Pakistan Security Brief

Afghan President, ISAF commander assure Army chief support in combatting terrorists; Security forces identify militants involved in Peshawar attack, register cases against 16 top TTP commanders; U.S. willing to assist Pakistan in the wake of Peshawar attack, says Pentagon spokesperson; PTI chief announces end to country-wide protests in the wake of Peshawar attack; President Mamnoon Hussain rejects 17 mercy appeals for death penalty convicts;  Pakistan military airstrikes kill 57 militants; Five TTP militants killed in Karachi raid; IED kills three FC personnel in Bajaur Agency; Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General warns of potential jailbreaks by militants; Anti-terrorism court grants bail to alleged mastermind of Mumbai 2008 terror attacks, India reacts strongly; IMF approves disbursement of $1.1 billion loan to Pakistan.

Peshawar School Attack

  • On December 17, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani assured Gen. Raheel Sharif that Afghanistan will not allow the use of its territory for terrorist activities against Pakistan and that any anti-Pakistan militants encountered on Afghan soil would be immediately eliminated. ISAF commander Gen. Campbell also assured Gen. Sharif of complete support in eliminating terrorists in his area of responsibility. Gen. Sharif made a surprise visit to Kabul on December 17 following the Peshawar terrorist attack that killed 145 people. Gen. Sharif also shared intelligence with the Afghan President and ISAF commander regarding the Peshawar attack that reportedly pointed towards the involvement of a Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group, TTP Jamaatul Ahrar, based in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Conflicting reports suggest that the attack was claimed by TTP Jamaatul Ahrar and masterminded by its chief Omar Khorasani.[1]

  • On December 17, security forces identified the seven terrorists who carried out the Peshawar school attack and registered a case against 16 top TTP commanders who were allegedly responsible for planning the attack. According to intelligence agencies, the attack was finalized in a meeting held near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the first week of December. The meeting was allegedly attended by TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, Saifullah, Hafiz Saeed of TTP Orakzai, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Qari Shakil of TTP Mohmand Agency, Aslam Farooqi, Aurangzeb alias Imar from TTP Tariq group, Qari Saifullah, Jan Wali, Lashkar-e-Islam chief Mangal Bagh and his son. Intelligence reports further claim that the terrorists were trained in the Sheen Drang Markaz area of Bara, Khyber Agency before being sent to Peshawar. Meanwhile on December 17, the TTP released photos of its militants who carried out the Peshawar attack. On December 17, police officials arrested the owner of the vehicle used by terrorists in the Peshawar school attack in Islamabad. The police are trying to determine if the suspect has any links with terrorists.[2]

  • On December 18, U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson Adm. John Kirby declared that the U.S. was willing to assist Pakistan in the wake of the Peshawar terrorist attack if Pakistan needed or wanted any help. Kirby added that Pakistan has not requested any assistance so far but that the U.S. remains committed to supporting Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and ensure stability.[3] 

  • On December 17, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan announced an end to his party’s four-month long country-wide protests in the wake of the terrorist attack in Peshawar on December 16. Khan stressed the need for national unity and resolved to support the government in its fight against terrorism. Khan, however, declared that the party would continue to fight for “justice” and insisted on the constitution of a judicial commission to probe alleged rigging during the 2013 general elections.[4]

  • On December 18, President Mamnoon Hussain rejected the mercy appeals of 17 criminals sentenced to the death penalty in terrorism-related cases. The decision was made following the lifting of a moratorium on the death penalty by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on December 17. Meanwhile according to a December 18 report in The News, convicted terrorist Aqeel, alias Dr. Usman, could be the first person to be executed.  Aqeel led a 10-member suicide squad to attack the army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on October 10, 2009.[5]


  • On December 17, the Pakistan military conducted 20 airstrikes, killing 57 militants, in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. [6]

  • On December 17, Pakistani Rangers raided a TTP militant hideout, killing five militants, in the Manghopir area of Karachi. The Rangers also recovered automatic weapons and explosives from the hideout.[7]

  • On December 18, a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) killed three Frontier Corps (FC) personnel when they walked over the IED in the Damadola area of Bajaur Agency.[8]

  • According to a December 18 Dawn report, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Prisons has alerted the provincial government of potential jailbreaks by militants and requested law enforcement agencies to ensure fool-proof security arrangements at all jails in the province. The alert was issued following Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to reinstate the death penalty in terrorism cases.[9]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On December 18, an anti-terrorism court granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Lakhvi was believed to be the operational head of the proscribed terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) at the time of the attack and was arrested in 2008 along with six others in connection with the attack. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed the granting of bail to Lakhvi as “very unfortunate” and urged the Pakistani government to appeal the decision. Singh added that the Indian government had provided sufficient evidence against the terrorists and that Pakistan should show more seriousness in taking the trial to its logical conclusion.[10]


  • According to a December 18 report in The News, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the disbursement of $1.1 billion loan to Pakistan. The loan is expected to be released in two installments with the first installment expected to be released in the next few days.[11]  

[1]“Peshawar attack: Afghanistan, Isaf promise action against Taliban group,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
[2]“Peshawar school attackers identified,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
“Taliban release photos of Peshawar school attackers,” The News, December 17, 2014. Available at
“Owner of vehicle used in school attack arrested,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
[3]“US offers help to probe Peshawar attack,” The News, December 18, 2014. Available at
[4]“Imran Khan announces end of PTI protests,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
[5]President rejects mercy appeal of 17 death penalty convicts,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
“GHQ attacker may be hanged first,” The News, December 18, 2014. Available at
[6]“Fresh air strikes kill 57 terrorists in Tirah: ISPR,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
[7]“Five TTP militants killed in Karachi clash,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
[8]“Three FC soldiers killed in Bajaur roadside bomb blast,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
[9]“Jailbreak threat looms for KP prisons as execution moratorium lifted,” Dawn, December 18, 2014. Available at
[10]“26/11 planner Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi gets bail; India blames Pakistan, calls it ‘very unfortunate’,” Indian Express, December 18, 2014. Available at
“Mumbai attacks ‘mastermind’ Lakhvi bailed in Pakistan,” BBC, December 18, 2014. Available at
[11]“IMF approves $1.1 billion loan for Pakistan,” The News, December 18, 2014. Available at$1.1-billion-loan-for-Pakistan


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