Pakistan Security Brief

LeJ commander admits planning attack on SHC Justice Maqbool Baqar; U.S. drones to maintain presence on Afghanistan-Pakistan border; Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN argues against arming rebels in Syria; Report claims Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif finding military force against extremists unavoidable; Nawaz Sharif approves revenue-generation plan; Presidential election date changed to July 30, Mamnoon Hussain formally nominated by PML-N for president; Details of Nanga Parbat killings released; LeJ militants detained, truck full of arms discovered in Karachi; U.S. Consulate pledges aid in fighting crime in Karachi; Body of woman found in sack in Lahore; NAB arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Gilani rejected by Islamabad court.

Presidential Elections

  • On Wednesday, the PML-N formally nominated former Sindh governor Mamnoon Hussain as its presidential candidate; Hussain has already filed his nomination papers with the Islamabad High Court.  Separately, Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) candidate Senator Raza Rabbani and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) candidate Justice Wajihuddin have also filed their nomination forms.  The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has decided not to nominate a candidate.  Hussain is likely to win the election because the PML-N retains a majority in both the National Assembly and the largest provincial assembly, Punjab.[1]

  • On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold presidential elections on July 30th, rather than the original date of August 6.  On Monday, the ECP had rejected the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s request to re-schedule elections to avoid conflict with lawmakers’ religious obligations during Ramadan.[2]


  • Several blasts rocked Sukkur, Sindh on Wednesday as unknown militants used small arms fire and a series of grenade attacks, as well as an explosive laden truck, to gain control of a government building and destroy other structures in the vicinity. At least four people have been confirmed dead, with another forty wounded. 10 militants were reported to be involved in the operation, which is reportedly targeting the local offices of the Pakistani military's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).[3]

  • In city court on Wednesday in Karachi, the commander of a Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) death squad, Masoom Billah, formally admitted to planning the June 26 bomb attack on Sindh High Court Justice Maqbool Baqar. According to an Express Tribune report released on Wednesday, Billah has also provided significant information on upcoming attacks. Following the statement, the court ordered the remand of Billah until July 29.[4] 

  • Police arrested two LeJ militants and seized their truck which contained dozens of small arms, and thousands of rounds, in Karachi on Tuesday. The weapons were reportedly to be used for terrorist attacks during the month of Ramadan. The truck had been traveling from Swabi, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[5]    

  • The Lahore High Court directed the lawyers of Malik Ishaq, one of the leaders or LeJ who stands accused of delivering “provocative” and “hateful” speeches for the group, to submit their final statements for Ishaq’s bail petition by July 26.[6]

  •  According to a Tuesday report in the Washington Post, U.S. drones will maintain a presence along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, even as CIA bases begin closing throughout Afghanistan and around the Pakistan border area.[7]

  • Despite statements claiming that “guns and bullets are not always the answer” to ending extremism in Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is finding military force against militants unavoidable, according to a Wednesday Reuters report. The report does not mention any concrete steps Sharif may be planning on taking in this regard. Since Sharif came to power in early June, nearly 200 people have been killed in militant attacks and the Pakistan Army reportedly continues to support a strong-armed approach to combating militancy. According to a senior police officer, the absence of a precise counter-terrorism approach is to blame for confusion regarding policy towards with the Taliban.[8]

  • A Wednesday Guardian report details the June 22 Nanga Parbat killings, using statements from Pakistani climbers who witnessed the attack. Reportedly, the attack initially appeared to be a straightforward robbery as the militants demanded money and ransacked the camp, before executing the tourists. According to officials, the camouflaged uniforms and the weapons used in the attacks have been recovered, and four suspects remain in custody.[9]

  • On Tuesday, police disrupted an attempted kidnapping in Muhabat Laro, Sukkur district, Sindh. During an exchange of fire between four would-be kidnappers and the police, security forces killed one of the kidnappers and arrested two others. The police also recovered small arms from the men.[10] 

  • An armed man in Karachi was shot and killed on Tuesday by police forces after attempting to extort a man in a vehicle near Darakshan.[11]

  • A Lahore High Court on Tuesday ordered police to find two citizens who have been missing for over a month. The judge gave police a one-week deadline to recover the two persons.[12] 

  • The body of a woman was recovered from a sack in a canal in Lahore on Tuesday. The women bore signs of severe torture.[13]

  • Unknown persons threw a grenade into a home in Zahori Banda, Kohat district on Monday night, wounding three people.[14] 

  • Four people were killed in Kohat and two were injured on Tuesday after two groups opened fire on one another. One of the men killed in the clash, reportedly a passer-by, was an Afghan national.[15]

  • An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated outside a house in Tauheedabad, Peshawar on Tuesday, destroying a portion of the home. No casualties were reported.[16] 

  • Police conducted a raid in Karkhano, Peshawar on Wednesday , detaining two suspects and recovering several bombs and suicide vests. Another man was detained in Hasan Garhi in a separate raid.[17]

  • The body of an anti-Taliban militia member was recovered from Kabal, Swat district on Tuesday. The man had been kidnapped last week; his body was found dumped in a field.[18]

  • New directives issued by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday have ordered police to refrain from checking the documents of passenger vehicles on the road.[19]      

Syrian Conflict

  • Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Masood Khan appealed to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to halt the flow of munitions to all parties embroiled in the Syrian conflict.  Khan noted that the Geneva peace talks had already been delayed from June to September, but that it could provide a forum for a peaceful political discussion and reconciliation.[20]

IMF Loans

  • Yesterday’s meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad approved a revenue-generation plan to achieve a surplus of Rs. 117 billion ($1.16 billion); this plan satisfies a pre-condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in providing Pakistan with a $5.3 billion bailout package.[21]


U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • A delegation of the U.S. Consulate met with Sindh Minister of Prisons, Enquiries, and Anti-Corruption Manzoor Hussain Wassan in Karachi on Tuesday.  U.S. officials pledged full support for maintaining law and order in Karachi, and pledged U.S. government cooperation to secure the prisons of Sindh province.  During the meeting, Wassan revealed that although the prison system has a capacity of 8,000 inmates, it is currently housing approximately 14,000.[22]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • Iranian Consul General Hassan Derwaish met Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Local Bodies and Rural Development Inayatullah Khan on Tuesday.  Khan gratefully acknowledged the assistance Pakistan receives from the Iranian government and its people.   Derwaish pledged additional support for the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and invited Khan to visit Iran.[23]


  • On Tuesday, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pledge his support for the Pakistani government’s efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan.[24] 

  •  An accountability court in Islamabad rejected the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) arrest warrant application for Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on the grounds that Gilani has not yet been proclaimed an offender. The NAB is currently investigating Gilani for his role in the Rs 100 billion ($1 billion) Ogra scam.  In a Tuesday statement outside of the Parliament office in Islamabad, Gilani claimed that all of the decisions he made in office were legal, and that he is “ready for arrest if anyone wants to do [so].”[25]

  • In 2006, government forces killed tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and displaced thousands of Bugti tribesmen during a crackdown on rebels in Balochistan province; on Wednesday, two of Bugti’s grandsons announced that they will be returning to their homeland near Dera Bugti.  Until recently, the federal government has denied these internally-displaced persons permission to return to their ancestral homes, but in a clear demonstration of government support, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch will likely join the Bugti tribesmen tomorrow.[26]

  •  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has instructed the Director General (DG) of the Intelligence Bureau to augment the capabilities and increase the efficiency of the organization, which has suffered in comparison to the military's main spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in recent years.  No additional information regarding the DG’s plan to achieve this goal is currently available.[27]

  • Pakistan Air Force (PAF) spokesman Tariq Mahmood announced on Wednesday that a fighter jet jettisoned its fuel tanks into the Indus River during a training mission; his statement refutes earlier claims that an unidentified aircraft had crashed in the vicinity of Nowshera, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.[28]


[1]“Party Candidates File Nomination Papers for Presidential Poll,” Dawn, July 24, 2013. Available at:“Pakistani Parties Nominate Presidential Candidates; Ruling Party’s Man Seen as Front-Runner,” Associated Press, July 24, 2013. Available at:
[2]“SC Orders Presidential Election on July 30, 2013,” Dawn, July 24, 2013.
Iftikhar A. Khan, “ECP Rejects Govt Please on Presidential Poll Delay,” Dawn, July 23, 2013. Available at:
[3]“4 dead in five consecutive Sukkur explosions,” Express Tribune, July 24, 2013.  Available at 
“Multiple blasts rock Sukkur, ‘terrorists’ seize govt building: state TV,” Dawn, July 24, 2013. Available at
[4]“LeJ ‘death squad’ chief admits to planning attack on Justice Baqar,” Express Tribune, July 24, 2013. Available at   
“Justice Baqar attack: LJ man admits involvement, sent on judicial remand,” Dawn, July 24, 2013. Available at
[6]“Malik Ishaq bail plea adjourned,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at
[7]“CIA closing bases in Afghanistan as it shifts focus amid military drawdown,” Washington Post, July 23, 2013. Available at
[8] “Despite promises to talk, new Pakistan PM gets tough on insurgents,” Reuters, July 24, 2013. Available at
[9]Jason Burke, “How Taliban brought new terror to Pakistan’s Killer Mountain,” Guardian, July 23, 2013. Available at
[10]“Close call: Police free three hostages, kill kidnapper,” Express Tribune, July 24, 2013. Available at 
[12] “Recovery pleas: Police given week to find two missing persons,” Express Tribune, July 24, 2013. Available at 
[13]“Body of woman found in sack,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at
[14] “Three injured in Kohat grenade attack,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at
[15]“Four killed in Kohat clash,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at
[16]“Bomb goes off in Peshawar,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at
[17]“Mysterious air crash near Nowshera,” Dawn, July 24, 2013. Available at
[18] “Kidnapped peace body member killed in Swat,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at
[19] “Cops directed not to check vehicles papers on roads,” The News, July 24, 2014. Available at
[20]Masood Haider, “Pakistan Wants Arms Supply to Syrian Sides Stopped,” Dawn, July 24, 2013. Available at:
Nick Cumming-Bruce and Michael R. Gordon, “Hopes for Syria Talks Hinge on Kerry-Lavrov Meeting,” New York Times, June 25, 2013. Available at:
[21]“One IMF Condition Met by CCI,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at:
[22] “Diplomatic Ties: Wassan Meets US Delegation, Vows to Restore Peace,” Express Tribune, July 24, 2013. Available at:
[23] “Bilateral Relations: Iranian Consul General Visits K-P Minister,” Express Tribune, July 24, 2013. Available at:
[24]“COAS backs PM’s initiative for Afghan peace,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at
[25]“Court says ‘no’ to arrest of Gilani,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at:
 “Gilani says ready for arrest,” Dawn, July 24, 2013. Available at
[26]Zahid Gishkori, “8 Years on, Bugti Grandsons Leave for Home,” Express Tribune, July 24, 2013.  Available at:
[27]“IB Tasked to Stand on its Own Feet, not under ISI’s Shadow,” The News, July 24, 2013. Available at:,-not-under-ISIs-shadow
[28] “No Training Aircraft Crashed: PAF,” Express Tribune, July 24, 2013. Available at:
Zahira Shah Sherazi, “Mysterious Air Crash near Nowshera,” Dawn, July 24, 2013. Available at:
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