Pakistan Security Brief

Possible NWA military operation; Drone attacks in NWA; Drone attack misses mark in SWA; Six militants killed in Orakzai; Two insurgents killed in Darra Adam Khel; Turi tribe asks for government to enforce peace accord; Raymond Davis verdict delayed; New York Times: Davis symptom of U.S.-Pakistan’s strained relationship; U.S. embassy vehicle injures motorcyclist; Washington Post: increased sway of radical clerics; Increased tension in Khushpur; ‘Target killings’ continue in Karachi; Civilian killed in Afghanistan; Elite Force members taken off VIP security duty; Six killed in Jaffarabad; NATO tankers torched in Bolan; Passenger van attacked in Hangu; Four militants killed in Swat.



  • Rumors of a pending military operation in North Waziristan have been resuscitated by a Pakistani government directive to begin planning for an exodus of tribesmen from North Waziristan. The government has asked the FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) to prepare a contingency plan for families who would likely be displaced in a military operation in North Waziristan. An unidentified source reported that, “We have been asked by the authorities to complete the task as soon as possible, but we have no idea about the timing of a military offensive.” Plans are being developed to prepare for the displacement of as many as 50,000 families (approximately 500,000 individuals). Dawn reports that the army has deployed about 20,000 troops in the agency.[i]

  • On Monday, three militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike on a vehicle in North Waziristan. The drone fired two missiles at the moving car, traveling near Miram Shah. Monday’s attack follows another drone strike in Spalga village of North Waziristan on Sunday. The drone fired six missiles at a suspected militant vehicle and insurgent hideout, killing six and wounding five others. Earlier that day, a U.S. drone had fired upon a militant vehicle and missed its target in Azam Warsak of South Waziristan, resulting in the rebels escaping from the scene.[ii]

  • Six militants were killed and three soldiers wounded in clashes in Orakzai Agency on Saturday. The shootout took place after militants attacked a security checkpoint in Ghaljo area. A spokesperson for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.[iii] 

  • Two militants were killed in a clash between security forces and insurgents in Darra Adam Khel on Saturday. Sources state that the security forces were conducting an operation in Bosti Khel when they were attacked by the militants. The soldiers returned fire, resulting in the two insurgent deaths.[iv]

  • Elders of the Turi tribe in Kurram Agency have asked the Pakistani government to take action against violators of the recent peace accord. The elders stated that they were extending their support to the government and grand tribal jirga to enforce the agreement, but said “the other side” has been making a mockery of the accord.[v]


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • The Lahore High Court (LHC) has again delayed reaching a verdict on the case of Raymond Davis’ diplomatic immunity, saying that the court trying Davis for murder will also decide whether he qualifies for immunity. During a hearing at the Punjab High Court, the Foreign Ministry did not clearly state whether Davis is entitled to diplomatic immunity.[vi]

  • The New York Times has highlighted the increased tension between Pakistan and the United States, referring to Davis as an “all-too-visible symptom” of the strained relationship. The article argues that ties between the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) present a major threat that Washington cannot ignore. Mark Mazzetti additionally writes that Davis worked on a team which was specifically charged with gathering information about LeT. However, the report concludes that “even with such seemingly irreconcilable differences, and even as both American and Pakistani officials muse in private about how long the beleaguered alliance can survive, both appear to realize that — for now — it simply must. [vii]

  • On Saturday, a U.S. embassy vehicle hit and critically injured a motorcyclist in Islamabad. The driver is reported to be an embassy official. An investigation has been opened into the incident.[viii]


Bhatti’s Assassination and Fallout

  • The Washington Post reports on the amplified street power of Pakistani religious organizations and the increased sway of radical clerics in the country.  An anonymous senior Lahore police official stated that, "The unfortunate reality is that the state has not yet decided how to tackle these extremists. Mullahs carry huge street power, and they are capable of disrupting law and order. The smart police officers, they always choose to have good relations with them."[ix]

  • Dawn reports that Khushpur village, the town that Shahbaz Bhatti hails from, has been subjected to increased tension following the assassination of Bhatti. The village has long been an example of Muslims and Christians living alongside one another in relative harmony, however ithas seen increased tension between the two communities.[x]


‘Target Killings’ in Karachi

  • Daily Times reports that thirty people have been killed in Karachi since Thursday night in the most recent wave of ‘target killings.’ On Sunday, nine more people were killed, including two activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and one worker of Awami National Party (ANP). Four more people were shot dead on Monday, bringing the death toll to thirteen since Sunday.[xi]


Afghan-Pakistani Relations

  • A civilian was killed in Afghanistan after Pakistani troops allegedly crossed into a residential neighborhood in Goshta district. General Aminullah Amerkheil, the commander of border police in eastern Afghanistan, claimed that, “Late last night, Pakistani soldiers started firing light weapons on residential areas in Goshta district. As a result, one civilian was killed in his house.”[xii]


Police Officers Taken Off Duty

  • Dawn reports that nineteen Elite Force police officers have been taken off VIP security duties after being designated as possible security risks. Regional police officer Hamid Mukhtar Gondal confirmed that, “I had proposed to the authorities to take them off VIP duty but let them perform other duties because their immobilisation would create shortage of manpower in the department and demoralise the force.” The decision follows concerns over the results of the police officers’ intelligence and scrutiny tests, which had examined them for possible connections to extremist groups.[xiii]


Blasts in Balochistan

  • Six people were killed in Jaffarabad on Saturday after a mortar shell hit their house in Hairdin village. Among the dead were four children, who were killed when the mortar shell landed on the roof of the residence.[xiv]

  • Two tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan were torched in Bolan district on Saturday. The vehicles bound for Kandahar were fired upon by militants before being set ablaze. All three assailants escaped the scene following the attack.[xv]


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Eight people were killed and seven others sustained casualties in an attack on a passenger van traveling from Kurram to Hangu. Senior local police official Abdul Rashid reported that “Militants intercepted a passenger van at Mamoo Khwar village in Hangu district and opened fire, killing eight passengers and wounding seven others. It seems to be a sectarian incident, as all those killed in the firing were Shia Muslims.” Three militants were killed in the ensuing search operation.[xvi]

  • Four suspected militants were killed in Swat on Sunday in a clash with security forces. Sources report that security personnel were patrolling the area when the militants opened fire on them. The insurgents were killed in retaliatory gunfire.[xvii]


[i] Zulfiqar Ali, “Speculations grow about operation in N. Waziristan,” Dawn, March 13, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Three killed in US drone strike in North Waziristan,” Dawn, March 14, 2011. Available at
[iii] “Six militants killed in Orakzai clash,” Dawn, March 12, 2011. Available at
[iv] “10 militants killed in Orakzai Agency, Darra,” The News, March 13, 2011. Available at
[v] “Action sought against Kurram peace deal violators,” The News, March 14, 2011. Available at
[vi] Waqar Gillani and Carlotta Gall, “Pakistan Again Delays Ruling on C.I.A. Operative,” New York Times, March 14, 2011. Available at
[vii] Mark Mazzetti, “A Shooting in Pakistan Reveals Fraying Alliance,” New York Times, March 12, 2011. Available at
[viii] “US embassy car injures motorcyclist in Islamabad,” Dawn, March 12, 2011. Available at
[ix] Karin Brulliard, “Pakistan assassinations highlight sway of radical clerics,” Washington Post, March 14, 2011. Available at
[x] “Pakistan Christian village sees rising tensions,” Dawn, March 12, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Nine more fall prey to target killings in Karachi,” Daily Times, March 14, 2011. Available at\03\14\story_14-3-2011_pg1_7
[xii] “Pakistan cross-border fire kills Afghan civilian: official,” Dawn, March 12, 2011. Available at
[xiii] Mohammad Asghar, “19 shadowy police commandos sidelined,” Dawn, March 14, 2011. Available at
[xiv] Saleem Shahid, “Six of a family die in rocket attack,” Dawn, March 13, 2011. Available at
[xv] “Two Nato tankers torched,” Dawn, March 13, 2011. Available at
[xvi] “Eight killed, seven injured in attack on bus in Hangu,” Dawn, March 13, 2011. Available at
[xvii] “4 suspected militants killed in Swat,” The News, March 14, 2011. Available at
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