Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. expanding Central Asia supply routes to Afghanistan; U.S. officials: ISI ordered Shahzad killing; McCain urges acknowledgement of ISI ties to militants; Conflicting reports regarding U.S. use of Shamshi air base continue; Documents show al Qaeda under strain; Pakistanis protest U.S. embassy gay rights event; Former militant says Pakistani military continues to support militants; Pakistani military struggles to regain popular support; Afghanistan-Pakistan relations remain tense with cross-border attacks; Afghan governor says Pakistan supports militants; Pakistani Taliban sold bomber to Haqqani network for Afghanistan attack; Pakistan military begins Kurram offensive; Haqqani Network “disowns” ex-TTP commander Saeed; Afghan mortar shells wound Pakistanis; Hundreds of militants cross Afghan border to attack security post in Bajaur; U.S. increases drone strikes in South Waziristan; FATA leaders oppose drone strikes at jirga; TTP intelligence head arrested in Islamabad raid; Balochistan to double paramilitary force size; Militants attack police in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Rangers case to stay in ATC; Kharotabad tribunal makes limited recommendations.


  U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Saturday, the Washington Post reported the U.S. “is rapidly expanding its aerial and Central Asian supply routes to the war in Afghanistan,” given recent struggles in the U.S.-Pakistani relationship. While shipping supplies through Pakistan is significantly cheaper than the alternative, recent mishaps have put a strain on U.S.-Pakistan relations, pushing the U.S. to seek other means of supplying its troops in Afghanistan. The report also raises concerns that U.S. cooperation with oppressive regimes in Central Asia could send the wrong message on human rights.[i]
  • Senior Obama administration officials stated the U.S. has seen intelligence proving “senior officials” of the ISI ordered the killing of Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, according to a New York Times report. They claim the killing was aimed at sending “shock waves through Pakistan’s journalist community and civil society.” A Pakistani judicial commission is currently investigating Shahzad’s murder. Though the ISI is largely suspected, the commission has yet to implicate the ISI in the murder.[ii]

  • On Sunday, Senator John McCain said “ties between Afghan insurgents and Inter Service Intelligence agency (ISI) needed to be acknowledged.” Senator McCain said relations with Pakistan should be based on realism with no room for overlooking Pakistan’s links to the Haqqani network and the Taliban. [iii]

  • Representatives from the U.S. and Pakistan are reportedly meeting on Tuesday to discuss continued cooperation in the war on terror. U.S.-Pakistan relations have been tense since the May 2 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.[iv]

  • There have been conflicting responses to the reported U.S. evacuation of Shamshi air base in Balochistan. Last Wednesday, Pakistan’s Defence Secretary Ahmed Mukhtar announced Pakistan had asked the U.S. to evacuate Shamshi air base, largely suspected of being used as a base for drone strikes in the region. On Friday, the Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said the U.S. evacuation of the base was “only a media issue.” According to Geo, U.S. and Pakistani officials have stated that the U.S. stopped launching drone strikes from Shamshi three months ago, meaning all drone strikes since that time have been launched from Afghanistan. On Sunday, however, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani insisted “the U.S. was never given access to Shamsi airbase for carrying out drone attacks.”[v]

  • More documents retrieved from Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound reveal that al Qaeda is under an enormous amount of strain. Bin Laden reportedly established a counter-intelligence unit, “only to receive a complaint in mid-2010 from the unit’s leader that it was losing the ‘espionage war’ and couldn’t function on its paltry budget.” In a letter to the terrorist leader, Atiyah abd al-Rahman, “who served as No. 3 in al Qaeda before bin Laden’s death,” expresses that “their guys were getting killed faster than they could be replaced.”[vi]

  • Pakistanis protested a U.S. Embassy-hosted gay rights event, calling the event “cultural terrorism.” U.S. embassy officials have insisted the U.S. will continue to support the quest for “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights in Pakistan.”[vii]

Pakistani Military Affairs

  • An article in Sunday’s New York Times, cites a former militant commander as saying the Pakistani military “continues to nurture a broad range of militant groups.” The former militant claims the Pakistani military provides “training, strategic planning and protection” for groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT,) Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen (HuM) and Hizbul Mujahedeen (HM.) He also says Pakistani support for militant groups is a joint-effort led by “mullahs and retired generals.” He claims former security officials met with Taliban militants in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to decide how to combat the invasion. The source claims former intelligence officials Maj. Gen. Zaheer ul-Islam Abbasi, who attempted a coup against Benazir Bhutto in 1995, and Brig. Sultan Amir, popularly known as Colonel Imam, attended the meeting.[viii]
  • The LA Times reports the Pakistani army is struggling to repair its reputation after recent scandals. The article relates the traditional respect shown towards the military in Pakistan and how recent public challenges to the security establishment show a break from history.[ix]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations


TTP Intelligence Chief Captured



  • On Sunday, militants attacked a checkpost in Shangla killing three policemen. A surviving police officer said Taliban militants came from the mountains, attacked, and successfully fled afterwards. On Monday, a hand-grenade attack on a Gulabad checkpost killed “a sweeper of the local school,” and a policeman was killed in an ambush in Gulberg locality number two.[xxiii]


  • In the case of the Rangers’ killing of Sarfaraz Shah, the anti-terrorism court has rejected challenges to its jurisdiction. The Rangers’ defense requested that the case be shifted out of the anti-terrorism court (ATC,) but the court insisted that extra-judicial executions fell under the ATC’s jurisdiction according to section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (1997.)[xxiv]

  • The tribunal formed to investigate the shooting of five foreigners in Kharotabad has made no clear recommendations in its report on the incident. While it was originally reported that the report would recommend that criminal charges be brought against security personnel involved in the shooting, the report makes only vague suggestions regarding the improvement of the police force. The report also states that though the foreigners were unarmed, evidence shows they had terrorist training and were linked to militant groups operating in Pakistan.[xxv]


[i] “U.S. turns to other routes to supply Afghan war as relations with Pakistan fray,” Washington Post, July 2, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Pakistan’s Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist,” New York Times, July 4, 2011. Available at
[iii] “ISI links with Haqqani network, Taliban should be acknowledged,” The News, July 4, 2011. Available at
[iv] “Pakistan-US: Counter terror talks next week,” Express Tribune, July 4, 2011. Available at
[v] “Shamshi air base only a media issue, says minister.” Dawn, July 2, 2011. Available at
“Drone flights from Pak base halted three months ago,” Geo, July 2, 2011. Available at
“Shamshi airbase never used to fire drone: PM,” Express Tribune, July 4, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Bin Laden document trove reveals strain on al Qaeda,” Washington Post, July 1, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Pakistan: Religious groups condemn US embassy gay event,” BBC, July 4, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Pakistani Military Still Cultivates Militant Groups, a Former Fighter Says,” New York Times, July 3, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Scandals taint revered Pakistan military,” LA Times, July 3, 2011. Available at
[x] “Afghan general resigns of Pakistan shelling,” Reuters, July 1, 2011. Available at
“Pakistan complains of new cross-border Afghan attacks,” AFP, July 4, 2011. Available at
“Islamabad, Kabul to set up military hotline,” Express Tribune, July 5, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Islamabad backing militants: Afghan official,” The News, July 2, 2011. Available at
[xii] “Suicide bomber was sold to terror network, Afghanistan says,” CNN, July 3, 2011. Available at
[xiii] “Pakistan begins offensive in Kurram tribal region,” BBC, July 4, 2011. Available at
“UN assistance sought for people displaced by Kurram operation,” Dawn, July 5, 2011. Available at
“Defying Taliban: In Kurram, under siege and forgotten,” Express Tribune, July 5, 2011. Available at
“Isolated Hakimullah losing control of TTP,” Express Tribune, July 5, 2011. Available at
[xiv] “Haqqani network disowns commander Saeed,” The News, July 2, 2011. Available at
[xv] “Isolated Hakimullah losing control of TTP,” Express Tribune, July 5, 2011. Available at
[xvi] “Afghan mortar wounds four in North Waziristan,” AFP, July 4, 2011. Available at
“Two soldiers killed in MIramshah bomb attack,” Reuters, July 5, 2011. Available at
[xvii] “Hundreds of Afghan-based militants launch raid into Pakistan,” Reuters, July 4, 2011. Available at
[xviii] “Drones now targeting South Waziristan,” The News, July 4, 2011. Available at
[xix] “Fata leaders to attend jirga against drone attacks,” Dawn, July 3, 2011. Available at
[xx] “Key TTP commander arrested in Islamabad,” Express Tribune, July 3, 2011. Available at
[xxi] “Lawlessness in Balochistan: Govt nearly doubles number of Balochistan Levies,” Express Tribune, July 3, 2011. Available at
“Kalat: 4 killed in firing at wedding ceremony,” Geo, July 2, 2011. Available at
[xxii] “Swiss hostages moved to Pakistan Al Qaeda hotbed,” AFP, July 4, 2011. Available at
[xxiii] “Taliban kill three Pakistani police,” AFP, July 3, 2011. Available at
“2 killed as police squad, post attacked in Peshawar,” The News, July 5, 2011. Available at
[xxiv] “Rangers killing case: Court rejects challenge to its jurisdiction on strength of SC order,” Express Tribune, July 2, 2011. Available at
[xxv] “Kharotabad killings: Strong pledges, vague recommendations,” Express Tribune, July 3, 2011. Available at
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