Pakistan Security Brief

 Vice President Biden in Pakistan; Admiral Mullen pushes for operation in North Waziristan; President Zardari travels to the U.S.; AP documents on extremist infiltration; TTP deputy confirmed dead in drone strike; Accusations aimed at India; FC constable killed in Mohmand Agency; Nationalist attack on pipeline; Bombing in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Target Shootings in Karachi.


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • Vice President Joe Biden met with Pakistani leaders on Wednesday, declaring U.S. commitment to the security and stabilization of the region. He used the opportunity to assure that no U.S. boot will tread on Pakistani soil,” addressing Pakistani apprehensions about U.S. intervention through Afghanistan.The Vice President additionally spoke on anti-American sentiment in the country, which has intensified due to U.S. drone attacks and the continuing war in Afghanistan. The Vice President stated, “There are some sections in Pakistani society and elsewhere that suggest America disrespects Islam and its followers…..We are not the enemies of Islam and we embrace those who practice that great religion in our country.”[i]

  • In an interview with GEO News, U.S. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen designated Pakistan as the ”epicenter” for global terrorism and stated he was “confident” that the Pakistani military is aware of what it has to do to eliminate the extremist threat.  He restated the U.S. position on eliminating militant safe havens and resolving the conflict in Afghanistan. In addition, the U.S. would continue to push for a full-scale military operation in North Waziristan to eradicate militants in the area, according to Mullen.[ii]

  • President Asif Ali Zardari left for the U.S. on Wednesday to attend a memorial service for Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan. Government sources reported that although President Zardari was traveling to Washington to attend the memorial, he would also use the trip to have a discussion on bilateral matters. A correspondent for Dawn has reported that Zardari will discuss economic and security issues with Secretary Clinton and members of the Obama cabinet on Friday, though neither side has confirmed the meeting.[iii]


Governor Taseer Assassination and Fallout

  • New documents obtained by the Associated Press give insight into the risk of extremist infiltration in Pakistan’s police force. Reports disclose that Taseer’s killer, his police bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, had been assigned to Pakistan’s president and prime minister eighteen times over the last three years, despite having been declared ‘unsuitable for any sensitive security duty.’ A former police chief of Punjab province, Khwaja Khalid Farooq, told the AP that "there is no psychological or personality test, or any other method to check on the background of personnel. It is dangerous to give someone a gun and power without putting them through a good system of recruitment and training." A separate report by AFP details the security fears of Pakistani liberal politicians, intensified in the aftermath of the assassination. Fear has been raised over the deepened division between proponents of a liberal Pakistan and an increasingly powerful religious conservative base, who have rallied to honor Qadri.[iv]


Top Taliban Leader Killed

  • A senior deputy in the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the former commander of TTP forces in Bajaur agency, Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, has confirmed the death of another top Taliban leader in a drone strike last month. Speaking to BBC Urdu, Faqir Muhammad said that Ibne Amin, a former top deputy to the head of the TTP Swat, Mullah Fazlullah, was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Khyber agency. Faqir said that at the time of the attack, Amin was mediating between warring factions of the militant group, Lashkar-e-Islam, reportedly on Faqir’s orders. Faqir also denied recent rumors that top TTP deputy Qari Hussain had been killed in a separate drone strike, and threatened dire consequences if Pakistan launched an operation into North Waziristan.[v]


Mohmand Agency

  • An anonymous official told The Express Tribune that “Indian hand [sic] was actively involved in last month’s killing of 11 Pakistani soldiers by Afghan militants at checkpoints in Mohmand Agency. We have strong and undeniable evidence that the attack was sponsored by India. Indians are involved in terrorist activities in Fata like they are involved in Balochistan.” The official’s statement refers to an attack on December 24th, when over 150 militants attacked five paramilitary checkpoints in Mohmand. Indian sources were not quoted in response to the source’s claims.[vi]

  • A constable of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) was killed in Mohmand Agency on Thursday when a militant fired mortar shells onto the FC Camp. The FC returned fire in the direction of the alleged militant hideout, but no further casualties were reported.[vii]


Nationalist Attack in Baluchistan

  • Gas supply to thousands of consumers has been suspended after a nationalist group blew up a gas line in Baluchistan on Thursday. A spokesman for the Baloch Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack, “in retaliation for extrajudicial killings on our youth by the intelligence agencies.” Gas company officials estimate that it could take two days to restore service to citizens in Quetta and five other districts.[viii]


Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Bombing

  • A police vehicle was targeted by suspected militants in Bannu district on Thursday. Four police officers were killed and nine wounded in the bombing. Rafique Khan, a local police official, blamed Islamic militants, however did not provide proof to his allegation. The attack followed a suicide attack in Bannu on Wednesday, killing twenty, and a bomb detonated in Bara, near Peshawar, killing one officer and injuring four.[ix]


‘Target Killings’ in Karachi

  • At least seven people were killed in Karachi on Thursday in politically motivated ‘target killings’. Among the casualties were three activists of the Awami National Party (ANP) and three Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members. The ANP blamed a Pashtun criminal group for the killings and staged a protest demonstration over the murders, blocking traffic in Gulistan-e-Johar and Sharah-e-Faisal for hours.[x]


[i] Salman Masood and Carlotta Gall, “Biden Meets With Pakistani Leaders, Stressing Long-Term Ties and Extremist Threat,” New York Times, January 12, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Pak reservations on Afghanistan to be considered: Mullen,” The News, January 13, 2011. Available at
[iii] Syed Irfan Raza, “Zardari calls Nawaz, other leaders before leaving for U.S.,” Dawn, January 13, 2011. Available at
[iv] Asif Shahzad and Sebastian Abbot, “AP ENTERPRISE: Shadow over Pakistan security grows,” Associated Press, January 12, 2011. Available at
[v] “Confirmation of death of Taliban commander [translated from Urdu],” BBC Urdu, January 13, 2011. Available at
[vii] “FC man killed in Mohmand F.P. Report,” Frontier Post, January 13, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Militants blow up gas pipeline in SW Pakistan,” AFP, January 13, 2011. Available at
[ix] Riaz Khan, “Bomb attacks kill 4 police officers in Pakistan,” Associated Press, January 13, 2011. Available at
[x] “Three activists each of ANP, MQM shot dead in Karachi,” Daily Times, January 13, 2011. Available at\01\13\story_13-1-2011_pg1_6
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