Pakistan Security Brief

Head of CENTCOM to meet with Pakistan Army Chief; Pakistani taxi driver in Chicago pleads guilty to terrorism charge; U.S. congressman proposes bill to grant U.S. citizenship to Dr. Shakeel Afridi; Pakistan’s defense minister says country should reopen NATO supply routes; Pakistan and Iran vow to intensify work on gas pipeline; Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate faces two Supreme Court cases; Pakistan and Qatar sign energy and trade agreements; Pakistani jets destroy four militant hideouts in upper Orakzai; IMF warns Pakistan of widening fiscal deficit; Pakistani officials investigating Mumbai attacks delay visit to India; Militants blow up girls’ primary school in Charsadda district.


U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • The head of the U.S. military’s Central Command Gen. James N. Mattis will meet with Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani later this month. The meeting will be the first time a high-ranking U.S. official has visited Pakistan since the November 26 NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Officials in the Obama Administration said that this meeting “is the first step toward thawing a strategic relationship that has been in effect frozen for more than two months.”[1]

  • Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver born in Pakistan, pled guilty to one count of “attempting to provide material support terrorism” on Monday. Khan was arrested in 2010 for sending $950 to Pakistan-based terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri whom he believed was working for Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network. Khan was also accused of “discussing the possibility of planting bags of bombs around an unspecified stadium.” Khan’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 30, and prosecutors say that he will likely be sentenced to a period of five to eight years in prison.[2]

  • On Sunday, the U.S. congressional record office posted the details of a proposed legislation to grant American citizenship to Dr. Shakeel Afridi. Afridi is the Pakistani doctor who was detained by the Pakistani government after assisting the U.S. military in identifying Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced the bill earlier this week, saying that “the bill would grant [Afridi] US citizenship and send a direct and powerful message to those in the Pakistani government and military who protected the mastermind of 9/11 and are now seeking retribution on those who helped execute Bin Laden.”[3]

  • On Tuesday, Pakistan’s defense minister said that his country “should reopen its Afghan border crossings to NATO troop supplies after negotiating a better deal with the coalition.” While no details were given, Pakistani officials have suggested that the government charge higher fees for NATO to use the roads, as the supply trucks wear down the roads and cause damage to the routes.[4]

Domestic Politics

  • Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) is currently facing two separate Supreme Court cases. The first will be heard on Wednesday and the court is asking the ISI to produce “seven suspected militants it has been holding since 2010.” It has also been asked “to explain how four other detainees from the same group died in mysterious circumstances over the past six months.” The second case will be heard on February 29 and “revives a long-dormant vote-rigging scandal.” This case calls into question “illegal donations of $6.5 million as part of a covert, and ultimately successful, operation to influence the 1990 election.”[5]

  • On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court announced it will hear a petition filed to block the firing of Army Chief Gen. Kayani and ISI Director General Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha. The petition requested that the court “issue a restraining order and stop the government from taking any step to remove or retire the two officers” until a decision is reached by the court.[6]

  • Pakistani-American businessman and key witness in the “memogate” case Mansoor Ijaz has once again refused the judicial commission’s summons to appear on February 9, citing security concerns and a possible loss of his evidence.[7]

International Relations

  • Pakistan and Iran “vowed to ‘intensify’ work on the multi-billion dollar gas pipeline” at bilateral talks on Monday. The talks were led by visiting Iranian International Affairs Vice President Ali Saeedlou and Pakistani Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. According to Pakistani Petroleum Secretary Ijaz Chaudhry, the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline is scheduled for completion in 2014. The U.S. has long opposed the IP pipeline, and last week a senior U.S. diplomat stated that “Pakistan will be in for serious trouble if it does not abandon the project.”[8]

  • In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency on Monday, Pakistani Finance Minister Shaikh stated that Pakistan is committed to developing its relationship with Iran. Shaikh said that “Iran and Pakistan are united by the bond of history, faith and culture” and that there “is enormous potential to enhance trade ties between Iran and Pakistan.”[9]

  • Pakistan and Qatar signed agreements on Monday to collaborate on issues involving energy, trade, agriculture, and infrastructure development. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani met with Qatari leader Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani to witness the signing of two Agreements and four Memoranda of Understanding and discussed Pakistan’s interest in importing 500 million cubic feet per day of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar.[10]

  • On Tuesday, Pakistani investigators and lawyers delayed their visit to India until later this month. The Pakistani group plans to visit India to “gather more evidence for the prosecution of seven suspects linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks,” in which 166 people were killed. Indian officials blame the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group for carrying out the attack with help from “elements” in the Pakistani military and insist that their government has already given the Pakistani officials enough evidence to convict the accused men.[11]

  • On Monday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Pakistan of “its widening fiscal deficit and slow growth, saying the economy remains deeply at risk to both internal and external shocks.” The IMF predicted that the economy’s growth rate will increase from its 2010-2011 level of 2.4 percent, to 3.4 percent in 2011-2012. However, according to the IMF, this increased growth rate is only half of what it should be to accommodate an additional two million workers every year.  The IMF also criticized the State Bank of Pakistan, accusing it of “loose money policies” and increased inflation.[12]



[1] Eric Schmitt and Declan Walsh, “U.S. Sending Commander to Repair Ties with Pakistan,” The New York Times, February 6, 2012. Available at
[2] Michael Tarm, “Chicago Cabbie Pleads Guilty in Terror Case,” Associated Press, February 6, 2012. Available at
[3] “US lawmakers seek citizenship for Dr Afridi,” Dawn, February 7, 2012. Available at
[4] Asif Shahzad, “Pakistani Minister Urges Reopening Border to NATO,” Associated Press, February 7, 2012. Available at
[5] Declan Walsh, “Court Challenges Put Unusual Spotlight on Pakistani Spy Agency,” The New York Times, February 6, 2012. Available at 
[6] “SC admits for hearing petition against Kayani, Pasha removal,” Dawn, February 7, 2012. Available at
[7] Usman Manzoor, “Mansoor Ijaz not to appear before Memo Commission on Feb 9,” The News International, February 7, 2012. Available at 
[8] Kamran Yousaf and Shahbaz Rana, “IP gas project: Alienating US, Pakistan and Iran signal firm resolve,” The Express Tribune, February 7, 2012. Available at
Khaleeq Kiani, “Gas accord will be honoured, Iran assured,” Dawn, February 7, 2012. Available at
[9] “Islamabad committed to expand economic relations with Tehran,” AFP, February 7, 2012. Available at
[10] “Pakistan, Qatar reach agreement for importing 500 million cfpd of LNG,” APP, February 7, 2012. Available at
“Pakistan, Qatar agree on cooperation in energy and trade,” APP, February 7, 2012. Available at
[11] “Pakistan delays Mumbai prosecution visit,” AFP, February 7, 2012. Available at
[12] “IMF warns Pakistan over slow growth, high deficit,” AFP, February 6, 2012. Available at
[13] “15 militants killed in Upper Orakzai,” Geo News, February 6, 2012. Available at
[14] “Two injured as rocket hits house in Miramshah,” The News International, February 7, 2012. Available at  
[15] “Launch of operation in Mathra village opposed,” The News International, February 7, 2012. Available at
[16] “Three suspects held in Landikotal,” The News International, February 7, 2012. Available at
[17] “Girls school blown up in Charsadda,” The News International, February 7, 2012. Available at  
[18] “Target killing claims two lives in Naushki,” Daily Times, February 7, 2012. Available at\02\07\story_7-2-2012_pg7_5
[19] “Security official injured in landmine blast,” Daily Times, February 7, 2012. Available at\02\07\story_7-2-2012_pg7_6
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