Pakistan Security Brief

Afghanistan accuses Pakistani troops of firing artillery shells and rockets into Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province; Pakistan to cancel refugee status for 3 million displaced Afghans; Senior Afghan officials say Pakistan crucial to Afghan reconciliation; Supreme Court begins hearing challenges to contempt of court legislation; Gen. John Allen acknowledges U.S. support for possible anti-Taliban operation by Pakistan Army; TTP suicide attack targets militant commander in Orakzai agency; Pakistani airstrikes in Orakzai agency kill 14 TTP militants.

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • Four people were killed in Afghanistan’s Dangam district in eastern Kunar province when over 300 artillery shells and rockets were fired into the area from Pakistan on Friday and Saturday, according to provincial spokesman Wasifullah Wasifi. Though Pakistan denied claims that Pakistani troops along the border carried out the attack, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin and Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul agreed to hold senior-level meetings in Jalalabad, Afghanistan to discuss the attack. The incident came amid growing tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan over the rise in cross-border attacks carried about by Taliban-linked militants. Each country has accused the other of failing to curb militancy within its territory, with Afghanistan accusing the Pakistan Army of carrying out the attacks and Pakistan criticizing U.S. and Afghan forces for not clearing militant elements near the border region.[1]

  • On Monday, two senior Afghan officials cited Pakistan as crucial to any political solution to the war in Afghanistan. Afghan National Front (ANF) leader Ahmed Zia Massoud stated that only Pakistan could bring the Taliban and the Haqqanis to “the negotiating table,” while Afghan High Peace Council member Maulvi Qayamuddin Kashaf said the Taliban was “still in [Pakistan’s] control.” Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq responded that Pakistan had “no favorites in Afghanistan” and intended to work with all Afghan groups.[2]

  • According to Habibullah Khan, Pakistan’s administrator for Afghan refugees, Pakistan plans to cancel the refugee status of nearly 3 million displaced Afghans currently living in Pakistan. The Guardian reported that the measure, which the international community has asked Pakistan to reconsider, would create a new crisis for Afghanistan, which currently lacks a strategy for dealing with the refugees. Habibullah noted, however, that Pakistan intended to continue with the policy, calling the refugees a “threat to law and order.” The UN currently runs a repatriation program for Afghan refugees, but the program has stalled since the war intensified in recent years.[3]    

Domestic Politics

  • On Monday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing all 27 petitions filed against the Contempt of Court Act 2012, the legislation passed last week which grants senior government officials immunity from contempt of court proceedings. Shakoor Paracha, counsel to the federal government, requested additional time from the court to further study the case. In response, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said the government would be required to give its statement once the petitioners had made their statements. The legislation, which was drafted in response to the court’s order requiring Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to reopen old corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, is being challenged as unconstitutional and anti-Islam.[4]  

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Speaking with the Express Tribune on Thursday, Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said the U.S. was “prepared to pay extra attention” to any spillover caused if the Pakistan Army launches an operation into North Waziristan agency. His statement was the first acknowledgement by a U.S. official of possible U.S.-Pakistani operational coordination. Allen’s comments came in response to questions noting the ability of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants to slip into Afghanistan, should Pakistan conduct a military operation in the area. Allen also denied suggestions that the Salala border strike, which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last November, was a deliberate attack by the U.S. against the Pakistani military.[5]     

  • During a Sunday meeting with outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, Nawaz Sharif, president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), encouraged the U.S. to pursue policies that fostered Pakistan’s democratic institutions and made the country less dependent on U.S. aid. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Syed Munawar Hasan criticized the government’s pro-U.S. policies following the U.S. House’s passage of an appropriations bill eliminating $650 million in foreign aid to Pakistan.[6]    


  • The TTP has threatened to attack the Wana, South Waziristan-based Maulvi Nazir Taliban group in retaliation for last week’s murder of Wali Muhammad Wazir, a top Taliban commander. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a TTP associate said the group believed Maulvi Nazir’s group killed Wali Muhammad to stem his growing influence in the area. Maulvi Nazir members said that Wali Muhammad was protecting Uzbek and Tajik militants, whom the TTP had initially brought to the area. Wali Muhammad was the younger brother of Nek Muhammad, the first commander of the Pakistani Taliban who was killed in 2004.[7]

  • At least 9 people were killed and 13 injured on Saturday when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb near the home of a militant commander in Orakzai agency. A Taliban spokesman in North Waziristan later claimed credit for the explosion, saying the attack was targeting an anti-Taliban militia commander, Maulvi Nabi, who survived the attack. Speaking via phone, the Taliban spokesman claimed the attack was carried out due to Nabi’s support for the Pakistani government. Local officials suspect Mullah Toofan, a commander of a group loyal to the TTP in Orakzai, to have carried out the attack.[8]

  • Fourteen militants associated with the TTP were killed and several others wounded when Pakistani military jets carried out air strikes on four militant hideouts in the Ghaljo and Dabori areas of Orakzai agency. According to military officials familiar with the attack, the targeted locations were being used by the TTP to coordinate attacks throughout the region.[9]

  • A senior Pakistani official confirmed on Monday that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has been in negotiations with militants over the release Shahbaz Taseer, the son of an assassinated liberal politician. Taseer was abducted last August in Lahore, Punjab. His kidnappers have reportedly demanded a large ransom and the release of some of their colleagues in exchange for Taseer’s return.[10]

  • One person was killed and two others injured in separate incidents of violence in Balochistan on Sunday. Two people were injured in the RD 238 area in the Sohbatpur sub-district of Jaffarabad district on Sunday when the motorcycle they were riding hit a landmine. Unknown gunmen also killed a civilian in Killi Shekh Hasaani on Sunday. Unidentified assailants also blew up a gas pipeline in the Killi Mubarakzai area near Airport Road on Sunday, disrupting gas supply for the main line.[11]

  • Three people, including one Rangers official, were injured on Monday when a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded in the parking lot of the Pakistan Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management near the Chinese Consulate in the Clifton area of Karachi. A Lashkar-e-Balochistan spokesperson later claimed credit for the attack, saying that the attack was carried out in retaliation for agreements with the Pakistani government that allowed China to “plunder the resources of Balochistan.”[12]

  • One person was reportedly injured when a bomb exploded outside the office of a local construction company in Karachi’s Defence Housing Society on Saturday. Police investigating the scene of the incident afterwards, however, denied there were explosives involved in the attack.[13]

  • Unidentified assailants killed two civilians near Baldia and Rehri Goth, and police found two bodies near Sher Shah Bridge on Sunday.[14]

  • Four people were killed and eight others injured when a remote-controlled device exploded near a pick-up truck in the Doog Darra area of Upper Dir district on Saturday.[15]  

[1] “Afghanistan warns Pakistan over cross-border shelling,” AFP, July 22, 2012. Available at
[2] Kamran Yousaf, “The endgame: Afghan opposition says peace hinges on Pakistan,” Express Tribune, July 23, 2012. Available at
[3] Saeed Shah, “Pakistan plans to revoke Afghans’ refugee status could displace 3 million,” Guardian, July 20, 2012. Available at
[4] Azam Khan, “New contempt law: Presidential immunity up for debate at court hearing,” Express Tribune, July 23, 2012. Available at
“Petitions against contempt law: Federal ministry seeks time from SC,” Express Tribune, July 23, 2012. Available at
[5] Ejaz Haider, “Allen talks cooperation after ‘Salala tragedy,’” Express Tribune, July 22, 2012. Available at
[6] “Sharif urges US to pursue policy of mutual respect,” PPI, July 22, 2012. Available at
“Pro-US policies darken Pakistan future: JI,” The News, July 21, 2012. Available at
[7] Zia Khan, “Taliban factions at each other’s throats – again,” Express Tribune, July 23, 2012. Available at
[8] Ismail Khan and Declan Walsh, “Bombing in Pakistan Militant Dispute Kills Nine,” New York Times, July 21, 2012. Available at
[9] “Jets kill 14 terrorists in Orakzai,” Daily Times, July 23, 2012. Available at\07\23\story_23-7-2012_pg7_4
[10] “Pakistan negotiates with militants over hostage,” AP, July 23, 2012. Available at
[11] “Gas pipeline blown up near Quetta,” Daily Times, July 23, 2012. Available at\07\23\story_23-7-2012_pg7_7
“2 injured in land mine blast,” Daily Times, July 23, 2012. Available at\07\23\story_23-7-2012_pg7_9
[12] Salman Siddiqui, “Blast near Chinese Consulate in Karachi injures 3,” Express Tribune, July 23, 2012. Available at
“Lashkar-e-Balochistan claims responsibility of Karachi blast,” Pakistan Today, July 23, 2012. Available at
[13] Faraz Khan, “Extortion? Construction company’s office comes under cracker attack, police denied,” Express Tribune, July 22, 2012. Available at
[14] “Five killed in different areas of metropolis,” Daily Times, July 23, 2012. Available at\07\23\story_23-7-2012_pg12_11
[15] “Upper Dir bombing claims four lives,” Dawn, July 21, 2012. Available at
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