Pakistan Security Brief

Obama considers a full pullout from Afghanistan; TTP dismisses head spokesman; Afghan Taliban closes Qatar office; Abbottabad Commission calls U.S. incursion an “act of war”; 18 dead in Karachi; Pakistan will “not be drawn into media war” with Afghanistan; Chinese Consul General meets with Sindh chief minister; All Parties Conference on national security date may change; Nawaz Sharif to meet with FATA leaders; ANP forced out of Sindh by TTP; Musharraf cites security concerns in failing to appear before court.

Afghan War

  • According to a Monday night New York Times report, President Barack Obama is considering pulling all troops out of Afghanistan by the end 2014, following a series of spats with President Hamid Karzai over the past few months, culminating in a contentious June 27 video conference. Obama had been negotiating with Karzai regarding a residual force post 2014; however, the 34,000 left in February 2014 could be pulled out as early as the summer of 2014.[1]

  • On Tuesday, a Taliban official announced that the Afghan Taliban will be closing their Qatar office, in protest against President Karzai’s anger over the Taliban's use of its own flag and a plaque depicting the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” on premises. The talks had been suspended in protest by Karzai, who claimed the Afghan Taliban had been granted undue legitimacy. But while the office has been closed, a Reuters report released on Tuesday indicated that talks might still occur in the future; a western diplomat noted, “because of the arguments around the office, it hasn't really been used, but people are still willing to find a way forward."[2]         


U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to the “Abbottabad Commission” examining bin Laden’s death, the U.S. incursion into Pakistan  was “an act of war,” in which the U.S. exhibited a, “contemptuous disregard of Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in the arrogant certainty of […] unmatched military might.” In response to media reports on the “Abbottabad Commission,” chairmen of the commission Justice Javed Iqbal on Tuesday claimed that no organization, or individual, was given a “clean chit” with regards to bin Laden’s undetected entry into Pakistan, and the subsequent American raid that killed bin Laden. [12] 

 Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • In spite of anti-Pakistan comments made by senior Afghan officials, Pakistani diplomats indicated on Tuesday that they would not be drawn into a “media war,” and will continue to work towards good relations with Afghanistan.  Among these recent accusations, leader of the Afghan National Army, Gen Sher Mohammad Karimi, told the BBC that Pakistan controls the Taliban and could terminate fighting within weeks if it chose to do so.[13] 

China-Pakistan Relations

  • In a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Monday, Chinese Consul General in Karachi Ma Yaou promised to motivate Chinese investment in the region’s infrastructure and energy sectors.[14]


  • Although originally scheduled for July 12th, the Interior Ministry cautioned on Monday that the date of the all-party conference (APC) on terrorism is flexible depending on the availability of participants; as of Tuesday morning, the date had not yet been finalized.  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the APC last week as a forum for discussion on establishing a unified national security policy among lawmakers, politicians, and security officials.[15]

  • According to a press release from the Prime Minister’s office on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif intends to convene a meeting on July 10th with the Federally Administered Tribal Area’s (FATA) National Assembly and Senate members.  At the meeting, Sharif and the FATA parliamentarians will discuss “issues of grave importance relating to the tribal belt.”  Although FATA legislators have requested the attendance of security officials, Sharif has remained noncommittal due to the officials' forthcoming participation in the APC.[16]

  • During a press briefing on Tuesday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced he would speak to Parliament regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.  The announcement comes after great internal controversy regarding the terms of the IMF agreement, primarily with regard to tax collection; leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah demanded last week that the PML-N government seek Parliament’s approval on the IMF loan to defend the decision to accept the loan.[17]

  •  Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Khan Babar confirmed President Asif Ali Zardari would not reject mercy petitions from convicts on death row and no executions would take place during his remaining tenure.  This assurance comes following the expiration of Pakistan’s moratorium on the death penalty on June 30th; all executions require the president’s explicit approval.[18]

Court Proceedings Against Musharraf

  • General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf failed to appear on Tuesday at an Anti-Terrorism Court hearing for the murder of Benazir Bhutto, despite a court order issued on July 2nd ordering his attendance.  Authorities said Musharraf would not appear due to security concerns.  Judge Chaudhry Habib Urrehman adjourned the hearing and announced that if Musharraf declined to appear on July 30th, the next hearing would be held in prison.[19]

  • The Federal Investigative Agency’s (FIA) case against Musharraf may be in jeopardy after press reports on Tuesday indicated that six of the key witness against him, including former subordinates and two American journalists, are avoiding court appearances; some have claimed they will flatly refuse to testify if brought before a judge while others have refused to travel to Pakistan, citing security concerns. On Tuesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry declined to hear an appeal challenging the bail agreement in the treason proceedings against General Musharraf in the interests of ensuring a fair trial for the accused.[20]     

[1]Mark Mazetti, Matthew Rosengberg, “U.S. considers faster pullout in Afghanistan,” The New York Times, July 8, 2013. Available at
[2]“Afghan Taliban close Qatar office to protest flag fracas,” Dawn, July 9, 2013. Available at 
“Taliban talks likely to continue despite Doha office row,” Reuters, July 9, 2013. Available at
[3]“Pakistan Taliban sack spokesperson in sign of growing divisions,” Express Tribune, July 9, 2013. Available at   
Zahir Shah Sherazi,“Pakistan Taliban sacks central spokesman,” Dawn, July 9, 2013. Available at
[4] “Terrorism has destroyed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Imran Khan,” The News, July 9, 2013. Available at 
[5]Sohail Khattak, “Out of business?: To keep threats out, ANP shuts its doors in Sindh,” Express Tribune, July 9, 2013. Available at  
[6]“Violence continues: Political workers among 18 killed in the city,” Express Tribune, July 9, 2013. Available at  
“15 more killed in Karachi,” The News, July 9, 2013. Available at
[7]“Punjab safe haven for terrorists,” The News, July 9, 2013. Available at
[8]“Cop, photographer shot dead in Peshawar,” The News, July 9, 2013. Available at,-photographer-shot-dead-in-Peshawar
[9]Sarfaraz Khan, “Two injured in Shangla,” The News, July 9, 2013. Available at,-photographer-shot-dead-in-Peshawar
[10]“Man falls prey to target-killing in Swat, The News, July 9, 2013. Available at
[11] “Four injured in attack on house in Kohat,” The News, July 9, 2013. Available at
[12]“Media stories on Abbotabad Commission report misleading: Javed Iqbal,” The News, July 9, 2013. Available at 
“Report says U.S. Bin Laden raid ‘an act of war,’ Al Jazeera, July 9, 2013. Available at
[13]“Diplomats Say Pakistan Will not Engage in Media War with Afghanistan,” The Express Tribune, July 9, 2013. Available at:
“Afghan Army Chief: ‘Pakistan Controls Taliban,’” BBC, July 3, 2013. Available at:
[14]“New Chinese CG Meets CM,” The News, July 8, 2013. Available at:
[15] "Final Date for National Security Conference to be Announced Monday,” The News, July 8, 2013. Available at:
[16]Sumera Khan, “Security Police: Premier to Take FATA MPs into Confidence,” The Express Tribune, July 9, 2013. Available at:
Sumera Khan, “Nawaz to Hold a High Level Meeting Over Development in FATA,” The Express Tribune, July 8, 2013. Available at:
[17]“Dar Says Will Take Parliament into Confidence over IMF Program,” The News, July 9, 2013. Available at:
Shahrukh Rafi Khan, “IMF, Smokescreens and Visions,” The Express Tribune, July 8, 2013. Available at:
“Khursheed Shah Demands Approval of IMF Loan from NA,” Frontier Post, July 5, 2013. Available at:
[18] “No Executions in Pakistan Until Zardari Retires: Aide,” Frontier Post, July 9, 2013. Available at:
[19] “BB Murder Case: Musharraf Not Produced in ATC Over 'Security Concerns,’” Frontier Post, July 9, 2013. Available at:          
“Benazir Murder Case: ATC Orders Authorities to Produce Musharraf on July 9,” Dawn, July 2, 2013. Available at:
“Pak Court Reprimands Police For Failing To Produce Musharraf,” Business Standard, July 9, 2013: Available at:
[20]“CJ Will Not Hear Musharraf Bail Case,” The Express Tribune, July 9, 2013. Available at:
Saifullah Sachwani, “Musharraf’s Trial: A Conflict of Interest?” The Express Tribune Blog, July 3, 2013. Available at:
Qaiser Sheerazi, “Witnesses against Musharraf Back Off,” The Express Tribune, July 9, 2013. Available at:
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