Pakistan Security Brief

Unknown gunmen kill senior TTP commander Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani; WHO concerned that migration from tribal areas will spread polio; Unknown militants fire rockets on security forces’ camp in Miram Shah; Pakistani jets strike insurgent hideouts in Khyber agency; Thousands flee potential North Waziristan offensive; Interior Minister to hold meeting with government- and TTP-nominated negotiating committees; TTP Spokesman calls on government to announce a ceasefire first; Saudi Arabia and Pakistan engaged in talks to arm Syrian rebels; India criticizes Pakistan for allowing JeM head to speak against India; Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to enhance bilateral trade; CIA chief meets with head of ISI; Interior Ministry says Pakistan country most affected by terrorism; Representatives from U.S. and Pakistani defense establishments to discuss threats and long-term strategies; Afghan Taliban suspend talks with U.S. over prisoner exchanges; Militant commander Mast Gul claims responsibility for suicide attack on Iranian Consulate that kills two; Mortar shells fired from Iran land in Balochistan; Bomb targeting security forces in Khyber injures one; Firing between security forces and militants kills five in Turbat; Kohat bomb blast kills 12; Peace jirga in Chitral to reassure religious minorities; Roadside bomb kills QWP leader and two associates; Two separate bomb blasts in Peshawar kill one and damage a house; Deputy leader of Punjabi Taliban arrested in Karachi; Gunmen kill one in sectarian attack in Kohat district.

Military Operations in the Tribal Areas

  • On Monday, unknown gunmen shot and killed senior Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander, Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani in Ghulam Khan sub-district of North Waziristan agency. Shaheen’s driver and two guards were also killed in the attack, while two others traveling in the car were critically wounded. Shaheen was briefly the TTP interim leader following the death of Hakimullah Mehsud last year, and sat on the TTP’s executive council. According to a Monday BBC article, Shaheen was on the Pakistani government’s list of most wanted militants and had a bounty of $95,000 on his head. However, Shaheen is believed to have supported peace talks with the government.[1]

  • On Sunday night, unknown militants fired three rockets on a security forces’ camp in Miram Shah, North Waziristan agency, but did not cause any casualties.[2]

  • On Sunday, Pakistani fighter jets carried out air strikes on suspected insurgent hideouts in the Tirah valley area of Khyber agency, killing 35 militants and injuring more than 15 others. The air strikes also damaged improvised explosive device (IED) factories and caches of arms, ammunition, and explosive materials. According to an article in the Express Tribune, Tirah valley is home to many militants from the Lashkar-e-Islam. The article also reported that security forces killed at least 38 militants.[3]

  • On Saturday, gunship helicopters targeted suspected militant hideouts in the Tora Warai and Dar Samand areas of Thall sub-district, Hangu district, killing at least nine militants. Security forces official claims operations will continue will throughout Hangu district and nearby tribal areas, including Kurram agency, Orakzai agency, Khyber, and North and South Waziristan.[4]

  • According to a Saturday article in The News, a senior cabinet member said that air strikes against militant hideouts in Pakistan’s tribal areas were a one-time retaliation, but that strikes would resume if the TTP resorted to more violence.[5]

  • According to a Saturday article in Dawn, a spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of the Pakistani military rejected TTP allegations that woman and children of members of the TTP were in the custody of security forces personnel.[6]

  • A Saturday article in the Express Tribune reported that thousands of tribesmen have fled North Waziristan agency since last month in response to fears of an imminent military operation in Mirali Mir Ali and Miram Shah. Although political officials have instructed residents to not leave the agency, local tribesmen told journalists that nearly 50,000 tribesmen have left since last month.[7]

  • According to a Monday report in the Express Tribune, the World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned that an exodus of people from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will spread polio to other parts of Pakistan.[8]

Talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

  • According to a Monday article in The News, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will hold a meeting with members of both the government- and TTP-nominated negotiating committees to discuss how to resume the dialogue process.[9]

  • On Monday, Professor Ibrahim Khan of the Jamaat-ie-Islami (JI) stated that there had been no communication between the government- and TTP-nominated negotiating committees for a week, adding that the TTP is waiting for the government negotiators to initiate dialogue first. Additionally, Maulana Yousuf Shah, the contact person for the TTP, stated that he would call a meeting of the TTP committee to review the current situation.[10]

  • According to a Friday article in The News, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid called on the government to announce a ceasefire, stating that the TTP cannot first announce a ceasefire since the government has been fighting against the organization for several years. In a joint news conference with the TTP leader of South Waziristan chapter, Azam Tariq Mehsud, Shahid also stated that the TTP was open to talks if security forces stopped killing TTP members and if talks were conducted under Sharia.[11]

  • A Monday article in The News reported that government officials have rejected the TTP-nominated negotiating committee’s request to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.[12]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Sunday, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, met with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General Zahirul Islam and army chief Raheel Sharif in Islamabad. Brennan reportedly discussed the security situation in Pakistan.[13]

  • According to a Monday report in The Frontier Post, the U.S. and Pakistan will hold the next round of the strategic dialogue talks in Washington D.C. in mid-March. Pakistan will reportedly focus on trade during the talks.[14]

  • On Monday, representatives from the defense establishments in the United States and Pakistan will hold military-to-military talks to discuss immediate threats and long-term strategic plans as part of the defense review conference (DRC).[15]

  • On Sunday, the Afghan Taliban released a statement that the Taliban have suspended talks with the U.S. over the exchange of the captive U.S. solider, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban prisoners currently held at Guantanamo Bay, blaming the current, complex political situation in Afghanistan for the suspension.[16]

Saudi-Pakistan Relations and Syrian Civil War

  • On Sunday, a Saudi source stated that Saudi Arabia is engaging in talks with Pakistan to provide anti-aircraft and anti-tank rocksets to Syrian rebels fighting Bashar al Assad. Riyadh is reportedly interested in arming the rebels with Pakistan’s version of the Chinese shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles—the Anza—and anti-tank rockets. The U.S. opposes arming the rebels with such weapons out of fear that they might end up in the hands of extremists. Recent meetings between Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, and Saudi’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz earlier this month, and last week’s meeting between Prince Salman and a delegation in Pakistan, have caused some, including the Saudi source, to speculate that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are working together to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[17]

  • On Sunday, members of Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Relations and Defense expressed concern over the government’s apparent policy shift over the civil war in Syria. The Chairmen of the two committees stated that any attempt by the government to now intervene in Syria for the purposes of regime change would be rejected.[18]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, a spokesman for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs released a statement criticizing Pakistan for allowing Masood Azhar, the head of the Kashmir-focused militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) to make an address advocating jihad against India.[19]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • On Sunday, members of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) agreed to enhance trade and economic relations during the inauguration of construction work on the Torkham-Jalalabad road. Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who co-chaired the meeting, extended the bilateral trade agreement to Tajikistan to extend trade throughout the region.[20]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, a suicide attack outside of the Iranian consulate in Peshawar killed two paramilitary soldiers and wounded ten others. According to an article in Geo News, security officials were able to stop the attacker at a Frontier Corps check point, after which the suicide attacker detonated his explosive vest. Following the blast, gunmen reportedly fired on Consulate security guards.[21]

  • On Monday, a spokesman for the militant commander Mast Gul (also known as Haroon Khan) claimed responsibility for Monday’s suicide attack on the Iranian consulate in Peshawar that killed two security forces and injured 10. Speaking to Reuters, the spokesman claimed the bomber targeted the consulate and Iranians in the building, adding that the organization will continue to target both Iranian facilities and the Shia community everywhere.[22]

  • On Monday, five mortar shells fired from across the Iran-Pakistan border landed near a Frontier Corps Camp at Peshwak, Panjgur district, Balochistan, but did not cause any casualties.[23]


  • On Friday, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif stated that Pakistan’s security forces are fully capable of countering any internal or external threat and protecting the sovereignty of Pakistan. The army chief lauded the recent successes of security forces in various operations against TTP militants, as well as the efforts by law enforcement agencies and of the local populations.[24]

  • On Friday, XI Corps commander General Khalid Rabbani met with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to discuss security.[25]


  • On Sunday, a bomb blast in Kohat district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa killed 12 people and injured at least 12 more. The police have denied that the blast was the result of a suicide attack.[26]

  • A Monday article in Geo News reported that a bomb blast targeting the vehicle of local security forces in Jamrud, Khyber agency injured one security official.[27]

  • On Sunday, an exchange of fire between FC soldiers and militants killed five militants in the Chah-e-Sar area of Turbat, Balochistan.[28]

  • According to a Sunday report in Dawn, the Interior Ministry is preparing a document on national security in which it will claim that Pakistan is either the country first- or second-most affected by terrorism. Pakistan’s attacks are reportedly the most severe, and it trails only Iraq in total number of incidents.[29]

  • After members of the polytheistic Kalash community of Chitral district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa raised concerns about TTP threats against them, several officials from Chitral attended a peace jirga with Kalash, Shia, and Sunni leaders. More police and Chitral Scouts checkposts were also established in valleys inhabited by the Kalash.[30]

  • On Saturday, a roadside bomb explosion targeting the car of a local Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) leader, Adalat Khan, killed Khan and two of his associates and injured two others. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although a local intelligence official reported that Khan supported an anti-Taliban village militia in 2009, the head of which was killed in a suicide attack in November 2012.[31]

  • On Saturday, two separate bomb blasts in the Juma Khan Khwar area of Peshawar killed one person and damaged a house. According to police investigators, it is not certain whether the deceased was a suicide bomber or was planting explosives to target security forces. The second explosion damaged a house near Garhi Qamardin, but injured no one.

  • On Monday, Karachi police arrested Saeedul Islam, the deputy leader of the Punjabi Taliban, in the Orangi Town neighborhood.[32]

  • On Friday, unidentified gunmen in Garhi Atta Khan, Kohat district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa killed a member of a Shia organization.[33]

  • On Monday, Indian security forces killed seven militants in Dardpora, Kupwara district, Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.[34]


[1] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Key TTP commander Azmatullah Shaheen shot dead,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at: “Top Pakistan Taliban commander Asmatullah Shaheen ‘shot dead’,” BBC, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[2] “Security forces’ camp attacked in North Waziristan,” Geo News, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[3] “Pakistani jets kill 35 suspected militants in Tirah air raids,” Dawn, February 23, 2014. Available at: “Fresh strikes: 38 militants killed in Tirah Valley air blitz,” Express Tribune, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[4] “Nine killed as gunships strike militant hideouts in Hangu,” Dawn, February 22, 2014. Available at: “Targeted strikes: ‘Operation in Hangu to continue’,” Express Tribune, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[5] Tariq Butt, “’Air strikes were one-time affair, but Taliban hideouts would be hit again’,” The News, February 22, 2014. Available at:,-but-Taliban-hideouts-would-be-hit-again
[6] Mateen Haider, “Army denies TTP allegation, says no women or children in custody,” Dawn, February 22, 2014. Available at:
[7] “Mass exodus: Fearing operation, tribesmen take flight,” Express Tribune, February 23, 2014. Available at:
[8] “TTP Operation: WHO Fears Spread of Polio Virus Amidst Exodus,” The Express Tribune, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[9] Tariq Butt, “Nisar to meet TTP, govt teams in joint session soon,” The News, February 24, 2014. Available at:,-govt-teams-in-joint-session-soon
[10] “TTP negotiators awaiting govt contact: Ibrahim,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[11] “Govt should announce ceasefire first: TTP,” The News, February 21, 2014. Available at: “Peace process: Still willing to talk ‘if govt ends hostility’, says TTP,” Express Tribune, February 22, 2014. Available at:
[12] Tahir Khalil, “Demand to meet PM, COAS rejected,” The News, February 24, 2014. Available at:,-govt-teams-in-joint-session-soon
[13] Mateen Haider, “CIA Chief Discusses Regional Security Issues with ISI Chief,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[14] “Pak-US Strategic Dialogue in March,” The Frontier Post, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[15] Anwar Iqbal, “Defence talks with US begin today,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[16] “Afghan Taliban says talks on US soldier suspended,” Dawn, February 23, 2014. Available at:
[17] “Saudis ‘seek Pakistani arms for Syrian rebels’,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at: Acil Tabbara, “Saudi ‘seeking Pakistani arms for Syrian rebels’,” AFP, February 23, 2014. Available at:
[18] Peer Muhammad, “Departure from stated stance?: Senators voice concern over Syria ‘policy shift’,” Express Tribune, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[19] “Masood Azhar’s Address to Rally in Muzaffarabad Draws Indian Ire,” The Express Tribune, February 21, 2014. Available at:
[20] “Pakistan, Afghanistan to enhance trade ties,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[21] “Blast outside Iranian consulate in Peshawar kills two,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at: “Suicide blast in Peshawar leaves 2 dead and 9 injured,” Express Tribune, February 24, 2014. Available at: “Two FC men killed in suicide blast near Iranian Consulate in Peshawar,” Geo News, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[22] “Suicide attack at Iranian consulate in Peshawar kills two,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[23] “5 Iranian mortar shells fall in Panjgur, no loss of life reported,” Geo News, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[24] Mateen Haider, “Army chief says military fully capable to counter threats,” Dawn, February 21, 2014. Available at:
[25] “Corps Commander meets CM,” Frontier Post, December 22, 2014. Available at:
[26] “At Least 12 Killed in Kohat Blast, Several Wounded,” Dawn, February 23, 2014. Available at:
[27] “Security agency vehicle attacked in Khyber Agency; 1 hurt,” Geo News, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[28] Syed Ali Shah, “Five killed in Balochistan violence,” Dawn, February 23, 2014. Available at:
[29] Ismail Khan, “Pakistan Most Terror-Hit Nation,” Dawn, February 23, 2014. Available at:
[30] Zahiruddin, “TTP Threat Panics Kalash People,” Dawn, February 22, 2014. Available at:
“Pakistan Assures Ismailis, Kalash Tribe Against Taliban,” Dawn, February 22, 2014. Available at:
“More Check-Posts Established in Chitral,” The News, February 22, 2014. Available at:
[31] “QWP leader among three killed in Buner explosion,” Dawn, February 22, 2014. Available at:
[32] “Police Arrest Punjabi Taliban Deputy Chief in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[33] “One Shot Dead in Kohat Sectarian Attack,” The News, February 22, 2014. Available at:
[34] “Seven Militants Killed in Kashmir’s Kupwara District,” The Hindu, February 24, 2014. Available at:
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