Pakistan Security Brief

Gunship helicopters shell militants hideouts in South Waziristan; Government officials say the military is prepared to launch a full-scale offensive if peace talks fail; Airstrikes have degraded TTP’s operational capabilities; IDPs have taken all available houses in Bannu;  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets with top civil and military leadership to discuss matters of national security and defense, possibly the military operation in North Waziristan; Chief of the Army Staff observes training exercises in tactical operations in a battlefield environment; Interior Minister states that the government will announce soon crucial decisions regarding the security situation in Pakistan; National Security Advisor says airstrikes have been beneficial, but refuses to comment on the impending military offensive in the tribal areas; TTP Spokesman claims TTP’s popularity is on the rise; Police arrest three militants on Prime Minister’s route in Swabi district; Police arrest three BLA members in Rajanpur; Security forces want TTP militant Mast Gul dead or alive; TTP may have re-established itself in Buner district; Prime Minister planning a meeting with chief ministers to discuss security; PTI calls off blockade of NATO supply lines.

Military Operations in the Tribal Areas

  • On Thursday, gunship helicopters shelled militant hideouts near the border of South Waziristan agency. It is currently unknown how many militants were killed in the strikes. This strike is the fifth in a series of targeted jet and helicopter strikes on Taliban positions over the past several days.[1]

  • On Thursday, a senior government official said that the military is ready to launch a full-scale offensive if talks with the TTP fail. The official stated that the military has prepared for ground operations that would target militants in North Waziristan, including the Haqqani network, although he noted that most Haqqanis live in Afghanistan.[2]

  • According to a Thursday article in The News, the military’s airstrikes against militant hideouts and strategic targets in Pakistan’s tribal areas have marginalized the TTP’s operational and retaliatory capabilities. According to sources quoted in the article, the military have a plan to clear North Waziristan with an operation that would take at most three weeks. Lastly, the source commented that the government is not opposed to a full-scale operation, but that the timing of the operation must be determined by the government.[3]

  • According to a Thursday report in The Frontier Post, nearly all of the available houses in Bannu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have been rented by internally displaced persons (IDP) who are fleeing North Waziristan agency in anticipation of a military operation.[4]

  • On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership, including the defense and interior ministers, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Zahirul Islam, and Director General of Military Operations Major General Aamer Riaz to discuss matters of security and national defense. Sources however allege that discussions focused on evaluating aspects of the possible military operation in North Waziristan.[5]

  • On Wednesday, the Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited the Kotri Ranges to observe field and battle exercises of the Karachi’s V Corps, which were aimed at training troops in tactical operations under a battlefield environment. Fighter aircraft and armored fighting vehicles of the Pakistan Air Force and army’s mechanized divisions respectively also participated in the exercises. In a press release, General Sharif stressed that the army will defeat every threat to Pakistan.[6]

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

  • On Thursday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stated at a press conference in Peshawar the government would soon announce crucial decisions made regarding security in the country. Khan said the government still preferred negotiations “with the right people.” Although Khan did not mention specifically which people he meant, an article in Dawn alleges that Pakistan may still be distinguishing between “good” militants, whom Pakistan uses for its strategic goals, and “bad” militants, who attack domestic targets.[7]

  • On Thursday, the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, stated that the military’s targeted airstrikes in Waziristan have been beneficial and that all groups involved in terror activities will be targeted. Aziz added that the TTP was not serious about peace talks, but declined to comment on whether or not the government will conduct major offensives in North Waziristan. According to Aziz, officials will soon announce Pakistan’s defense policy now that the internal security policy has been approved.[8]

  • On Wednesday, the TTP’s spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed that the TTP’s popularity was on the rise in Pakistan. Shahid also advised the government to consider what initially caused the formation of the TTP’s “jihadist movement,” adding that if Pakistan’s security forces ceased operations against militants, the TTP’s anti-state activities would be drastically reduced.[9]


  • On Thursday, three alleged militants were arrested on the Ambar Interchange in Swabi district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was expected to pass through the area on his way to visit the Tarbela Dam in Haripur district, and the three men were arrested while they were positioning themselves along the route with “sniper guns.”[10]

  • On Thursday, three alleged members of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) were arrested in the Rojhan area of Rajanpur district, Punjab. They were reportedly involved in the February 16 attack on a train which killed six people and injured 35.[11]

  • According to a Thursday report in The News, security forces in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa want Mast Gul dead or alive for recent terror attacks that Gul has claimed responsibility for. Gul is a former Hizbul Mujahideen militant now affiliated with the TTP.[12]

  • On Saturday, a member of a peace militia in Buner district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was assassinated, leading to concerns that the TTP has reestablished itself in the area. Local sources told The News that TTP militants have been seen in several locations in the district.[13]


  • On Thursday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is planning to hold a meeting with all of the provincial chief ministers to discuss how the provincial governments and the federal government can coordinate on security issues.[14]

  • On Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan decided to stop blocking the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supply routes through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. On Wednesday, the Peshawar High Court ruled that the blockades are illegal.[15]

[1] “Gunship helicopters shell militant hideouts in South Waziristan,” Express Tribune, February 27, 2014. Available at: “Gunships target militant hideouts in Dera Ismail Khan, SWA,” The News, February 27, 2014. Available at:,-SWA
[2] “’Pakistan poised to launch full scale offensive in NWA’,” The News, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[3] Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “Armed forces work out plan for operation in N Waziristan,” The News, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[4] “Bannu: All Surplus Homes Occupied by IDPs,” The Frontier Post, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[5] Kamran Yousaf, “High-level huddle: Civil, military brass discuss Waziristan operation,” Express Tribune, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[6] “We will defeat every threat to our motherland: COAS Raheel Sharif,” Express Tribune, February 26, 2014. Available at:
[7] “Govt to announce crucial decisions, still prefers talks: Nisar,” Dawn, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[8] Pakistani Taliban not serious about peace talks: Sartaj Aziz,” Dawn, February 27, 2014. Available at: Tahir Khan, “Air strikes in Waziristan ‘effective and successful’: Sartaj Aziz,” Express Tribune, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[9] “TTP claims its popularity graph is going north,” The News, February 26, 2014. Available at:
[10] Mushtaq Paracha, “3 Militants Held Before PM’s Visit,” The News, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[11] “Three BLA Members Arrested from Rajanpur,” The Express Tribune, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[12] Amir Mir, “Mast Gul Wanted Dead or Alive,” The News, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[13] Delawar Jan, “Buner Taliban ‘Return’ with Targeted Killings,” The News, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[14] “PM to Discuss Internal Security Policy with all Chief Ministers: Chaudhry Nisar,” The Express Tribune, February 27, 2014. Available at:
[15] “PTI Decides to Re-Open NATO Supply Routes,” Geo News, February 27, 2014. Available at:
View Citations

View Citations
Arrow down red
Mar '14
Feb '14
Jan '14