Pakistan Security Brief

New army chief assumes position; Army chief appoints new Chief of General Staff; Chief of Logistic Staff refuses Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Committee position and resigns; Pakistani Prime Minister and Afghan President meet in Kabul to discuss talks with Afghan Taliban, vow to explore opening Taliban political office in Saudi Arabia or Turkey; Three militants killed in US drone strike in North Waziristan; Thousands protest in Lahore against drones; Three PTI members arrested for harassing NATO supply trucks; Al Qaeda central command expresses condolences for Hakimullah Mehsud; TTP claims credit for Hyderabad attacks which killed five policemen; Government may be close to talks with TTP; TTP considers war against media; Militants kill one policeman, injure two in Indian administered Kashmir; 38 rockets fired from Pakistan into Afghanistan; U.S. not to relax sanction on Iranian gas and oil, Pakistani official  says gas pipeline will be completed anyway; India ramps up support for Iranian port; Prime Minister announces new law that will shield taxpayers from audits; Frontier Constabulary suffers from severe arms shortage; Militants kill one policeman, injure one in Peshawar; Militants kill one Frontier Corps soldier and injure another in Balochistan; Militants kill three, injure several others in Mohmand agency.

New Appointments

  • On Friday, the outgoing army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani handed over command of the army to new Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at a ceremony held in the Army Hockey Stadium, close to the army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.[1]

  • On Friday, Pakistan’s new army chief, General Raheel Sharif named Lieutenant General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad as the army’s new Chief of General Staff (CGS). Lt. Gen. Ahmad will replace General Rashad Mahmood, who has been promoted as a four-star general and appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.[2]

  • On Thursday, the outgoing army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani held a farewell meeting with the army’s Corps Commanders at GHQ in Rawalpindi. The conference, chaired by Kayani, discussed the country’s internal security situation along with professional matters pertaining to the armed forces. The meeting also welcomed the appointment of General Raheel Sharif as the new Chief of Army Staff and General Rashad Mahmood as the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Committee.

  • On Thursday, Chief of Logistic Staff Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam tendered his resignation in the wake of Gen. Sharif’s appointment as Chief of Army Staff.[3]

  • Former army chief Gen. Kayani and others reportedly pressured General Aslam to accept the assignment of Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, but Haroon refused to accept the any position other than that of army chief. Rumors circulated that PM Sharif did not offer the position to Gen. Haroon because he had played a key role as Director of Military Operations to oust Nawaz Sharif from power in 1999. The then Brigadier Haroon led a team to arrest all the cabinet members, including PM Sharif. The TTP reportedly welcomed the resignation of Lt. Gen. Aslam, stating that peace talks with the federal government would have been impossible if he had been made the new army chief.[4]

  • On Wednesday at a farewell dinner, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid tribute to outgoing army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani for his service to the nation.[5]

Afghan Reconciliation Process

  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met on Saturday in Kabul, Afghanistan to discuss talks with the Afghan Taliban and other issues such as trade and energy. Both sides said that progress was made, and the Afghan presidential palace issued a statement saying that “the Pakistani side agreed to pave the way” for the release of former Afghan Taliban deputy Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who did not meet with an Afghan peace delegation in Islamabad last month.[6]

  • On Saturday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai that achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interests. Sharif stated that the recent release of a senior Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, shows that Pakistan is committed to helping bring peace to Afghanistan. Sharif also said the two leaders discussed trade and energy issues, including a plan to expand an electricity distribution network and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project.[7]

  • On Saturday, Prime Minister Sharif and President Karzai agreed that Pakistan and Afghanistan would explore options on an ‘urgent basis’ to open a political office for the Taliban in either Turkey or Saudi Arabia. According to the article in the Express Tribune, Islamabad turned down President Hamid Karzai’s request for a Taliban office in Pakistan.[8]

  • On Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Special Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz addressed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, saying that Pakistan supports an Afghan-led peace process in the region, and that the government had “no favorites in Afghanistan.” Pakistan is currently part of the SCO as an observer state and has applied for full membership.[9]

U.S Drone Strikes and Fallout

  • On Thursday night, at least three suspected militants were killed and several others injured when two missiles were fired by a U.S. drone on a compound in Anga Kalli area near Miram Shah in North Waziristan Agency. One of the injured, Aslam alias Yaseen, has been linked with the 2009 attack on GHQ in Rawalpindi.[10]

  • On Sunday, about five thousand people participated in a protest in Lahore against U.S. drone strikes. The rally was led by the Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC), a religious coalition headed by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) leader Sami ul-Haq. The rally was also attended by Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) leader and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, who serves as the DPC’s Vice President. Saeed said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ‘controversial’ remarks in Afghanistan over the weekend were not appreciated. [11]

  • At the rally, the DPC said the government should play its role in stopping drone strikes in the country and stop the construction of a concrete wall along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. Jamat-ud-Dawa leader Saeed criticized Sharif for visiting Afghanistan, stating that, “His [Sharif’s] pro-India policies are not acceptable.”[12]

  • According to a Friday report in The New York Times, recent American drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan has strained ties with both countries. A drone strike in Afghanistan which resulted in civilian casualties has undermined a security deal between the United States and Afghanistan, and several drone strikes in Pakistan have led to protests in Pakistani cities and the revelation of the name of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief of Station in Islamabad.[13]

  • On Friday, three activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were arrested for their involvement in manhandling truck drivers carrying NATO supplies to Afghanistan near the Hayatabad Toll Plaza near Peshawar. The workers were arrested on the seventh day of the PTI’s sit-in that has blocked NATO supplies from entering Afghanistan. The Provincial Police Chief Nasir Durrani ordered the police to prevent protesters from stopping trucks. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police also registered cases against 35 PTI activists for manhandling truck drivers.[14]

  • On Friday, the PTI’s sit-in protest against US drone strikes in the region entered its seventh day, as workers of ruling parties gathered in Hayatabad’s Toll Plaza area in Peshawar to participate in a sit-in against NATO supplies.[15]

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

  • On Wednesday, al Qaeda’s general command released a statement offering condolences for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in an American drone strike on November 1.  The general command called the TTP “mujahideen brothers” and praised Mullah Fazlullah, the new head of the TTP. On November 21, the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a propaganda group affiliated with al Qaeda, also released a statement praising Mehsud for his “martyrdom.”[16]

  • On Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Fazlur Rehman to discuss strategies for restarting talks with the TTP. Sharif said that his government will support a resumption of talks with the TTP.[17]

  • According to a Monday article in the Express Tribune, the Pakistani government is close to resuming talks with the TTP. The newly appointed TTP chief, Mullah Fazlullah, has previously stated he is unwilling to start peace talks with the government.[18]

  • On November 26, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that the TTP was responsible for the two attacks that day in Hyderabad, Sindh which killed a total of five police personnel. Shahid said that the attacks were revenge for the American drone strike on November 1, which killed TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud.[19]

  • On Wednesday, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid released a video in which he criticized the Pakistani media for their praise of Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar, who recently retired from the sport. He said that the media should instead praise Misbah-ul-Haq, a Pakistani cricketer “despite the fact that he is a pathetic player, because he is ultimately a Pakistani.”[20]

  • Negative press reactions to TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid’s comments about Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar reportedly led to a meeting of TTP shura members on Friday, in which the TTP debated whether or not to declare war on the media. Some members felt that a blanket war against the media was appropriate while others reportedly argued that only certain journalists should be targeted.[21]

Kashmir Unrest

  • On Monday, officials in Indian-administered Kashmir reported that unknown militants shot and killed a police officer and injured two in Srinagar. Intelligence reports suggested that militants were planning to step up attacks on police officers in the region.[22]

Afghan-Pakistan Relations

  • On Saturday, 38 rockets were fired into Kunar province, Afghanistan from the Pakistani side of the border. According to Afghan officials, there were no casualties. Pakistani officials have not commented, and it is unclear who was behind the attacks.[23]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • According to an article in Dawn, President Barack Obama has decided to retain U.S. sanctions on petroleum and petroleum products from Iran, dashing Pakistan’s hope that the recent nuclear deal would make it easier for Pakistan to buy Iranian gas. The president’s statement made it clear that Iran would have to first forgo its controversial nuclear weapons program before sanctions on its oil industry would be removed.[24]

  • On Thursday, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said Pakistan would find an opportunity to complete the proposed Iran gas pipeline project within a year. However, a prominent economist Iqbal Hamid Khan said the pipeline project could only be pursued if sanctions against Iran were lifted and that the pipeline project would take two years to complete if Pakistan started work on the project immediately. [25]

  • According to a Thursday article in the Express Tribune, a “friendly country” has offered $1 billion in assistance for building the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. Only top government leadership and the Foreign Office know about the financing offer, and the donor country’s name has been kept secret.[26]

India-Iran Relations

  • According to a Friday report in Reuters, India has sent a team to Iran to help Iran construct a port in Chabahar, Sistan and Balochistan province. India is partly funding the construction of the port, which will allow India to have access to Central Asia without going through Pakistan. The impetus for India sending the team to Iran is reportedly the recent deal between Iran and the United States, and the possibility of improved relations between the two countries.[27]


  • On Thursday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a tax reform which will shield taxpayers from audits. According to The News, this move is expected to be disapproved of by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which made broadening the tax base one of conditions for a $6.5 billion loan.[28]

  • On Thursday, Defense Minister Khawja Asif told reporters that missing people in Balochistan would be located and recovered soon. Hundreds of people have disappeared in Balochistan in the last several years, and security forces fighting a separatist insurgency are reportedly believed by many to be complicit. People often disappear and then are later found dead, a practice known as “kill and dump.”[29]

  • On Monday, Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ordered the arrest of those responsible for the enforced disappearances of 35 people. According to the Attorney General of Pakistan, Munir A Malik, two of the 35 missing persons had died.[30]


  • According to a Saturday report in The News, the Frontier Constabulary suffers from a lack of arms, which has hampered it in its fight against militants. According to the report, 26,000 Constabulary personnel have 8,000 guns, 500 bullet-proof vests, and 500 helmets between them. 25 platoons are completely unarmed.[31]

  • On Saturday, unidentified men fired at policemen on Canal Road in Peshawar, killing one and injuring another. The policemen were on their way to the police station after completing their polio team escort duty in Bahader Kallay when the incident took place. Polio vaccination drives have been postponed across FATA, including Khyber Agency, until December 9 due to a shortage of polio vaccines.[32]

  • On Friday, a local court in Karachi freed Ameen Buledi, a notorious figure in the Lyari gang war, and his partners after the police rescinded cases against them.[33]

  • On Monday, armed militants killed a Frontier Corps (FC)soldier and injured another in the Lehri area of Sibi district, Balochistan. Militants on motorcycles opened fire at an FC check post in the same area earlier in the morning. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, officials accuse the Baloch insurgents for the attack. [34]

  • On Sunday, militants attacked Frontier Corps (FC) forces in the Yari Khel area of Baizai sub-district in Mohmand agency, killing three and injuring several others. The victims belonged to the Swat Scouts, a unit within the FC.[35]

  • On Friday, police arrested a suspected militant in Matani, Peshawar district. The suspect, who was identified as “Almas” was allegedly involved in several attacks.[36]

  • On Saturday, Rangers arrested 20 suspected criminals in raids throughout Karachi.[37]  

[1] “Gen Raheel Sharif gets baton of command,” The Dawn, November 29, 2013. Available at:
[2] “General Ahmad named new CGS,” The Dawn, November 30, 2013. Available at:
[3] Mateen Haider, “Kayani heads corps commanders meeting; Mahmood takes charge,” The Dawn, November 28, 2013. Available at:
[4] “Haroon Aslam resigns following Gen Sharif’s promotion to army chief,” The Express Tribune, November 28, 2013. Available at: Usman Manzoor, “Gen Haroon refused to accept CJCSC’s slot,” The News, December 2, 2013. Available at: “Talks would have been impossible under Gen Aslam, says TTP,” The News, November 30, 2013. Available at:,-says-TTP
[5] “PM Nawaz lauds services of General Kayani,” The News, November 27, 2013. Available at:
[6] Nathan Hodge, “Islamabad, Kabul Claim Headway on Taliban,” The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2013. Available at:
[7] “Peaceful, stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest: Sharif,” November 30, 2013. Available at:
[8] Kamran Yousaf, “Afghan endgame: Islamabad, Kabul to revive Taliban office,” December 2, 2013. Available at:
[9] “’We have no favorites in Afghanistan’: Sartaj Aziz tells SCO members in Tashkent,” The Express Tribune,” November 29, 2013. Available at:
[10] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Three suspected militants killed in North Waziristan drone attack,” The Dawn, November 29, 2013. Available at: “Militant involved in GHQ attack injured in drone attack,” The News, November 29, 2013. Available at:
[11] “Thousands Rally in Pakistan Against U.S. Drone Attacks,” AFP, December 1, 2013. Available at:
Rana Tanveer, “Hafiz Saeed criticizes PM’s statements in Afghanistan,” The Express Tribune, December 1, 2013. Available at:
[12] “National interest: Difa-i-Pakistan leaders slam ‘pro-India’ policies,” The Express Tribune, December 2, 2013. Available at:
[13] Rob Nordland, Salman Masood, “Recent Drone Strikes Strain U.S. Tied with Afghanistan and Pakistan,” The New York Times, November 29, 2013. Available at:
[14] “PTI activists arrested for manhandling NATO truck drivers,” The Dawn, November 30, 2013. Available at:
[15] “Peshawar sit-in against NATO supplies enters seventh day,” The Dawn, November 29, 2013. Available at:
[17] Ahmad Hassan, “Govt Wants Negotiated Settlement with TTP: Nawaz,” The News, November 30, 2013. Available at:
[18] Zahid Gishkori, “Talks with Taliban: Govt edges closer to framing TTP strategy,” December 2, 2013. Available at:
[19] Ahmad Hassan, “TTP Says it Killed Five Policemen in Hyderabad,” The News, November 28, 2013. Available at:
[20] “Taliban Urge Pakistanis to Stop Praising Sachin Tendulkar,” BBC, November 28, 2013. Available at:
[21] Mushtaq Yusufzai, “TTP May Declare War on Media,” The News, November 30, 2013. Available at:
[22] “Suspected militants kill police officer near Srinagar,” The Dawn, December 2, 2013. Available at:
[23] “38 Rockets Fired from Pakistan into Kunar, Claim Afghan Officials,” The News, December 1, 2013. Available at:,-claim-Afghan-officials
[24] Anwar Iqbal, “Obama retains oil sanctions against Iran, dashes Pakistan’s hopes,” The Dawn, December 1, 2013. Available at:
[25] “Iran gas pipeline project to be completed in a year, says Abbasi,” The Dawn, November 28, 2013. Available at:
[26] Zafar Bhutta, “Anonymous donor: ‘Friendly’ country offers $1b for Iran-Pakistan pipeline,” Express Tribune, November 28, 2013. Available at:
[27] Sanjeev Miglani, “India Accelerates Iranian Port Project after U.S.-Iran Thaw,” Reuters, November 29, 2013. Available at:
[28] Mehtab Haider, “Nawaz Ignores Major Wish of IMF, Gives Tax Concessions,” The News, November 29, 2013. Available at:,-gives-tax-concessions
[29] “Pakistan Minister Gives Missing Persons Assurance,” AFP, November 29, 2013. Available at:
[30] “SC orders arrest of those responsible for missing persons,” The Dawn, December 2, 2013. Available at:
[31] “Dearth of Arms, Ammo Hurdle in War Against Terror: Commandant,” The News, November 30, 2013. Available at:,-ammo%3a-Commandant
[32] Riaz Ahmed, “Policeman shot dead, another injured after escorting polio teams,” The Express Tribune,” December 1, 2013. Available at:
[33] “Gangs of Lyari: Court frees notorious kingpin Ameen Buledi,” The Express Tribune, November 30, 2013. Available at:
[34] “FC man killed in attack on checkpost in Sibi,” The Dawn, December 2, 2013. Available at:
[35] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Three security personnel killed in Mohmand attack,” The Dawn, November 30, 2013. Available at:
[36] “Militant Arrested from Matani,” The News, November 30, 2013. Available at:
[37] “Rangers Arrested 20 in Raids,” The News, November 30, 2013. Available at:
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