Pakistan Security Brief

Truck bomb kills 35 in Khyber tribal region; Militants blow up a NATO oil tanker; Foreign policy experts urge Secretary Clinton to protect Husain Haqqani; Pakistani power distribution companies forge agreements with U.S.; Haqqani challenges constitutionality of “memogate” commission; Prime Minister Gilani refutes legality of witness testimony in memogate case; Pakistani Supreme Court pressures Gilani to start corruption proceedings against President Zardari; Imran Khan PTI leader threatens to launch protests; Former president Musharraf to meet with former UK foreign minister Miliband; Protestors close Kohat-Hangu highway; PML-N leader elected as leader of special committee for protection of journalists.



  • On Tuesday, a remote-controlled truck bomb exploded in the center of a bus terminal in Jamrud, Khyber agency killing 35 people and wounding 69 more. Mutahir Zeb, administrator for the Khyber tribal region, noted that the bombing was likely carried out by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The bomb was intended as an act of revenge against the Zakha Khel tribe, a pro-government militia, for the recent death of a local TTP commander, Qari Kamran. Mr. Zeb stated that this bombing “fit a pattern of previous revenge attacks” against the Zakha Khel tribe.[1]

  • Militants blew up a NATO oil tanker in the village of Mian Khel in Khyber agency on Monday. The tanker, bound for Afghanistan, was parked in the village, when militants detonated an explosive device planted on it. No casualties were reported in the attack.[2] 


U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, a letter was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a group of 16 bipartisan foreign policy experts, urging her to pressure the Pakistani government to protect the rights of Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. and central player in the “memogate” scandal. Haqqani said that “he was under virtual house arrest [this weekend] in the guest quarters of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s compound in Islamabad because he fears he could be murdered if he leaves the grounds, ” or that he may be abducted and tortured by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as a means to force him to confess to treason.[3]

  • Nine Pakistani government-owned power distribution companies, or Discos, entered into agreements with the U.S. yesterday in order to improve energy supply to Pakistani consumers. The U.S. will help the nine Discos “generate more revenue to pay for energy production, reduce losses in power distribution from the producer to the consumer and make the power supply more reliable.” In addition, USAID will implement a $60 million power distribution program that will improve maintenance of distribution lines, bill collection, customer service, management, equipment, and reliability. USAID will also be assisting Pakistan with the introduction of long-term energy sector policy reforms.[4]



  • Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., filed a petition yesterday in the Supreme Court asking it to review its December 30 decision on the memogate scandal and “issue a stay order against the judicial commission’s proceeding until the disposal of his application.” Additionally, Haqqani questioned the constitutionality and jurisdiction of the commission investigating the scandal.[5]

  • Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani claims that several witnesses in the memogate case, namely army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Ahman Shuja Pasha, gave their affidavits to the court without having first secured the government’s approval to submit statements. Gilani stated that according to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, “an act from a government functionary made without a prior nod from the government was unconstitutional.” According to Gilani, by this standard, the replies of Pasha and Kayani to the Supreme Court were illegal, and therefore should be stricken from the memogate proceedings. Gen. Kayani held a meeting on Tuesday with senior military officials at the Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. The army chief was briefed about Gilani’s interview with the Chinese media regarding the “illegal” statements made by Gen. Kayani and Lt. Gen. Pasha to the Supreme Court. Details about the interview are expected soon in a statement from the Pakistani military. [6]  

  • Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik stated that Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani-American businessman and key player in the memogate scandal , will be provided security by the government when he arrives in Pakistan. Malik states that Ijaz’s security, and security for any other witnesses, will be provided at the request of the Memogate Commission. Additionally, The News reports that ISI Commander Khalid Aziz testified in front of the memogate commission on Monday Aziz reportedly presented “eyebrow-raising” forensic findings regarding the case from the agency’s research and development wing. [7]


Domestic Politics

  • The Pakistani Supreme Court stated that it has the power to dismiss Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani if he fails to commence with corruption proceedings against President Asif Ali Zardari. The government claims that President Zardari has immunity from prosecution under the Constitution, but the court has insisted that the government formally request Swiss courts to reopen closed corruption cases against Zardari anyway. Supreme Court Justice Asif Saeed Khosa claims that the government is “not serious about implementing court orders,” an action which Khosa claims will cause the court to take “unpleasant” steps. If the government fails to implement the court’s decision on the National Reconciliation Ordinance by January 16th, the court could declare the prime minister ineligible for his position due to his violation of oath in not implementing the court’s decision.[8]

  • Imran Khan, chief of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) party, threatened “to launch protests if the government tried to attack the Supreme Court…on the pretext of saving democracy or parliament in a bid to hide its corruption.” Khan stated that his party will react strongly to an attack on the judiciary, and urged the government to head his warning.[9]

  • The Abbottabad Commission, responsible for investigating Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan and the U.S. raid that killed him, conducted interviews yesterday of several individuals And stated that it plans to complete its investigation by the end of January.[10]

International Relations

  • During his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, former president General Pervez Musharraf is reportedly going to meet with former U.K. foreign minister David Miliband. According to reports, Musharraf will likely try to obtain a promise from Miliband of safe entry into Pakistan. When Musharraf stepped down as president in 2008, Miliband, as the foreign minister, was reportedly one of the people who ensured Musharraf’s safe exit from Pakistan. In the past week, Musharraf met with Sheikh Khalifa of the UAE, and he reportedly plans to meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on January 22. He also contacted President Zardari and Army Chief Gen. Kayani to obtain guarantees that he would not be harmed once he lands in Pakistan. One of Musharraf’s close associates, Pakistani-American businessman Dr. Raza Bokhari, met with U.S. ambassador Cameron Munter to seek assurances that Musharraf would not be arrested or prosecuted upon his return to Pakistan.[11]



  • Hundreds of protesters closed the Kohat-Hangu highway on Monday against the killing of a prominent member of[a] banned religious group.” The body of Abdul Wahab, a member of Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and the Sunni Supreme Council, was recently recovered, bearing marks of violence and a bullet wound in the head. Wahab was abducted on December 31, and protestors claim that local police are responsible for his abduction and murder.[12]

  • Hospitals in Peshawar shutdown as doctors went on strike yesterday due to the January 7 killing of cardiologist Dr. Mohammad Jamal. Dr. Jamal’s body was found in Khyber Agency two months after his kidnapping. The doctors on strike have claimed that the government has done little in response to the rising incidents of doctor kidnappings in the region. They have “demanded judicial inquiry” into the recent killings and kidnappings, and have asked that the “government ensure [the] safety of medical practitioners.”[13]


Threats to Journalists

  • On Monday, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) asked the government to end the mounting number of threats to journalists. On Tuesday, Ahsan Iqbal, a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, was unanimously elected to the position of chairman of the Special Committee for Protection of Journalists. The National Assembly formed the committee as a response to the growing number of threats received by journalists in Pakistan.[14]

  • The commission investigating the death of Saleem Shahzad, the journalist murdered on May 30, has finalized its report and will present it to the government sometime today. Pervez Shaukat, commission member and President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, stated that the report took six months to completed and involved interviewing 41 individuals.[15]


[1] “Blasts kills 35 in Khyber agency,” Dawn, January 10, 2012. Available at
Ismail Khan, “Truck Bomb Kills Dozens in Pakistan,” New York Times, January 10, 2012. Available at
[2] “Terrorists blow up NATO oil tanker,” Daily Times, January 10, 2012. Available at\01\10\story_10-1-2012_pg7_11
[4] Discos ink pacts with US govt,” Dawn, January 9, 2012. Available at
[5] “Haqqani seeks halt to memo commissions proceedings,” Daily Times, January 10, 2012. Available at\01\10\story_10-1-2012_pg1_5
[6] “Memogate case: Kayani, Pasha replies were illegal, implies PM,” The Express Tribune, January 10, 2012. Available at
Kayani meets senior military officials,” Dawn, January 10, 2012. Available at
[7] “Malik assures security for Mansoor Ijaz,” Daily Times, January 10, 2012. Available at\01\10\story_10-1-2012_pg1_4
Sabir Shah, “Memogate commission might make history as ISI assists it,” News International, January 10, 2012. Available at
[8] “’Unpleasant’ steps if govt fails to implement SC verdict by 16th,” Dawn, January 10, 2012. Available at
The Associated Press, “Pakistani Court Warns Premier Over Graft Probe,” The New York Times, January 10, 2012. Available at
[9] Imran warns govt of protest if judiciary attacked,” Dawn, January 9, 2012. Available at
[10] “Abbottabad Commission: Family planning coordinator quizzed,” The Express Tribune, January 10, 2012. Available at
“Commission wants Wajid’s appearance,” Dawn, January 10, 2012. Available at
[11] Usman Manzoor, “Former president to also seek guarantees from UK,” News, January 10, 2012. Available at
[12] “Protestors block Kohat-Hangu road over SSP man’s murder,” Dawn, January 10, 2012. Available at
[13] “Peshawar hospitals shut down against doctor’s killing,” Dawn, January 10, 2012. Available at
[14] “NA forms committee for protection of journalists,” Dawn, January 10, 2012. Available at
[15] “Commission completed report on Saleem Shahzad’s murder,” Dawn, January 10, 2012. Available at
Dexter Filkins, “The Journalist and the Spies,” The New Yorker, September 19, 2011. Available at
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