Pakistan Security Brief

Taliban rejects Mullah Omar heart attack claims; All Parties Conference to be held on Karachi violence; Gabol resigns from Cabinet post; TTP militant arrested; German al Qaeda militant Bekkay Harrach killed; Three NATO container drivers killed; Twelve kidnappings in FATA; Pakistani FM extends offer to train Afghan Army; “Pearl Project” issued; Large-scale corruption under ATT; Balochistan: “epicenter for regional warfare;” Five militants killed in Hangu; Sharia court established in Swat; Gas line explosion in Punjab.


Taliban Rejects Mullah Omar Report

  • Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid has rejected private intelligence reports that Taliban leader Mullah Omar suffered from a heart attack in early January. The report issued by a private intelligence network, The Eclipse Group, stated that Omar was subsequently treated in a Karachi hospital with the assistance of Pakistan’s intelligence agency. The Pakistani army has additionally denied the report.[i]

Target Killings’ in Karachi

  • The Sindh government has called for an All Parties Conference to be held on January 27, in order to discuss the recent wave of ‘target killings’ in Karachi. Despite ongoing search operations by Rangers in Orangi town, six more deaths around Karachi have been reported.[ii]
  • Reports claim that the house of Minister of State for Ports and Shipping Nabeel Gabol has been raided, just hours after he resigned from his post on Tuesday. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) sources assert that Gabol resigned due to his inability to dissuade the government from conducting search operations in areas of Karachi. The Karachi police have denied the subsequent raid, claiming that they “only withdrew security from his bungalow as he has resigned from [his] ministership.”[iii]
  • An alleged member of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been arrested in Karachi. Upon interrogation, Chaman Gulzar reportedly confessed that he had escaped from Bajaur Agency after an operation was launched there. The Sindh Criminal Investigation Department stated that his name had been previously placed on the wanted list of terrorists in Bajaur Agency.[iv]


  • A German al Qaeda militant, Bekkay Harrach, was killed in Afghanistan after leading a group of twenty militants composed of al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and TTP members last May. He had operated out of the mountains of North Waziristan and committed attacks in the area, according to IMU sources.[v]
  • Taliban insurgents killed three NATO supply truck drivers that had been kidnapped three weeks prior in Khyber Agency. The bodies of the drivers were found with a note claiming they had been murdered due to their role in transporting supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan. The note also warned against transporters continuing to carry supplies to foreign troops, threatening similar consequences.[vi]
  • Two soldiers and five tribesmen were kidnapped in Kurram Agency on Wednesday. Elsewhere, five more tribesmen were kidnapped in Orakzai Agency on Wednesday. Recent reports state that over 100 militants have so far been killed in clashes between rival militant groups in Kurram.[viii]

Pakistani-Afghan Relations

  • The Pakistan Army has reaffirmed its offer to train the Afghan National Army, following the planned withdrawal of NATO troops by 2014. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the 120,000-strong Afghan Army should be educated and trained so that it could successfully take over security responsibilities from NATO troops. The Afghan government has not yet responded to the proposal put forth by Qureshi.[ix]

Daniel Pearl Investigation

  • Nine years after the killing of journalist Daniel Pearl, a report issued by Georgetown University has confirmed that the journalist was murdered by Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the “mastermind behind September 11.” Known as the “Pearl Project,” the report details the circumstances behind Pearl’s death and utilizes “vein matching” technology in order to confirm Mohammed as the executer of the reporter. Mohammad has not been charged with Pearl’s murder, due in part because he first confessed while being waterboarded under CIA custody. Of the twenty seven men who played a role in the kidnapping and assassination of Pearl, fourteen have escaped arrest in Pakistan.[x]

Large-scale Corruption

  • A report obtained by The Express Tribune draws attention to large-scale corruption under the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) agreement. The report declares that at as many as 15,000 supply containers were stolen within Pakistan over the last four years on their way to Afghanistan, resulting in a loss of at least 220 million (Rs 19 billion). The report does not target specific individuals but states that a criminal investigation team would be created to investigate those allegedly responsible.[xi]

Worsening Violence in Balochistan

  • An editorial by Ahmed Rashid on BBC News has declared Balochistan asthe epicenter for regional warfareas the province has been hit with worsening violence. Rashid claims that as Pakistan has slowly slid down a slope towards violent extremism, the long-term insurgency in Balochistan has largely been ignored. According to Rashid, Baloch separatists have taken advantage of the continuing political and economic crisis in Pakistan, as the death toll in the province has increased dramatically. He declares that the collapse in security in Balochistan may have “serious repercussions on Pakistan's territorial integrity and heighten tensions between the largest province, Punjab and the smaller provinces.”[xii]

Militants Killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Five militants were killed in Hangu on Wednesday. Security forces reacted to rocket fire coming from an insurgent compound, and fired heavy artillery towards the militant hideout in response.[xiii]
  • Elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a Sharia court and a Dar-ul-Qaza (Sharia appellate court) has been set up in Swat district. Government sources defend the decision, arguing that the deal is necessary to bring peace to the area, as the valley has a long history of Sharia law. TNSM leader Sufi Muhammad, arrested in July for terror charges in Swat, is to be tried under the arrangement, a court system he himself had campaigned for.[xiv]


Punjab Explosion

  • A gas line in Punjab was blown up in Kashmore on Thursday by militants. The gas line has consequently been suspended and the area cordoned off while police investigate the blast.[xv]

[i]“Taliban rejects report of leader’s hospitalization,” Associated Press, January 20, 2011. Available at
[ii]“Govt convenes APC on Karachi situation,” Dawn, January 20, 2011. Available at
[iii]“Gabol’s house ‘raided’ after he resigns,” The Express Tribune, January 20, 2011. Available at
[v]“Al-Qaeda fighter Bekkay Harrach 'killed in Afghanistan,'” BBC News, January 20, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Taliban kill 3 drivers of NATO containers,” The News, January 19, 2011. Available at
[viii]“12 including two soldiers kidnapped in Kurram, Orakzai,” The News, January 20, 2011. Available at
[x]Peter Finn, “Top al-Qaeda leader figure killed Pearl,” Washington Post, January 20, 2011. Available at
[xi]Salman Siddiqui, “Four-year tally: ‘Stolen containers could be over 15,000,’” The Express Tribune, January 20, 2011. Available at
[xii]“Why we should worry about Balochistan,” BBC News, January 19, 2011. Available at
[xiii]“Five militants killed in Hangu,” The News, January 20, 2011. Available at
[xiv]Zahid Hussain, “NW Pakistan institutes Sharia law,” Press TV, January 20, 2011. Available at
[xv]“Miscreants blow up gas pipeline in Kashmore,” GEO News, January 20, 2011. Available at
View Citations


Arrow down red
Feb '11
Jan '11
Dec '10