Pakistan Security Brief

Foreign fighters consider leaving Pakistan for Afghanistan, Syria; Army hands over 13 TTP prisoners to the government as part of possible prisoner exchange; India and Pakistan accuse each other of shelling across the Line of Control in Kashmir; Gunmen kill polling official, injure five in Indian-administered Kashmir; U.S. Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan says Pakistan will remain important to U.S. after American troops leave Afghanistan; FBI-linked hacker may have targeted Pakistan government website; Iranian Interior Minister likely to visit Islamabad before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s trip to Tehran; Unknown gunmen kill seven, injure six in Swabi; Blast near Karachi mosque kills four and injures 20; Gunmen in Balochistan kill four policemen; Interior Minister defends Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies against media accusations of violent intimidation; Sharif says civilian and military institutions will work together on big challenges.

Foreign Fighters in Pakistan

  • According to a Friday article in Dawn, foreign militants in and around North Waziristan are considering leaving Pakistan for places including Afghanistan and Syria. A senior member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Azzaam, told reporters that most militants did not think the peace talks would succeed and feared that the government would try and isolate foreign militants from Pakistani groups operating in the area. Other foreigners, however, see the deterioration of peace talks as an opportunity to move to other locations, primarily Syria, to continue their jihad. A Saudi national, Sheikh Abdul Salam, talked about the importance of bringing Iran into conflict with Pakistan, as Iran is one of the primary entities involved in Syria. Salam added that the “next big fight” in the Muslim world would be between Sunnis and Shias. Sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has offered its support to those foreign fighters who choose to stay in Pakistan, saying it could not abandon fighters who had traveled to Pakistan from all over the world to conduct Jihad.[1]

TTP Peace Talks

  • On Wednesday, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) committee member Maulana Samiul Haq and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stated that the 13 TTP prisoners who were handed over to the government will only be released once the government knows how the TTP will reciprocate.[2]

  • A Thursday article by the BBC profiles reasons why Pakistan’s military may be apprehensive about conducting a large offensive against TTP militants in North Waziristan; some critics allege the military is trying to protect Afghan Taliban militants who use North Waziristan as a sanctuary while other ; the army retorts that it needs the government to provide political leadership and carry public opinion that would support a military offensive in Pakistan’s tribal areas, something the government has been loath to do thus far.[3]

Kashmir Violence

  • On Friday, Indian and Pakistani army sources accused each other of conducting shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch area of Jammu and Kashmir.[4]

  • On Thursday, unidentified gunmen killed a polling official and injured five other people in Shopian district, Indian-Administered Kashmir.[5]

  • On Friday, Indian security forces engaged in a gunfight with three militants in Karewa Manlu, Shopian district, Indian-administered Kashmir. The militants are believed by the security forces to be responsible for Thursday’s attack on a polling official in Shopian. According to Indian Army sources, the militants belong to Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). No casualties have been reported.[6]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Thursday, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins met with Pakistan’s Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in Islamabad to discuss the future of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and assured the interior minister that the U.S. will remain engaged with Pakistan even after U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan. The Foreign Office described Dobbins’ meeting with Aziz as a regular visit, noting that Dobbins’ was the “focal person for Pakistan-US relations.” On Friday, Dobbins also met with the Chief of the Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif to discuss issues of mutual interest, including the presidential elections in Afghanistan. According to a Friday article in the Express Tribune, Dobbins stated that Pakistan’s importance will “multiply” after the withdrawal of U.S. and international forces from Afghanistan.[7]

  • According to a Wednesday report in The New York Times, a hacker who worked as an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted cyberattacks on a wide range of foreign targets in 2012. One of the targets was Pakistan’s government website.[8]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, the Foreign Office spokesperson, Tasneem Aslam, stated that the Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli will likely visit Islamabad before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s upcoming trip to Iran in order to ensure that the Prime Minister’s visit will be substantive.[9]


  • On Friday, a bomb blast near a mosque in Delhi colony, Karachi killed four people and injured 20. The attack may have been targeting a bus of employees of the Sindh Chief Minister that was leaving the mosque.[10]

  • On Friday, unknown gunmen fired on a vehicle in the Yar Hassain region of Swabi, killing seven and wounding six.[11]

  • On Thursday, unidentified gunmen in Chahtar, Naseerabad district, Balochistan attacked a police van, killing four policemen.[12]


  • On Thursday, Amir Mir, brother of Geo TV presenter Hamid Mir, repeated his claim that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was involved in the recent attempt on Hamid’s life. Amir drew attention to the similarity in the threats received by Hamid and another journalist, Syed Saleem Shehzad, whose murder has also been blamed on the ISI.[13]

  • On Friday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the government has the constitutional and legal responsibility to “protect the dignity of the Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies” and expressed his disappointment that the news outlet, Geo TV, alleged that Pakistan’s defense institutions, mainly the ISI, were involved in the attack. Khan argued that the Jang group needed to retract its statements with regard to the attack against journalist Hamid Mir “in the greater national interests of Pakistan” in order to prevent anti-state elements from taking advantage of the situation.[14]

  • On Thursday, while speaking to reporters about the pace of development projects in Balochistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan’s political and military leadership will work together to overcome challenges facing the country. On development projects, Prime Minister Sharif stated that the government plans to develop Gwadar as a “free port” like in Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong.[15]

[1] Hasan Abdullah, “Foreign militants seeking ‘safe passage’,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[2] Tariq Butt, “Army hands over 13 TTP prisoners to govt for release,” The News, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[3] Owen Bennett-Jones, “Pakistan army eyes Taliban talks with unease,” BBC, April 24, 2014. Available at:
[4] “Ceasefire Violation at Line of Control in Poonch,” NDTV, April 25, 2014. Available at:
“LoC Violation: Indian Army Carries Out Mortar Shelling Firing in Poonch Sector,” The Express Tribune, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[5] Ahmed Ali Fayyaz, “Militants Attack Poll Officials in Kashmir, 1 Killed,” The Hindu, April 24, 2014. Available at:
[6] Ahmed Ali Fayyaz, “3 Militnats Trapped in Shopian Encounter,” The Hindu, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[7] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “US special envoy holds talks with Aziz, other leaders,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at: “COAS meets with US special envoy,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at: “Afghan endgame: Pakistan’s importance to ‘multiply’, says Dobbins,” Express Tribune, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[8] Mark Mazzetti, “F.B.I. Informant is Tied to Cyberattacks Abroad,” The New York Times, April 23, 2014. Available at:
[9] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “US special envoy holds talks with Aziz, other leaders,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[10] “Blast in Karachi’s Delhi Colony Kills Four, Wound More than 20,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[11] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Gun attack kills seven of a family in Swabi,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[12] Syed Ali Shah, “Four Policemen Killed in Balochistan’s Naseerabad District,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[13] Hamid Mir Defiant, Still Holds ISI Responsible for Attack,” Dawn, April 24, 2014. Available at:
[14] “One-sided media trial against armed forces should end, says Nisar,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at: “’Media Trial’ of defense institutions should end: Ch Nisar,” Express Tribune, April 25, 2014. Available at:
[15] Saleem Shahid, “Govt, army coping with challenges together: PM,” Dawn, April 25, 2014. Available at:
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