Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. defense logistics chief says Central Asia three times more expensive than Pakistan for moving NATO supplies; Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan proposes joint military offensive against TTP to Pakistan Army chief; Pakistan releases Indian “spy” to ease bilateral tensions; Pakistan agrees to award gas pipeline contracts to Russian government; PPP considering new judicial body to handle constitutional matters; Supreme Court petitioned to invalidate deputy prime minister post; TTP releases video showing beheaded Pakistani soldiers; Bombing at Balochistan train station kills 7, injures another 30 people; Bus bombing in Quetta kills at least eight passengers.  

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Tuesday, Director of the Defense Logistics Agency Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek said the U.S. was paying three times more to move NATO equipment and supplies to Afghanistan through the Central Asian route than it would through Pakistan. He stated that transporting a container from the U.S. to Afghanistan currently costs $20,000, whereas using Pakistan’s port at Karachi as well as its roads would costs a third of that figure. Harnitchek also noted that, after Pakistan closed its supply route following the Salala border strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, the U.S.’s use of the Central Asian route was “challenging” but that, now, food and fuel supplies “have never been higher.” Meanwhile, during a meeting with U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul on Wednesday, Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman reiterated that an apology for the Salala border strike would help break the stalemate on reopening the supply route. She also addressed the Senators’ concerns regarding the jailing of Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped the CIA locate Osama bin Laden, and the presence of militant groups in Pakistan’s tribal areas.[1]          

  • Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, met in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss militant safe havens on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Kayani urged NATO forces to take action against militant sanctuaries on the Afghan side of the border. Meanwhile, Allen proposed a joint military offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area. The proposal, however, required Pakistan to agree to eliminate Haqqani Network safe havens on the Pakistani side of the border. An American official noted that a joint offensive would not require American soldiers on Pakistani soil.[2]  

Domestic Politics

  • The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is considering establishing a new federal judiciary body to deal with constitutional issues, a move that would require an amendment to the country’s 1973 constitution. According to a PPP official, the idea was first proposed during a meeting of the PPP senior leadership held the day Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified from the office of prime minister. The new court would reportedly have the same powers as the Supreme Court in regard to hearing constitutional petitions. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Information Secretary Senator Mushahidullah Khan expressed his party’s opposition to the proposal, saying the PPP was too late to take action, especially at a time of high executive-judiciary contention. Speaking in Lahore, Gilani said on Thursday that the supremacy of parliament should remain intact, and that the end of premierships should be transparent and independent so as to facilitate a peaceful transition to new leadership.[3]

  • On Wednesday, the Lahore High Court issued a deadline of September 15 by which time President Asif Ali Zardari must stop political activity while president. The deadline followed the court’s May 2011 order requiring Zardari either to cease using the presidency for politicking or to step down as co-chairman of the PPP. On Wednesday, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said that Raja Pervez Ashraf was elected as prime minister to serve Zardari rather than the people of Pakistan.[4]  

  • On Thursday, Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, a citizen, filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan demanding that Chaudhry Pervez Elahi not become deputy prime minister. The petitioner based his argument on the fact that the constitution did not allow the prime minister to create the post of deputy prime minister nor did it allow him to increase his number of advisors from five to seven.[5] 

International Relations

  • In an interview on Wednesday, Salahuddin Rabbani, chair of the Afghan High Peace Council, stressed the importance of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban and highlighted Pakistan’s role in facilitating peace negotiations. In particular, Rabbani urged Pakistan to release Taliban prisoners, including co-founder of the Taliban movement Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who could convince the Taliban to enter peace negotiations. [6]  

  • In Islamabad on Wednesday, Pakistani and Russian officials agreed to a deal in which Pakistan would award the Russian government “engineering, procurement, and construction” contracts for the Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipelines. Russian officials offered Pakistan financial assistance for the pipelines as well as cooperation with electricity imports through the Central Asia South Asia (CASA) electricity import project. According to the Express Tribune, Iran and China may also aid Pakistan with the IP pipeline.[7]   

  • On Thursday, Pakistani authorities released Surjeet Singh, an Indian national held in Pakistan for 27 years on spying charges, to Indian officials on the border near Lahore. Initially, news reports suggested that Sarabjit Singh, a native Indian sentenced by Pakistan in 1990 for killing 14 Pakistanis, was the prisoner being released; however, the Pakistani government clarified on Wednesday that it was Surjeet Singh who would be released. His release followed the Indian Home Minister’s recent allegations that the Pakistani state was involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as well as recent skirmishes between the two countries’ militaries near the Line of Control (LoC) separating their territorial claims in the Jammu and Kashmir region.[8]       


  • The TTP’s media wing released a video on Wednesday showing the severed heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers whom the TTP claimed to have beheaded after an ambush on three separate military posts in the border village of Sunai Darra in Upper Dir district on Sunday. In the video, an unseen commentator noted how four of the heads were from the Pakistani Frontier Corps (FC) while the rest were from the Army. According to an intelligence official familiar with the attack, the TTP militants who carried out the beheadings were loyalists of TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah, the cleric who controlled thousands of fighters in Swat valley before security forces pushed him out in 2009. The Fazlullah-led TTP faction aims to recapture Swat by carrying out cross-border raids from a 12-mile stretch they control in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province. Speaking to Reuters, Nuristan police chief Ghulamullah Nooristani said eliminating Fazlullah was difficult because the militants were armed with superior weaponry.[9]

  • Seven people were killed and up to 30 injured on Wednesday when a bomb planted under a bench exploded in a tea shop at a train station in Sibi, Balochistan, about 95 miles southeast of Quetta. Though no group has claimed credit for the attack, government officials suspect separatist Baloch militants to be behind the bombing, which may have targeted ethnic Punjabi passengers aboard the train.[10]

  • Two volunteers belonging to the Aman Lashkar, an anti-Taliban militia, were killed when a remote-controlled bomb exploded in the Zakha Khel area of Khyber agency on Thursday. Later that day, suspected militants also detonated a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) in Bara sub-district, Khyber agency as a security convoy passed through the Akakhel area, killing eight security personnel. Security forces killed two militants in retaliatory fire.[11]

  • Three people were killed and two injured in a series of violent incidents in Karachi on Wednesday. Unidentified assailants killed two civilians in New Karachi and Korangi while police found a body packed in a gunny bag in Baghdadi. A close aide to a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) member of the National Assembly was shot and injured near Ispahani Road, and a Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) director was injured in an armed ambush near Old Sabzi Mandi.[12]

  • At least eight people, including a policeman, were killed and 20 others injured on Thursday when a bomb exploded near a bus carrying 80 passengers in the Hazar Ganji area of Quetta. The bus was carrying passengers to Taftan, Iran for a religious pilgrimage when a car containing the explosive device crashed into the bus, causing both vehicles to go up in flames.[13]    

[1] “U.S. Pays High Price for Pakistan Route Cut-Off: Admiral,” Agence France-Press, June 27, 2012. Available at
“Ms Rehman discusses bilateral relations with US senators,” APP, June 27, 2012. Available at
[2] “Pakistan general urges NATO to contain Taliban,” CNN, June 27, 2012. Available at
Kamran Yousaf, “Gen Allen-Gen Kayani meeting: Washington offers joint offensive against TTP,” Express Tribune, June 28, 2012. Available at
[3] Sumera Khan and Zia Khan, “Federal constitutional court: PPP mulls clipping apex court’s talons,” Express Tribune, June 28, 2012. Available at
 “Achieved what I wanted during my premiership, says Gilani,” Express Tribune, June 28, 2012. Available at
[4] “Act on order by Sep 5, LHC to Zardari,” The News, June 27, 2012. Available at “Raja made PM to serve Zardari: Imran,” The News, June 26, 2012. Available at
[5] “Deputy prime minister post challenged in Supreme Court,” Express Tribune, June 28, 2012. Available at
[6] “Afghan envoy urges Pakistan to help revitalize talks,” Reuters, June 28, 2012. Available at
[7] Zafar Bhutta, “Breakthrough: Pakistan to award gas pipeline contracts to Russia,” Express Tribune, June 28, 2012. Available at
[8] “Indian ‘spy’ Surjeet Singh freed in Pakistan after 27 years,” AP, June 28, 2012. Available at
Mark Magnier, “Pakistan prisoner release confusion dashes Indian family’s hopes,” Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2012. Available at,0,7504481.story
Jon Boone, “Pakistan’s release of 300 Indian fisherman raises hopes for détente,” Guardian, June 27, 2012. Available at
[9] “Taliban release video of beheaded Pakistani soldiers,” AFP, June 27, 2012. Available at
Michael Georgy and Jibran Ahmad, “Pakistan’s Fazlullah re-emerges as a security threat,” Reuters, June 28, 2012. Available at
“7 killed, 30 injured as blast rips through train in Sibi,” AFP, June 27, 2012. Available at
[11] “Two killed in Khyber Agency blast,” Geo News, June 28, 2012. Available at
“7 killed in Khyber Agency IED attack,” Geo News, June 28, 2012. Available at
[12] “Woman among three gunned down in Karachi violence,” Daily Times, June 28, 2012. Available at\06\28\story_28-6-2012_pg7_14
[13] “Eight, including policeman, killed in Quetta blast,” Dawn, June 28, 2012. Available at
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