Pakistan Security Brief

CTC study says LeT recruits from Pakistan’s “best and brightest;”  ; Security forces kill fourteen in Tirah valley; ECP forces candidates to prove Islamic credentials; HRCP survey says Pakistan not equal to challenges; Musharraf’s nomination papers denied; Trade imbalance with China and India increasing; Visas delayed as 96 seek German asylum PAF jets kill one TTP, two LI fighters; PAF jets kill eight in Orakzai; Deported Frenchmen set for questioning about militant intentions; Militants ambush security forces in Khyber; Police van attacked in Punjab; Violence in Karachi kills two British Parliament report skeptical that education counteracts militancy, extremism.

Lashkar-e-Taiba Study

  • On Thursday, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center released a study that reportedly contradicts conventional knowledge about Lashkar-e-Taiba and terrorism in Pakistan, specifically concluding that ignorance and poverty are not necessary for militant groups to thrive.  The report analyzed biographies from roughly 900 Lashkar-e-Taiba fighters who died between 1997 and 2008. .  The study describes how the group, largely protected by the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), recruits young fighters who are typically more secularly educated than the average Pakistani man their age, and who tend not to be trained in madrassas.  Most joined the popular group because they “wanted more meaningful lives, admired its anticorruption image and felt an obligation to help fellow Muslims.”  The report explained that many of the fighters were closely related to influential Pakistani citizens, including Pakistan Army soldiers and, in one case, “a director of Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission.” The report concludes that its findings disprove the “myth” that secular education, economic stability, and international exposure counteract militancy. [1]

Khyber Operation

French Suspects Deported

  • On Thursday, French authorities began questioning the three Frenchmen who illegally entered Pakistan last year in an attempt to join the Taliban or al Qaeda and fight in Afghanistan.  Pakistani authorities held the men in secret since they entered through Iran last May, and then sent the trio back to France earlier this week. [4]

British Education Survey

  • On Thursday, a report published for the British Parliament in connection with its vote on aid to Pakistan raised doubts about the effects of education on combating militancy and extremism.  The report cited a recent survey by the British Council that showed attitudes among young Pakistanis are largely unaffected by the surge in education spending, with more young people preferring military rule or Sharia law over a democratic government. [5]

Domestic Politics

  • On Friday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected former President Pervez Musharraf’s nomination papers from NA-139 Kasur constituency on the grounds that he “does not meet the criteria established in Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.”  Musharraf also submitted papers for candidacy in Karachi, Islamabad and Chitral, and faces the possibility that those will be disqualified as well. [6]

  • In an attempt to screen electoral candidates prior to elections on May 11, the ECP is forcing candidates to take tests to prove their “Islamic credentials;” frequently making them take tests or answer questions relating to their knowledge of Islam and the Quran on TV.  On Thursday, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) candidate Ayaz Amir was disqualified for the content of some of his newspaper articles which were reportedly seen as too secular.  There are “17,186 candidates running for 849 contested seats” which need to be resolved for elections in May.[7]

Trade Imbalance

Pakistani Seek German Asylum


HRCP Annual Survey

  • On Thursday, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) released its 2012 survey of the human rights climate in Pakistan.  The report was largely pessimistic, calling the human rights situation “murky,” but expressed optimism that upcoming elections would enable Pakistanis to “extract themselves from the quagmire.” The 383-page report gives detailed information about “Rule of Law…Enforcement of Law…Fundamental Freedoms…Democratic Development…Rights of the Disadvantaged… [and] Social and Economic Rights,” and summed the year up as a series of “challenges where Pakistan did not prove equal to the task.”  The report highlighted that Pakistan is especially dangerous for journalists, that rights for women and children are dangerously lacking and violence against them is extreme, and that militancy and terrorism plague the country as one of its gravest threats. [16]    

[1] “Terror group recruits from Pakistan’s best and brightest,” ProPublica, April 4, 2013.  Available at
[2] “Clashes in Tirah kill four soldiers, 14 suspected militants,” Dawn, April 5, 2013.  Available at
[3] “Three militants killed in Tirah Valley,” Dawn, April 5, 2013. Available at
[4] “Pakistan expels suspected jihadists,” News 24, April 4, 2013.  Available at
[5] “Pakistan aid does not prevent extremism says MP’s,” Telegraph, April 4, 2013.  Available at
[6] “Musharraf disqualified from contesting elections,” Express Tribune, April 5, 2013. Available at
[7] “Pakistani Candidates Face Religious Vetting,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2013.  Available at
[8] “Trade imbalance with India, China, on the rise,” Dawn, April 5, 2013. Available at
[9] “Dozens of Pakistanis seek asylum in Germany,” The News, April 5, 2013. Available at
[10] “Three militants killed in Tirah Valley,” Dawn, April 5, 2013. Available at
[11] “Two security personnel killed in Khyber agency,” Pakistan Today, April 5, 2013. Available at
[12] “2 killed as police van ambushed in Gujranwala,” The News, April 5, 2013. Available at
[13] “Police mobile attacked in Kohat,” The News, April 5, 2013. Available at
[14] “Rangers arrest several suspects in targeted operation,” The News, April 5, 2013. Available at
[15] “Bullet riddled body found in Lyari,” The News, April 5, 2013.  Available at
[16]“State of Human Rights in 2012,” HRCP, April 4, 2013. Available at
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