Pakistan Security Brief

Pasha tries to repair ties with U.S.; Pakistan wants “good relations” with world; NATO supply chain decision “up to Parliament;” anti-drone militant group on the loose in Waziristan; doctor in militancy murder case killed; Islamabad Red Mosque resurgent; tensions over drone program secrecy; India rejects Pakistani confidence building measure proposal; Pakistani journalists threatened.


U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Pakistani spy chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha has reportedly made a visit to Qatar, home to Central Command (CENTCOM) headquarters, supposedly as part of a bid to begin repairing relations between the U.S. and Pakistan. Pasha returned on Wednesday from the trip which had reportedly been ‘authorized’ by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. His visit to Qatar follows the release of a report by U.S. military officials looking into the events of the NATO border raid of November 26 that ended up killing 24 Pakistani soldiers.[1]

  • Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit on Thursday made a statement saying that Pakistan “wants good relations with the international community including the United States but cannot compromise its national sovereignty and integrity.” He further said that the “Parliamentary Committee on National Security is reviewing Pak-US relations and [that] Prime Minister Gilani has said that its recommendations would be presented to joint session of the parliament for final approval on the issue of revisiting the relations with United States.”[2]

  • Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday stated that the government’s decision on what to do about the suspended NATO supply chain through Pakistan would be made in accordance with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. The supply chain was halted following the NATO border raid on November 26.[3]



  • The LA Times profiles a militant group based out of North Waziristan known as the Khorasan Mujahedin that primarily concerns itself with rooting out, kidnapping and killing people it believes to be assisting U.S. drones operating over the Pakistani tribal areas. Since militant groups are unable to shoot down drones, the group is attempting to stem the flow of local intelligence that drone operators use to target militant leaders. According to Pakistani officials and local elders, “most of those who are abducted this way are innocent, but after being beaten, burned with irons or scalded with boiling water, almost all eventually ‘confess’” to being U.S. spies.[4]

  • A doctor who testified in court that Pakistani security forces in Balochistan had shot and killed a “group of unarmed foreigners” has been murdered in Quetta, Balochistan. Dr. Baqir Shah, who carried out autopsies on the victims’ bodies, testified in opposition to police reports which claimed the five foreigners had been suicide bombers. Dr. Shah had previously been assaulted following his testimony in the case.[5]

  • Dawn profiles the resurgence of the Lal Masjid or Red Mosque, an Islamabad mosque and seminary that was the centre of a 2007 showdown between Islamists and the government. The showdown led to a bloody siege and sparked off a wave of terrorist violence across the country. The mosque has agreed to a government deal granting it a large allocation of new land in order to rebuild its demolished seminary in exchange for not illegally re-erecting the seminary on its old location.[6]


Drone Program

  •  The Wall Street Journal reports a rise in tensions between the White House and “some congressional leaders” over access to information about the U.S.’s secret drone program in Pakistan and Yemen. The White House has reportedly rebuffed requests for information by legislators who fear the program has insufficient oversight.[7]


Indo-Pak Relations

  • India has reportedly rejected a Pakistani proposal for new confidence building measures that involves the movement of heavy artillery pieces away from the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir citing frequent violations of the ceasefire and asking Pakistan to “come clear on its nuclear policy.” According to reports, Indian sources said they could not consider the measure “till the situation on the LoC improves.”[8]


Threats to Journalists

  • Two senior journalists report being threatened after “raising questions over the military’s role in their respective television shows.” Both journalists claim they suspect the threats come from the ISI, which is believed to have been complicit in the threatening and death of journalists in the past. One journalist said on his show “This is not the age when the intelligence operatives should be threatening their own civilians. A state within the state is not acceptable.”[9]

[1] “Pasha visits Qatar to repair ties with US,” Dawn, December 20, 2011. Available at
[2] “Pakistan wants good relations with world community: FO,” Dawn, December 29, 2011. Available at
[3] “Parliamentary body  to decide on NATO supply: Rehman Malik,” Express Tribune, December 29, 2011. Available at
[4] Alex Rodriguez, “Pakistani death squads go after informants to U.S. drone program,” LA Times, December 28, 2011. Available at,0,3767788,full.story
[5] “Pakistan murder testimony doctor Baqir Shah shot dead,” BBC, December 29, 2011. Available at
[6] Syed Irfan Raza, “Jamia Hafsa Rises Again,” Dawn, December 30, 2011. Available at
[7] Adam Entonus and Siobhan Gorman, “Tensions Rising Over Drone Secrecy,” Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2011. Available at
[8] “India rejects Pakistan’s proposal to move artillery from LoC,” Dawn, December 29, 2011. Available at
[9] M Ilyas Khan, “Pakistan journalists ‘threatened by security’ personnel,” BBC, December 29, 2011. Available at
View Citations
Arrow down red
Jan '12
Dec '11
Nov '11