Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. Congress releases $280 million to Pakistan for energy sector assistance; Talks between ISI chief and CIA Director in Washington “substantive, professional, and productive;” U.S. Congressmen criticize State Department agency’s terrorism focus; Pakistan Supreme court rules contempt bill null and void; Pakistani military court convicts senior military official; Pakistani High Commissioner to London says U.S. drone strikes weaken Pakistan’s democratic institutions; Turkish energy company threatens to pull out of LNG project investment in Pakistan; Explosion in Quetta injures eight people; Seven die from incidents of violence in Karachi.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, U.S. Congress released $280 million to Pakistan as part of a U.S. civilian assistance program targeting Pakistan’s energy sector. According to a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, the assistance program will aim to increase Pakistan’s energy resources through funding improvements to Mangla Dam on the Jhelum River and supporting the Kurram Tangi Dam project.[1]

  • U.S. arms sales to Pakistan have steadily decreased since 2001, according to a recently released report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The report cites “major discord in the U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relationship beginning in mid-fiscal year 2011” as the primary cause behind the slowing of U.S. arms sales to Pakistan. Since 2001, the U.S. has concluded $5.4 billion worth of Foreign Military Sales with Pakistan and provided the country with nearly $2.5 billion in Foreign Military Financing, which Pakistan used primarily to purchase U.S. military equipment.[2]

  • Talks between Pakistan’s chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency Lt. Gen. Zahirul Islam and CIA Director Gen. David Patraeus in Washington on Thursday were “substantive, professional, and productive,” according to a senior U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity. The U.S. official said that both leaders discussed several proposals for joint efforts against terrorism in Pakistan.[3]

  • Several U.S. congressmen criticized the State Department’s Center of Strategic Counterterrorism Communications for over-focusing on al Qaeda and ignoring threats emanating from Pakistan and Iran. Speaking at a House Foreign Affairs panel on terrorism on Friday, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman criticized the agency’s focus in Pakistan, saying that the agency does not attach enough focus on non-urdu speaking area of Pakistan such as Sindh. In addressing Alberto Fernandez, the coordinator of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, Sherman added that he would fight for increased funding that would be needed to combat terrorism in non-urdu speaking areas of Pakistan.[4]  

Domestic Politics

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled the “Contempt of Court 2012 Act” null and void on Friday because it “eroded the court’s authority.” The five-member bench, led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad, noted that the sections of the bill that said that a hearing will be suspended when an appeal is filed violated the constitution by going against the freedom of the judiciary. Chaudhry also reaffirmed the court’s ultimatum that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf write a letter to Swiss authorities requesting they reopen the corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari or else face contempt of court charges.[5]

  • On Friday, a Pakistani military court convicted Brigadier Ali Khan and three other military officers for having ties with Hizbut Tahrir (HuT), a banned militant group that wants to oust the current government and establish a pan-Islamic caliphate system. Khan, who was also charged with attempted mutiny, received a sentence of five years while the other three officers received sentences ranging from 18 months to three years. In a statement to the court, Brigadier Khan said the sentence was unjustified retribution for his speaking out against military officers who were allowing al Qaeda leaders to live in Pakistan for five years. According to a statement released by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the four military officers have the right to appeal the court’s decision.[6]  

Drone Strikes

  • In an interview with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism on Thursday, Pakistani High Commissioner to London Wajid Shamsul Hasan argued that U.S. drone strikes weakened Pakistan’s democratic institutions and aided extremist groups with recruiting. Hasan’s statement, following similar comments from Ambassador Sherry Rehman last week and ISI chief Islam this week, is part of the Pakistani government’s efforts to end U.S. drone strikes and instead transfer authority for targeting suspected militants to Pakistani law enforcement agencies. Hasan called drone strikes a violation of Pakistani sovereignty and suggested that they had contributed to a rise in anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.[7]

International Relations

  • The Chairman of Global Energy of Turkey threatened to pull out of a $1 billion investment in Pakistan’s energy sector due to concerns over an unstable investment environment in the country. Although the company had obtained a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal construction license, the Global Energy Chairman said his company could no longer wait after spending millions on the LNG importation project and seeing limited progress. The Chairman also stressed the need for international competitive bidding for the LNG integrated project should the Pakistani government initiate the project.[8]


[1] “US releases new funds for Pakistani energy projects,” Geo Pakistan, August 3, 2012. Available at
[2] “Slowdown in US arms sales to Pakistan,” Daily Times, August 3, 2012. Available at\08\03\story_3-8-2012_pg7_18
[3] “CIA director holds ‘productive’ talks with ISI chief,” AFP, August 3, 2012. Available at
[4] “Lawmakers ask State to refocus anti-terror efforts on Iran, Pakistan,” The Hill’s Global Affairs, August 2, 2012. Available at
[6] “Hizbut Tahrir ties: Brigadier Ali, 3 other officers found guilty,” Express Tribune, August 3, 2012. Available at
“Pakistan jails Brig Ali Khan and four other top officers,” BBC, August 3, 2012. Available at
[7] Chris Woods, “CIA drone strikes violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, says senior diplomat,” Guardian, August 2, 2012. Available at
[8] Zafar Bhutta, “LNG imports: Turkish energy firm threatens to pull out,” Express Tribune, August 3, 2012. Available at
[9] “Eight injured in Hub bombing,” Daily Times, August 3, 2012. Available at\08\03\story_3-8-2012_pg7_9
[10] “3 militants die in forces’ custody,” The News, August 3, 2012. Available at
[11] “Three killed in Karachi violence,” Daily Times, August 3, 2012. Available at\08\03\story_3-8-2012_pg7_21
“Four bodies found from Karachi areas,” Geo News, August 3, 2012. Available at
[12] “Two of blast victims die,” Dawn, August 2, 2012. Available at
View Citations


Arrow down red
Aug '12
Jul '12