Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. drone strikes have dramatically decreased, claims report; U.S. and Pakistan to discuss policy; IED kills 39, injures over 100 in Kurram; Twenty-one militant bodies discovered in Khyber agency; Speaker of the National Assembly summons Parliament for election; ECP will approve presidential nominations until this afternoon; PPP confirms it will boycott the election; PTI will contest election results; LeJ member arrested in Gilgit-Baltistan; 8 killed in Karachi; U.S. Department of State will not confirm dates of Secretary of State’s visit to Pakistan; India considers exporting LNG to Pakistan; Child killed, five injured after mortar shell explodes in Bajaur; Federal Task Force on Missing Persons will meet on July 29; 1,000 Bugti tribesmen return to Dera Bugti

U.S Drone Strikes in Pakistan

  • According to a Friday Associated Press report, the number of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan has drastically reduced over the past seven months. Only 16 strikes have occurred in Pakistan so far this year, while 28 occurred in 2012, 73 in 2011 and 122 in 2010. Unnamed U.S. officials noted that the end of signature strikes has contributed to the decline in strikes, as well as continued condemnations by the Pakistani government. Officials also note that the Pakistan Army is the “final arbiter” of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, and increased concern among Pakistan’s higher military officers regarding the drone program has resulted in the U.S. launching fewer strikes.[1]   

  • According to a Friday report in The News, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador James Dobbins will discuss U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan when they arrive later this month.  The Pakistani Foreign Office claimed a “forthcoming interaction” was expected, but did not provide further details.[2]

 Presidential Elections

  • According to a press release on Thursday, Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has officially summoned Parliament for the July 30 presidential election.[3]

  • Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin Ibrahim announced on Friday that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would scrutinize presidential nominations until 3:00 PM today; it will reject any candidates who submit their nomination forms after that time.  The ECP has already approved Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates Mamnoon Hussain and Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, as well as Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) presidential nominee Justice (retd.) Wajihuddin Ahmed.[4]

  • Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) nominee Raza Rabbani confirmed today that the PPP will boycott the presidential election in protest of what the party considers a dangerous extension of the Supreme Court’s powers. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the independent ECP to honor a request to change the date of the election from August 6 to July 30 to avoid a conflict with religious observances during Ramadan.  Some opposition candidates are concerned the new date does not allow candidates sufficient time to campaign.  According to Dawn, the Awami National Party (ANP), the Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A), and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) have also decided to boycott the election.  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the PPP’s decision and suggested that the country’s democratic traditions would be enhanced if the party had contested the election instead.[5]

  • PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced on Friday that, although his party will participate in the elections, it will contest the results because the new election date does not allow candidates sufficient time to campaign. PML-N candidate Mamnoon Hussain is widely expected to be victorious given that the PML-N has a majority in both the National Assembly and the nation’s most populous province, Punjab.[6]

  • On Thursday, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced it would support the PML-N presidential nominee, rather than field its own candidate.[7]

  • The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) confirmed on Friday that it will support PTI candidate Justice (retd.) Wajihuddin Ahmed.[8]


  • Improvised explosive devices attached to motorbikes exploded in a crowded market in Parachinar, Kurram agency, killing at least  39 people and injuring at least 100 others. At least 20 of the victims are reported to be in critical condition.[9]

  •  A roadside improvised explosive device exploded in lower Kurram agency on Friday, killing two people in a pickup truck and wounding six others.[10]

  •  During a raid in Bara, Khyber agency on Thursday, security forces discovered the bodies of 21 militants. The bodies were riddled with bullets and bore signs of mutilation. The militants were reportedly killed during security operations which began last Friday in Khyber. The bodies have been shifted to Jamrud for burial.[11]

  • One child died and five others were injured on Thursday when a mortar shell they were playing with exploded in Khar, Bajaur agency.[12]

  •  On Thursday, police arrested an alleged Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) member at a Shia place of worhship in Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan who had been planning to attack a mosque with a hand grenade. The suspect had been a student in Islamabad before he was recruited to a LeJ camp in Miram Shah, North Waziristan.[13]  

  • A constable was shot and killed in Karachi on Thursday evening after a group of armed men attempted to enter a mosque he was guarding. The policeman fired on the men, wounding one, but was gunned down. Three other men, reportedly Awami National Party workers, were shot and killed on Thursday in Banaras Chowk. A butcher was killed in Nabi Bakhsh, while another man was gunned down in Orangi Town. A man was also shot and killed in Risala by unknown gunmen.[14]

  • On Thursday, four police recruits were injured in a shooting by unknown gunmen at a police training center in Razzakabad, Karachi.[15]

  • On Thursday, one man was killed and two people were injured in Rabia City, Karachi after unknown gunmen on motorcycles fired upon them. Police raided an office of the Awami National Party in response to the attack, but no arrests were made. Police also detained an unnamed number of suspects and discovered small arms during other raids throughout Rabia City on Thursday.[16]

  • A man was injured in Karachi on Thursday after two men on a motorcycle lobbed a grenade into his shop.[17]

  • On Wednesday in Khuzdar, Balochistan a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Mir Abdul Qadir Zarakzai was shot and killed by unknown gunmen on a motorbike. Zarakzai was reportedly an advisor to the president of the PML-N's Balochistan chapter, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri. [18] 

  • On Friday, provincial PML-N leaders blamed Wednesday’s Sukkur attacks on an Inter-Services Intelligence outpost on poor governance by the Sindh provincial government, saying the government failed to provide protection to its people, and the local intelligence agencies for failing to discover the plot ahead of time.[19] 

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Friday to discuss opportunities for mutual aid and cooperation.  Olson also indicated that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would likely be visiting Pakistan on July 28 and 29.[20]

  • At a press briefing yesterday, U.S. Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said that although Secretary of State John Kerry is eagerly anticipating his trip to Pakistan, she cannot confirm rumors that he will visit on July 28 and 29.  Separately, Harf reaffirmed the statements of a U.S. Embassy representative in Islamabad on Wednesday that the U.S. is not in discussions with Pakistan regarding the transfer or exchange of the convicted terrorist, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.[21]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a The News report on Friday, Indian gas utility company GAIL is considering building a pipeline to export liquefied national gas (LNG) to Pakistan originating in Jalandhar district, Indian Punjab.  Pakistan is seeking to diversify its energy portfolio in the face of its current electricity crisis.[22]


  • According to a Friday report in the Express Tribune, the Federal Task Force on Missing Persons will convene its first meeting at the Ministry of the Interior on July 29.  The task force was created to devise national policy and oversee progress in the matter of missing persons and disappearances.[23]

  • On Thursday, approximately one thousand members of the Bugti tribe returned to Dera Bugti.  In 2006, government security forces launched operations against rebels in Balochistan, killing tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and displacing thousands of tribesmen.  Until recently, the government refused to permit the Bugti clan to return to its ancestral home.[24]

  • A report leaked on Friday reveals that Federal Minister for Science and Technology Anusha Rehman will soon convene a committee to discuss the availability and control of blasphemous materials on YouTube; the federal government banned the website in Pakistan in September 2012 in response to the release of a trailer for the controversial film Innocence of Muslims.  According to the Express News, the government is considering unblocking YouTube after Eid.[25]



[1]“US scales back drone attacks in Pakistan,” Express Tribune, July 26, 2013. Available at 
[2] “U.S., Pakistan agree to discuss drone strikes,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at,-Pakistan-agree-to-discuss-drone-strikes
[3]“Presidential Poll: Parliament Summoned for July 30,” The News, July 25, 2013. Available at:
[4] “ECP Okays Nominations of Mamnoon, Wajihuddin,” Dawn, July 26, 2013. Available at:
[5]Peer Muhammad, “PPP Decides to Boycott Presidential Elections,” Express Tribune, July 26, 2013.  Available at:
“PPP Announces Boycott of Presidential Election,” Dawn, July 26, 2013. Available at:
“PM Says PPP Should Not have Boycotted the Presidential Election,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at:
[6] “PTI to Contest Presidential Polls to Strengthen Democracy: Imran,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at:
[7]“Presidential Election: MQM Decides to Back PLM-N Candidate,” Express Tribune, July 25, 2013. Available at:
[8] “Presidential Election: JI to Support PTI Candidate,” Express Tribune, July 26, 2013. Available at:
[9]Mehdi Hussain, “Multiple blasts in Parachinar kill 12, injure 20,” Express Tribune, July 26, 2013. Available at 
Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Twin Explosions in Main Parachinar Market Kill 39,” Dawn, July 26, 2013. Available at:
[10]“Blast in Lower Kurrum kills two,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at  
Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Blast in Kurram tribal region kills two, injured six,” Dawn, July 26, 2013. Available at
[11]“Bodies of 21 suspected militants found,” Express Tribune, July 26, 2013. Available at  
“Bodies of 19 militants killed in Bara clashes shifted to Jamrud,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at
[12]Zahir Shah Sherazi, “One Child Killed; Five Injured as Mortar Shell Explodes in Peshawar,” Dawn, July 26, 2013.  Available at:
[13]Shabbir Mir, “Sectarian plot: Police nab terrorist, thwart attack on worship place,” Express Tribune, July 26, 2013. Available at 
[14]Waqar Bhatti, Kamran Mansoor, “Third cop gunned down thwarting attack on mosque,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at
[15] “Karachi: Four trainee policemen injured in firing,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at
[16]“Extortion mafia: Imambargah’s caretaker shot dead,” Express Tribune, July 25, 2013. Available at 
[17] “Shop owner injured in bomb attack over ‘extortion’,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at
[18]“PML-N leader gunned down in Khuzdar,” Dawn, July 26, 2013. Available at
[19] “PML-N blames Sindh govt for attack on ISI office,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at
[20]“Pakistan Wants Ties with US Based on Mutual, Improved Cooperation: PM,” Dawn, July 26, 2013. Available at:
“US Ambassador Olson Calls on PM Nawaz,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at:,-Olson-discuss-Pak-US-relations-
[21]Marie Harf, “Daily Press Briefing – July 25, 2013,” U.S. Department of State, July 25, 2013. Available at:
[22]“Pakistan in Talks to Import Natural Gas from India,” The News, July 26, 2013. Available at:
[23] “Federal Task Force on Missing Persons to Meet on July 29,” Express Tribune, July 25, 2013. Available at:
[24] “Gohram Bugti’s Caravan Reaches Dera Bugti,” The News, July 25, 2013. Available at:
[25] “YouTube Ban May be Lifted after Eidul Fitr: Report,” Express Tribune, July 26, 2013. Available at:
“YouTube Ban May be Lifted After Eid,” Express Tribune, July 25, 2013. Available at:
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