Pakistan Security Brief

UK allows Pakistan access to arrested MQM leader Altaf Hussain as Karachi remains shut down; Top TTP suicide bomber commander assassinated in North Waziristan; Peshawar Corps Commander warns tribesmen fleeing to Afghanistan to escape violence that they will not be allowed to return; Islamabad court orders criminal charges be filed against former CIA station chief over drone deaths; FC kill over 30 Baloch separatists in Dera Bugti operation; Obama administration reportedly considered rescue raid into Pakistan for Sgt. Bergdahl; Pakistan denies Russia has officially lifted arms embargo against it; Bomb attack in Karachi kills two.

Altaf Hussain Arrest and Fallout

  • The British government on Thursday allowed the Pakistani High Commission in London access to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain. Hussain is currently in hospital undergoing medical tests but remains in police custody; he was arrested earlier this week on money laundering charges. In the MQM stronghold of Karachi, businesses and commercial centers once again shut down just hours after reopening on Thursday as MQM supporters angered at Hussain’s detention continued to enforce a general strike.[1]

Top TTP Leader Assassinated

  • Ashiqullah Mehsud, a key Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander, was assassinated in Hoormaz village, Mir Ali sub-district, North Waziristan on Thursday. Mehsud was a member of the Shehryar Mehsud faction of the TTP which is currently feuding with a rival faction led by Khan Said Sajna. Mehsud was also the lead trainer of suicide bombers in the TTP; he took over the position following the death of his predecessor, Qari Hussain Mehsud, in a drone strike in 2010.[2]


  • The commander of the Pakistan Army’s Peshawar-based XI Corps, Lt. Gen. Khalid Rabbani, said on Wednesday that tribesmen who flee to Afghanistan to escape ongoing hostilities in the tribal areas would not be allowed to return to Pakistan. The statement was made while addressing Ahmedzai Wazir tribesmen in Wana, South Waziristan. Gen. Rabbani also urged locals not to let foreign militants take up root in area.[3]

  • Balochistan Frontier Corps personnel on Thursday reportedly killed at least 30 separatist militants, including two commanders, from the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) during an operation in Sui, Dera Bugti district. Three militants were arrested and one soldier was wounded in the operation; large amounts of explosive material were recovered as well.[4]

  • A roadside bomb blast in the Pirabad area of Orangi Town, Karachi killed two people and injured another two on Thursday evening. The device was reportedly planted on a rickshaw.[5]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the Obama administration considered launching a special operations raid into Pakistan to rescue the then-captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban custody. The option was discarded over fears of further angering the Pakistani government after the 2011 raid to kill Osama bin Laden had already left it deeply embarrassed.[6]

  • The Islamabad High Court on Thursday ordered that a criminal case be registered against the former CIA station chief in Islamabad, Jonathan Banks, over the deaths of civilians in drone strikes in Pakistan.[7]

Russo-Pakistan Relations

  • Pakistani officials on Wednesday said the country had not yet been officially approached by Russia regarding lifted a decades old arms embargo against Pakistan. The Foreign Office confirmed, however, that talks regarding the sale of combat helicopters to Pakistan were ongoing. Initial reports regarding the lifting of the embargo originated from Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.[8]

[1] “UK gives Pakistan access to Altaf Hussain,” Dawn, June 5, 2014. Available at
“Parts of Karachi shutting down again,” Dawn, June 5, 2014. Available at
[2] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Key TTP commander gunned down in Mir Ali,” Dawn, June 5, 2014. Available at
Nasruminallah, “Key TTP commander killed in North Waziristan,” Express Tribune, June 5, 2014. Available at
[3] “People migrating to Afghanistan will not be allowed to come back: Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani,” Frontier Post, June 5, 2014. Available at  
[4] “30 militants killed in FC operation in Balochistan,” Express Tribune, June 5, 2014. Available at  
[5] Sohail Khattak, “Blast rocks an already tense Karachi,” Express Tribune, June 5, 2014. Available at
[6] Adam Goldman and Scott Wilson, “Inside the Obama administration’s debate over freeing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl,” Washington Post, June 3, 2014. Available at
[7] “IHC orders registration of FIR against former CIA station chief,” Dawn, June 5, 2014. Available at
[8] “No official word yet from Moscow over lifting of arms embargo,” The News, June 5, 2014. Available at
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