Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan’s Parliament to consider “new terms of engagement” with U.S. as soon as March 19; Prime Minister Gilani states he is not afraid of the contempt charges he faces; Pakistan “did not attempt to sabotage” U.S.-Taliban talks, says analyst; Mansoor Ijaz and Hussain Haqqani appear before “memogate” commission via video link; Ijaz alleges President Zardari directed Haqqani’s actions; Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee’s son-in-law freed by kidnappers; Prominent Shia leader attacked and his son killed; Pakistan’s Supreme Court orders medical care for three missing prisoners; Peshawar High Court states 70 percent of missing prisoners will be “set free;” Indian court denies Pakistani commission’s request to cross-examine Mumbai attack witnesses; Foreign Affairs Minister announces transfer agreement for criminals; Pakistani fighter jets launch offensive against Lashkar-e-Islam in Tirah valley; Five companies say they will not help Pakistan develop internet filtering system.


U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit, a joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament could start considering “new terms of engagement” with the U.S. as early as March 19. CBS News reported that Parliament will recommend seeking more money for NATO’s use of the supply routes as well as an apology for the November airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Salim Saifullah Khan, former head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated that the NATO supply routes should be open by the end of March. AFP reported that “Pakistan is expected to tax convoys carrying NATO supplies” from Karachi to the Afghan border, and could earn up to $1 million a day from such a tax.[1]


  • On Thursday, Mansoor Ijaz, key witness in the “memogate” case, and Hussain Haqqani, former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., appeared before the memogate judicial commission via video conference from London. Zahid Hussain Bukhari, Haqqani’s attorney, told the three-member commission that he was “trying to prove that Mr. Ijaz is an agent of secret services and with their help tries to [destabilize] governments in different countries.” Ijaz denied Bukhari’s allegations, but admitted that “he had been in contact with 24 intelligence agencies” in “several” countries. Ijaz also stated that Interior Minister Rehman Malik “threatened to arrest him” through Interpol. During Wednesday’s proceedings, the memogate commission deemed the transcript Ijaz supplied of the conversation between U.S. helicopter pilots and Pakistani air traffic controllers during the May 2 Abbottabad raid to be inauthentic. [2]

  • Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mansoor Ijaz alleged that President Asif Ali Zardari was directing the actions of Hussain Haqqani throughout the memogate scandal. Ijaz also claimed to “hold details” of Benazir Bhutto’s bank accounts, and accused Zardari of “being involved in money laundering.”[3]

Domestic Politics

  • In response to a question regarding the contempt charges he currently faces, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani stated that he is “not afraid of anybody,” and that he would not have joined politics if he was. Prime Minister Gilani also said that he “will give more freedom to the media,” and that the media “had never been freer than under his government.” Gilani noted that as of Saturday, his government will be the first and “only democratically elected government to have completed four years.”[4]

  • On Friday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered that three of the Adiala jail prisoners who have been detained by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate since 2010, be provided with “adequate medical facilities," while the four “stable” prisoners are to be kept at a detention center near Peshawar. Three of the “missing prisoners” have “serious health problems ranging from hepatitis to cancer.” The Supreme Court had originally ordered the chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to submit an “updated report” detailing the health conditions of the seven prisoners by March 16. The court adjourned the hearing until April 9.[5]

  • On Thursday, the Peshawar High Court continued its hearing of the missing persons cases in which Pakistan’s defence and interior ministries are suspected of illegally apprehending and detaining alleged terrorists. The court stated that 30 percent of the missing will probably remain with authorities, while the remaining 70 percent “will be identified and set free.” Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said that the terrorists should be “tried and punished if found guilty, but due process should be applied” in accordance with the law. The court asked the ministries to bring the missing persons, some of whom have been missing since 2010, before the court, but the ministries have denied any involvement. The chief justice accused them of “lying,” and added that the court has learned that “the police and a few others have set up [undisclosed] detention centers.”[6]

International Relations

  • The Afghan Taliban announced that it is “pulling out of direct talks with the United States” in Qatar. A Pakistani security official claimed that the failure of the talks “was inevitable,” but “few expected the process to fail so early on.” According to security analyst Brig (retd) Mahmood Shah, Pakistan “did not attempt to sabotage” the talks, even though the government was unhappy with the “solo” actions of the U.S. The Express Tribune reported that many consider the Afghan Taliban’s announcement a “possible strategic move” in response to recent incidents including the mass Qur’an burning and the killing of Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier.[7]

  • On Thursday, a special court of India denied a request to cross-examine Indian witnesses made by the Pakistani judicial commission investigating the 2008 Mumbai attacks. According to the BBC, now the commission “will only be allowed to record [the witnesses’] statements.” The Pakistani commission met with Indian special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam in New Delhi on Thursday. The commission is scheduled to “record the statements of four witnesses on Friday,” including Metropolitan Magistrate R. V. Sawant Waghule, chief investigating officer Ramesh Mahale, and doctors Shailesh Mohit and Ganesh Nitukar.[8]

  • Speaking with the Chairman of Asia Investment Houtang Li Yan on Thursday, Pakistani President Zardari said that “there was a great opportunity for the Chinese investors to take advantage of the special business and investment opportunities being offered by Pakistan.” President Zardari specifically discussed Chinese investment in the proposed new Pakistani city of Zulfiqarabad, which he said would be an “engine of growth.”[9]

  • Speaking to the National Assembly on Friday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar announced that the Pakistani government “signed an agreement for the transfer of criminal offenders with Thailand, the U.K., and Sri Lanka.” According to Khar, 38 prisoners have already been transferred to Pakistan under the agreement, and the same agreement is currently being negotiated with 32 additional countries. Khar noted that there are 121 Pakistani prisoners in the U.S., 41 in Iraq, and 867 in the U.K.[10]


  • Amir Aftab Malik, the son-in-law of former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majeed, was freed by his kidnappers in North Waziristan on Thursday. Malik was kidnapped on August 25, 2010 from his home in Lahore’s Faisal Town. A few months after the abduction, the kidnappers released a videotape of Malik, in which they demanded a substantial ransom and the release of several militants being detained in Pakistani prisons. According to the tape, the kidnappers allegedly belonged to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Some sources claim that millions of rupees were paid as ransom for Malik’s release, but Malik’s father told reporters that he was not aware of any ransom payment, and that he had “given nothing to the captors for Amir’s return.”[11]

  • In Karachi on Friday, prominent Shia leader and head of the Jafaria Alliance Mohsin Rizvi was on his way home with his son, when unidentified assailants on motorcycles attacked their vehicle, injuring Rizvi and killing his son.[12] 

  • On Thursday, residents of the Sipah area in Bara tehsil, Khyber agency found the bodies of 12 people, who were killed during an ongoing security operation against militants in the area. Locals told Dawn that some of the dead had been buried alive under the debris of houses destroyed by artillery shelling, while others had been killed in the crossfire as they tried to run for cover.[13] 

  • militant commander associated with the Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) faction led by Mangal Bagh, died after being critically injured in a recent encounter with security forces in the Alamgodar area of Bara tehsil, Khyber agency.[14] 

  • Pakistani fighter jets launched an offensive against LI in the Ghaibi Neka and Lakarbaba areas of Tirah valley, Khyber agency on Thursday, killing two militants, injuring four others, and destroying two LI hideouts with shelling.[15] 

  • roadside bomb hit a security forces vehicle in the Spin Qabar area of Khyber agency, injuring two soldiers.[16] 

  • On Thursday, security forces arrested six suspected militants during a search operation in Warr Mamund sub-district, Bajaur agency. According to a local political representative, the operation began after Wednesday’s bomb blast, which killed five pro-government tribesmen in Warr Mamund.[17] 

  • remote-controlled bomb exploded near a bus in the Parchar Khel area of Kurram agency on Friday, wounding 16 passengers.[18] 

  • Militants blew up two schools and a tube-well in separate explosions in areas of Lakki Marwat, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday. In the village of Dhoda, one bomb partially destroyed a primary school for boys, while another bomb planted near a tube-well damaged the water supply and a mosque nearby. The third blast occurred at a middle school for boys in the village of Zyar Jano, causing damage to parts of the school. The TTP has claimed responsibility for the explosions, reported the Express Tribune.[19]

  • According to residents of Mera Acheni, a village located in the settled district of Peshawar, Lashkar-e-Islam militants came to their village and demanded money from the residents in exchange for their safety. A villager told the Express Tribune that the militants demanded 5,000 rupees and a monthly payment of 1,000 rupees from every home owner, and warned the villagers that if they did not comply their houses would be destroyed. According to the villager, activists from the anti-Taliban lashkar of the Shalober area of Khyber agency came after the militants left and informed the residents that anyone who pays the militants “will be dealt with harshly.” The Express Tribune reported that the villagers are now left with the dilemma of choosing between the two options, neither of which will guarantee their safety.[20] 


  • Bolo Bhi, an advocacy group based in Pakistan, “wrote directly to eight companies that make a variety of security products, asking them not to satisfy Pakistan’s demand for a firewall that would censor the Web.” Five of those companies responded, including McAfee, Cisco Systems, Verizon and Websense, stating that they will “not respond to Pakistan’s request for proposals” to develop a national internet filtering system.[21]

[1] “Pakistan’s long-awaited US review likely next week,” AFP, March 16, 2012. Available at
“Pakistan parliament to discuss US ties next week,” CBS News, March 15, 2012. Available at
[2] Malik Asad, “Haqqani, Ijaz come face to face,” Dawn, March 16, 2012. Available at
Qaiser Zulfiqar, “Memogate commission: Ijaz denies opposing Pakistan’s nuclear programme,” Express Tribune, March 16, 2012. Available at
“Mansoor Ijaz, Husain Haqqani appear before memo commission,” The News International, March 16, 2012. Available at,-Husain-Haqqani-appear-before-memo-commission-
[3] “Ijaz claims having Zardari, Benazir’s account details,” Dawn, March 16, 2012. Available at
[4] Ali Usman, “If I was scared, I wouldn’t have joined politics: PM,” Express Tribune, March 16, 2012. Available at
[5] “Hearing of Adiyla Jail prisoners’ case adjourned,” Geo, March 16, 2012. Available at
[6] Umer Farooq, “70% ‘missing’ persons will be identified and set free: PHC,” Express Tribune, March 16, 2012. Available at
[7] Kamran Yousaf, “Not surprised: Qatar talks bound to fail, say experts,” Express Tribune, March 16, 2012. Available at
[8] “Pakistani team meets Mumbai terror attack prosecutor,” Dawn, March 16, 2012. Available at
“Pakistan team arrives in India to probe Mumbai attacks,” BBC, March 15, 2012. Available at
“26/11: Pak commission can’t cross-examine Indian witnesses,” NDTV, March 16, 2012. Available at
[9] “Zardari woos Chinese investment,” The News International, March 16, 2012. Available at
[10] Zahid Gishkori, “Transfer of prisoners: Pakistani signs agreement with Thailand, UK, and Sri Lanka,” Express Tribune, March 16, 2012. Available at
[11] “Gen Tariq’s son-in-law recovered,” The News, March 16, 2012. Available at
“Taliban free son-in-law of former JCSC chief,” Dawn, March 16, 2012. Available at
[12] “Shia killing: Hail of bullets leave Jafaria Alliance leader injured, son dead,” Express Tribune, March 16, 2012. Available at
[13] “A day after operation; 12 non-combatants found dead in Bara,” Dawn, March 16, 2012. Available at
[14] “11 bullet-riddled bodies found in Bara Two militants killed in Tirah,” The News, March 16, 2012. Available at
[15] “11 bullet-riddled bodies found in Bara Two militants killed in Tirah,” The News, March 16, 2012. Available at
[16] “11 bullet-riddled bodies found in Bara Two militants killed in Tirah,” The News, March 16, 2012. Available at
[17] “A day after operation; 12 non-combatants found dead in Bara,” Dawn, March 16, 2012. Available at
[18] “Remote-controlled bomb blast hit passenger bus in Kurram Agency,” Geo, March 16, 2012. Available at
[19] “Two schools damaged in Lakki blasts,” Express Tribune, March 16, 2012. Available at
[20] “Lashkar-e-Islam threatens locals: Your money or your life, demands banned outfit,” Express Tribune, March 16, 2012. Available at
[21] Somini Sengupta, “Companies Pledge Not to Help Pakistan Filter the Web,” The New York Times, March 15, 2012. Available at
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