Pakistan Security Brief

Prime Minister Reza Yousuf Gilani appears before Supreme Court in Pakistan; Pakistan expects to re-open NATO supply routes in Afghanistan; Suicide bombing  in Nowshera kills four; Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar says Pakistan’s ties with U.S. are “on hold;” Peace talks between Pakistan and Taliban insurgents reportedly making “little progress;” Pakistani Ambassador to U.S. Sherry Rehman presents her credentials to President Obama; Former president Pervez Musharraf delays his return to Pakistan; Music video surfaces featuring Pakistani-American businessman and central character in “memogate” scandal Mansoor Ijaz.

Domestic Politics

  • Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani appeared before the Supreme Court on Thursday to defend himself against charges of being in contempt of court. He is facing charges from the court for refusing to follow its orders in writing a letter to Swiss authorities requesting that the corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari be reopened. The prime minister’s attorney stated on behalf of Gilani that the prime minister does “not have the capacity to write the letter” and has “every intention of implementing the order as and when the Constitution permits.” Gilani reiterated that President Zardari has immunity from prosecution, and that he has no authority on which to write a letter to the Swiss courts. Gilani also noted that he would “never think of ridiculing or defaming the court.” The court has adjourned Prime Minister Gilani’s hearing to February 1, at which time his attorney will argue the case for Zardari’s immunity before the bench.[1]
  • A 2004 music video has surfaced that features Mansoor Ijaz, Pakistani-American businessman and central player in the “memogate” scandal, acting as a commentator for a naked female wrestling match. Opponents of Ijaz claim that this video damages his credibility as a witness in the memogate case. According to the Associated Press, one version of this video has been online since 2007, but its recent attention can be attributed to a blogger who recognized Ijaz as the announcer in the video on Tuesday. Ijaz admitted that the video is real, but claims that it surfaced through the help of Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. and accused memogate conspirator, in an effort to discredit him.[3]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Pakistan expects to re-open NATO supply routes in Afghanistan, but with the imposition of tariffs, said a senior security official on Thursday. The routes were closed after NATO forces launched a cross-border air attack on November 26, 2011, killing twenty-four Pakistani soldiers. According to the official, the tariffs will be implemented to express anger over the attack and to raise funds for the country’s fight against the Taliban. No date has been given yet for re-opening the supply routes.[4]
  • In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that Pakistan’s ties with the U.S. are “on hold” while the re-evaluation of bilateral relations is underway, and re-engagement cannot begin until the review is complete. Khar advised the U.S. to be patient, saying that to “‘push’ is never wise,” and that “another incursion by NATO or the U.S. would be harmful” and would make it more difficult for Pakistan to be an “effective partner.” She stressed the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, and said this was an opportunity to “strengthen the partnership” and make it “much more effective.”[5]
  • As the parliamentary review of its relations with the U.S. nears its end, Pakistan is “looking forward to re-engaging with the U.S. on issues of mutual interest and importance,” said Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit  in a weekly media briefing on Thursday.[6]
  • Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman presented her credentials to President Obama on Wednesday. In an interview with Dawn, Rehman commented on Pakistan’s parliamentary review of its relations with the U.S., saying it presented “an opportunity for both countries to reset ties on more consistent, transparent and predictable lines.” The U.S. and Pakistan have joint goals in the region, said Rehman, and she hopes the two countries can resume their ties “on the basis of mutual trust, interests and respect.” Rehman also said that her meeting with Secretary Clinton went well, and they “both agree that a strong Pak-U.S. relationship can be both productive and viable.”[7]


  • Four people, including at least two security officials, were injured, when a suicide bomber detonated himself at a check post in the Akora Khattak area of Nowshera on Thursday. The bomber was identified as militant commander Jannat Gul, a relative of Qari Kamran’s, a chief militant who was killed in Khyber Agency in December 2011, said a senior official.[9]







[1] Declan Walsh and Salman Masood, “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Appears Before Supreme Court,” New York Times, January 19, 2012. Available at
Saeed Shah, “Pakistan prime minister Gilani refuses to give in to court order,” Guardian, January 19, 2012. Available at
“Pakistani government bows to top court’s demand over presidential graft case,” Associated Press, January 19, 2012. Available at
[2] “Musharraf delays return to Pakistan,” Express Tribune, January 19, 2012. Available at
Sumera Khan, “Musharraf will be arrested, Senate assured,” Express Tribune, January 19, 2012. Available at
Sami Zubeiri, “Musharraf likely to delay return to Pakistan,” AFP, January 19, 2012. Available at
“Musharaff advised to delay return to Pakistan,” Reuters, January 19, 2012. Available at
[3] “Pakistan scandal’s latest twist: naked wrestling,” Associated Press, January 19, 2012. Available at
[6] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Pakistan to resume full spectrum of ties with US: FO,” Dawn, January 19, 2012. Available at
[7] Anwar Iqbal, “Parliament’s review to help reset ties: Sherry,” Dawn, January 19, 2012. Available at
[8] Michael Georgy, “Peace talks between Pakistan and Taliban,” Reuters, January 19, 2012. Available at
[9] “Two security officials injured in Nowshera blast,” Dawn, January 19, 2012. Available at
[10] “Three alleged militants killed at Barra,” APP, January 18, 2012. Available at
View Citations
Arrow down red
Feb '12
Jan '12
Dec '11