Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan seeks to improve U.S. trade ties; UK pledges jobs and education assistance to Pakistan; London Metropolitan Police confirm opening of investigation on MQM Chief Altaf Hussain for money laundering, provocation to torture; At least 5 killed in Af-Pak border blast; TTP former spokesman to go to Taliban court; SC condemns illegal jirgas; Nawaz Sharif to consider dialogue with militants, visits ISI; Pakistan preparing for Afghan civil war; President Zardari encourages citizens to practice harmony, discipline during Ramadan; IED kills two in Ramadan prayer; 3 escape from court in Karachi; Former ambassador rejects Abbottabad Commission claims; Minister for Power and Water warns there is no quick fix to the energy crisis; Senate’s Defence Committee to hold meeting for new security and intelligence reforms post-Abbottabad Commission report; Policeman shot and killed in Mardan; Committee to Protect Journalists appeals to Prime Minister Sharif to protect international correspondents in Pakistan; EU Election Commission reveals final report on May 11 elections; 5 people shot dead in Karachi.

Abbottabad Report

  • According to the recently leaked Abbottabad Commission report, the Pakistani government has not been publicly honest about the nature of its relationship with the U.S., citing “false assumptions” in the Pakistani public’s expectations of U.S.-Pakistan relations. According to the report, relations “[have been] been based largely on Pakistan’s dependency on US economic and military assistance, and the contingent utility of Pakistan for the US.” Therefore, the U.S. has felt free to violate Pakistani sovereignty through drone strikes, and ground operations like the 2011 bin Laden raid.[1]

  • In a statement released on Thursday, former ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani rejected a finding of the Abbottabad Commission, which claimed that he indiscriminately provided visas to U.S. CIA contractors and intelligence officials. Haqqani declared that the controversy over visas is intended to distract attention away from security agencies’ inability to locate bin Laden in Pakistan, as well as their inability to detect the presence of U.S. SEALs raiding Abbottabad.[2]

  • The federal government has established that a copy of the Abbottabad Commission report provided to the office of former Federal Minister for Law and Justice Farooq Naek was leaked; the original document remains in possession of the office of the Defense Secretary of Pakistan.[3]

UK-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a BBC report on Thursday, the London Metropolitan Police confirmed it had opened an investigation into Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain on allegations of money laundering and provocation to torture; no arrests have been made.  The police also confirmed an investigation into the murder of MQM co-founder Imran Farooq is ongoing.[4]

  • During a meeting on Wednesday with UK Secretary of International Development Justine Greening, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar requested assistance from the Royal Customs Service with improving Pakistan’s tax collections system and expanding the tax base; Greening said Pakistan will be one of the first countries to receive this advice and support from the UK.[5]

  • On Wednesday, Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak informed a Department for International Development (DFID) delegation from the United Kingdom led by Secretary of State for DFID Justine Greening that the provincial cabinet had recently approved a Right to Information Bill.  Khattak claimed this would increase transparency and decrease governmental corruption.  Khattak and Greening also discussed the possibility of DFID providing aid to the province in support of other reform measures.[6]

  • During her visit to Punjab province on Wednesday, UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening met Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.  In a joint-press briefing after their meeting, Greening pledged UK assistance to Punjab by expanding jobs programs, education, and healthcare in the region.[7]

  •  The British government confirmed on Thursday that, in a letter dated late September 2001, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain appealed to then-Prime Minister Tony Blair to disband Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate in exchange for the MQM’s support in fighting terrorist elements within Pakistan.[8]

US-Pakistan Relations

  • During a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson on Wednesday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar expressed interest in expanding trade ties with the United States.  Dar assured Olson that the government of Pakistan intends to reduce tax evasion in order to increase revenue, and Olson acknowledged that the government’s economic initiatives thus far have been encouraging.[9]

Afghan-Pakistan Relations

  • Unnamed Pakistani diplomatic sources advised the media on Thursday that they anticipate that if the political and security situation deteriorates in Afghanistan post-NATO withdrawal in 2014, a possible civil war will likely jeopardize Pakistan’s internal security situation.  The same sources emphasized the necessity of contingency plans to defend Pakistani territory from spillover violence.[10]


  • The Senate’s Defence Committee will convene a meeting on July 16 to develop and approve reform measures for domestic security and intelligence organizations in light of the leaked Abbottabad Commission report.  The committee’s chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, expressed concern that the report had been withheld from the citizens of Pakistan and professed that the leaker actually served the people's interests by bringing these organizational deficiencies to their attention.[11]

  • Federal Minister for Power and Water Khawaja Asif commented on Wednesday that, despite ongoing bilateral negotiations to improve Pakistan’s energy portfolio, there was no way to resolve the crisis in less than a year, and that the crisis will likely continue for the next three years.  He also warned that ongoing terrorist attacks might impede progress and jeopardize foreign investment interest in the energy sector.[12]

  • Joel Simon, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), expressed concern on Thursday that Pakistan was becoming “inhospitable” to foreign journalists.  Simon appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to reinstate expelled journalists and protect future international correspondents from the same fate, contrary to the Pakistani security establishment’s preference for prohibiting access.[13]

  • During his meeting with parliamentarians from the Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) yesterday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif acknowledged that drone strikes undermine Pakistan’s national sovereignty, and that the country required a comprehensive strategy to restore peace and security.  Sharif advised attendees that combating terrorism was his top priority.[14]

  • During a hearing for the victim of an illegal jirga’s harsh justice, the Supreme Court urged the federal and provincial-level governments to quash similarly illegitimate councils; Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry added that these courts existed only in power-vacuums where current policing efforts are insufficient.[15]

  • In a speech today marking the advent of Ramadan, President Asif Ali Zardari encouraged citizens to embrace harmony and self-discipline, crediting greater social cohesion with the elimination of extremism and violence.[16]

European Union Relations

  • On Wednesday, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) revealed its report on the May 11th election, containing 50 recommendations for future elections.  Chief Observer Michael Gahler, Member of the European Parliament, encouraged the government of Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to democracy by instituting these proposed reforms.[17]


  • Former spokesman of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Ehsanullah Ehsan has challenged his sacking by the TTP in the Taliban’s Islamic Court, according to a Thursday Express Tribune report. Ehsan claims that he resigned, and was not fired from his spokesman role, and should still remain a member of the TTP. According to Ehsan, none of the Shura council members have formally charged Ehsan in the court. Furthermore, the high court of the TTP has issued a delay on the official firing decision for 45 days until the council appears for a hearing.  Leaflets distributed throughout North Waziristan announcing the removal of Ehsan earlier this week had allegedly been signed by 10 members of the TTP’s ruling council with the blessing of TTP commander Hakimullah Mehsud. Several possible motives reportedly exist behind Ehsan’s sacking. The main theory posits that Ehsan had distanced the TTP from the Afghan Taliban by initially distancing the TTP from the Qatar talks, while others claim that Ehsan contributed to in-fighting amongst militant groups in Kunar and Mohmand, or that Ehsan was engaged in a leadership struggle for Wali-ur-Rehman’s vacated position.  [18]  

  • On Wednesday in a meeting with FATA lawmakers, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed that the “door to dialogue” should not be ruled out with militants in the region. During the meeting, lawmakers also urged Sharif to take firm measures to secure the FATA before U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.[19]

  •  At least five people were reportedly killed along the Afghan-Pakistan border on Thursday, after a bomb exploded near a checkpoint in Desh Mandi, Afghanistan. 10 others, including Frontier Constabulary forces, were wounded in the attack.[20]

  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the Inter-Services Intelligence's (ISI) headquarters on Thursday to discuss the new national security policy, which will tentatively be reviewed on July 12 in an All Parties Conference, as well as the drawdown of the Afghan war.[21]

  • An improvised explosive device (IED) on a motorcycle exploded outside of a mosque in Kohat, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, killing two people and wounding dozens more during Pakistan’s first day of Ramadan.[22]

  • On Wednesday, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain all condemned Wednesday’s bombing in Karachi, which killed the President’s chief of security, and two others. The Pakistan Peoples Party will reportedly observe a day of mourning on Thursday. Zardari compared the deceased Bilal Sheikh to a “son,” calling on PPP workers to protest Sheikh’s death peacefully.[23]    

  • On Thursday, six suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of MQM provincial assembly member Sahid Qureshi, who was killed in North Nazimabad, Karachi on June 21, 2013. Police also recovered weapons, hand grenades, and a suicide vest from the suspects.[24]

  • Three criminals suspected of terrorist activity escaped from a Karachi Anti-Terrorism Court on Thursday. The three men were reportedly in lockup, but managed to cut the bars on the window of their cell and escape.[25]

  • 5 people were shot dead in Karachi on Wednesday in separate firing incidents. A man was shot by armed motorcyclists in Jodia Bazaar, while two men were killed in Abdullah Goth. One man was shot by motorcyclists in Manghopir, while another man was shot and killed in his vehicle in Mobina town.[26]

  • A policeman was shot and killed near Hoti Police Station in Mardan district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday by unknown gunmen who stole the constable’s motorbike and weapon.[27] 

  • One suspected militant was killed and two were arrested in Dasht, Mastung district, Balochistan after security personnel raided a home and found an arms cache during the operation.[28]

  •  According to a Thursday Express Tribune report, 10,000 police personnel in Lahore have been assigned to guard the 3,800 registered mosques in the city. An assistant sub inspector and two constables will each be at the 350 “highly sensitive” mosques.[29]                

[1]Qamar Zaman, “Abbottabad commission: Leaked report calls for redefining Pak-US ties,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at
[2] “Haqqani rejects OBL commission’s findings,” Dawn, July 11, 2013. Available at
[3]Ahmad Noorani, “Govt Finds Naek’s Copy of Abbottabad Report was Leaked,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[4]“London Police say Altaf Hussain Under Investigation: Report,” The Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[5]Shahbaz Rana, “Tax Reforms: Pakistan Calls on UK to Help Revamp Tax Machinery,” The Express Tribune, July 10, 2013. Available at:
[6] “Efforts on to Ensure Corruption-Free Governance: CM,” The News, July 11, 2013.  Available at:
[7]British High Commission Islamabad, “UK Development Secretary: Skills Boost for Punjab,” Department for International Development - Government of the United Kingdom, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[8] “UK Says Altaf Hussain’s ‘Disband ISI’ Letter is Authentic,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[9] “Pak-US Trade Ties to be Enhanced, Says Dar,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:,-says-Dar
[10]Marian Babaar, “Pakistan Quietly Preparing for Civil War in Afghanistan,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[11]Tahir Khalil and Asim Yasin, “Senate Body to Discuss Abbottabad Report Leak on July 16,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[12] “Power Crisis to Persist for Three Years: Asif,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[13]“PM Asked to Revisit Decision Banning Journalists,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[14] “Drones Violate National Sovereignty: Nawaz,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[15]“People Should be Made Aware of Illegal Jirgas: SC,” Frontier Post, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[16]“President Urges Nation to Focus on Social Welfare to Eliminate Extremism,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:
[17]“Islamic Republic of Pakistan: Final Report on General Elections 11 May 2013,” European Union Election Observation Mission, July 2013. Available at:
Mumtaz Alvi, “MPs Must Demonstrate Commitment to Democracy, Says EU EOM,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at:,-says-EU-EOM
[18]Tahir Khan, “TTP’s ex-spokesperson challenges sacking in Taliban court,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at   
Declan Walsh, Ismail Khan, “Taliban Spokesman is ousted for ‘Creating Mistrust,’ New York Times, July 10, 2013. Available at
Tahir Khan, “TTP’s ex-spokesperson challenges sacking in Taliban court,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at  
Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Taliban ‘court’ stays TTP spokesman’s sacking,” Dawn, July 11, 2013. Available at
[19]Sumera Khan, “Tackling terrorism: Door to dialogue should remain open, says PM,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at 
[20]“Blast kills 5 near Pak-Afghan border,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at
[21] “Security policy: Nawaz Sharif visits ISI headquarters,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at
[22]“Bomb hits Shi’ite mosque in Pakistan as attacks spread,” Reuters, July 11, 2013. Available at
[23]“Bilawal House security in-charge assassinated in Karachi,” Express Tribune, July 10, 2013. Available at  
“President says Bilal Sheikh was like a son to him,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at 
[24] “MQM MPA murder: Six suspects arrested in Karachi,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at 
[25]“Three prisoners escape from ATC lockup in Karachi,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at 
[26] “Five shot dead,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at
[27]“Cop shot dead in Mardan,” The News, July 11, 2013. Available at
Hidayatur Rahman, “Targeted: Police official gunned down in Mardan,” July 11, 2013. Available at 
[28] “One killed, two arrested in targeted operation,” The News, July 10, 2013. Available at,-two-arrested-in-targeted-operation
[29]Akbar Bajwa, “Security plan: 10,000 policemen to guard city mosques in Ramazan,” Express Tribune, July 11, 2013. Available at 
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