Pakistan Security Brief

IS expanding its influence in Pakistan, Gujranwala its main hub, claims former interior minister; Police arrest five AQIS militants, including AQIS Karachi chief, in Karachi; AQIS releases report of its Karachi attacks for the past year; TTP spokesman criticizes Malala Yousafzai; Security forces hand over 30 people to local jirga; Army chief holds meeting with corps commanders in Rawalpindi; Army to decide on establishment of cantonment in Swat; Prime Minister PTI, government resume negotiations as PTI protests in Karachi; Nawaz Sharif meets Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister; ADB, Pakistan Economic Affairs Division sign loan agreement worth $248 million.

Islamic State in South Asia

  • On December 11, former interior minister Rehman Malik declared in a statement that Islamic State (IS) was expanding its presence in Pakistan and that Gujranwala was becoming its main hub.  Malik added that one person from Gujranwala and another from Bahawalpur are carrying out operations for IS and that IS’s alleged leader, Yousaf Salafi, had travelled between Iraq and Pakistan.[1] 

Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent

  • On December 11, police forces arrested five al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)-affiliated militants in the Old Haji Camp neighborhood of Karachi. AQIS’s alleged Karachi chief, Shahid Usman, was among those arrested while the other four militants were identified as Asad Khan, Fawad Khan, Shahid Ansari and Usman alias Islam. The police also recovered 10 kilograms of explosives, rifles, pistols and other illegal equipment from the arrested militants. According to police sources, Usman was previously associated with Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami, whose operational commander Ilyas Kashmiri, was killed in a drone strike in 2011. The arrested militants were reportedly involved in the planning and execution of the failed dockyard attack in Karachi on September 6-7. The militants were allegedly planning another attack on the main Karachi naval dockyard at the time of their arrest.[2]

  • On December 6, AQIS spokesman Usama Mahmood posted a report of attacks conducted by AQIS in Karachi between November 2013 and October 2014 on his Twitter account in Urdu. In the report, Mahmood claims that while AQIS was formally established in September 2014, it began operating under one consultative committee and commander almost a year ago. The report further states that the committee resolved to target American interests, Pakistani soldiers and police, “anti-Islam thugs” and prominent individuals known for their “animosity towards Islam.” In the report, AQIS claimed responsibility for total of 18 attacks against police forces and also the killings of blogger Aniqa Naz and Professor Shakeel Auj.[3] 


  • In an update to a story reported on December 11, TTP spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani criticized Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in a statement posted on the group’s website and Facebook page on December 11. The statement said that Malala and her father, Ziauddin, had entered into an agreement “to destroy the religious society of Pakistan” and that Zaiuddin had traded the “religion, modesty and honor” of his daughter. Khurasani further claimed that Malala was awarded the Peace Prize for “promoting western culture and not education.” The statement also added that the TTP was not against education or absolute freedom but that it was against western co-education.[4]

  • On December 11, security forces handed over to a local Jirga 30 people who had been detained from North Waziristan on suspicion of having links with militants.  The detainees were released after being investigated and cleared of any crimes.[5]


  • On December 12, army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif convened a meeting of the army’s corps commanders at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi in order to review the progress of the ongoing military operations in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency. During the meeting Gen. Sharif also discussed plans for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and highlighted the need to cooperate with federal and regional governments to ensure a safe and dignified return of all IDPs.[6]

  • On December 11, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Afzal Khan Lala declared that security forces would decide whether or not to establish a cantonment in Swat during a jirga in Mingora, Swat. The remarks were made at a joint jirga convened by the district administration and the army to discuss the law and order situation in Swat.[7]

Domestic Politics

  • On December 11, representatives of the government and the protesting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party met in Islamabad, in an attempt to resume negotiations to resolve the political deadlock. Federal Minister for Planning and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal led the government team while Asad Umar represented the PTI. The December 11 meeting was reportedly a preliminary session meant for exchanging initial demands before the formal resumption of negotiations on December 13. Meanwhile, PTI chief Imran Khan went ahead with the party’s scheduled protest in Karachi on December 12. A PTI official further declared that the party might defer calls for a country-wide shut-down on December 18 depending on the status of talks with the government but that it would continue with its scheduled protest in Lahore on December 15.[8]

  • On December 11, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with in Islamabad the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, and declared that Pakistan would give a positive response if India took the initiative to resume the stalled dialogue process.[9]  


  • On December 12, Pakistan Secretary of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Muhammad Saleem Sethi and Country Director Asian Development Bank (ADB) Werner E. Liepach signed a loan agreement worth $248 million for a power transmission enhancement investment program. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 with the aim of enhancing the existing capacity of the power transmission system by rehabilitation, extension, augmentation and expansion of the system to meet the growing power demand in the country.[10]

[1]“Gujranwala is the hub of ISIS, says Rehman Malik,” The News, December 12, 2014. Available at,-says-Rehman-Malik
[2]“Suspected South Asian al Qaeda commander arrested from Karachi,” Dawn, December 12, 2014. Available at
“Pakistan Arrests Al-Qaeda Militants Ahead of Alleged Planned Raid on Naval Dockyard,” WSJ, December 11, 2014. Available at
“CID arrests ‘Al-Qaeda Subcontinent Chief’,” The News, December 12, 2014. Available at
[3]“AQIS Reports on Attacks in Karachi from Nov. 2013-Oct. 2014, Targets Police, a Blogger and a Professor,” SITE, December 11, 2014. Available at
[4]“TTP Calls Malala Yousafzai the “Precisous Weapon” of Western Civilization,” SIT, December 11, 2014. Available at
[5]“To be questioned: Security forces hand over 30 men to Jirga,” Express Tribune, December 12, 2014. Available at
[6]“Corps commanders discuss progress on military operations,” Dawn, December 12, 2014. Available at
[7]“Grand Jirga supports cantonment in Swat,” The News, December 12, 2014. Available at
[8]“Govt, PTI engage in talks about talks,” Dawn, December 12, 2014. Available at
“Demands exchanged: Cautious optimism as PTI, govt open talks,” Express Tribune, December 12, 2014. Available at
[9]“Pakistan to respond positively if India takes lead: Nawaz,” The News, December 12, 2014. Available at
[10]“Pakistan inks $248mn loan agreement with ADB,” Dawn, December 12, 2014. Available at


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