Pakistan Security Brief

TTP, other militant outfits reportedly to fight in Syria; U.S. drone strike kills two in North Waziristan; Nawaz Sharif to form a working party focusing on talks with the TTP; Shahidullah Shahid introduced as new TTP spokesman; Afghan President Hamid Karzai advocates cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan on issues of militancy, terrorism; UN Ambassador Masood Khan appeals to Taliban to re-open Doha office; U.S. seeks improvements in economic relations with Pakistan; New Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan arrives in Lahore;  17 militants killed by Pakistan Air Force shelling in Orakzai; 11 suspected militants arrested in FR Peshawar; TTP issues Ramadan guidance;$76.5 million of narcotics seized on the way to Belgium; Federal Investigative Agency shuffles its leadership cadre; PML-N government dismisses Secretaries for Ministry of Power & Water and Housing & Works; Sindh High Court condemns lax security at anti-terrorism courts; Arms cache found in Hangu; Second judge declines to hear petition against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s bail in case of 2007 detentions of judiciary officials; Militants destroy oil trucks in Balochistan; Four shot in Balochistan

Pakistani Taliban in Syria

  • According to a Sunday Reuters report, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has set up camps in Syria and sent “hundreds of militants” to join the fight against Bashar al Assad’s regime, in an effort to increase ties to al Qaeda. Several unnamed Taliban commanders noted requests from their “Arab friends” as justification for the mobilization. However, in a contrary Sunday report in the Guardian, al Nusra Front has discouraged TTP militants from traveling to Syria citing adequate levels of militant troops in Syria already. [1]  

  • An Associated Press Monday report claims that increasing numbers of extremists living in Pakistan, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants, al Qaeda operatives and foreign combatants in Pakistan, have been steadily flowing into Syria to engage in the Syrian civil war However, Pakistani Interior Ministry spokesman Omar Hamid Khan denies that any militants have left Pakistan for Syria. Nevertheless, three Pakistani intelligence officials stationed near the FATA, along with militant commanders, have refuted Khan’s statements, and allege an ongoing exodus of Turkmen, Arabic and Pakistani fighters to Syria. [2]

Drone Strike

  • A U.S. drone strike killed two suspected militants on Saturday evening in Mir Ali, North Waziristan. The two men were reportedly riding a motorcycle while passing through Mosaki village when they were fired upon. Security sources claim the men were of Arab or Turkmen origin. On Monday, the Pakistan Foreign Office condemned the drone strike, calling it a “violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”[3]


  • At an All Party Conference scheduled for later this month, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will announce the formation of a working party focused on bringing the TTP forward for peace talks with the incumbent government. According to a Monday Express Tribune report, the working party will attempt to isolate hard-line militants unlikely to participate in talks, and use former militants as a means of connecting with the TTP. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Arbab Khizer Hayat seconded the government’s support for talks on Monday, noting that war is not a permanent solution to Pakistan’s internal strife.[4] 

  • On Monday, the TTP formally announced that Shahidullah Shahid will serve as its new spokesman, replacing Ehsanullah Ehsan, who was reportedly fired for allegedly distancing the TTP from the Afghan Taliban. Shahid is reportedly based in Orakzai agency, and was a former spokesman for the Afghan Taliban.[5]

  • In air operations throughout Darra Adam Khel and Orakzai agency on Sunday, Pakistan Air Force jets bombed militant hideouts, killing at least 17 militants and destroying seven hideouts.[6]  

  • On Friday, the Taliban distributed pamphlets in Wana, South Waziristan agency containing instructions for the observance of Ramadan; the Mullah Nazir Taliban Group approved the guidelines during a shura meeting at an unspecified time.  The pamphlet also threatened punishment for noncompliance with fasting rules or prohibitions against tight clothing, including fines and prison sentences.[7]

  •  According to the chief secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan, substantial progress will be made in finding and detaining the perpetrators of the June 22 Nanga Parbat killings over the next seven days. So far, just four of the identified 16 suspects are currently in custody.[8]

  • The militant group Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) has recruited six children from Sheikan village, Khyber agency  over the last two months, according to villagers. Since the start of Ramadan, dozens of LI militants have renewed recruiting efforts throughout the village, and enforced strict Islamic law, checking mobile phones for music, and threatening barbers in the area.[9]  

  • The house of a suspected militant commander allegedly involved in the June assassination of provincial assembly member Fareed Khan was destroyed by explosives planted by unknown men on Friday in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The militant commander is currently in police custody.[10]

  • 11 suspected militants were arrested on Sunday in Frontier Region Peshawar after police raided six hideouts near Nowshera and discovered large caches of small arms and ammunition.[11]

  •  A woman was shot and killed by unknown militants in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday, and dumped in a nearby agricultural field.[12]   

  • A policeman was shot and killed in Mingora, Swat district on Friday. Police have reportedly arrested several suspects in connection with the shooting.[13]

  • A man was shot and killed in Korangi, Karachi on Monday after two groups exchanged gunfire on the streets.[14]  

  • A man and a woman were found with their throats slit near Malir, Karachi on Monday, while a young boy and a man were injured in Banaras Colony when unidentified men opened fire on them.[15]

  • Two Rangers personnel were injured on Monday in Karachi after unknown men fired upon them near Gulzar-e-Hijri police station in Karachi.[16]  

  • An alleged Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant arrested in connection with the death of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leader Sajid Qureshi died in police custody on Sunday. Reportedly, the militant’s body bore clear torture marks, but police have attributed the cause of death to cardiac arrest.[17]

  • Unknown men on motor bikes opened fire on an oil tanker in Mastung district moving from Karachi to Quetta on Saturday, damaging the tanker. No casualties were reported in the incident.[18] 

  • Unidentified militants set fire to four oil tankers in the Chaghi district of Balochisan province on Sunday night; the trucks carried fuel for a Chinese company.[19]

  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed four civilians on Monday in the Masjid Road area of Quetta, Balochistan; the victims were members of the Shia Hazara community.[20] 

  • A bomb exploded on Saturday outside the residence of a former police officer in Dera Murad Jamali, Nasirabad district, Balochistan province; there were no casualties.[21]

  •  On Sunday, police recovered the body of a man who had been shot and killed in Turbat district, Balochistan.[22]

  • A man was arrested in Gujranwala, Punjab on Saturday by police deployed at a DHQ Hospital. The police also recovered a pistol and bullets from the man.[23]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • Senior member of the Afghan High Peace Council Qazi Amin Waqad told the press on Sunday that he disagreed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s criticisms of the government of Pakistan.  Instead, Waqad claimed he believed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would be a valuable asset in the peace process.[24]

  •  In an official statement released on Saturday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai advocated cooperation between the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to combat terrorism and extremism.  He warned of negative repercussions for future generations if current officials use these issues as “political tools.”[25]

  • Speaking before a meeting of the United Nations Security Council last Thursday, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Masood Khan advised that efforts to engage the Afghan Taliban in dialogue should continue; to this end, he appealed to the Taliban to re-open its office in Doha.[26]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a press report on Sunday, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President and chief executive officer (CEO) will visit Pakistan this week to discuss opportunities for U.S. investment in Pakistan’s private sector; OPIC mobilizes private capital for development projects.  U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson noted the OPIC visit follows a successful business conference held in Dubai last month and indicates U.S. interest in strengthening economic ties with Pakistan.[27]

India-Pakistan Relations

Huge Narcotics Seizure

  • Officials revealed on Friday that Pakistani and Belgian authorities confiscated more than $76 million worth of cocaine and hashish in transit from Afghanistan to Belgium during a series of raids; three foreign nationals have been arrested in connection with the drugs, although no further details are currently available.[29]


  • In response to Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s July 6th directive to reduce corruption, the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) has undergone a massive reshuffling of its leadership.  As of Monday, FIA transferred a number of controversial officials and appointed new leaders in several departments.[30]

  • Following Prime Minister Sharif’s acknowledgement on Monday that the energy crisis is one of the toughest challenges facing Pakistan today, the government dismissed Secretary for the Ministry of Water and Power Anwar Ahmad Khan for unspecified reasons and appointed Saifullah Chattha as acting Secretary for Water and Power.  Secretary for the Ministry of Housing and Works Captain (retd) Nasr Hayat was also dismissed; Secretary for Ports and Shipping, Habibullah Khattak, will act as Hayat’s replacement.  An unnamed official told the press that the government has taken steps to replace the chief executive officers of all power generating and distribution companies, and that is it also considering dismissing the chairman of the Water & Power Development Authority.  The news comes in the wake of growing public discontent with the energy crisis.[31]

  • On Monday, Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Khan Babar denied rumors that President Asif Ali Zardari will remain abroad for the remainder of his time in office following the attack last week that killed Zardari’s top security official.  Babar confirmed that Zardari will not run for a second term as president.[32]

  • After the escape of at least seven under-trial prisoners, including two suspected TTP militants, from Anti-Terrorism Courts last week, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam convened a meeting on Sunday with the Sindh province home secretary, police chief, and finance secretary to discuss the lax security arrangements.  On Saturday, police detained six Crime Investigation Department personnel for negligence in the escape of the TTP prisoners; the investigation is ongoing.[33]

Musharraf’s Trial

  • Supreme Court Justice Nasirul Mulk announced on Monday that he would not hear a petition seeking to  reject General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s bail in  ongoing proceedings regarding the 2007 suspension of judges; Mulk’s decision echoes that of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry last week.[34]


[1] “Pakistan Taliban set up camps in Syria, join anti-Assad war,” Reuters, July 14, 2013. Available at
Jason Burke, "Syria conflict: why Pakistani Taliban is pledging support for rebels," Guardian, July 14, 2013. Available at 
[2] “Pakistan’s religious extremists leave for ‘greener pastures’,” Dawn, July 15, 2013. Available at
[3]Jibran Ahmed, “Nine militants killed in U.S. drone, Pakistan air force strikes,” Reuters, July 14, 2013. Available at
“Pakistan condemns drone attack,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at
[4]Kamran Yousaf, “Ending militant violence: Govt ponders working group for Taliban talks,” Express Tribune, July 15, 2013. Available at   
“’Govt ready for talks with Taliban,’” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at
[5] “Taliban name new spokesman,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at  
Masoud Popalzai, “Car bomb in Afghan town kills 3, wounds 90,” CNN, November 23, 2012. Available at
[6]Jibran Ahmed, “Nine militants killed in U.S. drone, Pakistan air force strikes,” Reuters, July 14, 2013. Available at
“Kohat: Seven killed in raid of militants’ hideouts,” The News, July 14, 2013. Available at,-7-killed-in-Kohat-   
“17 militants killed in Darra air strikes,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at
“Syria conflict: why Pakistani Taliban is pledging support for rebels,” Guardian, July 14, 2013. Available at
[7]“South Waziristan: Taliban Issues Rules for Ramazan,” The Express Tribune, July 12, 2013. Available at:
[8] “Terror attack in G-B: Breakthrough expected in seven days,” Express Tribune, July 15, 2013. Available at 
[9] “Picking them young: Militants enlist six teenage boys from Sheikhan,” Express Tribune, July 14, 2013. Available at 
[10] “Hangu explosion: House of suspect assassin destroyed,” Express Tribune, July 12, 2013. Available at 
[11]“11 suspects held in search,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at
[12]“Women shot dead,” The News, July 14, 2013. Available at
[13]“Policeman shot dead in Swat,” The News, July 13, 2013. Available at
[14]“Karachi: Clash in Korangi claims one life,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at
[15] “TV cameraman among two killed in Karachi violence,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at
[16] “Karachi: Two rangers personnel,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at
[17]Waqar Bhatti, “LeJ militant dies after two days in police custody,” The News, July 14, 2013. Available at
[18] “Firing on oil tanker in Mastung,” The News, July 14, 2013. Available at
[19]Syed Ali Shah, “Militants Torch Oil Tankers in Balochistan,” Dawn, July 15, 2013. Available at:
[20]Syed Ali Shah, “Four Shia Hazaras Gunned Down in Quetta: Police,” Dawn, July 15, 2013. Available at:
[21]“Blast Outside Policeman’s Residence in Dera Murad Jamali; no Casualties,” Dawn, July 13, 2013. Available at:
[22] “Balochistan unrest: Body recovered from Turbat district,” Express Tribune, July 15, 2013. Available at 
[23]“Man arrested,” The News, July 14, 2013. Available at
[24]Tahir Khan, “Reconciliation: Afghan Peacemakers Say Nawaz Can Broke a Deal,” The Express Tribune, July 15, 2013. Available at:
[25]“Fighting Terror: President Karzai Calls for Pak-Afghan Unity,” The Express Tribune, July 15, 2013. Available at:
[26]“Pakistan Asks Taliban to Reopen Doha Office,” The News, July 13, 2013. Available at:
[27]Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “US Wants to Enhance Cooperation in Private Sector,” The News, July 14, 2013. Available at:
[28]“New Indian High Commissioner Arrives in Lahore,” Dawn, July 15, 2013. Available at:
[29]“Hashish, Cocaine Worth $76.5 Million Seized,” The News, July 13, 2013. Available at:,-cocaine-worth-$76.5m-seized
[30]Asad Kharal, “Interior Minister’s Directive: Massive Reshuffle of Officers at FIA,” The Express Tribune, July 15, 2013. Available at:
[31]   “Nawaz Says Govt Focused on Ending Power Crisis,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available:
“Secretaries for Housing, Water and Power Removed,” The Express Tribune, July 15, 2013. Available at:
“Secretary Water and Power Removed,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at:
“People Not Paying Bills Will Face More Load-Shedding, Says Minister,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at:,-says-mini%C2%ADster
[32]“Farhatullah Babar Says President Zardari Will Return to Pakistan,” The News, July 15, 2013. Available at:
“President Zardari not to Resign Prematurely: Spokesperson,” Dawn, July 15, 2013. Available at:
“Zardari to Stay in Pakistan After End of Tenure: Farhatullah Babar,” The Express Tribune, July 15, 2013. Available at:
[33]“Security Lapse: Top SHC Judge Vents Anger as Four More Inmates Escape,” The Express Tribune, July 14, 2013. Available at:
“On the Frontline: CID Personnel Arrested for Escape of Under-Trial Prisoners,” The Express Tribune, July 14, 2013. Available at:
[34] “Another SC Judge Detaches Himself from Musharraf Bail Case,” Dawn, July 15, 2013. Available at:
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