Pakistan Security Brief

Unidentified assailants fire rockets at the Pakistani Military Academy; Six Pakistani traders killed in Iran by Iranian security forces; Musharraf again postpones his return to Pakistan; PM Gilani rejects possibility of a “creeping” military coup; PTI leader Imran Khan predicts his party will “sweep” national elections; Pakistan to continue Iran-Pak gas pipeline despite possible U.S. sanctions; NA Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting recommends ban on “anti-Pakistan” statements on private television channels; Ten BRA militants kill five FC soldiers; PCNS gives Mansoor Ijaz “one last chance” to appear; Supreme Court to hear “memogate” case on Jan. 30; Rasool surrenders to FIA; U.S. says Pakistan has an important role to play in Afghan reconciliation process; Pakistani gunship helicopters attack two militant camps; Militants engage security personnel in one-hour long battle; Landmine kills soldier in Balochistan.



  • On Friday morning, unidentified assailants fired nine rockets at the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad. Three of the rockets struck and damaged the outer wall of the academy, but no one was killed in the attack. The rockets were fired from a hilltop roughly a half-mile away from the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed last May.[1]

  • Early Thursday morning, at least 10 gunmen of the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) attacked a Frontier Corps (FC) check-post in the Dera Bugti district of Balochistan. Five soldiers were killed in the attack when the militants encircled the check-post, firing rockets and automatic weapons. The BRA militants left with several weapons and one FC soldier.[2]

  • On Friday, Pakistani gunship helicopters attacked two militant camps in Kurram agency. Seven militants were killed in the attack.[3]

  • On Thursday, militants in Mohmand agency attacked a check-post in Halimzai sub-district with heavy weaponry, forcing security personnel to return fire. The firefight lasted more than an hour, but resulted in no casualties. The incident ended when an additional contingent of security forces arrived from Ghallanai, forcing the militants to flee.[4]

  • On Thursday, a group of militants attacked at Frontier Constabulary check-post, killing one soldier and wounding another. The militants attacked the check-post in Frontier Region Bannu with missiles, rockets, and light weapons.[5]

  • A landmine exploded in Dera Bugti, Balochistan on Friday, killing a paramilitary soldier during a mine-clearing operation. Security officials report that militants opened fire after the landmine explosion, killing a second soldier.[6]

Domestic Politics

  • On Thursday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani rejected the possibility of a “creeping” military coup in Pakistan. In an interview with a BBC reporter, Gilani asserted his political control over Pakistan, and dismissed the idea that democracy was threatened in his country. Speaking about the Pakistani people, Gilani stated, “Everybody wants democracy…even the military wants democracy.”[7]

  • Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan predicted Thursday that his party will “sweep the elections.” National elections are scheduled for 2013, but several party leaders have been pressuring the government to hold elections earlier. Aside from focusing on domestic issues such as Pakistan’s energy crisis, if his party wins, Khan says he also plans to establish a new relationship with the U.S., in which Pakistan is not simply “a hired gun being paid to fight their war.”[8]

  • Former president Pervez Musharraf, allegedly on the recommendation of his party, has postponed his return to Pakistan after receiving warnings that he would be arrested upon his return. The announcement was made at a meeting of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) on Friday. In an interview with CNN at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani stated that Musharraf, who has been charged with murder and other serious charges, would “certainly” be arrested as soon as he stepped foot inside Pakistan.[9]

  • On Thursday, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting recommended legislation that would prevent people from  speaking “against Pakistan” in programs on private television channels. The proposal would ban statements such as “Pakistan will break” from being televised.[10]

  • Mansoor Ijaz, Pakistani-American businessman and central player in the “memogate” scandal, will be given one last chance to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on February 10. Senator Raza Rabbani, chairman of the committee, said that the PCNS decided to issue Ijaz a “fresh notice” to appear. Ijaz has twice refused to appear before the committee to defend his allegations against former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani. Ijaz claims that he has apprehensions about his safety in Pakistan, but Rabbani has ensured that adequate security is in place for his arrival. Rabbani told The Express Tribune that the committee would “pass final recommendations” on the matter if Ijaz fails to appear on February 10.[11]

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court will hear the memogate case on January 30, at which time it is expected to decide whether or not to grant more time to the memogate commission to continue its investigation. The memogate commission has met four times, and has summoned Mansoor Ijaz to testify before the commission on February 9.[12]

  • Mian Khurram Rasool, former media coordinator to Prime Minister Gilani, surrendered himself to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday evening. Rasool was convicted of fraud and sentenced to several years in prison by an accountability court in Rawalpindi earlier on Thursday.[13]

International Relations

  • Abdul Basit, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesperson, announced on Thursday that Pakistan will continue to work toward completing the Iran-Pak gas pipeline by 2014, despite the threat of U.S. sanctions. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act passed by the U.S. Congress penalizes “foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank.” According to Dawn, if the pipeline is completed as planned, Pakistan will be forced to do business with the Iranian central bank if it buys gas from Iran, therefore it will be subject to U.S. sanctions. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland says that the U.S. has “stepped up efforts to persuade Pakistan to abandon not only the gas pipeline project, but also to stop purchasing liquefied natural gas from [Iran] in return for cheaper gas from U.S. companies.” Iran has already constructed 900 kilometers of the pipeline within its border.[14]

  • At least six Pakistani traders were killed and four others wounded when Iranian security forces opened fire on them on Thursday. The incident occurred on the Iranian side of the border with Pakistan’s Balochistan province. The men were traveling in a vehicle carrying livestock when they were intercepted by the Iranian border guards. According to The Express Tribune, the security forces opened fire on the Pakistani nationals “without any prior warning.” The injured men were taken to a hospital in Chah Bahar for treatment, and the bodies of the deceased have not yet been released by Iranian officials.[15]

  • On Thursday, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that “Pakistan has an important role to play in supporting the [Afghan] reconciliation process.” Nuland stated that the U.S. wants Pakistan to remain engaged in the Afghan-led reconciliation process going forward, and believes that it will have opportunity to do so.[16]

[1] Declan Walsh and Ismail Khan, “Rockets Fired on Pakistan Military Academy Near Bin Laden Hide-Out,” The New York Times, January 27, 2012. Available at
[2] Saleem Shahid, “Attack on FC post near Sui claims six lives,” Dawn, January 27, 2012. Available at
[3] “Helicopter attack kills seven militants in Kurram,” Reuters, January 27, 2012. Available at
[4] “Militants attack check-post in Mohmand,” The News International, January 27, 2012. Available at
[5] “FR Bannu attack kills soldier,” Dawn, January 26, 2012. Available at
[6] “Helicopter attack kills seven militants in Kurram,” Reuters, January 27, 2012. Available at
[7] “Gilani trashes perception of ‘creeping coup,’” Dawn, January 27, 2012. Available at
[8] “Imran Khan confident of becoming PM,” Agencies, January 27, 2012. Available at
[9] “Musharraf delays Pakistan return,” AFP, January 27, 2012. Available at
[10] “NA committee recommends ban on ‘anti-Pakistan’ words,” Dawn, January 27, 2012. Available at
[11] Zahid Gishkori, “Another ‘final reprieve’ for elusive Mansoor Ijaz,” The Express Tribune, January 27, 2012. Available at “Parliamentary body summons Ijaz again,” The Daily Times, January 27, 2012. Available at\01\27\story_27-1-2012_pg7_1
[12] “SC to hear memo case on Jan 30,” Dawn, January 27, 2012. Available at
[13] “Khurram Rasool surrenders to FIA,” The News International, January 27, 2012. Available at
[14] “Foreign office briefing: Commitment to Iran gas pipeline could fire US fury,” The Express Tribune, January 27, 2012. Available at Anwar Iqbal, “US wants Pakistan to drop IP project,” Dawn, January 27, 2012. Available at
[15] “Iran border guards ‘kill six Pakistanis,’” BBC News, January 27, 2012. Available at Shehzad Baloch, “Six Pakistanis gunned down by Iranian border guards,” The Express Tribune, January 27, 2012. Available at “Pakistan: Rocket Attack Near Bin Laden’s Compound,” The Associated Press, January 26, 2012. Available at  a
[16] “US says wants Pakistan to be part of Afghan reconciliation process,” APP, January 27, 2012. Available at
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