Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan Security Brief – June 18, 2009 

Two rivals of TTP leader Beitullah Mehsud continued to publicly support potential Pakistani army operations targeting the Pakistani leader, with Qari Zainuddin Mehsud claiming Beitullah has links to India and Israel; an Indian defense intelligence briefing indicates the Pakistani army inflated the numbers of militants killed and underreported army casualties during recent Swat operations; IDPs are reportedly placing strains on local communities as their numbers are expected to swell if operations in Waziristan commence.    
  • Two militant commanders in South Waziristan have publicly come out in support of the Pakistani government taking action against Pakistani Taliban leader Beitullah Mehsud. Qari Zainuddin Mehsud accused Beitullah Mehsud of “acting against Islam” and Pakistan for conducting attacks within the country. Meanwhile, Turkistan Beitani reiterated claims that Beitullah Mehsud was responsible for masterminding the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. In reported preparations, the Pakistani army has begun to impose an economic blockade and arrested Beitullah Mehsud’s tribesmen in an effort to weaken the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP).[1]
  • According to a briefing given to the heads of the Indian army, intelligence indicates that the Pakistan army has encountered much tougher resistance than media reports have thus far claimed. The Long War Journal says this briefing puts the ratio of army-to-militant casualties at 370-500+, rather than the 120-1500+ that the Pakistani government claims. The briefing also reports cases of desertion, mutiny and fratricide and that the operation has alienated the local population. However, while claiming that it has caused fissures in the army, it says the force has faced worse and remains, for now, unbroken.[2]
  • A drone strike near Wana, South Waziristan is said to have killed nine people and a local TTP commander. Local officials say that all the dead are believed to be fighters loyal to Commander Maulvi Nazir who operates in the Wazir part of South Waziristan.[3]
  • IDPs fleeing the fighting in NW Pakistan are putting a heavy burden on the communities in which they have taken up residence, an official of the UN commented. Many of the IDPs, rather than living in camps, have been taken in by relatives and friends in different parts of the country. It is reported that the UN has insufficient supplies to help any more than a fraction of the refugees. A new exodus is expected to swell the numbers of IDPs as army operations in South Waziristan begin.[4]
  • The Pakistani army claims to have killed dozens of militants and a local Taliban commander in operations in Swat and Dir, and told media that operations in Malakand have led to the death of 34 ‘terrorists’ and the apprehension of seven.[5]
  • Peshawar airport has been shut down due to intelligence reports warning of a possible terrorist attack on air traffic by militants based in the FATA. An airport official said the airport would remain closed until Thursday night.[6]

[1] “Rival commander wants Baitullah eliminated now”, The News Online , June 18, 2009. Available at
“Baitullah is US agent, claims former close aide”, The News Online, June 18, 2009. Available at Jeremy Page, and Rehmat Mehsud, “Pakistan tries to turn tribesmen against Taleban leader with trade blockade”, The Times (London), June 18, 2009. Available at
[2] Bill Roggio, “Pakistani military facing tougher fight in northwest than reported”, The Long War Journal, June 18, 2009. Available at; “Mutiny in 3 Pak infantry brigades,” India Today, June 16, 2009.
[3] “Air raid 'kills nine' in Pakistan”, BBC, June 18, 2009. Available at
[4] Robert Birsel, “Displaced push Pakistani communities "to the limit"”, Reuters, June 18, 2009. Available at
[5] “Forces kill 34 terrorists in last 24 hours: ISPR”, The News Online, June 18, 2009. Available at
Delawar Jan, “28 more militants killed in Dir, Swat”, The News Online, June 18, 2009. Available at 
[6] Zulfiqar Ali, “Peshawar airport closed after terror threat”, Dawn News Online, June 18, 2009. Available at
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