Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. diplomat charged with murder; Obama reviews AfPak security situation ahead of trilateral meeting; U.S. security for Pakistani pipeline; “Counterterrorism dividends” by drone campaign; Eleven militants killed in Mohmand; Ten insurgents dead in Bajaur; Schools blown up in FATA; “Qadri’s family oblivious to intentions”; Noor Malik’s house destroyed.


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • The U.S. diplomat who shot two Pakistanis in Lahore on Thursday, Raymond Davis, was charged with murder by a Pakistani court on Friday. The provincial law minister in Punjab, Rana Sanaullah, said that the trial would be carried out in Pakistan and that the “defense would have the right to argue that Mr. Davis acted in self defense or to claim immunity from Pakistani law.” Davis holds that he acted in self defense when the two men attempted to rob him.[i]
  • On Thursday President Obama reviewed the security situations in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the upcoming trilateral meeting in Washington DC. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the majority of the meeting was spent discussing U.S. goals for Pakistan and Afghanistan for the remainder of 2011. Gibbs said that, “The assessment of where we are security-wise is not a lot different than what you heard the president (say) during the AfPak review – while we’ve seen progress, we understand that that progress can be reversed.”[ii]
  • Pakistan’s finance minister has announced the country’s intention to seek U.S. security for a proposed pipeline that will transport gas from Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan. About 800 kilometers of the pipeline will pass through the tribal areas of Pakistan, which has elicited skepticism by analysts who are concerned about the volatile security situation in the region.[iii]


  • A report by Wired claims that U.S. drone strikes in the FATA have harvested “counterterrorism dividends,” though “any reduction in terrorist activity associated with the drone campaign appears modest in scope.” A study conducted by Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs found that the drone strikes correlate with an eight percent decrease in terrorist incidents per 100,000 people. However, the report still raises the question of whether the strikes cause too many civilian fatalities or are worth the cost of anti-American sentiment.[iv]
  • On Thursday, eight militants were killed and twenty others arrested in an operation in Mohmand Agency. Later on Friday, three militants were killed in the Toi Zai area of Mohmand in a gun battle between security officers and insurgents. Among the three dead was a local militant commander, though his identity has not yet been disclosed. Elsewhere in Mohmand on Friday, unidentified gunmen shot dead a tribal levies officer before managing to escape.[v]
  • Ten militants were killed in Bajaur Agency as security officials conducted operations in the Inzaray, Mandal, and Ghundai areas of Khar. Elsewhere in Khar, security forces thwarted a suicide bombing and killed two militants before the men were able to reach their intended targets. According to an official, local police had received a tip-off about the entry of the suicide bombers into Khar town and shot them dead in Sara Maina.[vi]
  • A school was blown up in South Waziristan Agency and elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday after IEDs were detonated near each of the buildings. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.[vii]


Governor Taseer’s Assassination and Fallout

  • The Independent has released a profile on Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer. The newspaper reports that Qadri’s family was oblivious of his intentions to assassinate the governor and that he had never discussed his opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. The report contends that Qadri fell under the influence of a charismatic preacher, Hanif Qureshi, whose sermons inspired him to act. Qureshi is now free on bail after being questioned by the police.[viii]


Violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


[i] Waqar Gillani and Jane Perlez, “American Charged in Pakistan Killing,” New York Times, January 28, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Obama reviews Afghan conflict, Pakistan visit,” AFP, January 28, 2011. Available at
[iii] “Pakistan Seeks U.S. Security for Gas Pipeline,” Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2011. Available at
[iv] Spencer Ackerman, “Stats Back Al-Qaida Claim of Drone Pain,” Wired, January 27, 2010. Available at
[v] “Three militants killed in operation in Mohmand Agency,” Express Tribune, January 28, 2011. Available at
[vi] “10 militants die as forces intensify action in Bajaur,” The News, January 28, 2011. Available at
[vii]“Schools blown up, eight militants killed,” DAWN, January 28, 2011. Available at
[viii] Omar Waraich, “Why did a trusted bodyguard turn fanatical assassin?” The Independent, January 28, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Militants attack house of slain lashkar chief.” DAWN, January 28, 2011. Available at
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