Pakistan Security Brief

TTP spokesperson issues statement explaining motivations for Peshawar school attack; Army chief visits Kabul seeking extradition of TTP chief; Prime Minister Sharif declares no discrimination between good, bad Taliban in fight against terrorism;  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reinstates death penalty in terrorism cases; Army spokesperson addresses press conference on Peshawar school attack; Indian lawmakers, schools express solidarity with Peshawar school attack victims; Emirates suspends flights to Peshawar until further notice; Drone strike kills four TTP members, seven others in Nangarhar, Afghanistan; Pakistan military airstrikes kill 22 militants in Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency; 18 Taliban fighters, five Afghan soldiers killed in offensive in Kunar province, Afghanistan.

Peshawar School Attack

  • On December 17, Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani posted a statement on the group’s website claiming responsibility and explaining the TTP’s motivations for the Peshawar school attack. Khurasani stated that the attack was carried out by six fighters in its “Mujahideen Special Group” under the supervision of TTP Commander for Peshawar and Darra Adam Khel, Khalifa Umar Mansoor. Mansoor was reportedly in contact with the militants and issuing instructions during the attack. Khurasani further stated that the TTP attacked the army-run school in order to avenge the injustice meted out by the government of Pakistan and the security agencies toward TTP members. The statement declared that the attack was targeted only at students who were “sane, mature, and belonged to the security personnel families.” Khurasani further stated that the attack was a warning to the security forces to cease “further genocide” of tribal Muslims, to stop killing relatives of fighters in secret prisons, and to release allegedly incarcerated family members of militants. Khurasani threatened attacks on all organizations associated with security forces if his warning was not heeded. Khurasani also advised all Muslims to isolate themselves from security forces or face consequences.[1]

  • On December 17, Pakistan Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif made a surprise visit to Kabul to seek the extradition of TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah from Afghan officials. Gen. Sharif reportedly shared classified intelligence with Afghan officials and claimed that the mastermind of the December 16 Peshawar school attack was issuing directives to the militants from Afghanistan. The Taliban commander had been earlier identified as Umar Naray. The army chief also met International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander Gen. Joseph Dunford to present evidence of the Peshawar attack’s link with TTP sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan province of Afghanistan. Gen. Sharif was also expected to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and was accompanied by the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on his visit.[2]  

  • On December 17, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif convened an All Party Conference (APC) in Peshawar in the aftermath of the Peshawar terrorist attack. Addressing lawmakers at the Governor House in Peshawar, Prime Minister Sharif declared that the conference had decided to draft an action plan against terrorists and act upon it immediately.  Prime Minister Sharif also announced that there will be no discrimination between “good” and “bad” Taliban and that terrorism will be tackled in the entire country until the last terrorist is eliminated. [3]

  • On December 17, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the removal of a moratorium on the death penalty in terrorism-related cases, following the December 16 Peshawar school attack that killed 141 people. The moratorium had reportedly been imposed under international pressure because of concerns that the courts and police were not capable of ensuring a fair trial for those accused.[4] 

  • On December 16, Army spokesperson Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa addressed a press conference in Peshawar to give details of the Peshawar school attack and the resulting rescue operation. Maj. Gen. Bajwa declared that the terrorists aimed to inflict maximum damage and did not try to take any hostages. The army also reportedly recovered ammunition and rations from militants which could have lasted them for several days.[5]

  • On December 17, Indian lawmakers and schools observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the Peshawar terrorist attack, following an appeal by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Special prayers were also held in schools and the Indian Parliament. Prime Minister Modi also spoke to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the telephone on December 16 and pledged Indian support in the fight against terrorism. On December 17, U.S. President Barack Obama also telephoned Prime Minister Sharif and expressed his condolences and sympathies for the victims of the terrorist attack.[6]

  • On December 16, international carrier Emirates announced that it was suspending flights to Peshawar for operational reasons with immediate effect until further notice. The announcement came shortly after the Peshawar terrorist attack that killed 141 people.[7]

Drone Attack

  • On December 16, a U.S. drone strike killed four Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) members and seven other insurgents in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.  According to the spokesman for police forces in Nangarhar, at least one of those killed in the attack was an important commander.[8]


  • In an update to a story reported on December 16, Pakistan Air Forces airstrikes killed 22 militants in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. The airstrikes reportedly targeted the hideouts of TTP and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants.[9] 

  • According to a December 16 Reuters report, Taliban fighters killed at least five Afghan soldiers in a three-day offensive in the Dangam district of Afghanistan’s Kunar province. The attack which began on December 14 was reportedly mounted by fighters from both Pakistan and Afghanistan and was aimed at taking control of Dangam district. 18 Taliban fighters have also reportedly been killed in the offensive. Dangam is about 70 miles from the Pakistani city of Peshawar.[10]

[1]“TTP Explains Motivations Behind Peshawar School Attack, Threatens More,” SITE, December 17, 2014. Available at
[2]“Gen Raheel visits Kabul, seeks handover of Mullah Fazlullah,” Dawn, December 17, 2014. Available at]
“Hand over Fazlullah: army chief set to tell Kabul,” Express Tribune, December 17, 2014. Available at
[3]“Live: PTI chief Imran Khan calls of protests,” Express Tribune, December 17, 2014. Available at
[4]“Nawaz removes moratorium on death penalty,” Dawn, December 17, 2014. Available at
[5]“No hostages: Terrorists wanted to inflict maximum casualties, says DG ISPR,” Express Tribune, December 16, 2014. Available at
[6]“Indian schools, lawmakers observe silence over Peshawar massacre,” Dawn, December 17, 2014. Available at
“Obama phones PM Nawaz, regrets Peshawar incident,” Dawn, December 17, 2014. Available at
[7]“Emirates suspends Peshawar flights ‘until further notice’,” Dawn, December 17, 2014. Available at
[8]“US airstrike targets Pakistani, Afghan Taliban in Nangarhar,” Long War Journal, December 17, 2014. Available at
[9]“22 militants perish in Tirah blitz,” The News, December 17, 2014. Available at
[10]“Taliban fighters mount offensive near Afghan border with Pakistan,” Reuters, December 16, 2014. Available at
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