Pakistan Security Brief

Prime Minister vows to establish control over all of Pakistan; Airstrikes in North and South Waziristan kill at least 30; Sartaj Aziz says government will discuss options for military operation in North Waziristan; TTP Spokesman says government is choosing war by continuing air strikes; Sindh cabinet deploys security forces to provincial border over fears of IDP exodus; Members of federal cabinet say TTP has to agree to unconditional ceasefire if peace talks are to continue; “Sources” claim assassination of TTP commander Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani was result of TTP infighting; Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline ”off the table;” Pakistan will not grant special trade status to India; Public appearances by JeM leader raise concern in India; Afghan Ministry of Defence claims attack in Kunar province launched from Pakistan; Reports confirm CIA Director met secretly with army, intelligence chiefs in Pakistan; Foreign Office spokesperson states claims regarding Saudi-Pakistan weapons deal are baseless; Peshawar Central Jail on high alert after foiled Taliban attack; Grenade defused near Iranian Consulate in Peshawar; Polio worker and three Levies personnel kidnapped by Baloch separatists; Police arrest 100 in Rawalpindi; Protestors in Indian-administered Kashmir clash with security forces; IED blast injures Frontier Corps major in Khyber agency; Mortar shells damage two houses in Khyber agency; Militants bomb petrol station in Mardan.

Operations in the Tribal Region

  • On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that his government will establish control over all of Pakistan at all costs. He said that the government had participated in talks with the TTP in the hope of finding a solution, but that the TTP had destroyed any chance of an agreement with its attacks on civilians.[1]

  • On Tuesday, the military carried out targeted airstrikes on militant hideouts in the border area between South and North Waziristan, killing at least 30 people. The airstrikes mainly targeted the Datta Khel and Shawal areas of North Waziristan, where militants had established training centers that were used to prepare suicide bombers.[2]

  • On Monday, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the government is opting for war by continuing to carry out airstrikes in North Waziristan. An article in Defense News reported that analysts do not expect the government to order a full-scale military operation in the region, despite preparations that have been underway. Whether or not the government approves a ground operation, analysts predict an upswing in TTP attacks.[3]

  • On Tuesday, members of the federal cabinet announced that the TTP will have to agree to an unconditional ceasefire if they want peace talks to continue.[4]

  • On Monday, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security, Sartaj Aziz, said that the government will discuss on Tuesday whether or not to launch a military operation in North Waziristan. Aziz reiterated that the door for peace talks would remain open, but that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) violent attacks have undermined the chances of successful dialogue.[5]

  • On Monday, members of the Sindh cabinet decided to deploy security forces to entry and exit points into the province in response to fears of an exodus of internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing North Waziristan. The Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah said he expected a heavy influx of IDPs in response to the impending military operations in North Waziristan, and directed Sindh Police and security forces to closely monitor the border.[6]

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Infighting

  • According to “highly-informed sources” cited in a Tuesday article in The News, the assassination of TTP commander Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani was the result of an intra-TTP rift, which began after the November 1, 2013 killing of Hakimullah Mehsud. The sources also claimed that members of the Said Khan Sajna faction of the TTP killed Bhittani in order to avenge the deaths, reportedly at the hands of Bhittani’s men, of three of Sajna’s faction members, who were killed by unknown gunmen in the Ghulam Khan sub-district of North Waziristan.[7]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is “off the table” due to Pakistan’s concerns about sanctions against Iran affecting Pakistan.[8]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan will not consider granting Most Favored Nation (MFN) status or Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) to India unless India lowers non-tariff barriers on Pakistani goods.[9]

  • According to a Tuesday report in The New York Times, Indian officials are concerned by the recent public appearances of Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). According to Indian intelligence sources quoted in the report, Azhar would not be able to make public statements without the approval of Pakistan. They also said that India has increased security at airports in response.[10]

Afghan-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Defence claimed that the Sunday attack in Kunar province which killed 21 Afghan soldiers was planned in Pakistan. He said that the attack came “from the other side of the border” and that the attackers were Pakistani, Arab, and Chechen.[11]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Last Friday, Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan met secretly with the Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif in Islamabad. One unnamed official stated that the meeting was a “routine visit,” although a Tuesday article in the Express Tribune alleges that the meeting was supposed to be covert. Brennan also met with the Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Islam, where the two discussed intelligence matters.[12]

Saudi-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, the Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam stated that previous claims that Saudi Arabia agreed to buy anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank rockets from Pakistan were baseless.[13]


  • On Tuesday, sources at the Central Jail in Peshawar said that five suicide bombers who had been planning to attack the jail to free Taliban prisoners were intercepted. The jail has been put on high alert in anticipation of another attack.[14]

  • On Tuesday, a Bomb Disposal Squad in Peshawar defused a grenade near the Iranian Consulate in the city.[15]

  • On Monday, militants in Gishik, Awaran district, Balochistan kidnapped a polio worker as well as three Levies personnel. The attack was claimed by the Baloch Liberation Front.[16]

  • On Tuesday night, police in Rawalpindi arrested at least 100 people, including 17 Afghans, in operations throughout the city.[17]

  • On Tuesday, protesters burned a police station in Kupwara district, Indian-administered Kashmir in response to reports that the seven alleged militants killed by Indian security forces on Monday were in fact civilians. At least one protestor was injured by security forces.[18]

  • On Monday, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast injured a Frontier Corps (FC) major in the Jamrud sub-district of Khyber agency.[19]

  • On Monday, several mortar shells fired from an unknown location hit two houses in Jamrud sub-district, Khyber agency.[20]

  • On Sunday, militants bombed a petrol station in Mardan, damaging a transformer. The explosion did not cause any casualties.[21]


  • On Tuesday, the Peshawar High Court ruled that the blockade of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) trucks by activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is illegal.[22]

[1] “PM Says Govt Writ to be Affirmed as Cabinet Okays Security Policy,” Dawn, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[2] “Jets pound militant hideouts in Waziristan; 30 killed,” Dawn, February 25, 2014. Available at: “Jet planes bomb hideouts in North, South Waziristan, killing 30 militants,” Express Tribune, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[3] Usman Ansari, “Taliban Claims Government Airstrikes Mean War,” Defense News, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[4] “Federal cabinet calls for unconditional ceasefire from Taliban,” Express Tribune, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[5] Shahbaz Rana, “North Waziristan: Cabinet to ponder the option of military operation,” Express Tribune, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[6] Hafeez Tunio, “Sindh cabinet decides to seal provincial border fearing inflow of IDPs,” Express Tribune, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[7] Amir Mir, “Intra-TTP rifts snowballing; one led to Bhittani’s murder,” The News, February 25, 2014. Available at:;-one-led-to-Bhittanis-murder
[8] “Iran Gas Project off the Table: Minister,” Dawn, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[9] Shahbaz Rana, “Trouble Moving Forward: No NDMA Status for India Unless Concerns Addressed,” The Express Tribune, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[10] Raksha Kumar, “A Pakistani Leader Stirs, Worrying the Indian Government,” The New York Times, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[11] “Deadly Attack on Soldiers Planned in Pakistan, Claims Afghanistan,” Dawn, February 24, 2014. Available at:
[12] Kamran Yousaf, “CIA chief made secret trip to Pakistan,” Express Tribune, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[13] “Reports of Pakistani arms for Syrian rebels are baseless, says FO spokesperson,” Express Tribune, February 24, 2015. Available at:
[14] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Prison Break Threat in Peshawar Triggers Red Alert,” Dawn, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[15] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Prison Break Threat in Peshawar Triggers Red Alert,” Dawn, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[16] “Polio Worker, Three Levies Men Kidnapped in Awaran,” Dawn, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[17] “Rawalpindi Raids: Over 100 Suspects Arrested,” Dawn, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[18] “Clashes in Kashmir over Killing of Suspected Militants,” Dawn, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[19] “FC major injured in Jamrud IED blast,” The News, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[20] “FC major injured in Jamrud IED blast,” The News, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[21] “Militants bomb fuel station in Mardan, The News, February 25, 2014. Available at:
[22] “PTI Stopping Trucks from Entering Afghanistan is Illegal, Declares PHC,” The Express Tribune, February 25, 2014. Available at:
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