Pakistan Security Brief

Air strikes in North Waziristan reportedly kill TTP Shura leader and head of suicide bombing unit; Director General of FDMA says extensive military operation not imminent; PTI chairman believes government has decided on military operation; JUI-S leader walks away from peace talks to protest North Waziristan strikes; TTP issues fatwa against media; Peshawar VBIED blast kills six and injures eight; Security forces repel attack on Mohmand agency checkpoint; Police arrest 93 in Karachi operations;  Rawalpindi police arrest two alleged terrorists; Government proposes amendment to allow detention of suspects for more than 90 days.

Military Operations in the Tribal Areas

  • According to a Wednesday report in The Express Tribune, security officials believe that the recent Pakistan Air Force strikes in North Waziristan have killed TTP Supreme Shura leader Asmatullah Shaheen Bittani and Wali Mohammad, the group’s trainer of suicide bombers.[1]

  • On Wednesday, Arshad Khan, the Director General of the FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) said that the number of displaced people in North Waziristan is lower than had been reported. He also said that the FDMA usually gets advanced warning of major military operations, and has not received any notice of an impending operation yet.[2]

  • On Wednesday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said that he believes the government is planning a military operation against militants, and said that all political parties should be informed of the plan.[3]

Talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan

  • On Thursday, a government spokesman said that Sami-ul Haq, the head of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) had not been tasked with leading talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as he had earlier claimed. This comes a day after Haq distanced himself from the peace process to protest the military strikes in North Waziristan.[4]

U.S-Pakistan Relations

  • On Thursday, Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said that Pakistan will not release Dr. Shakil Afridi in exchange for aid from the United States. The U.S. Congress recently passed a bill withholding $33 million in aid from Pakistan to protest Afridi’s 33-year sentence.[5]


  • According to a Thursday report in Dawn, the TTP has issued a fatwa against media organizations and also has drawn up a list of media groups it plans on targeting, which includes heads of media organizations, television anchors, and newspaper editors. The fatwa claims that the media is part of the “war on Islam” and is responsible for propaganda against the TTP.[6]

  • On Thursday, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) exploded in Peshawar, killing six people and injuring eight.[7]

  • On Thursday, the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) defused a bomb at a construction site in Peshawar.[8]

  • On Wednesday, unidentified militants attacked a security force checkpoint in Khwezai sub-district, Mohmand agency. The attack was repelled by security personnel, but no casualties on either side were reported.[9]

  • On Thursday, police and the Crime Investigation Department (CID) arrested 93 people in operations throughout Karachi.[10]

  • On Thursday, a grenade attack in Lasbela Pull, Karachi left one person injured.[11]

  • On Monday, Rawalpindi police arrested two alleged terrorists and seized a large stockpile of weapons. The police claimed that the men were travelling from Peshawar and were planning an attack, though they do not know where yet.[12]


  • On Wednesday, the government proposed an amendment to the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) to give legal authority for law enforcement agencies to detain suspects without charge for over 90 days.[13] 

  • On Thursday, army chief General Raheel Sharif met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad to discuss security, terrorism, and possible negotiations with militants.[14]

  • On Wednesday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that the government would ensure funding to important development projects in Pakistan and improve inter-departmental cooperation.[15]  

[1] Kamran Yousaf, “North Waziristan: TTP Shura Leader, Master Trainer Killed in Air Strikes, Say Officials,” The Express Tribune, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[2] Mushtaq Yusufzai, “Military Officials Rule out Full-Fledged NWA Operation,” The News, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[3] “Changing Strategies: Govt Apparently Preparing for Military Operation, Says Imran,” The Express Tribune, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[4] “Never Asked Sami to Broker Taliban Talks: Govt,” Dawn, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[5] “No Chance of Shakil Afridi’s Release over US Pressure: FO,” Dawn, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[6] Hasan Abdullah, “Media Now in TTP Crosshairs,” Dawn, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[7] “Blast in Peshawar Kills Six: Police,” Dawn, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[8] “Bomb Defused Near Flyover in Peshawar,” Dawn, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[9] “Militants Attack Checkpost in Mohmand,” The News, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[10] “Karachi Raids: 93 Suspects Arrested,” Dawn, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[11] “Karachi Raids: 93 Suspects Arrested,” Dawn, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[12] Kashif Abbasi, “Attack Averted?: Big Cache of Weapons Seized, Two Arrested,” The Express Tribune, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[13] Nasi Iqbal, “Indefinite Detention Gets Legal Cover,” Dawn, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[14] “PM Nawaz Sharif, COAS Gen Raheel Hold Crucial Meeting on Security Issues,” The Frontier Post, January 23, 2014. Available at:
[15] “Funding National Security Projects Top Priority, Says Dar,” The News, January 23, 2014. Available at:,-says-Dar
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