Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistani officials confirm death of senior TTP commander Asmatullah Bhittani; roadside bomb kills one in Mohmand; Pakistan’s Interior Ministry announces increased security to protect churches during Christmas; Prime Minter Gilani tells National Assembly that Pakistan will not take “dictation” from other nations.
Pakistani officials announced on Thursday that a senior Taliban commander, Asmatullah Bhittani, was killed in early December by security forces. Officials report that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander was killed on the night of December 7-8th during a firefight with security forces in the Sara Rogha area of South Waziristan agency. Pakistani security personnel had previously issued a 120,000 dollar (10 million rupees) reward for his arrest and one unnamed senior Pakistani intelligence official called Bhittani’s death “a big blow to Taliban militants.” 
One man was killed and three others were injured after militants detonated a roadside bomb in Mohmand agency on Wednesday. The attack occurred in the Ziarat Chowk area of tribal agency’s Safi sub-district.
Two people were injured on Wednesday when militants attacked a military convoy in Kurram tribal agency. The convoy was traveling from Parachinar to Peshawar when it came under fire in the Chhappari area of Kurram agency.
Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has deployed members of the Frontier Constabulary to protect churches against terror attacks during the Christmas holiday in “sensitive districts” of Kyber-Pakuthunkhwa. Pakistani officials told reporters that security officials have been placed on the “highest alert” and that several churches will witness an increased police presence. Additionally, some churches will be required to set up security gates in order to search worshipers for weapons and explosives before allowing them to participate in Christmas services.
Addressing a full session of the National Assembly, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani reaffirmed Pakistan’s right to sovereignty over security matters and warned that the country will not take “dictation” from other nations. Prime Minister Gilani specifically discussed Pakistan’s right to decide “when and where” a military operation will occur in North Waziristan. The Prime Minister also told National Assembly members that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) plays a critical role in Pakistan’s battle against terrorism and that its members will not be forced to appear before courts in the United States.