Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. General: U.S. can still win war without Pakistani action; Pakistan dismisses New York Times report; Malik: Davis holds diplomatic passport; Blake: U.S. can play a role in Indo-Pakistan peace process; Afghan and Pakistani soldiers clash; Gilani: no plans to amend blasphemy law; Police official with links to al Qaeda serving under VVIPs; Frontier Corps checkpoint attacked; 17,000 IDPs from Mohmand; Turi tribesmen reinforce security in Kurram; Roadside bomb kills one; Five militants arrested in Bajaur; Man dies of heart attack in LI prison; Militant hideouts shelled in Orakzai; Five policeman killed in Balochistan; Bramdagh seeks asylum in Switzerland; Frontier Corps officer killed; Nine killed in Peshawar explosion; Two schools attacked in Peshawar.


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • General David Rodriguez, a deputy U.S. commander in Afghanistan, declared on Tuesday that the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan can still win the war even if Pakistan fails to commence military operations against militants in the tribal regions. Rodriguez said, “We need them to do more. We’re going to encourage them to do more because that makes it easier on what we’re doing. But I think it’s still doable, without them decreasing what they’ve been doing, which is significant.” His remarks contrast sharply with previous evaluations by U.S. intelligence agencies, who have cautioned that Pakistan’s unwillingness to take action against the Haqqani network in North Waziristan may challenge the war effort. Admiral Mike Mullen also had previously warned that extremism could not be defeated without the eradication of militant safe havens in Pakistan.[i]
  • Pakistan dismissed a New York Times report that was published on Monday, alleging that Pakistan is determinedly building its capacity to increase its production of nuclear-weapons material. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said, “In the nuclearized environment of South Asia, Pakistan continues to follow a responsible policy of maintaining credible minimum deterrence. Pakistan is mindful of the need to avoid [an] arms race with India but would never compromise on its national security.”[ii]
  • Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the Upper House of Parliament that Raymond Davis, the U.S. national accused of murdering two Pakistanis, possesses a diplomatic passport. He added that the government would follow the instructions of the court on this issue, including putting Davis on the Exit Control List, a move which would bar Davis from leaving the country. The U.S. has rejected the stand by the Pakistani government to leave the matter to the courts, declaring that it is a violation of the Vienna Convention, which provides for diplomatic immunity.[iii]
  • South and Central Asia Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Blake, has said the U.S. can potentially play a role in improving relations between India and Pakistan. He said, “We’ve always said that it’s important for them to determine the pace and the scope and the character of how they will improve their relations, but again, we can always offer ideas,” though he did not elaborate on the proposed ideas. His comments come ahead of a meeting between the Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries in early February.[iv]

Afghan-Pakistani Clash

  • A Pakistani soldier was killed in a clash with Afghan troops in the Ghulam Khan area of North Waziristan on Wednesday. An Afghan official claimed, “At around 1100 [0630 GMT] on Wednesday, Pakistani troops in Waziristan started firing heavy and light weapons towards police posts in Gurbuz district. Our soldiers returned fire." However, a Pakistani official refuted the Afghan official’s statement by declaring that the Pakistani troops were returning fire after Afghan forces fired several mortar shells towards Pakistani military checkpoints.[v]

Governor Taseer’s Assassination and Fallout

  • Prime Minister Gilani on Wednesday said that the government has no plans to amend the controversial blasphemy law. He told the National Assembly, “Neither has the government moved a bill nor has any committee been formed to amend the said law as both the treasury and opposition benches are on the same page and are unanimous on this sensitive issue.” Gilani said that parliamentarian Sherry Rehman has also agreed to withdraw a bill calling for an amendment to the blasphemy law.[vi]

  • A report by the Express Tribune states that a police official with established links to al Qaeda had been assigned to the security teams of high-level politicians in Lahore on various occasions in the past. According to the article, the security official had previously served at the Prime Minister’s house in Lahore and at the Federal Investigation Agency’s Punjab office. He was allegedly suspended when his links with al Qaeda were revealed, but later given his job back with no action taken.[vii]


  • Forty armed militants attacked a Frontier Corps checkpoint in Mohmand, killing three soldiers and wounding four. The security forces returned fire, killing fifteen militants in the counter-attack.[viii]
  • The News has reported that thousands of people have been displaced because of recent operations in Mohmand. Over 17,000 IDPs have traveled to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two tented camps in Danishkol and Nahqi to seek refuge from the violence.[ix]
  • In response to militant threats, Turi tribesmen in Kurram Agency have reinforced their security in the Alizai area. Turi tribe elders have established check points and bunkers in order to retaliate against further attacks by militants, who warned the tribesmen against buffering their defenses. In addition, fighting between the inhabitants of Balash khel and Khar kali has continued for a fourth day.[x]
  • A paramilitary vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the Davezai area of Mohmand on Wednesday, killing one soldier and injuring three more. In addition, an artillery shell fired by security forces hit a house in the area, killing two women. Elsewhere in the tribal region, Pakistani jets targeted suspected militant hideouts in Orakzai, killing fifteen militants and wounding ten others.[xi]
  • Five suspected militants were arrested and their houses destroyed in Bajaur Agency on Tuesday. The suspects were transported to Khar Prison immediately following the arrest and their houses subsequently blown up.[xii]
  • A man accused by the Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) as being a U.S. spy reportedly died in their captivity on Tuesday in Khyber Agency. Mughal Baaz died of a heart attack while in a LI-run prison in the Tirah Valley. He had been accused by the militants of passing information to the U.S. that led to the killing of three dozen militants in drone attacks in December.[xiii]

Violence in Balochistan

  • Five policemen were killed in the Mach area of Balochistan on Tuesday after clashing with unidentified gunmen. The fighting occurred after the kidnapping of the deputy commissioner of Jhal Magsi district, Shaukat Margzani. Margzani and his two guards were kidnapped while traveling in a vehicle towards Quetta earlier on Tuesday.[xiv]
  • Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti, the leader of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), has sought political asylum in Switzerland. Sources had previously alleged that Bramdagh was leading Baloch insurgents from within Afghanistan. However, he has refuted those claims and said that he had been waging his struggle from within Balochistan, prior to seeking asylum in Switzerland.[xv]
  • A Frontier Corps officer was killed on Tuesday after a gun battle between militants and FC forces in Turbat district. According to local sources, an FC vehicle was on patrol when two men riding a motorcycle opened fire on the officers. The assailants were subsequently arrested.[xvi]

Blasts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

  • Nine people were killed and twenty others injured in an explosion in Peshawar on Wednesday. Senior police official Mohammad Ijaz Khan said, "It was a timed bomb. The target was police. He [the bomber] parked the car here due to the rush." No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.  The attack is the fifth in Peshawar in the past week.[xvii]
  • Two schools were attacked in Peshawar on Tuesday, causing minor damage to each of the buildings. The first blast took place at a girl’s primary school in the Adezai area, and the second occurred at a girl’s school in the Mariamzai area.[xviii]

[i] “Afghan war winnable without Pakistan help on border: US,” Dawn, February 2, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Pakistan following policy of credible minimum deterrence ‘Alarmist reporting’ on N-plan dismissed Tahir Khan,” Frontier Post, February 2, 2011. Available at
[iii]“Davis holds diplomatic passport: Malik,” Dawn, February 2, 2011. Available at
[iv] “US can help improve Indo-Pak ties: Blake,” Daily Times, February 2, 2011. Available at\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg7_5
[v]“Pakistani soldier killed in Afghanistan border clash,” BBC News, February 2, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Govt has no intention of amending blasphemy law, says PM,” Dawn, February 2, 2011. Available at
[vii] Asad Kharal, “Policeman linked with al Qaeda on VVIP duties,” Express Tribune, February 2, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Three soldiers, 15 militants killed in Mohmand clash,” Dawn, February 2, 2011. Available at
[ix] Shaw Nawaz Mohmand, “Exodus starts as forces intensify operation in Mohmand Agency,” The News, February 2, 2011. Available at
[x] “Tori tribe defies rebels, reinforce security,” Frontier Post, February 2, 2011. Available at
[xi] Riaz Khan,“Bomb kills 9, wounds 20 in NW Pakistan,” AP, February 2, 2011. Available at
[xii] “Houses of five militants blown up,” The News, February 2, 2011. Available at
[xiii]“Spy’ dies in LI captivity,” The News, February 2, 2011. Available at
[xiv] “Policemen killed in Balochistan clash,” BBC, February 2, 2011. Available at
[xv] Muhammad Zafar, “Bramdagh Bugti seeks political asylum in Switzerland,” Daily Times, February 2, 2011. Available at\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg1_6
[xvi] “FC man killed in Turbat,” Daily Times, February 2, 2011. Available at\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg7_15
[xvii] “Nine killed in Peshawar explosion,” BBC, February 2, 2011. Available at
[xviii] “Two schools bombed in Peshawar,” Daily Times, February 2, 2011. Available at\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg7_6
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