Pakistan Security Brief
TTP spokesperson threatens media for supporting security forces; Police kill 13 TTP, al Qaeda militants in Karachi; Rangers personnel arrest 11 TTP militants in Karachi; Islamabad airport placed on red alert; Security forces arrest three TTP militant in Punjab province; FC soldier shot dead near Peshawar; TTP, LeT fighters among 150 killed by Afghan forces in Afghanistan’s Kunar province; Interior Ministry had warned of Peshawar school attack, claims report; 11 militants were involved in Peshawar school attack, claims report; Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief endorses execution of terrorists, accuses India of sponsoring terrorists; Pakistani, Afghan army chiefs, ISAF commander meet in Rawalpindi; Prime Minister Sharif chairs high-level military, civilian leadership meeting in Islamabad, to hold parliamentary meeting to finalize national action plan on terrorism; Four militants to be executed in Faisalabad; Government to seek help dismantling terror financing networks; UNHCR representative gives approval to repatriate unregistered Afghan refugees; Pakistani, Russian officials sign energy deal worth $1.7 billion; Iranian, Pakistani officials to cooperate on cross-border issues; Intelligence failure by U.S., Indian, British spy agencies responsible for failure to prevent 2008 Mumbai terror attack, claims report; PTI to hold a protest rally in Islamabad on January 17; Review board rejects government appeal for extension of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief’s detention.
On December 22, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani issued a statement claiming that 120 TTP militants had been murdered in the past two days. Khurasani further blamed the media for ignoring the killings of TTP fighters and threatened the media with dire consequences if they continue to support security forces.
On December 21, police forces raided a militant hideout, killing 13 militants, in the Sohrab Goth area of Karachi. The militants reportedly belonged to the TTP’s Khan Zaman group and al Qaeda. The police also recovered small arms, five kilograms of explosives, 10 kilograms of ball bearings and a large cache of ammunition from the militants. Police forces also arrested a suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest which failed to detonate. Police sources claim that two of the slain militants were members of al Qaeda while others belonged to TTP.
On December 23, Benazir International Airport in Islamabad was placed on red alert due to reported security threats to the airport. The airport resumed operations after a security sweep was completed.
On December 22, law enforcement agencies arrested three TTP-affiliated militants from Jhang and Faisalabad districts of Punjab province.
On December 19, unidentified gunmen shot dead a Frontier Corps (FC) soldier on Charsadda road in Peshawar. Meanwhile, a roadside IED detonated, injuring three police personnel, in the Kulachi area of Peshawar district.
On December 22, two sons of a man accused of being involved in the Islamabad Marriott attack were expelled from a Kamalia town seminary in Toba Tek Singh district of Punjab province. The two were expelled following the arrest of their uncle by intelligence personnel on December 21.
On December 23, a spokesman for the police chief of Afghanistan’s Kunar province, Gen. Abdul Habib Sayedkhaili, declared that at least 151 Taliban fighters had been killed by government forces during 12 days of fighting in Dangam district, near the border with Pakistan. Sayedkhaili also claimed that TTP and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) fighters were also involved in the fighting. According to Sayedkhaili, 17 foreign fighters were killed during the offensive. Sayedkhaili further clarified that there was no involvement of either the Pakistani government forces or international forces in the offensive.
Peshawar School Attack
According to a December 22 report in The News, the federal Interior Ministry had warned the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government on August 28, 2014 of an imminent militant attack on educational institutions run by the army. The ministry had also provided instructions to take necessary precautionary measures to preempt the attack.
According to a December 23 police report, eleven militants were involved in carrying out the Peshawar school attack during which seven militants entered the building while four stayed outside to coordinate the attack. The militants outside reportedly managed to escape.
On December 22, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed declared that the killers of children in the name of Islam are “Kharijites” and endorsed the decision of the government to execute terrorists. Saeed also claimed that Pakistani militants were operating at the behest of “international forces” and that India was sponsoring the terrorists.
On December 23, Afghan army chief Gen. Sher Muhammad Karimi and ISAF commander Gen. John Campbell met with Pakistan Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif at the army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. The Afghan army chief and the ISAF commander assured their full support to Gen. Sharif in the war against terrorism and eliminating terrorists on Afghan soil. Gen. Sharif also appreciated the recent operations by Afghan forces against TTP militants in Afghanistan’s Kunar province and in other areas close to the Pak-Afghan border. Gen. Sharif further assured full support to the generals in all spheres, including intelligence sharing and coordinated operations by both sides.
On December 23, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a high-level civil and military leadership meeting at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad and reviewed details of the national action plan to counter terrorism and extremism. The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, Director General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Rizwan, DG Military Intelligence, DG Military Operations and DG Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa.
On December 24, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to hold a meeting of Parliamentary leaders at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad. The Prime Minister will finalize the national action plan aimed at countering terrorism which is being prepared by a parliamentary committee.
According to a December 23 Express Tribune report, four more convicted militants are expected to be executed today in Faisalabad. The four militants were convicted for their involvement in the assassination attempt on former President Pervez Musharraf. Five other militants involved in the same attempt have already been hanged in Faisalabad.
According to a December 23 report in The News, the government intends to contact some Muslim countries to seek help in blocking the flow of money to terror outfits in Pakistan. The dismantling of terror financing networks is reportedly one of the main objectives of the national action plan against terrorism. 
According to a December 23 Dawn report, law enforcement agencies have identified 1,200 places, including 1,159 educational institutes in Islamabad as possible soft targets for terrorists. The police have prepared a standard operating procedure which will be shared with administrations of educational institutions. Meanwhile, intelligence reports claim that suicide bombers have been directed towards Punjab, especially Rawalpindi and Islamabad, by the TTP.
On December 22, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative Yoshimi Saits met with Minister for the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Abdul Qadir Baloch and declared that the Pakistan government can take any decision it deems appropriate for dealing with undocumented and unregistered Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Saits clarified that the UNHCR was mandated to protect only the registered Afghan refugees. On December 23, Baloch announced that the government was committed to sending all Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan by December 23, 2015 according to the agreement between the two countries. Baloch also gave assurances that the refugees would be sent back respectfully, on a voluntary basis and according to a decided time-frame.
According to a December 23 Express Tribune report, Pakistani and Russian officials have signed an energy deal worth $1.7 billion for laying a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline from Karachi to Lahore. The deal was reportedly signed at a recent meeting of the Pak-Russia Joint Ministerial Commission.
On December 22, Pakistani and Iranian border officials met at Mirjava in Iran and agreed to enhance mutual cooperation and coordination to fight terrorism, narcotics and human smuggling. The two sides also agreed to enhance intelligence cooperation to fight terrorism.
According to a December 21 New York Times report, the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks partly happened because of the failure of intelligence agencies of the U.S., Britain and India to link together all strands of intelligence gathered individually. The report claims that cooperation among intelligence agencies helped analysts to assess the operation only retrospectively and that the Mumbai terror attack was one of the most devastating failures in spycraft history.
According to a December 23 Dawn report, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) leadership has decided to hold a rally in Islamabad on January 17. The purpose of the rally has not been declared. The PTI had announced its decision on December 17 to suspend countrywide protests in the wake of the Peshawar school attack.
On December 22, a provincial review board ended the detention of Malik Ishaq, the founder of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, by dismissing the Punjab government’s petition for extending his detention. Malik had been under detention for six months under maintenance of public order laws for being a risk to law and order.