Pakistan Security Brief

National Security Committee Secretary claims IS a potential threat to Pakistan; Pakistan seeks help from Afghanistan, U.S. to capture IS’s alleged Khorasan chief; Pakistani military airstrikes kill 11 militants, injure ten in Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency; Punjabi Taliban chief reportedly attends father’s funeral in Khanewal, Punjab province; IED injures four in Quetta; One militant killed in clashes with security forces in Jaffarabad district, Balochistan; Pakistan to help reconcile Afghan Taliban in return for help in defeating TTP, claims report;  U.S. embassies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand issue warnings of anti-American protests; Iranian, Pakistani officials sign five agreements on various areas of cooperation;  PAT to hold countywide protests from December 17.

Islamic State in South Asia

  • According to a December 10 Dawn report, National Security Committee Secretary Muhammad Sadiq stated that the militant group Islamic State (IS) is a potential threat to Pakistan and that IS views the region as a potential recruitment ground. Sadiq also stated that an important enabling factor for IS recruitment could be the weakening of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the displacement of the Haqqani Network’s foot soldiers following military operations in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency. Sadiq claimed that the anti-Shia sectarian leanings of IS could also aid IS recruitment efforts in Pakistan.[1]

  • According to a December 10 report in The News, Pakistani officials have sought help from Afghanistan and the U.S. in capturing Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, the chief of IS’s alleged Khorasan chapter. Dost has reportedly been identified as the mastermind of the IS publicity campaign in Pakistan. The report further claims that Pakistan’s request for help follows increasing trilateral collaboration between Pakistan, the U.S. and Afghanistan and joint efforts by all three states to combat terrorism in the region.[2]


  • On December 9, two separate Pakistani military airstrikes killed eleven militants and injured ten others in different parts of the Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency. The first airstrike reportedly killed six militants including an Uzbek commander, and injured ten others in Sherkhel Darra in Aka Khel. Twelve militant hideouts were also destroyed. Five militants were killed in the second airstrike in Sarey Kandao in the Kaka Khel area of the Tirah Valley.[3] 

  • On December 10, Punjabi Taliban chief Asmatullah Mauwiya reportedly attended his father’s funeral in a village near Katcha Khu in Khanewal, Punjab province without being apprehended by the police. District police officials, however, deny Mauwiya’s presence at his father’s funeral and claim that the police failed to find him at the burial ceremony despite the presence of an active informers’ network. Mauwiya is one of the most-wanted militants in Pakistan but renounced armed struggle against Pakistan in a statement released in September 2014.[4]

  • On December 10, a roadside improvised explosive device (IED), reportedly targeting security forces, injured four people in the Sariab road area of Quetta.[5]

  • On December 10, armed clashes with security forces resulted in the death of one militant in the Ghot Azmat Bugti village in Jaffarabad district of Balochistan. Other militants reportedly managed to escape from the scene.[6]

Foreign Affairs

  • According to a December 10 Reuters report, Pakistan has reportedly promised the U.S. that if the U.S. helps defeat the TTP in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan will help reconcile the Afghan Taliban and bring them to the negotiating table. Furthermore, according to a Pakistani official, the recent spike in attacks against al Qaeda signifies closer tactical ties between the U.S. and Pakistan but does not signify a deeper strategic shift in interests. The official added that the Americans don’t believe that Pakistan can target the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network and that overall trust level between the two countries remains low.[7]

  • On December 10, the U.S. embassies in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Thailand issued a warning for “potential anti-American protests and violence against U.S. interests, including private U.S. citizens.” The warning was issued following the release of a December 9 Senate Committee report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) harsh interrogation program against al Qaeda suspects.[8]

  • On December 9, Pakistani and Iranian officials signed five agreements related to the establishment of a Joint Investment Committee, cooperation between industries, establishment of sister port relationship between Karachi and Chabahar and cooperation in the field of investment, economic and technical assistance.  The agreements were signed during a ceremony in Islamabad attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Prime Minister Sharif stated that relations between Iran and Pakistan are improving and that there are vast opportunities for increasing trade between the two countries. Pakistani Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir also told Iranian Finance Minister Dr. Ali Tayieb Nia that Pakistan wanted to make the current Preferential Trade Agreement with Iran effectively operational and expand the current items of trade.[9]

Domestic Politics

  • On December 9, a Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) spokesperson announced that the party has decided on a strategy for holding protests in all four provinces of the country and that the party would announce its strategy on December 17. The spokesperson added that December 17 marks the six month anniversary of the Model Town incident that resulted in the death of 14 PAT workers and that the protests are against the “unfair” constitution of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the incident.[10]

[1]“IS may recruit locals by exploiting sectarian divide: official,” Dawn, December 10, 2014. Available at
[2]“Pakistan seeks US-Afghan help to capture IS chief,” The News, December 10, 2014. Available at
[3]“11 more militants killed in Khyber air strikes,” The News, December 10, 3014. Available at
[4]“Police deny Taliban Punjab Commander visited his village,” The News, December 10, 2014. Available at.
[5]“Blast injures four people in Quetta,” Dawn, December 10, 2014. Available at
[6]“Militant killed in Dera Bugti clash,” Express Tribune, December 10, 2014. Available at
[7]“U.S., Pakistan increase cooperation in faint hope of Afghan peace,” Reuters, December 10, 2014. Available at
[8]“US embassy warns of anti-American violence in Pakistan,” Express Tribune, December 10, 2014.  Available at
[9]“Pakistan, Iran sign 5 MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation,” Express Tribune, December 9, 2014. Available at
[10]“PAT to start countrywide protests, rallies from December 17,” Express Tribune, December 9, 2014. Available at
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