Pakistan Security Brief

Former ambassador Haqqani “fears for his life;” RIM not to release Blackberry message records in memogate case; Chief Justice denounces military courts; U.S. wants normal relations with Pakistan soon; Tribal elders condemn proposal to merge FATA and KP; army chief on visit to China; 18 dead in clashes in Kurram, Khyber; Anniversary of Taseer’s assassination; Grenade attack kills one.


Memogate and Domestic Politics

  • Former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani, and one of the chief protagonists in Pakistan’s ongoing “memogate” scandal, told The Guardian that he feared for his life and was sequestering himself in the Prime Minister’s residence to avoid possibly being assassinated. Haqqani said he had been “branded a 'traitor' and a 'Washington lackey' by 'powerful quarters' – a reference to the country's powerful ISI intelligence agency – and that he now fears he will be murdered like his friend, the late governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who was shot dead by one of his own security guards last year after being branded a 'blasphemer.” Haqqani incurred the ire of the army after American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed he was behind a secret memo, allegedly back by Pakistani President Asif Zardari, that sought U.S. help to neuter the army’s political power in Pakistan. Blackberry maker Research in Motion has, meanwhile, promised to protect its users’ privacy and not release records of messages between Ijaz and Haqqani after a Pakistani judicial commission requested to see the transcripts as part of its inquest into the scandal.[1]

  • Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Wednesday that there was “no chance” that military courts could ever be re-established in the country.  The comments appear to be in response to a statement by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif’s comment at a political rally in Karachi that he would “again establish military courts in Sindh” if his party were elected.[2]

  • Tribal elders from Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have “reacted sharply” to a proposal touted by the regional Awami National Party (ANP) seeking the merger of the FATA with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. A tribal spokesman told journalists “It is solely the right of an elected council of Fata to decide the future course of action for the people of the area instead of a few hundreds handpicked ANP supporters.”[3]


International Relations

  • U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland on Tuesday stated that the new defense authorization bill recently passed in the U.S. requiring certification of Pakistani cooperation in order to keep aid to Pakistan flowing was “essentially continuation of some of the issues we’ve had before.” Nuland also expressed a desire for Pakistan and the U.S. to “get into a full counterterrorism relationship again,” calling it important “not only for US security but for Pakistani security and for the security of the entire region.” Nuland also raised concerns over President Zardari’s recent statement that Pakistan’s gas pipeline deal with Iran was to forge ahead.[4]

  • Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani departed Pakistan on Wednesday for a five-day official visit to China. According to army spokesmen, Kayani will be meeting with military and political leaders in China to discuss issues related to “security and defence.”[5]



  • Up to 18 militants died on Wednesday in ongoing operations and clashes in Kurram and Khyber agencies in the FATA. Helicopter gunships reportedly attacked militant hideouts in Jogi in northwestern Kurram, killing 11. Elsewhere, seven militants were reported killed and one other wounded in clashes between rival militant groups in the Landi Kotal area of Khyber agency. Twelve militants have been killed this week in fighting between the two rival groups.[6]

  • Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of the assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer by his police bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, who accused the governor of blasphemy. Some Barelvi groups, the denomination to which Taseer’s assassin belonged, have called for a rally to be held on January 4 in support of Qadri. Human rights activists condemned the call as “inhumane and unethical.”[7]

  • One man was killed in a grenade attack on a police checkpost on the Sindh-Balochistan border on Wednesday. Two other people were also injured in the attack.[8]

[1] Dean Nelson, “Hussain Haqqani interview: ‘If I leave my house, I fear I will be killed,’” The Telegraph, January 4, 2012. Available at
“Blackberry maker vows privacy safeguard amid memo probe,” AFP, January 4, 2012. Available at
[2] “No chance of revival of military courts: CJ,: Dawn, January 4, 2012. Available at
[3] Ibrahim Shinwari, “Elders want tribesmen to decide Fata future,” Dawn, January 4, 2012. Available at
[4] Huma Imtiaz, “US wants relations with Pakistan ‘to get back to normal,’” Express Tribune, January 4, 2012. Available at
[5] “Kayani departs on official visit to Beijing,” Dawn, January 4, 2012. Available at
[6] “Eighteen militants killed in Kurram, Khyber,” Dawn, January 4, 2012. Available at
[7] Rana Tanveer, “Marking the anniversary: Polarising in life, and death,” Express Tribune, January 4, 2012. Available at
[8] “Grenade attack kills one in Kandhkot,” Dawn, January 4, 2012. Available at
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