Pakistan Security Brief

Suicide bomber targeting politician kills 15 at funeral on outskirts of Peshawar; Peace militia leader gunned down in Orakzai; Pakistani government bans largest Islamic extremist group; Pakistani Interior Minister invites militant groups to hold peace talks; Prime Minister Gilani says “immunity issue…rests with Parliament;” Pakistan’s Supreme Court hears election fraud case against ISI; Human rights lawyers sue British Foreign Secretary for assisting in U.S. drone strikes; Pakistani troops feel undervalued by West, writes AP.


  • A suicide bomber blew himself up at a local woman’s funeral in the village of Badhber on the outskirts of Peshawar on Sunday. The Darra Adam Khel faction of the TTP claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the target was Deputy Speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly Khushdil Khan, because he had been helping local peace militias in fighting militants. Khan attended the funeral, but he escaped unhurt before the suicide bomber detonated his vest. According to the Peshawar deputy commissioner, the explosion killed 15 people and wounded approximately 37 others.[1]

  • Malik Waris Khan, the peace militia leader of the Stori Khel tribe in Orakzai agency, was gunned down by a militant in the Feroz Khail area of Orakzai on Friday. The militant escaped and took refuge in a house, but he killed himself after security forces located and surrounded the house. The spokesman for the TTP contacted the media and claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming that Khan was “fighting against us [TTP].” The Pakistani government had awarded Khan the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) in March 2011 for his efforts to combat militancy and restore peace in Orakzai.[2]

  • According to an Associated Press article, “Pakistani troops feel [the] West undervalues” their efforts in the fight against terrorism. “They say we aren’t doing enough,” but “what more can we do?” asked a commander. More than 3,000 Pakistani soldiers have died in battles with al Qaeda and the Taliban, which according to AP, is “more than all the foreign deaths in Afghanistan since 2001.” Although Pakistan sees India as its primary enemy, it considers militants in Afghanistan to be a significant threat and has stationed 130,000 soldiers on its western front. U.S. and NATO officials have accused the Pakistan Army of “being selective in whom it fights,” and only taking on those militants who are considered a threat to Pakistan, such as the Pakistani Taliban. On the other hand, Pakistan ignores groups such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, which are not “regarded as a domestic threat,” but “are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Afghan and international troops in Afghanistan,” say officials.[3] 

  • A homemade bomb exploded next to a bus on the outskirts of the town of Sadda in Kurram agency, killing two people and injuring 17 others.[4]

  • A group of Mondrani tribesmen from Sui, Balochistan were travelling to the Lope Pirkoh area in Dera Bugti on Saturday, when assailants armed with sophisticated weapons attacked them, killing six tribesmen.[5]

  • A security officer was killed when an improvised explosive device went off in the Wali Kor area of Baizai tehsil, Mohmand agency on Sunday. A spokesman for the Mohmand Taliban contacted the media, claiming responsibility for the explosion.[6]

  • The headless body of a kidnapped Frontier Corps soldier was found in the Alamgudar area of Bara, Khyber agency on Sunday. Militants had kidnapped the soldier after he was injured during a clash.[7]

  • A Bara tribesman travelling to Jamrud, Khyber agency was killed, when unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle intercepted him. Sources said that the dead tribesman was a member of a banned group from Bara.[8] 

  • A mortar shell fell on a house in the Akka Khel area of Bara, Khyber agency, injuring two children.[9]

  • The Bomb Disposal Squad defused 40 kg of explosives found in an abandoned car parked on Ring Road in Peshawar on Friday. Police have not yet determined the intended target of the foiled attack.[10]

Extremist Groups

  • The Pakistani government has issued an order banning the country’s largest Islamic extremist group for “concerns in terrorism.” Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat, a pro al Qaeda group formerly known as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), was first banned in 2002 by then President Pervez Musharraf. After the last ban, many of SSP’s activists allegedly joined the militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, but security officials believe that the two groups are “one and the same.” According to officials, “under the guise of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the SSP has been behind most of the major militant attacks in Pakistan, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.” The group’s activists are also thought to be responsible for the continual killing of members of minority communities within Pakistan, particularly Shias. Recently, SSP renamed itself Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat, claiming that it is now a mainstream political party. The group is also part of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, an alliance of extremist groups, which has been holding rallies around the country, calling for an end to Pakistan’s ties with the U.S. The head of the group, Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, told the BBC that the ban has been “orchestrated” by “American and pro-American elements,” and the group intends to challenge it in court.[11]

  • Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters on Monday that “several banned organizations” have contacted the government to set up talks. Pakistan has banned more than 30 militant groups, including al Qaeda, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). “If the proscribed organizations assure us that they have closed down their militant wings and abandoned extremism, then we would like to meet them in [the] next few days,” said Malik. The government is currently “revising the list of proscribed organizations,” and organizations that stop their militant actions could be taken off the list of banned organizations, added Malik. Although he did not name any specific groups, Malik said the government had offered the Taliban a place in the “federation,” if it gave up militancy.[12]

Domestic Politics

  • Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told reporters on Sunday that he will follow the Constitution, which gives immunity to the president, because only Parliament has the power to re-write the Constitution. Gilani added that since the “immunity issue…rests with Parliament,” it is Parliament and not Gilani that should be charged with contempt of court. The Supreme Court has given the prime minister until March 21 to write a letter to Swiss authorities asking them to reopen graft cases against President Zardari, but Gilani said that had his government wanted to write the letter, it would not have waited this long to do so.[13]

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court is currently hearing a case against the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which alleges that the ISI made payments to right-wing politicians to ensure that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which is currently in power, would not win the 1990 general elections. On Thursday, Yunus Habib, the former head of government-owned Mehran Bank, testified that he acted on the orders of then Army Chief General Aslam Beg and distributed “$1.5 million” from the bank’s funds to politicians and ISI officers. One of the politicians who allegedly took the funds is opposition leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has denied taking any money. On Friday, former ISI Director Lieutenant General Asad Durrani testified that General Beg ordered him to distribute the funds among politicians from the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, a right-wing political group allegedly set up by the military to oppose the PPP. Durrani stated that Beg told him the money had been collected from Karachi’s business community.[14]

International Relations

  • Human rights lawyers are bringing a case against British Foreign Secretary William Hague at the High Court in London on behalf of Noor Khan, a Pakistani whose father was killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan. Lawyers from Leigh Day and Co claim they have “credible, unchallenged evidence” that Hague oversaw “a policy of passing [British] intelligence to officials or agents of the U.S. government” to assist them in planning attacks against militants in Pakistan.[15]





[1] Riaz Ahmad and Umer Farooq, The Express Tribune, March 11, 2012. Available at
“Pakistan: Funeral Is Attacked,” AP, March 12, 2012. Available at
[2] “TTP claim killing of decorated Orakzai Agency peace lashkar leader,” The Express Tribune, March 9, 2012. Available at
[3] Kathy Gannon, “Pakistani troops feel West undervalues their war,” AP, March 10, 2012. Available at
[4] “Two killed, 17 injured in Kurram blast,” Reuters, March 12, 2012. Available at
[5] “Pro-govt: Six Baloch tribesmen slain in ambush,” The Express Tribune, March 11, 2012. Available at
[6] “Security man killed in Mohmand IED blast,” Dawn, March 11, 2012. Available at
[7] “Security man killed in Mohmand IED blast,” Dawn, March 11, 2012. Available at
[8] “Security man killed in Mohmand IED blast,” Dawn, March 11, 2012. Available at
[9] “Security man killed in Mohmand IED blast,” Dawn, March 11, 2012. Available at
[10] Riaz Ahmad, “Terror attack foiled: BDS defuses 40kg explosives in Peshawar,” The Express Tribune, March 12, 2012. Available at
[11] Syed Shoaib Hasan, “Pakistan bans Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat Islamist group,” BBC, March 9, 2012. Available at
[12] “Govt ‘revising’ list of banned terror groups,” AFP, March 12, 2012. Available at
[13] Zulqernain Tahir, “Immunity issue is parliament’s domain: Gilani,” Dawn, March 11, 2012. Available at
[14] Asif Shahzad, “Pakistan's top court targets army,” AP, March 11, 2012. Available at
View Citations
Arrow down red
Apr '12
Mar '12
Feb '12