Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. congressmen send letter to White House demanding legal justification for drone strikes; International pressure forcing U.S. and Pakistan to end diplomatic stalemate; U.S. senator says issue over NATO supply route fees resolved; Russian official calls U.S. transfer of military equipment to Central Asia ‘absolutely unacceptable’; Pakistani Foreign Minister demands U.S. apology again; PTI leader criticizes Pakistani role in ‘war on terror’; Indian and Pakistani forces exchange fire in Kashmir; India criticizes Pakistani inaction on Hafiz Saeed; Pakistani Foreign Minister criticizes allies for doing ‘terrible job’ in addressing militancy in Afghanistan; Prime Minister Gilani seeks Google’s help in tracking militants; Pakistani military forces kill nine suspected militants; Pakistan army soldier killed in Kot village.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations  and NATO Supply Routes

  • The Daily Times reported on Friday that the U.S. and Pakistan faced increasing international pressure to end their diplomatic stalemate over the reopening of the NATO supply route. The article claims NATO members, as well as China and Russia, want to see an end to the impasse, though they have exerted only indirect pressure on the parties in light of Pakistan’s sensitivity to the NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala border post in November 2011. The incident prompted Pakistan’s parliament to drastically alter the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, demand a U.S. apology for the incident, an end to the aggressive U.S. drone campaign, and a restructuring of NATO supply route transit fees. Pakistan and the U.S. remain in stalemate on these issues, with Washington officials listing all but the last demand out of the “realm of possibility.” U.S. officials have been vocal in their frustration, as made evident by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s statements in Kabul and New Delhi that one senior Pakistani military official described as “an intended insult.” Electoral pressures in both the U.S. and Pakistan have led President Obama and President Zardari to avoid taking any actions that could be viewed by the public as concessionary to the other country, further damaging the fragile relationship between the two countries.[1]

  • Citing a source with knowledge of ongoing talks between the U.S. and Pakistan on reopening NATO supply routes, Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Carl Levin said Thursday that the two sides have settled a disagreement over per-truck cost issues. Though Pakistan initially demanded $5,000 per truck to transport military supplies in and out of Afghanistan, Levin said “that demand is no longer there.” It is unclear, however, whether the price was reduced or whether the issue was settled prior to Monday’s withdrawal of U.S. negotiators from Pakistan. Though the Pakistani demand for a U.S. apology for the Salala border incident is still hindering a full agreement, a Pentagon spokesman said that “most of the technical arrangements have been worked out between the two sides.”[2]

  • On Friday, a Russian diplomatic source called U.S. plans to transfer military equipment to its Central Asian partners, as NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan, “absolutely unacceptable.” The comment came in response to talks between the U.S. and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in which the U.S. proposed handing over “armoured vehicles, tank trailers, and other specialized equipment” during the withdrawal, either free of charge or for storage. Russia, which has a security relationship with all three countries, objected to being left out of the talks. In recent weeks, the three Central Asian nations have factored prominently into NATO’s withdrawal plans, in light of Pakistan’s closing of the NATO supply route.[3]

  • Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar again demanded the U.S. formally apologize for the Salala border incident. The Foreign Minister demanded an “unconditional apology and the reassurance that [such an incident] does not happen again.”[4]

Drone Strikes

  • According to a statement released yesterday, 26 U.S. Congressmen have sent a letter to President Barack Obama demanding that the White House provide legal justification for drone strikes carried out in Pakistan. Led by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the letter questioned “the nature of the follow-up that is conducted when civilians are killed or injured” and the legality of CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) procedures and operations. Speaking to the media about the letter, Congressman Kucinich said the drone strikes are “faceless ambassadors that cause civilian deaths” and they frequently “generate powerful and enduring anti-American sentiment.”[5]

  • The CIA is not filing a “crime report” with the U.S. Justice Department over recent disclosures related to the U.S. drone strike campaign in Pakistan. While the CIA has filed crime reports following media articles containing sensitive information related to the foiling of an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attack last month and cyberwar activities against Iran, current and former U.S. officials say that so much has been written publicly on U.S. drone strikes in recent months that an investigation would be unnecessary. Several U.S. congressmen have called for a federal investigation into possible leaks related to a New York Times article that revealed how the Obama administration would use a “kill list” procedure to carry out operations such as the drone strike that killed Abu Yahya al Libi, reportedly al Qaeda’s second-in-command, in North Waziristan last week.[6] 

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

India-Pakistan Relations

  • Pakistani and Indian forces exchanged fire across the Kashmir border in an area about 180 kilometers southwest of Srinagar on Wednesday, resulting in the death of one Indian soldier. While Indian military spokesman Col. R.K. Palta claims Pakistani forces started the conflict by firing rockets and automatic weapons at Indian forces, a military official in Pakistan, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed instead that the Indian side launched “unprovoked firing.” While the Indian and Pakistani governments attempted to contact each other via hotline to resolve the situation, the soldiers continued to exchange fire into Thursday morning.[9]

  • Speaking to the Associated Press on Wednesday, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said Pakistan has to help in countering terrorist groups if relations between the two historical adversaries are to be normalized. Krishna, who will visit Pakistan next month, noted that ”assurances have been given to India by the leadership of Pakistan that Pakistan[i] territory is not going to be used for anti-India activities,” yet “we know for a fact… that Hafiz Saeed goes scot-free in Pakistan, still carrying on a hate India campaign.” In April, the U.S. placed a $10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed, who is credited with plotting the Lashkar-e-Taiba attack in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people. Pakistan denies there is sufficient evidence to take action against Saeed.[10]

Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations

  • On Thursday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on Pakistan to support ongoing efforts to end the war in Afghanistan and to facilitate “stability and economic development.” Speaking at a day-long conference in Kabul, Karzai said Afghanistan and Pakistan were already engaged in a “serious, deep dialogue,” and noted that an Afghan peace council would soon be traveling to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to seek assistance with peace talks with the Taliban. At the conference, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar criticized allies for doing a “terrible job” addressing militancy in Afghanistan and argued for greater cooperation and unity among partner nations.[11]       


[1] Karen DeYoung, “United States, Pakistan appear to have reached a stalemate on key issues,” Washington Post, June 14, 2012. Available at
[2] Carlo Munoz, “Cost issues on Pakistani supply routes resolved, says Levin,” DEFCON Hill, June 14, 2012. Available at
[3] “US holds talks on arms handover to Central Asia: report,” AFP, June 15, 2012. Available at
[4] “Pakistan calls again for apology over Nato strike,” The News, June 15, 2012. Available at
[5] Huma Imtiaz, “US Congressmen demand justification for drone strikes,” Express Tribune, June 14, 2012. Available at
[6] “Secret drone wars not part of leak probes, sources say,” Reuters, June 15, 2012. Available at
[7] “Obama administration unnecessarily damaging Pak ties: McCain,” Geo Pakistan, June 14, 2012. Available at
“McCain accuses Obama admin of damaging Pak-US ties,” The Nation, June 15, 2012. Available at
[8] “War on terror brought disgrace to Pakistan: Imran Khan,” Geo Pakistan, June 14, 2012. Available at
[9] Aijaz Hussain, “India: Pakistan firing kills 1 Indian in Kashmir,” AP, June 14, 2012. Available at
[10] “Militant still wages hate from Pakistan: S.M Krishna,” Dawn, June 14, 2012. Available at
[11] “Karzai calls on Pakistan to help end Afghan war,” Dawn, June 14, 2012. Available at
“FM Khar urges unity in terror fight,” AFP, June 15, 2012. Available at
[12] “Gilani seeks Google’s help in tracking cross-border movement,” APP, June 15, 2012. Available at
[13] “9 ‘militants’ die in Orakzai,” Dawn, June 14, 2012. Available at
“At least 15 militants killed in Dir, Orakzai,” Dawn, June 14, 2012. available at
[14] “7 killed in Karachi violence,” Daily Times, June 15, 2012. Available at\06\15\story_15-6-2012_pg7_17
“Four killed in Karachi violence,” Dawn, June 15, 2012. Available at
[15] “15 mortar shells fired by militants at FR Kohat,” The News, June 15, 2012. Available at
[16] “Soldier shot dead in Kohat,” The News, June 15, 2012. Available at
[17] “Brothers killed, uncle injured in Quetta attack,” APP, June 15, 2012. Available at
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