Pakistan Security Brief

Classified NATO report claims Pakistan and Afghan Taliban collaborate; NATO disputes allegations made in report; Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar dismisses report as “strategic leak;” Pakistani fighter jets bomb militant hideouts, killing dozens of militants; Balochistan Liberation Army attacks check posts near Quetta; Pakistan supports U.S.-Taliban peace talks; Afghan Taliban deny plans for Saudi peace talks; Anthrax sent to prime minister’s office in Islamabad; Foreign Minister Khar to visit Russia next week; Supreme Court of Pakistan adjourns prime minister’s contempt case until February 2.


International Relations

  • Information from a classified NATO report was leaked on Tuesday by the BBC and the Times of London. On Wednesday, a NATO spokesman confirmed the existence of the report called “The State of the Taliban 2012,” which is a summary of the views of captured Taliban fighters based on “27,000 interrogations of 4,000 Taliban prisoners.” The report highlights that Taliban militants believe Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), controls and manipulates the Taliban, and that senior Taliban militants such as Nasiruddin Haqqani even have homes in Islamabad near ISI headquarters. In addition, the captured insurgents believe that there is strong support for the Taliban among the Afghan population and members of the Afghan government, and that a Taliban victory is expected once NATO and U.S. troops pull out. Lt. Col Jimmie E. Cummings of the International Security Assistance Force disputed accounts that NATO accepts the report as valid intelligence. Cummings stated that “it is important not to draw conclusions based on Taliban comments or musings,” because “it is what they want us to believe they think,” and therefore “any conclusions drawn from this would be questionable at best.” The report was leaked one day before Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s visit to Afghanistan. Khar dismissed the report as a “strategic leak,” stating that the report’s allegations were “old wine in an even older bottle,” and that Pakistan had “no hidden agenda in Afghanistan.”[1]   

  • The Financial Times reports that Pakistan, which was seen as a possible saboteur in the past, has been relatively supportive in the U.S.’s latest efforts to begin peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. “There may be some sense that Pakistan feels it’s better to be involved if there is a process moving forward than to sit on the sidelines,” said a western diplomat. In another rare sign of cooperation, Afghanistan has been asking Pakistan for help in facilitating talks with Taliban leaders through Saudi Arabia. According to Afghan and Pakistani officials, Pakistan has allowed Taliban representatives to go to Qatar to establish a Taliban office, which will be used as a hub for future talks. Pakistan’s government allegedly wants Saudi Arabia, not Qatar, to be the meeting point for the talks, a report the Afghan Taliban denied on Wednesday. Pakistan simply wants to know what is going on, because it “can’t play a constructive role without a clear blueprint for what is expected,” insisted a senior Pakistani security official.[2]

  • The Pakistani National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources was informed on Tuesday that the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline will begin supplying natural gas in December 2014. The committee’s secretary, Ejaz Chaudhry, stated that the pipeline’s route survey had been completed, and now the process of acquiring land for the pipeline was underway. According to Chaudhry, Pakistan was also in the process of concluding an agreement regarding the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline as part of a long-term plan to overcome Pakistan’s gas shortage, and gas supply would begin by 2016.[3]

  • During a Pakistani federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Khar’s planned visit to Russia next week was discussed. Khar will formally invite Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to visit Pakistan in an effort to renew relations between the two countries.[4]


  • Pakistani fighter jets bombed several Pakistani Taliban hideouts in the Kurram and Orakzai tribal regions near the Afghan border on Wednesday. Over twenty Taliban militants were killed and many more were injured. Security forces destroyed the hideouts of two local Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commanders Mullah Toofan and Maulvi Moinuddin, and Moinuddin was reportedly killed. According to security officials, the air strike was in response to a Taliban attack on a check post on Tuesday, in which ten Pakistani soldiers were killed and 32 wounded.[5]

Domestic Politics

  • Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s spokesman announced Wednesday that a package containing anthrax was sent to the prime minister’s office in Islamabad in October 2011. No one was harmed. According to Islamabad police official Hakim Khan, the prime minister’s office informed the police of the incident a few days ago, and the police launched its investigation on Tuesday. The parcel, allegedly mailed from the Jamshoro district in Sindh, was the first reported case of anthrax sent to a government office in Pakistan. It is still not clear who was responsible, or how the anthrax was obtained.[7]

  • On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court adjourned the contempt case against Prime Minister Gilani and directed Aitzaz Ahsan, Gilani’s lawyer, to complete his arguments when the case resumes on February 2. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa told Ahsan that if he presents a convincing argument for presidential immunity tomorrow, then contempt of court proceedings against Gilani will not be initiated.[8]








[1] Rod Nordland and Declan Walsh, “NATO Plays Down Report of Collaboration Between Taliban and Pakistan,” New York Times, February 1, 2012. Available at
“Pakistan dismisses Nato report on Afghan Taliban links,” BBC, February 1, 2012. Available at
[3] Kalbe Ali, “Iran pipeline to supply gas by end of 2014,” Dawn, February 1, 2012. Available at
[4] “Cabinet meeting discuss Khar’s Russia visit,” Dawn, February 1, 2012. Available at
Ammar Ahmad, “Hina Rabbani Khar all set to visit Moscow as Pakistan seek a shift in decades-old foreign policy,” News Pakistan, January 22, 2012. Available at
[5] Ali Afzaal and Jibran Ahmad, “Heavy fighting in Pakistan tribal areas kills dozens,” Reuters, February 1, 2012. Available at
[6] Ali Afzaal and Jibran Ahmad, “Heavy fighting in Pakistan tribal areas kills dozens,” Reuters, February 1, 2012. Available at
“15 soldiers killed in Balochistan: Officials,” AFP, February 1, 2012. Available at
[7] “Pakistan says package containing anthrax sent to prime minister’s office last October,” Associated Press, February 1, 2012. Available at
 “Anthrax parcel was sent to Gilani's official residence: Police,” AFP, February 1, 2012. Available at
[8] “SC adjourns PM contempt case hearing,” Dawn, February 1, 2012. Available at


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