Pakistan Security Brief

Afghan Taliban political office to move, Pakistan may release Taliban prisoners to spur peace talks; ANP leader killed in home in Hayatabad, Peshawar; Firing incidents continue across LoC; Indian Foreign Minister warns talks may be delayed; Indian General rebukes Pakistan over LoC attacks; PML-N government suspends death penalty a week prior to scheduled execution of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi members; Two Frontier Corps officials killed in Quetta; Bomb defused near the residence of Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Police arrest 119 in Nowshera; Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to address the nation tonight; Prime Minister meets with Chief of the Army Staff to discuss security situation; Pakistan Army will deploy to Karachi during by-elections; Prime Minister approves Pak-China Trade Corridor plan;TTP commander releases Eid-ul-Fitr message; TTP will not hold peace talks, says spokesman; Pakistan to release 367 Indian prisoners; Indian Defense Minister claims India will enforce border control, regardless of costs; Supreme Court to bring cases against Zardari.

Afghan Peace Talks

  • According to an unnamed Taliban official, the Afghan Taliban is currently searching for a location to move its political office. The Afghan government has urged the Taliban to move its office to either Turkey or Saudi Arabia. The relocation comes after talks stalled with the Afghan government over the Taliban’s office in Qatar in July. A Pakistani government official indicated on Sunday that Pakistan may release Afghan Taliban prisoners at the request of President Hamid Karzai, in a show of good faith to jumpstart talks.[1] 

  • In an Eid-ul-Fitr message released by the Global Islamic Media Front on August 14, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Hakimullah Mehsud announced that the TTP is willing to hold negotiations with the Pakistani government. Furthermore, Mehsud called for providing support to oppressed Muslims in Burma and Syria, claiming that jihad in both countries is a religious duty.[2]

  • According to a Saturday The News report, the TTP is not planning to hold peace talks with the Pakistani government, citing basic differences in outlook regarding democracy and elections. According to spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, the talks will not occur as the TTP is also “inspired in its decision-making by [Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar]” who Shahid says has refused to hold fresh talks with the Afghan government.[3]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, a Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman claimed there will be “a substantive agenda for talks” with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during his scheduled visit on August 26, which will include a discussion about the post-2014 security situation in Afghanistan.  However, numerous former government officials and policy analysts have expressed skepticism over the outcome of the talks.  Karzai is expected to seek Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s help in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table, although experts doubt the Pakistani government has sufficient influence to compel the Taliban into participating.[4]

  • Afghan Embassy Refugee Affairs Attaché Misri Khan Momand told the Express Tribune on Saturday that Pakistani and Afghan officials have finalized an agreement that will extend the stay of the 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees within Pakistan.  On Friday, the Cabinet approved a policy regarding opportunities and legal rights of refugees within Pakistan until their repatriation to Afghanistan.  The policy included the issuance of new Proof of Registration cards, access to money-transfer institutions, driving licenses, and the ability to purchase mobile SIM cards.[5]

Line of Control Dispute

  • On Saturday, Indian troops allegedly fired across the Line of Control (LoC).  The incident, which included mortar shelling, occurred in Nakial sector’s Lanjot area and allegedly injured two civilians.  According to a report in The News, Indian Brigade Commander A. Senguputa announced on Sunday that it had received information that elements within Pakistan were plotting additional Border Action Team (BAT) attacks like the one on August 6 that killed five Indian troops in the Poonch sector.  BAT units allegedly include members of Lashkar-e-Taiba as well as Special Services Group commandos from the Pakistani military.[6]

  • In a speech to Parliament on Monday, Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said the ongoing LoC dispute would damage Indo-Pakistan relations.  He remarked that Pakistan should not take India’s self-restraint for granted.  Antony appealed to the government of Pakistan to punish those involved in the August 6 cross-border attack, and once again accused the Pakistani military of participation in the incident.  According to a Reuters report, the Pakistan Army exchanged fire with the Indian military in Kargil on Sunday night.  No casualties have been reported.[7]

  • Indian Foreign Minister Salman Kurshid told the press on Friday that talks between the governments of Indian and Pakistan are unlikely to occur if bilateral relations between the countries remain tense, likely in reference to recent firing incidents a cross the LoC.[8]

  • On Sunday, Indian General Officer Commanding Major General V.P. Singh issued a stern warning to the government of Pakistan via journalists.  He said “you (Pakistan) are making a serious mistake [regarding the LoC incidents] – do not do it,” and remarked that India reserved the right to respond accordingly with “full force.”[9]

  • According to a report in the New York Times on Monday, analysts claim the most recent LoC dispute is more serious than previous incidents since the 2003 ceasefire agreement, and that it suggests a new element of fragility in Indo-Pakistani relations.  Analysts suspect the impending U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has contributed to increased tensions because India fears Pakistan will attempt to recapture international attention for Kashmir and may channel more militants to the region.[10]

  • On August 24, in an effort to quell Line of Control (LoC) tensions, the Pakistani government will reportedly release 367 Indian prisoners, according to a Foreign Office (FO) spokesman on Sunday.[11]

  • On Sunday, Indian police claimed that Pakistan intelligence agencies sheltered an Islamist bomb maker, Abdul Karim, in Karachi for nearly ten years. Karim, an Indian citizen, was captured by Indian officials last Friday and was allegedly involved in terror attacks on India throughout the 1990s. Senior New Delhi police officials claim that Karim indicated the ISI had given him, “financial aid for arms and equipment as well as help in providing shelter to those accused of staging attacks in India.”[12]


  • On August 17, Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn released a new web video called “The Exploits of Muslims and Infamies of the Criminals” via the as Sahab Media foundation.  In the video, Gadahn praises the murder of Christopher Stevens, the former U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and calls for the assassination of other U.S. and “crusader” diplomats.  Gadahn also commended al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for authorizing a bounty payable to whomever killed the U.S. ambassador to Yemen.[13]

  • On Sunday, President Asif Ali Zardari requested the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government extend the moratorium on executions.  Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed later said that the government has suspended implementation of the death penalty until Zardari returns to Pakistan from a trip abroad for talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  The announcement comes a week before the scheduled execution of several Lashkar-e-Jhangvi members (LeJ).  Last week, the spokesmen for several militant and terrorist groups—including the TTP, LeJ, and Munjahedeen-e Ansar—announced they would launch a campaign of suicide attacks and assassinations if the government executed their imprisoned comrades.   Additionally, as of Monday, security was increased at Faisalabad’s Central Jail after authorities received credible intelligence that the TTP may attempt another jailbreak to free death-row inmate Aqeel alias Dr. Usman.  Dr. Usman faces the death penalty on August 23 for his role in orchestrating an assault on the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi in 2009.[14]

  • On Friday in Hayatabad, Peshawar, unknown gunmen broke into the home of Awami National Party member (ANP) Najma Hanif and executed her. Hanif was a candidate for vacant seats in the provincial assembly; her husband Hanif Jadoon was killed in a bomb attack in Swabi in 2011.[15]

  • On Monday, Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan claimed that Friday’s stand-off in Islamabad, in which a man armed with two rifles drove into the heart of Islamabad and held police at bay for several hours, was not planned alone. According to Khan, arrests have been made in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab in connection with the attack.[16]

  • TTP Waliur Rehman Group militants assassinated TTP Hakimullah Mehsud Group leader Sher Khan Mehsud on Friday.  Gunmen ambushed Mehsud’s vehicle along Ijtemah Gah Road in Manghopir Town, Karachi.[17]

  • Two Frontier Corps members were shot and killed on Sunday in Quetta after unknown gunmen attacked an FC check post on Sariab Road in Quetta. One of the gunmen in the attack has been arrested, while another was killed when security forces pursued the attackers. Another FC personnel member was also wounded in the attack.[18]  

  • After militants attacked a train on Friday in Bolan district, Balochistan, security forces carried out operations in the nearby Machh and Kolpur mountains on Saturday, killing at least 10 militants. Firefights between security forces and militants continued for more than five hours; the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks.[19]

  • On Saturday evening in Sachal Goth, Karachi, unknown perpetrators detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) outside of the home of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Haji Suleman. No casualties were reported in the attack.[20]

  • Unknown gunmen injured two employees at the Express Media office in Karachi last Friday.[21]

  • On Saturday in Karachi, a man was shot and killed outside of a post office in Liaquatabad.[22]

  • On Sunday in Karachi, six people, including a Muttahida Quami Movement activist, were killed in various firing incidents throughout the city. A woman’s body was also found in Baldia Town, Karachi.[23]  

  • Three people were killed in Karachi on Monday in various firing incidents.[24]

  • A man was shot and killed on Wrasta road, Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday by unknown gunmen. Another civilian was also wounded in the attack.[25] 

  • On Saturday in Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, a bomb disposal squad defused an IED planted approximately one kilometer away from the home of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. Witnesses claim that two men on motorcycles dropped the bomb off before driving away.[26]

  • On Friday night, police raided house in Ranazai and Jehan Khani areas of the Kulachi sub-district of Dera Ismail Khan District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.  These raids led to the detention of an unspecified number of escapees from the July 29 DI Khan Central Prison jailbreak.[27]

  • Unknown gunmen opened fire on a security checkpoint in Swabi, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday, killing two policemen and a civilian before fleeing in a car.[28] 

  • Police carried out search operations in Jalozai Camp, Nowshera, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday, arresting a total of 119 people. Police had received a tip that militants from Khyber agency might be in the camp; 27 of the arrested were detained on charges of suspected ties with militants.[29]

  • On Monday in Mozi Kor Ghazi Baig, Mohmand agency, unknown perpetrators destroyed a boys’ school using explosives. Twelve people have been arrested in connection with the attacks; the school is the 110th that has been destroyed in the agency.[30]

  • A Tribal elder was shot and killed by unknown gunmen while on his way home in Mamund, Bajaur agency on Sunday.[31]

  • A man was killed in Mamund, Bajaur agency on Sunday while asleep in his home. Two suspects were arrested in searches around the sub-district following the attack.[32]

  • The five suspects arrested in connection with the August 9 failed Bhara Kahu attempted attack in Islamabad were remanded by an Anti-Terrorism Court for 14 days on Saturday.[33]


  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was scheduled to broadcast an address to the nation on Monday night.  During his speech, Sharif intended to discuss national security policy, counterterrorism measures, the economy, and the ongoing Line of Control dispute with India.  As of Monday afternoon, however, the address was canceled for unspecified reasons.  In a meeting with senior PML-N party leadership prior to his decision to address the nation, Sharif claimed disagreements between the U.S. military and the Pakistan Army regarding the Taliban have delayed finalization of Pakistan’s new national security policy.[34]

  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Punjab Chief Minister Shabaz Sharif today to discuss security issues across Pakistan, including: prison security, capital punishment, stationing troops at voting sites during the by-polls, and ongoing terrorist violence.[35]

  • As of Sunday, various opposition parties, including the PPP and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), have expressed concern regarding the PML-N government’s delay in revealing a new national security policy.  The government plans to convene an All-Parties Conference in late August to discuss the policy but opposition leaders believe that provides insufficient time for a thorough debate, given delays in publishing a draft of the suggested policy.[36]

  • Army Chief of Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani will retire from his position in November.  Given the country’s history of military coups, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must decide upon Kayani’s replacement carefully to preserve the fragile balance between military and civilian authority, according to a Reuters report.  Current contenders reportedly include Lieutenant General Rashad Mahmood, Lieutenant General Tariq Khan, and Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam.[37]

  • According to a Geo News report on Sunday, the Election Commission of Pakistan had ordered the deployment of Pakistan Army troops to polling stations throughout Karachi for the August 22 by-elections.[38]

  •  On Sunday, PTI leader Imran Khan criticized the ECP for failing to address election-rigging, and announced that on August 21 the PTI would publish a white paper regarding the matter.[39]

  • On Monday, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Quetta once again demanded General (retd) Pervez Musharraf appear before the court on September 10 to attend a hearing regarding the murder of Balochistan tribal leader Akbar Bugti.  The court then adjourned the matter until September 10.[40]

  • According to the Express Tribune on Monday, the Supreme Court will open six cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, who has thus far escaped prosecution due to his presidential immunity. The cases are slated for the second week of September.[41]

  • On Saturday in an address to Muttahida Quami Movement party workers, MQM chief Altaf Hussain pledged his innocence in connection with the death of former MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq and instructed the MQM to stay “committed” to their cause in case he is arrested by British authorities. Hussain is currently under investigation by Scotland Yard for money laundering, among other offences.[42]

  • Officials launched a 3-day polio vaccination campaign in Kurram agency, FATA, on Monday.[43]  

Sino-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the Pak-China Trade Corridor plan, linking China’s westernmost city of Kashgar to the port city of Gawdar, Punjab province.  Sharif claimed the plan would increase economic activity in the region.[44]


[1] Tahir Khan, “Peace process: Taliban ponder options to relocate Qatar office,” Express Tribune, August 19, 2013. Available at 
Kamran Yousaf, “Afghan peace process: Pakistan may release more Taliban prisoners,” Express Tribune, August 19, 2013. Available at
[3] “TTP denies making new talks offer,” The News, August 17, 2013. Available at
[4] Tahir Khan, “No Great Expectations Pinned to Karzai’s Upcoming Visit,” Express Tribune, August 16, 2013. Available at:
[5] Tahir Khan, “Just Like Home: Afghan Refugees Can Open Accounts, Get Permits,” Express Tribune, August 18, 2013. Available at:
[6] “Unprovoked Indian Firing on LoC Continues,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at:
“Two Civilians Injured in Indian Army’s Firing at LoC,” The News, August 18, 2013. Available at:
[7] Sanjeev Miglani, “India Says Pakistan Testing its Restraint in Kashmir,” Reuters, August 19, 2013. Available at:
“Indian army told to retaliate to Pakistan border firing: Antony,” Dawn, August 19, 2013. Available at
[8] “Talks Can be Suspended if Situation Not Improve: Indian FM,” The News, August 17, 2013. Available at:
[9] “Indian General Warns of Pakistan of ‘Befitting Reply,’” Dawn, August 19, 2013. Available at:
[10] “U.S. Troop Pullout Affects India-Pakistan Rivalry,” New York Times, August 19, 2013. Available at:
[11] “Amid LoC skirmishes: Pakistan to release 367 Indians on Aug 24,” Express Tribune, August 18, 2013. Available at
[12] Preetika Rana, “India detainees says Pakistan sheltered him,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2013. Available at
[13] “Al-Qaeda's Adam Gadahn Advises Jihadis in Libya and the Arab World to Kill U.S. and "Crusader" Ambassadors,” SITE Media, August 17, 2013. Available at: ambassadors&catid=9:multimedia&Itemid=880  
[14] “President Extends Moratorium on Executions,” Express Tribune, August 18, 2013. Available at:
“Pakistan Temporarily Halts Executions Ahead of Scheduled Hangings of Al-Qaida-Linked Militants,” Associated Press, August 18, 2013. Available at:
“Capital Punishment: Nawaz Orders Halt to Executions,” Express Tribune, August 19, 2013. Available at:
Amir Mir, “Govt Succumbs to TTP Threats?” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at:
“Executions of Taliban Militants Risk Provoking A Wider War in Pakistan,” Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, August 19, 2013. Available at:
Amir Mir, “TTP May Try to Secure Release of GHQ Attacker,” The News, August 17, 2013. Available at:
[15] “Gun assault: ANP leader killed inside her home,” Express Tribune, August 17, 2013. Available at
[16] “Islamabad drama not so simple, Nisar tells NA,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at,-Nisar-tells-NA
[17] M. Waqar Bhatti, “Taliban Commander Killed in Karachi Attack,” The News, August 17, 2013. Available at:
[18] “2 Security Men Killed in Quetta Check-post attack,” The News, August 18, 2013. Available at 
“Checkpost firing in Quetta leaves soldier dead, two wounded,” Express Tribune, August 18, 2013. Available at
[19] “10 killed in Bolan search operation after train attack,” The News, August 17, 2013. Available at 
Syed Ali Shah, “Security forces kill eight militants following Jaffar Express attack,” Dawn, August 16, 2013. Available at
[20] “Blast outside PPP leader’s house,” The News, August 18, 2013. Available at
[21] “Sindh Assembly passes resolution condemning attack on Express Media,” Express Tribune, August 19, 2013. Available at
[22] “Karachi: One killed in firing near Liaquatabad post office,” The News, August 17, 2013. Available at
[23] “Karachi firing, violent incidents kill 4,” The News, August 18, 2013. Available at,-violent-incidents 
“MQM activists among six killed,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at 
“ASWJ, MQM activists shot dead,” The News, August 18 2013. Available at,-MQM-activists-shot-dead
“Women’s body found,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at 
[24] “Karachi: Three killed, 3 injured in firing incidents,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at,-3-injured-in-firing-incidents
[25] “Man killed,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at
[26] Javed Aziz Khan, “Explosive device defused near mosque,” The News, August 18, 2013. Available at 
“BDS defuses bomb near Pervez Khattak’s residence,” Express Tribune, August 17, 2013. Available at
[27] “More Jail Escapees Arrested in DI Khan,” The News, August 18, 2013. Available at:
[28] “Two cops among three killed in Swabi firing,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at
[29] “119 suspects arrested in Jalozai Camp search,” The News, August 18, 2013. Available at
[30] Mureeb Mohmand, “School blown up in Mohmand Agency,” Express Tribune, August 19, 2013. Available at
[31] “Tribal elder shot dead in Damadola,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at
[32] “Man shot dead in Bajaur,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at
[33] “Accused in mosque attack case remanded,” The News, August 18, 2013. Available at
[34] Abdul Manan, “Address to Nation: PM to Talk About Security Policy,” Express Tribune, August 19, 2013. Available at:
“PM Nawaz to address public today,” Express Tribune, August 19, 2013. Available at
[35] “Nawaz-Kayani Meeting before PM Address,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at:
[36] Qamar Zaman, “Counter-terrorism strategy: Political leadership divided over APC,” Express Tribune, August 18, 2013. Available at:
[37] Mehreen Zahra-Malik and Maria Golovnina, “Guessing Game as Pakistan's Powerful Army Chief Prepares to Retire,” Reuters, August 18, 2013. Available at:
[38] “Checkpost Firing in Quetta Leaves Soldier Dead, Two Wounded,” Express Tribune, August 18, 2013. Available at:
[39] "Naeem Souhatara, "Aug 22 by-polls: Imran calls for army deployment," Express Tribune, August 18, 2013. Available at:  
[40] “Bugti Murder Case; ATC Orders Authorities to Produce Musharraf on Sept 10,” Dawn, August 19, 2013. Available at:
[41] Qaiser Shirazi, “End of immunity?: Six cases may be opened against President Zardari,” Express Tribune, August 19, 2013. Available at
[42] “Telephonic address: Remain calm if I’m arrested, Altaf advises MQM workers,” Express Tribune, August 18, 2013. Available at
[43] “Anti-Polio Drive in Kurram Agency,” The News, August 19, 2013. Available at:
[44] Sumera Khan, “Boosting Trade: Pak-China Economic Corridor Plan Gets Premier’s Go-Ahead,” Express Tribune, August 17, 2013. Available at:
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