Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan Security Brief – June 17, 2009 

India and Pakistan pledge to resume ministerial-level talks; unconfirmed reports signal al Qaeda commander Qari Zia Rehman killed in Bajaur agency; Lahore police announced the arrest of a Punjabi Taliban member implicated in the March attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team; reports indicate Pakistani military operations in South Waziristan will be limited to target Beitullah Mehsud’s immediate network; residents of Waziristan have reportedly started taking refuge in neighboring districts ahead potential Pakistani military operations in the area.  

  • The EU has pledged to provide Pakistan with over 20 million Euros in humanitarian aid to help deal with the fallout of the Swat battles. An official said “the executive Commission would also urge member states to set aside a further 45 million Euros in aid” during a summit on terrorism and trade. This announcement comes as the ICRC, operating in Swat, claims that residents of Swat are ‘short of everything,’ and cautions that the availability of food aid depended on security.[1]
  • After meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting, India and Pakistan pledged to resume ministerial-level talks. The leaders of both countries are expected to meet again during the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Egypt next month.[2]
  • Qari Zia Rehman, a “senior al Qaeda military commander”, who was said to operate along the Pakistan border with Afghanistan was reportedly killed during fighting between the Pakistani army and Taliban in Bajaur agency. Meanwhile, reported leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Tahir Yuldashev, is said to have been wounded in an airstrike in South Waziristan. Both reports remain unconfirmed, however.[3]
  • Lahore police say they have arrested “one of seven men suspected of being behind the attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team” this past March. They claim the prisoner is a member of a [now disrupted] Punjabi Taliban network calling itself the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab.[4]
  • As the Pakistan military continues to move forces to Waziristan, The Long War Journal assesses that the government of Pakistan appears to be signaling that the upcoming operation in South Waziristan is to be limited to combating Beitullah Mehsud’s immediate network, and will not target the Haqqani, Nazir and Gul Bahadur networks. The operation, now named Rah-e-Nijat or “Way of Salvation”, is “already underway, according to the Pakistani military’s top spokesman.” This statement comes as the military reportedly continues to fly surveillance aircraft over South Waziristan and shell enemy positions. Rumors continue to surface that the Pakistani government is supporting two Taliban commanders, Qari Zainullah Mehsud and Turkistan Bhitani, opposed to Beitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan.[5]
  • More stories continue to emerge of a new exodus of civilians out of South Waziristan agency. Those fleeing join many thousands who have already left in the recent weeks due to the “sporadic fighting between militants and the military.” Expectations of violence are said to have caused many to seek refuge in Tank, Dera Ismail Khan and other areas. “Tribal sources said almost all villages and towns inhabited by the Mahsud tribespeople had been deserted”, however, tribesman complained that, unlike for those fleeing Swat, the government has made no accommodations for another influx of refugees from South Waziristan.[6]
  • Reports of violence in northwest Pakistan continue to surface as security forces claim to have killed 15 militants in Bajaur agency and in Lower Dir. The Pakistan military reportedly continues its operations to consolidate a recent offensive in Swat; it is currently in day three of its nine-day operation in the Sakhra Valley, Swat. The military claims to have cleared out the militant presence in the Jani Khel area of Bannu district and commenced operations against the Gorbaz tribe in the same district, along the Miramshah road.[7]

[1] “EU to pledge humanitarian aid for Pakistan”, Reuters, June 17, 2009. Available at
“Swat residents are ‘short of everything’, warns ICRC”, Dawn news Online, June 17, 2009. Available at
[2] “Zardari, Singh agree on secretary level talks”, The news Online, June 17, 2009. Available at
[3] Bill Roggio, “Al Qaeda commanders reported killed, wounded in Pakistan”, The Long War Journal, June 17, 2009. Available at
[4] “'Cricket attacker' held in Lahore” BBC, June 17, 2009. Available at
[5] Bill Roggio, “Analysis: Waziristan operation to focus on Baitullah Mehsud”, The Long War Journal, June 17, 2009. Available at
Munir Ahmad, “Skirmishing ahead of new Pakistan offensive”, AP, June 17, 2009. Available at
Ismail Khan, “Mehsuds hedge their bets as game on to isolate Baitullah”, Dawn News Online, June 17, 2009. Available at
[6] Mushtaq Yusufzai, “Forces pound militants’ hideouts in SWA”, The News Online, June 17, 2009. Available at
Ismail Khan, “Mehsuds hedge their bets as game on to isolate Baitullah”, Dawn News Online, June 17, 2009. Available at
[7] “15 militants killed in Bajaur, Dir”, The News Online, June 17, 2009. Available at
“Clashes kill 28 Taliban in Upper Dir, Swat”, Dawn News Online, June 17, 2009. Available at
Carolyn Cole, “Pakistan troops battle Taliban in the Sakhra Valley”,  LA Times, June 17, 2009. Available at,0,4914245.story
“Janikhel area of FR Bannu cleared”, Dawn News Online¸ June 17, 2009. Available at
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