afghan forces; 11 people killed in targeted killings in Karachi; Passenger plane crashes near Chaklala airbase.


U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a report by the Express Tribune, President Barack Obama is sending Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry to Pakistan on April 29 to show the government that the U.S. “still considers Pakistan a key partner despite recent strains.” The report, quoting unnamed officials, said Senator Kerry will meet with “top civil and military leadership,” as well as opposition politicians and civil society groups. According to one official, Senator Kerry will likely formally apologize to Pakistan for the November 26 NATO airstrikes on behalf of the Obama Administration. This apology is a condition that the Pakistani Parliament says must be met before the NATO supply routes can be reopened. In a statement on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter stated that the U.S. is “ready to discuss” the recommendations made by Parliament with Pakistan, but would “not necessarily” accept all of the country’s demands.[1]

  • Dawn reported on Thursday that Pakistan and the U.S. have started exploring various options for “joint ownership” of drone strikes in Pakistan such as “real-time intelligence sharing” and advance notification of strikes.[2]

  • According to AFP, security analysts believe that the Kabul attacks give the U.S. “greater scope to lean on Pakistan” in restructuring the relationship between the two countries. The attacks open the way for increased pressure by the U.S. on Pakistan in talks to continue drone strikes, reopen NATO supply routes, and launch military operations against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan. According to a senior official with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate, there “is no question of any new military offensive in North Waziristan as [Pakistani] troops are currently engaged in consolidating the gains” in other regions. The ISI official also added that Pakistan will not allow any drone strikes going forward. However, security analysts believe that the U.S. will likely create a “facade of joint ownership for drone attacks,” in an effort to negotiate the reopening of NATO supply routes.[3]

Bannu Jailbreak

  • Prominent Pakistani Taliban fighter Adnan Rashid, a former junior technician in the Pakistan Air Force who was allegedly involved in planning the assassination of former President Pervez Musharraf, appeared in a 22 second video in which he confirmed his escape from Bannu jail. Rashid escaped when the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) mounted an attack on Bannu jail on April 15, freeing roughly 350 inmates. In the video, Rashid says he is “fine” after spending over eight years in prison, and thanks God for saving him from his death sentence.[4]

  • The judicial commission that was given three days to conduct a probe into the Bannu jailbreak has asked the Peshawar High Court for additional time to investigate the attack from “different angles.” The court agreed to the request, and the commission will now submit its report on Saturday.[5]


  • In a video released on jihadist forums on March 21, 2012, Wali ur-Rahman, the leader of the Mehsud branch of TTP, alleged that as of August 2011, the TTP controlled 70 to 80 percent of South Waziristan, and that the Pakistan Army’s claims that it had majority control of the area were lies.[6]

International Relations

  • On Thursday, a Pakistani Foreign Ministry official stated that Pakistan is considering a U.S. proposal which would get all Muslim countries to “share the financial burden” of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Under the proposal, the countries would contribute money to the “Afghanistan Security Fund” every year to “help sustain the Afghan National Security Forces” through at least 2014. According to the Pakistani official, Pakistan is open to the idea, but will consider the proposal with “extra care” due to the “wrath” of militant groups the country faces for supporting the U.S. in the war on terror. NATO leaders will discuss the support required by Afghanistan at the May 2012 Summit in Chicago.[7]

  • President Asif Ali Zardari spoke about the possibility of opening the Sulemanki border for trade with India, stating that Pakistan “is willing to have dialogue with India on all issues.” He also stated that he is “examining the possibility of connecting Multan with India,” and rejected the possibility of unilaterally withdrawing Pakistani troops from Siachen.[8]

  • Pakistan’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources said that the final meeting for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project will likely be on May 24.[9]

Domestic Politics

  • During Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s contempt hearing on Friday, Gilani’s counsel argued that writing a letter to the Swiss authorities asking them to reopen corruption charges against President Zardari would “disgrace” the president in front of the world. The Supreme Court stated that writing the letter was a matter of civil rights and not a move against the president, and it pointed out that the Swiss authorities, and not the court, had brought charges against Zardari. The court then adjourned the hearing until April 24.[10]

Karachi Violence

  • The violence in Karachi continued as 11 people were killed in different shooting incidents on Friday. The chief justice of the Sindh High Court ordered the police and Rangers to submit a report on the “targeted killings” within the next 24 hours. The police and Rangers will have to inform the court about what steps they have taken to control the situation and end the violence in the city.[11]

Plane Crash

  • Pakistan’s Defence Ministry announced that a Bhoja Airlines passenger plane en route to Islamabad crashed near Chaklala airbase on Friday due to bad weather, killing approximately 118 passengers.[12]

Osama bin Laden

  • Pakistan says it is waiting for responses from the Saudi and Yemeni embassies before it can deport Osama bin Laden’s widows and children to their respective home countries. The Yemeni foreign minister, however, accused Pakistani authorities of “stalling,” saying that Yemen was ready to accept bin Laden’s family “at any time.”[13]        

[1] Kamran Yousaf, “NATO airstrike: Kerry to visit Pakistan with ‘formal apology,’” Express Tribune, April 20, 2012. Available at
[2] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Pakistan, US exploring joint ownership of drone attacks,” Dawn, April 19, 2012. Available at
[3] “Kabul attacks will help US press Pakistan: Analysts,” AFP, April 20, 2012. Available at
[4] Heather Maher, “Prominent Taliban Militant Appears In Video After Escape,” RFE/RL, April 19, 2012. Available at
[5] Umer Farooq, “Bannu jailbreak probe: PHC gives judicial panel another 24 hours to submit report,” Express Tribune, April 20, 2012. Available at
[6] “TTP Official Remarks on Group's Control in South Waziristan,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 19, 2012. Available at
[7] Qaiser Butt, “‘Afghanistan security fund’: Muslim funding for Kabul security,” Express Tribune, April 20, 2012. Available at
[8] Ema Anis, “Trade with India: Zardari hints at opening border,” Express Tribune, April 20, 2012. Available at
[9] “May 24 likely to be final meeting for TAPI pipeline project: Petroleum minister,” Express Tribune, April 20, 2012. Available at
[10] “PM contempt: Exercising civil rights not a move against Zardari, says SC,” Express Tribune, April 20, 2012. Available at
[11] “Karachi violence claims 11 lives,” Express Tribune, April 20, 2012. Available at
“Targeted killings: SHC CJ summons top cop and Rangers DG again,” Express Tribune, April 20, 2012. Available at
[12] “Plane crash near Chaklala kills 118: Defence ministry,” Dawn, April 20, 2012. Available at
[13] Nasir Habib, “Pakistan mulling when to deport bin Laden family members,” CNN, April 19, 2012. Available at
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