Pakistan Security Brief

TTP decide to target media organizations and journalists; Sheikh Khalid Haqqani appointed as new emir of TTP’s central shura; Prime Minster says Kashmir should be resolved through negotiations or another war could break out; Pakistani National Security Adviser calls for Indian withdrawal from Siachen Glacier; US military halts NATO ground shipments in response to PTI protests; PTI hails U.S. suspension of ground shipments as “tactical success;” PTI considering blocking NATO supply lines in Punjab and Balochistan; U.S. State Department official says U.S. will remain involved in region after troop withdrawal; Dozens killed in Karachi violence; Member of the village defense committee killed in Swat; 13 kidnapped in Balochistan; Pakistan requests $2 billion to avoid balance of payments crisis; dozens of allegedly al Qaeda-linked students arrested at Punjab University; Pakistan’s army chief visits ISI headquarters.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

  • On Tuesday, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) convened a second shura to decide whether the militant group should target journalists and media organizations, which the TTP claim “fabricated” a statement by the TTP’s spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, regarding Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. The leadership reportedly decided to target only the journalists and media organizations that misrepresented Shahid’s recent statement, rather than all journalists and news outlets.[1]

  • On Tuesday, Taliban sources confirmed that the leader of the TTP, Mullah Fazlullah, replaced senior Taliban commander Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani with Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, a cleric from Swabi district, as the new emir of the TTP’s central shura. In November, the TTP leadership appointed Bhittani as the interim leader following the death of Hakimullah Mehsud.[2]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council in Muzaffarabad, saying that he would like the Kashmir dispute to be resolved in a way that respects United Nations (UN) resolutions on the dispute and that takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. He also warned that a failure to end the dispute could result in another India-Pakistan war. Sharif’s office quickly issued a denial of this last statement, saying that he had been misquoted and calling the Dawn report that attributed the quote “baseless”.  Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh responded to the original quote, dismissing the possibility “of Pakistan winning any such war.”[3]

  • On Wednesday, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that Indian troops on the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir are damaging the environment and threatening a source of water for Pakistan. He called on India to withdraw its troops from the glacier.[4]

Supply Chain Halt

  • On Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman stated that the U.S. military has halted ground shipments of cargo leaving Afghanistan via its key Pakistan supply route to ensure the safety of drivers following protests in Pakistan over American drone strikes. The spokesman also pointed out that the U.S. has other options to move equipment out of the country, including the Northern Distribution Network, which runs through Central Asia. On Wednesday, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) claimed the U.S. suspension of shipments as a “tactical success,” citing the PTI protests as the impetus behind the decision. PTI spokeswoman Shireen Mazari also stated that the protests would continue until drone strikes are stopped.[5]

  • On Tuesday, PTI chairman Imran Khan said that his party is weighing the possibility of blocking NATO supply lines in Punjab and Balochistan in addition to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[6]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Tuesday, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal said that the United States will remain engaged in Afghanistan and Pakistan even after the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in 2014. She also said that the American position that the Kashmir dispute be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan is unchanged and indicated that the travel ban to the U.S. on Indian politician Narendra Modi will likely be lifted if he is elected Prime Minister next year.[7]

  • On Tuesday, U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins and Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz met in Islamabad to discuss the Afghan reconciliation process, the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, and American drone strikes in Pakistan.[8]

Karachi Violence

  • On Tuesday, unidentified gunmen killed four people and injured one in North Nazimabad, Karachi. Unknown gunmen also killed four and injured one near Sakhi Hassan Chowrangi. Later, gunmen killed three activists of the Tableeghi Jamaat, including two Moroccan nationals, in North Nazimabad. Unidentified gunmen shot and killed one in Landhi area, Karachi. Unidentified assailants shot and killed a Shia scout in Korangi, near the Singer Chowrangi.[9]

  • On Tuesday, security personnel killed five accused gang members in Lyari, Karachi. One Ranger was also injured during the shooting.[10]

  • On Tuesday, unknown militants threw a hand grenade at a shop in Nazimabad, Karachi. In another incident, an unidentified person threw a petrol bomb at a dental clinic near Patel Para.[11]

  • On Wednesday, police in Karachi reported that they have arrested 77 accused criminals throughout different parts of Karachi.[12]

  • On Wednesday, parts of Karachi were shut down in response to sectarian violence on Tuesday. Private schools, universities, and public transportation were largely closed. 1,200 Shia protestors also rallied in the city to protest the killing of a Shia leader on Tuesday.[13]


  • On Tuesday, unidentified persons killed a member of the village defense committee outside a mosque in the Matta sub-district of Swat district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[14]

  • On Wednesday, unidentified militants kidnapped 13 workers from a power plant in Mangoli, Nazeerabad district, Balochistan.[15]

  • On Tuesday, two Africans who had been held in a private house in Gwadar, Balochistan escaped from captivity. Shortly after, police raided the house and recovered three other prisoners. The five prisoners were nationals of Ghana and Tanzania. A policeman on the case told Dawn that the incident may have been related to drug trafficking.[16]


  • On Wednesday, Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif visited the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad and received a briefing on the security situation in the country from the Director General of the ISI, Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam. The News also reported that army chief Sharif will hold a Corps Commanders meeting later this week, where the General will discuss the war on terror and a new strategy for the army under his command. Sharif also plans to visit the Joint Chiefs’ Headquarters to meet with the new Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Rashad Mahmood next week.[17]

  • On Tuesday, the government of Pakistan requested an injection of $2 billion into the economy within the next few weeks in order to avert a looming balance of payment crisis. Pakistan is scheduled to pay $200 million to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2013 and $1.24 billion during January-June 2014.[18]

  • On Monday, police arrested dozens of students affiliated with the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), the student wing of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) for various public disorder offences at Punjab University (PU) in Lahore. In response to the University’s decision to turn Hostel No. 16, an IJT stronghold, into a girls’ hostel, students, burned buses, disabled vehicles, blocked traffic, and clashed with the police who were clearing out Hostel No. 16. The University accused the IJT of sheltering members of banned militant organizations at the hostels. JI Central Information Secretary Muhammad Anwar Niazi said the allegations were baseless, and that neither the IJT nor the JI had any links to al Qaeda. Earlier in September, police arrested a suspected al Qaeda handler from an IJT-dominated hostel on PU campus.[19]

  • On Tuesday, during the hearing of the missing persons case, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry stated that the prime minister and the army chief could be affected by the court’s verdict. The Supreme Court directed the government to produce the 30 missing persons by December 5 (Thursday).[20]

  • On Tuesday, a UN commission released a report saying that Pakistan is one of ten countries that, combined, contain two thirds of the world’s 1.3 billion people without electricity.[21]  

[1] Mushtaq Yusufzai, “Taliban Shura decides to target media outlets, journalists,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:,-journalists
[2] Mushtaq Yusufzai, “Taliban Shura decides to target media outlets, journalists,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:,-journalists
[3] Tariq Naqash, “Kashmir Issue can Trigger War, Says Sharif,” Dawn, December 4, 2013. Available at:
“Report on Kashmir Issue Triggering War ‘Incorrect’: Pakistan,” The Economic Times, December 4, 2013. Available at:
“No Possibility of Pakistan Winning any War against India in My Lifetime: PM,” The Times of India, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[4] “Presence of Indian Forces is Harmful to Siachen Glacier: Sartaj Aziz,” The Express Tribune, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[5] Phil Stewart, “Pentagon says halts ground shipments out of Afghanistan via Pakistan,” Reuters, December 4, 2013. Available at: “PTI claims ‘tactical success’ after US supply suspension,” The Dawn, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[6] Umer Farooq, “Sit-in on NATO Routes: Balochistan Route May also be Choked,” The Express Tribune, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[7] Anwar Iqbal, “US not Going Away from Pak-Afghan Region after ’14: Official,” Dawn, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[8] “Dobbins, Sartaj Aziz Discuss Afghanistan, Bilateral Issues,” Dawn, December 12, 2013. Available at:
[9] “Gruesome violence leaves 12 dead on Karachi streets,” The News, December 3, 2013. Available at: Salis bin Perwaiz, “12 killed in renewed violence in Karachi,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[10] “Five gang war accused killed in Lyari,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[11] “Hand grenade attack targets shop in Nazimanad,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[12] “77 accused arrested during last 24 hours in Karachi: police,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[13] “Parts of Karachi Tense after Sectarian Killings,” Dawn, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[14] “Village defence body member killed in Swat,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[15] Syed Ali Shah, “Militants Kidnap 13 Power Plant Workers in Naseerababad,” Dawn, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[16] Saleem Shahid, “5 Kidnapped Africans Freed,” Dawn, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[17] “DG ISI briefs Army Chief on security situation,” Geo News, December 4, 2013. Available at: Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “Corps commanders to brief Gen Raheel this week,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[18] Mehtab Haider, “Pakistan to send SOS messages for $2 bn injectin,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:$2-bn-injection
[19] Ali Usman, “Punjab University: Consensus against IJT grew from al Qaeda man’s arrest,” Express Tribune, December 4, 2013. Available at:
[20] Sohail Khan, “PM, army chief could be affected by court verdict: CJ,” The News, December 4, 2013. Available at:,-army-chief-could-be-affected-by-court-verdict%3a-CJ
[21] “Pakistan Among 10 Countries Facing Severe Energy Crisis: UN Report,” Dawn, December 4, 2013. Available at:
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