Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan military says it has cleared 70 percent of Mir Ali, 570 militants killed so far in Operation Zarb-e-Azb; Security forces kill eight militants in Mir Ali clearing operation; TTP breakaway group Ahrarul Hind claims several senior TTP commanders among their ranks; IED injures seven in Khuzdar, Balochistan on July 27; IED kills one in Quetta on July 27; Police and Rangers kill three suspected TTP militants in Karachi on July 25; Roadside IED kills two civilians in Kulachi, Dera Ismail Khan on July 25; Two militants die in security force custody in Swat on July 26; Various political parties criticize decision to deploy Pakistan Army troops to Islamabad; Pakistani and Indian officials to discuss recent ceasefire violations during upcoming dialogue; Pakistan official criticizes U.S. efforts to stop Haqqani fighters from fleeing to Afghanistan; U.S. asks Pakistan to prevent Haqqani Network resettling in North Waziristan after operation;  Mob kills three Ahmadi women and injures eight other civilians in Gujranwala.

North Waziristan Offensive

  • On July 27, the Pakistani military said it has cleared 70 percent of the town of Mir Ali, North Waziristan. Security forces reportedly uncovered two huge ammunition factories with ammunition stockpiles and 30 barrels of explosives and improvised explosive device (IED) materials in a large tunnel under Mir Ali. An Inter-Services Public Relations spokesperson claimed that 570 militants have been killed thus far in Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Ninety-eight militant hideouts and 30 factories have been destroyed along with arms caches, communication equipment and propaganda materials. Thirty-four military personnel have been killed so far.[1]

  • In clearing operations in Mir Ali, security forces destroyed five militant hideouts and killed eight militants near Tochi River area in Mir Ali. The Mir Ali clearing operation expanded into Khushali and Hasokhel areas of Mir Ali.[2]

  • Dawn reported on July 27 that security forces recovered and defused a 5,000 kg IED in Boya, North Waziristan.[3]

  • On July 26, Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lieutenant General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch said that the North Waziristan offensive will end in the next two weeks and related operations in the tribal areas will end within a month. However, in a statement released on July 27, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the North Waziristan offensive will continue until the Pakistan is rid of terrorists.[4]

  • Security was heightened at Pakistan Air Force Base Minhas, Kamra in Attock District on July 26 after reports of terrorist threats to important installations. The Minhas base is located near the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, which houses important defense installations.[5]

  • On July 27, Dawn reported that UN agencies have agreed to provide basic aid to IDPs on the condition that the government upholds international norms relating to IDP rights.[6]

  • A senior Pakistani official in Washington complained on July 24 that the U.S. and Afghanistan were failing to prevent the flow of militants fleeing Operation Zarb-e-Azb into Afghanistan.  U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf asserted that the U.S. considers working with Afghanistan to degrade the Haqqani Network’s capabilities a top priority.  In the press briefing on July 24 in Washington, members of the U.S. media questioned the Pakistan government’s decision to launch a military operation in the wake of U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan instead of launching one earlier when the U.S. troop presence was more significant.[7]

  • On July 25, during a security forum in Colorado, White House National Security Council member Jeffrey Eggers urged the Pakistani government to prevent Haqqani Network militants from returning to North Waziristan and resettling there after Operation Zarb-e-Azb.  Pakistan’s envoy to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani acknowledged that because Operation Zarb-e-Azb was pre-announced, Haqqani fighters likely left North Waziristan before it began.  Former commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General (retd.) John Allen said he doubted that the recent military operation has targeted Haqqani militants, as all previous operations there had avoided doing so.[8]

TTP Faction Support

  • Militant group Ahrarul Hind, a TTP breakaway group composed of Punjabi Taliban fighters and opposed to peace talks with the government, claimed to have recruited several senior TTP commanders including commander Maulana Abdullah from Bajaur, commander Maulana Habibul Haq from Malakand, TTP Darul Qaza (Sharia court) chief Mufti Musbahuddin Sayad, and Punjabi Taliban commander Abu Ibrahim, in a statement released on July 25.  The group also vowed to attack Pakistani government and security forces.  The group is reportedly led by Maulana Umar Qasmi, who is allegedly experienced in recruiting fighters from Pakistan’s Punjab province and the tribal areas to attack Pakistani cities.[9]


  • Unidentified militants targeted a bus with a remote-controlled IED and injured seven people on July 28 in the Garisha area of Khuzdar district, Balochistan.  The IED was planted on the side of the road from Turbat to Khuzdar.[10] 

  • Security forces raided a house and confiscated ten kilograms of explosive material in Dera Bugti district’s Bugti colony, Balochistan on July 27.[11]

  • An IED detonated in Quetta’s Kandahari Bazaar on July 27, killing one person and injuring several others.  In a separate incident on July 27, armed men on motorcycles shot and killed two people on Sariab road in Quetta, Balochistan.[12]

  • Commander of the Southern Command Lt. General Nasir Khan Janjua said on July 27 that no Pakistani security agency was involved in killing people and dumping their bodies in Quetta and other areas of Balochistan.[13]

  • In a raid in the Manghopir area of Karachi on the night of July 25, police and Rangers exchanged fire with suspected TTP militants and killed three of them.  Police also confiscated explosive materials and suicide vests from the area.  According to The News, the firefight occurred at Ijtamagah road.[14]

  • According to Karachi police spokesman Attiq Shaikh, 100 police officials have been killed so far in 2014 in separate incidents including assassinations and militant attacks.  Twenty-four officials were killed in January, 19 in February, five in March, nine in April, nine in May, and 21 in June.  In comparison, 166 police officials lost their lives in 2013.[15]

  • A roadside IED detonated on July 27 and killed the driver of a passing bus in the Mirokas area of Kurram Agency, FATA.  No passengers were killed, but the bus was badly damaged in the blast.[16]

  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a Kukikhel tribesman on July 27 in Ghundi area of Jamrud, Khyber Agency, FATA.[17]  

  • On July 26, a clash between the Khassadar force and unknown gunmen at a checkpoint near Ali Masjid, Jamrud sub-district of Khyber Agency resulted in injuries for two Khasadar personnel and an assailant.[18]

  • A roadside IED exploded and killed two passing civilians in Kulachi sub-district of Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on July 25.[19]

  • Security forces exchanged fire with and killed two residents of a house after they opened fire on forces during a search operation in Lower Dir’s Timergara region, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.  Two security forces personnel were injured.  Resident reported that the victims were fired upon even after complying with security forces.[20]

  • Two militants died of reported cardiac arrest while in the custody of security forces in Swat’s Kabal sub-district on July 26.  Many militants have died of cardiac arrest in security forces’ custody since the 2009 Swat operation.[21]

Reaction to Army Deployment in Islamabad

  • In separate statements on July 27, representatives of the Quami Watan Party, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) strongly criticized the government’s recent decision to deploy the Pakistan Army inside Islamabad for three months.  Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said the decision reflected the government’s fears of the August 14 Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) march on Islamabad and a lack of trust in civilian law enforcement agencies.[22]

Indo-Pak Relations

  • India’s Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said on July 27 that recent ceasefire violations between India and Pakistan’s border would be a significant part of upcoming dialogue between Pakistani and Indian officials on August 25, 2014.[23]

Violence over Blasphemy

  • An angry mob responding to an allegedly blasphemous Facebook post by an Ahmadi youth attacked and set ablaze five houses, a storage building and several vehicles.  Three Ahmadi women were killed and eight other civilians were injured in the attack in Gujranwala, Punjab.  Blasphemy cases and accusations have increased significantly in the last decade, from one in 2001 to 80 in 2011, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies.[24]

[1] Mateen Haider, “Zarb-i-Arb: Army claims 70% of Miral cleared,” Dawn, July 27, 2014. Available at:
[2] “Zarb-e-Azb: troops advance in Mir Ali,” The News: International, July 27, 2014. Available at:
[3] Mateen Haider, “Zarb-i-Arb: Army claims 70% of Miral cleared,” Dawn, July 27, 2014. Available at:
[4] Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “NWA operation to be concluded within two weeks: Baloch,” The News: International, July 26, 2014. Available at:
Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “Zarb-e-Azb to go on till final objectives are met: PM,” The News: International, July 28, 2014. Available at:
[5] Yaqoob Malik, “Zarb-e-Azb fallout: Security heightened at Kamra airbase, PAC,” The Express Tribune, July 26, 2014. Available at:
[6] Zulfiqar Ali, “UN agencies agree to provide basic facilities to IDPs,” Dawn, July 27, 2014. Available at:
[7] “Pakistan, US voice concern over lack of cooperation,” Dawn, July 26, 2014. Available at:
[8] “Do not let Haqqani fighters resettle, US tells Pakistan,” Dawn, July 26, 2014.  Available at:
[9] “Ahrarul Hind claims support of TTP commanders,” Dawn, July 26, 2014.  Available at:
[10] “Seven injured in Khuzdar blast,” Dawn, July 28, 2014. Available at:
“Khuzdar bomb explosion injures 7,” Geo News, July 28, 2014. Available at:
[11] “10 kg explosives seized from Dera Bugti,” The News, July 28, 2014. Available at:
[12] “Blast in Quetta kills one, injures several,” Dawn, July 27, 2014. Available at:
[13] “No agency involved in dumping of bodies: Gen Janjua,” Dawn, July 28, 2014. Available at:
[14] “Karachi: Three militants killed,” Dawn, July 25, 2014. Available at:
“Three alleged terrorists killed in Manghopir,” The News, July 26, 2014. Available at:
[15] “100 police officials killed in last 200 days in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, July 27, 2014. Available at:
[16] “Coach driver killed in IED blast in Kurram Agency,” The News, July 28, 2014. Available at:
[17] “Tribesman shot dead in Jamrud,” The News, July 28, 2014. Available at:
[18] “Zarb-e-Arb: troops advance in Mir Ali,” The News: International, July 27, 2014. Available at:
[19] “Two killed in DI Khan explosion,” The News, July 26, 2014. Available at:
[20] “Woman killed, four injured in Lower Dir search operation,” Dawn, July 28, 2014. Available at:
[21] “Two militants die in custody of forces in Swat,” The News, July 27, 2014. Available at:
[22] “Political parties oppose govt move to deploy army in Islamabad,” Dawn, July 28, 2014. Available at:
[23] “Ceasefire violations will be part of Indo-Pak talks: Indian defence minister,” The Express Tribune, July 26, 2014. Available at:
[24] “Mob attack over alleged blasphemy: Three Ahmadis killed in Gujranwala,” Dawn, July 28, 2014. Available at:
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