Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistani finance minister and U.S. deputy secretary of state responsible for NATO supply route breakthrough; Indian Foreign Minister says India-Pakistan friendship “inevitable”; France to help strengthen Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies; New report finds CIA informant Shakil Afridi played “central role” in Osama bin Laden raid; Supreme Court Chief Justice denies constitutional crisis resulting from nullifying contempt of court bill; Former U.S. National Counterterrorism Center director says another 9/11-style attack less likely; Blast in Khyber agency reportedly kills 3 militants.     

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to anonymous U.S. and Pakistani officials, the breakthrough in bilateral diplomatic relations that produced the reopening of the NATO supply route came about due to the efforts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy, Thomas R. Nides, and Pakistan’s finance minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. A back channel between the two officials was opened in May, following months of missed opportunities between the two countries. Through emails, conference calls, and meetings, Nides and Shaikh navigated the interests of their constituencies in order to craft a U.S. apology for the November border strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers that suited both countries.[1]      

  • Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Ahmed Khan told reporters on Thursday that a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) regulating NATO’s use of Pakistan’s supply routes into Afghanistan had been approved by the federal cabinet and was in line with parliament’s recommendations. Khan also stated that the schedule for resuming the U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue had not yet been set, and that Pakistan was currently discussing cross-border attacks with Afghan and NATO officials.[2]   

  • On Thursday, former U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) director Michael Leitner said that U.S. gains against al Qaeda in Pakistan have significantly mitigated the likelihood of another 9/11-style attack being launched from within Pakistan’s borders. Speaking at a session on the role of the NCTC at the Aspen Security Forum, Leitner added that terrorism in Pakistan remains a concern, particularly in regards to the possibility of nuclear arms falling into the hands of militants. Ambassadors from Pakistan are also scheduled to speak at the forum in the coming days.[3]

Osama bin Laden Informant

  • An intelligence report released by the interrogators of Shakil Afridi on Wednesday alleged that the doctor played a “central role” in the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011. According to the report, Afridi met with “foreign secret agents” 25 times, during which he provided them with sensitive information and received instructions. In return, Afridi allegedly received substantial sums of money, including $61,000 for the Navy SEAL raid. The interrogations that produced the report were carried out under a tribal judicial system that did not permit Afridi to challenge the evidence found against him.[4]  

International Relations

  • Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna stated on Thursday that friendship between India and Pakistan was “inevitable.” Speaking at the opening of an Indian passport office in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, Krishna said that both countries leveling allegations at each other would not be productive and that global conditions required both countries to maintain good relations. He also praised Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s efforts to advance bilateral relations and added that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might soon visit Pakistan.[5]

  • A delegation of Afghani businessmen visited the Pakistani business community in Karachi as part of a bilateral economic pact organized by the Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI). M. Zubair Motiwala, president of PAJCCI, addressed the delegates, encouraging them to pursue business opportunities in Sindh province and calling for the creation of more business partnerships across the border. A Pakistani delegation is expected to visit Afghanistan next year as part of the program.[6]

  • During a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on Thursday, French Secretary General for National Defence Francis Delon conveyed France’s willingness to strengthen Pakistan’s ability to handle internal terrorist threats. Jilani briefed Delon on Pakistan’s national security threats, after which Delon pledged France’s assistance in building the capacity of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies. The meeting followed former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s visit to France last year, during which the two countries signed three joint declarations and established the Pakistan-France Joint Security Commission.[7]  

Domestic Politics

  • The Pakistani Supreme Court heard 27 identical petitions challenging the recently passed Contempt of Court 2012 Bill on Friday. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry stressed that the court should keep “the Constitution’s fundamental s under consideration,” but noted that the court rarely initiates contempt proceedings. Responding to comments that the public feared a constitutional crisis if the law was nullified, Chaudhry argued that no crisis would emerge and added, “What happens outside the court’s doors does not bother us.” Addressing the five-member bench, Raja Afrasiab, the legal counsel for one of the petitioners, argued that the Constitution clearly laid out the concept of contempt of court. The Supreme Court will resume hearing petitions on Monday.[8]

  • On Thursday, former director general of the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani said he would submit to the Supreme Court a sealed list of names of intelligence officials involved in the alleged ISI operation to finance several politicians in Pakistan’s 1990 elections. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Chaudhry is currently hearing petitions filed by Tehrik-e-Istiqlal chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan in 1996 that request that the court investigate allegations that the ISI funneled approximately $1.48 million to the now nonexistent Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) party for the purpose of defeating Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the 1990 elections. The court will hear the case on Monday.[9]

  • On Thursday, President Asif Ali Zardari chaired a meeting of senior Pakistani officials who discussed national and regional security issues as well as the reopening of the NATO supply route and U.S.-Pakistani relations. Present at the meeting were Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and senior party leaders.[10]   


[1] Declan Walsh, “Quiet Duo Forged Road Deal for U.S. and Pakistan,” New York Times, July 27, 2012. Available at
[2] “Pakistan hopes new MoU with US to be signed soon,” APP, July 27, 2012. Available at
[3] Huma Imtiaz, “Security forum: Chances of another 9/11 ruled out,” Express Tribune, July 27, 2012. Available at
[4] Richard Leiby, “Pakistan recounts in new report how doctor helped in bin Laden operation,” Washington Post, July 26, 2012. Available at
[5] “Pak-India friendship inevitable: Krishna,” Dawn, July27, 2012. Available at
[6] “Pakistani businessmen invited to visit Afghanistan,” PPI, July 27, 2012. Available at
[7] “Pakistan, France to enhance security cooperation,” APP, July 26, 2012. Available at
[8] “Contempt law case: Judiciary wants democratic system to continue, says CJ,” Dawn, July 27, 2012. Available at
“Contempt of court act: ‘Who says there will be a crisis if contempt act struck down?’” Express Tribune, July 27, 2012. Available at
[9] “Ex-ISI chief submits statement on bribing of politicians,” Dawn, July 27, 2012. Available at
[10] “President chairs high-level meeting,” The News, July 26, 2012. Available at
[11] “Two killed in Karachi violence,” Dawn, July 27, 2012. Available at
[12] “One injured in cracker blast in Quetta,” Geo News, July 27, 2012. Available at
[13] “Three killed in bombing near Pakistan mosque,” India Today, July 26, 2012. Available at
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