Pakistan Security Brief

TTP claims to have 100+ fighters in Syria, intends to send more; Presidential elections set for Aug 6; OPIC president meets with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar; Nawaz Shrif condemns drones; USAID may be forced out of vaccination efforts due to Abbottabad Commission leak, Senate to discuss Commission; Police seize 1,000kg of explosives and 27,000 cartridges at checkpoint in Kurram agency; Another under-trial prisoner escapes from Karachi court; Indian High Commissioner calls for joint-terrorism plan with Pakistan; Musharraf ordered to appear in court; Turkey to invest $1 billion in Pakistan; Balochistan police services to undergo reorganization, upgrade to combat militancy and terrorism; London police confirm they are investigating allegations MQM Chief Altaf Hussain incited violence

Pakistani Taliban in Syria

  • Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Abdul Rashid Abbasi told CNN on Tuesday that the TTP already has 120 fighters in Syria and promised that 150 additional fighters will arrive later this week.  Abbasi alleged that the TTP dispatched the fighters in response to a request by al-Qaeda’s operational commander in Syria, Abu Omar al Baghdadi; in recognition of al Qaeda’s primacy in the theater, the TTP fighters will fall under al Qaeda’s command structure.  Abbasi assured the press that although the TTP planned to continue its involvement in Syria, the group did not intend to terminate activities within Pakistan.[1]

  • On Tuesday, some TTP commanders denied reports the group has sent foreign fighters to Syria.  Speaking anonymously, one commander said the Taliban shura never approved the decision to send fighters to Syria; he claimed that any fighters present had left voluntarily, without direction by the TTP.[2]

  • According to one militant identified only as Hamza, dozens of fighters are leaving Pakistan for the Syrian front with the help of a network jointly operated by the TTP and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ); Hamza claims the network is led by former LeJ leader Usman Ghani.  The militants allegedly include Uzbeks, Turks, and Arabs.  Neither the militants nor intelligence agencies seem to know quite how many fighters have left Pakistan for Syria, but Hamza’s account suggests that as few as 70 fighters have departed.[3]

  • The Pakistan Foreign Office continues to deny reports that Pakistani militants are streaming into Syria, according to a BBC report on Tuesday. According to Foreign Office Spokesman Azaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Pakistani officials have been clearly instructed to keep track of any suspected militants moving throughout the country.[4] 

Presidential Elections

  • On Tuesday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced that presidential elections, to replace current President Asif Ali Zardari, whose term expires on September 8, will take place on August 6.  The deadline to submit candidate nominations is July 24.  Results will reportedly be announced on August 7.[5]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Tuesday, U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President Elizabeth Little met with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to discuss the ongoing energy crisis, proposing bio-gas, wind energy and possibly civil nuclear solutions. U.S. investment in Pakistan and cooperation with other sectors of the economy was also discussed.[6]  

  • In an address on Monday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared that the Pakistani government is not adopting double standards regarding drones by tacitly approving them in private but condemning them in public, as he said was done by the previous Pakistan Peoples Party-led government.[7]

Abbottabad Commission

  • According to a Tuesday Express Tribune report, USAID may be forced to withdraw its support from ongoing polio vaccination efforts in Pakistan, in light of their recently disclosed role--noted in last week’s leak of the Abbottabad Commisssion--in finding Osama bin Laden. In a meeting last Thursday between senior members of several foreign NGOs, officials discussed separating their health campaigns from USAID.[8] 

  • A Senate Standing Committee will discuss the leaked Abbottabad Commission on Wednesday, according to a Tuesday Dawn report. The committee’s chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain, praised the leak, noting that it has done the nation a “public service” by bringing “truth before the nation.”[9]

Pakistan-India Relations

  • Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T. C. A. Raghavan called for India and Pakistan to form joint measures against terrorism in a statement in Lahore on Monday. Raghavan arrived in Pakistan with his family on Monday.[10]

Musharraf Trial
  • On Monday, Justice Muhammad Ismail, the head judge presiding over the Nawab Akbar Bugti assassination case, ordered former President Pervez Musharraf to appear in the Anti Terrorism Court in Quetta. The court has been adjourned until July 30.[11] 

Altaf Hussain Investigation

  • London Metropolitican Police confirmed on Monday that officials are now investigating allegations that MQM Chief Altaf Hussain incited violence in his speeches to Pakistani audiences.[12]

Turkey-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a Tuesday Express Tribune report, Turkey will invest $1 billion in Pakistan over the next three years, predominately in the communication, textile and automotive industries. Turkey’s investment is expected to improve Pakistan’s dismal investment to GDP ratio and build its foreign exchange reserves.[13]  

Energy Crisis

Pakistan-China Relations

  • PML-N Trade Wing Senior Vice President Abuzar Ghaffar praised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China last week, citing the landmark legislation and trade agreements Sharif signed, including the Gwadar development project, Nandipur power project and the Kashgar corridor. Ghaffar called the visit a “landmark in the history of Pakistan.”[15] 


  • On Monday, police intercepted a truck at the Gulshan checkpoint in the vicinity of Sadda town, Kurram agency. The officers confiscated 1,000 kilograms of explosives and 27,000 cartridges.  Police arrested two men in connection with the munitions smuggling.[16]

  • Another under-trial prisoner escaped from custody on Tuesday from the City Court in Karachi, the latest in a string of escapes since last week.  The news comes the day after Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam convened a meeting to discuss the court’s security deficiencies; Alam accused the police of assisting the escapees and ordered the police chief to increase security at the courts.[17] 

  • Inspector General Police Balochistan Mushtaq Sukhaira announced on Monday that the government intends to restructure and upgrade its police services in order to deal with terrorism and militancy in Balochistan province.  These measures include: increasing the number of law enforcement personnel, better arming and equipping them, and reorganizing the policing structures.  His remarks follow guidance from Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to improve Balochistan’s security in accordance with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s directives.[18]

  • Police detained five men suspected of extortion and murder on Tuesday in the Bara sub-district of Khyber Agency, FATA.[19]

  • A group of bandits opened fire on security forces along Abul Hassan Ispahani Road in Karachi on Monday; two Rangers sustained injuries.[20]

  • An unidentified person tossed a grenade at a shop in the Federal B area of Karachi on Monday night; there were no casualties.[21]

  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a man in Surjani Town, Karachi, on Monday night; the victim was allegedly a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) supporter.[22]

  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a man along G Alana Road in Karachi on Monday.[23]

  • An investigative report prepared by the Sindh committee on migration attributed the exodus of Kutchi minorities from Lyari, Karachi to rural Sindh to extortion, rival gang warfare and political pressures.[24]        

  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a man in Model Colony, Karachi, on Monday.[25]

  • Police arrested three members of an unspecified political party in Karachi; the men stand accused of murder and kidnapping for ransom.[26]

  • Unidentified gunmen opened fire in the Khudaidad Chowk area of Quetta on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring three more.[27]

  • Police recovered the corpse of a torture victim from the Kahna area canal in Lahore on Monday.[28]

  • Gunmen opened fire inside a civilian residence in Mansehra, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, on Monday; two men, including the son of a former senator, were injured in the attack.[29]


  • The United Nations and the Sindh government began a joint program on Monday, focusing on the economic development of Sindh’s disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. In particular, the program is designed to ensure access to basic social services and provide social education on sustainable livelihoods, gender equality and risk reduction, among other topics.[30]

  • Pakistan’s first private hydel power project at Mangla Dam, Azad Kashmir opened on Monday. The project is expcted to save $100 million per year and will provide 540 GWh of energy a year.[31]

  • On Monday, the Supreme Court declared that Pakistan should extend its federal laws and rights to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, particularly in light of recent reports claiming 504 people have been declared “missing” from the region. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry called for “fair trial in accordance with law” for all citizens, before internment is enforced.[32]

  • In response to the killing of four Hazaras in Quetta on Monday, citizens on Tuesday went on strike, closing shops in protest to the continuing sectarian violence throughout the city.[33] 

  • On Tuesday, members of the Sindh High Court expressed their displeasure with Karachi Rangers and security officials, calling their 15-day progress reports an “eye wash,” and encouraging security officials in Sindh to use action, rather than rhetoric, to disband militant groups.[34]


[1]Zahir Shah Sherazi and Saima Mohsin, “CNN Told: Pakistani Taliban Arrive in Syria, More to Come,” July 16, 2013. Available at:
[2]“TTP Deny Officially Sending Fighters to Syria,” The Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[3]“70 Pak Militants in Syria, 40 More to Join Them: Report” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:,-40-more-to-join-them:-report
[5]“Presidential election to take place on Aug 6,” Dawn, July 16, 2013. Available at
[6]“Ishaq Dar meets OPIC President, discuss measures t counter energy crisis,” Dawn, July 16, 2013. Available at
[7]“No double standards, says Nawaz,” Dawn, July 16, 2013. Available at
[8]Sumera Khan, “Anti-polio campaign: Foreign NGOs could ask USAID to withdraw support,” Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at 
[9]Amir Wasim, “Senate panel to discuss leaked report,” Dawn, July 16, 2013. Available at
[10]“India HC for joint Indo-Pak steps against terrorism,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at
[11]“Bugti murder case: Musharraf ordered to be in court,” Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at 
[12]Murtaza Ali Shah, “London Police Expand Probe into Altaf’s Speech,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[13]“Turkey to invest $1 billion in Pakistan over 3 years,” Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at 
[14]“Khosa justifies public anger over energy crisis,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at
[15]“Nawaz’s China visit lauded,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at
[16]“1,000kg Explosives Seized, Two Held,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:,000kg-explosives-seized,-two-held
[17]“One More Prisoner Escapes from Police Custody in Karachi,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
“Yet Another Prisoner Escapes from Karachi Court,” The Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at:
Jamal Khurshid, “Police Helped UTPs Escape from ATC,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[18]Zahid Gishkori, “Balochistan Law Enforcement: Overhaul Ordered in Policing Structure,” The Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[19]“Three Alleged Killers Handed Over to Punjab Police,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[20]“Grenade Attack on FB Area Karachi; no Casualties: DIG,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:;-no-casualties:-DIG
[21]“Grenade Attack on FB Area Karachi; no Casualties: DIG,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:;-no-casualties:-DIG
[22]“Three Fall Victim to Gun Attacks,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[23]“Three Fall Victim to Gun Attacks,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[24]“Govt says war over extortion, political motives causing Lyari unrest,” Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at 
[25]“Three Fall Victim to Gun Attacks,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[26]“Three Arrested for Target Killing, Kidnapping in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[27]“Two Gunned Down in Quetta,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[28]“Youth Founded Murdered,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:
[29]“Son, Relative of ex-Senator Injured in Firing Incident,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at:,-relative-of-ex-senator-injured-in-firing-incident
[30]“Sindh govt, UN launch development programme,” The News, July 16, 2013. Available at,-UN-launch-development-programme
[31]Khaleeq Kiani, “Nawaz to open Pakistan’s first private hydel plant today,” Dawn, July 15, 2013. Available at
[32]Mudassir Raja, “Internment centres in FATA: Laws must extend to tribal areas, states SC,” Express Tribune, July 16, 2013. Available at 
[33]“Shutter-down strike in Quetta over killings,” Dawn, July 16, 2013. Available at
[34]Tahir Saddiqui, “Rangers report on law and order,” Dawn, July 16, 2013. Available at
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