Pakistan Security Brief

Investigation opened into Davis incident; Clinton denies U.S. paid ‘blood money;’ Islamist groups hold demonstrations over release; Davis en route to U.S.; Decision challenged in LHC; ISI and CIA working to resolve tensions; Mueller testifies on TTP threat; Thirty militants killed in NWA drone strikes; Ten killed in Orakzai clashes; LT-Gen Pasha receives one-year extension; Thirteen killed in Karachi ‘target killings;’ Two explosions hit convoys in Balochistan; NATO tankers torched in Peshawar.


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • The U.S. embassy has said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened an investigation into the Raymond Davis incident, following his release on Wednesday. The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, subsequently stated his regret over the killings and thanked the families for agreeing to be compensated for Davis’s release, though there are allegations that they accepted the deal under pressure from the Punjab government. Separately, Secretary of State Clinton stated that the U.S. did not pay the ‘blood money’ for Davis’ release. When asked who paid the families compensation, Clinton replied,“You will have to ask the families.” Lawyers related to the case said the total compensation received by the families was about $2.3 million, with the possibility of some family members being relocated to the U.S. U.S. and Pakistani officials report that the Pakistani government paid the money and anticipates being reimbursed by the U.S. ‘Blood money’ was also paid to the family of a third man killed by a U.S. vehicle at the scene. Following Davis’ release, Islamist groups held demonstrations in cities around the country, with more protests expected Friday following afternoon prayers.[i]
  • Davis has left Pakistan, reportedly flying through Afghanistan en route back to the United States.  Meanwhile, the judge who heard Davis’ case has allegedly gone on leave, due to “personal engagements.” The Davis decision has subsequently been challenged in Lahore High Court (LHC). A petition filed by Iqbal Jafri, argued that the victims’ families were pressured by the government into pardoning Davis.[ii]
  • The New York Times reports that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the CIA are working to smooth over the tension in their relationship. Pakistani officials said that the CIA has agreed to limit the number of operations it performed without the ISI’s permission and declare all its operatives and contractors in Pakistan. In addition, an official stated that the CIA "will do nothing behind our backs that will result in people getting killed or arrested." A U.S. official stated that the head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, had made no concrete promises to scale back operations in Pakistan in exchange for Davis’ release. However, media sources have reported that U.S. and Pakistani officials have been in negotiations over Davis’ release since February 21.[iii]
  • FBI Director Robert Mueller, in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, stated that Al-Qaeda groups operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and in the Arabian Peninsula are the most urgent terrorist threats being faced by Americans. Mueller stated, “There were last October’s attempted bombings on air cargo flights bound for the United States from Yemen, directed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). There was last May’s attempted car bombing in Times Square, aided by Tehrik-e-Taliban in Pakistan (TTP). These two attempted attacks demonstrate how al Qaeda’s affiliates and allies have the intent to strike inside the United States.”[iv]


  • Around thirty-eight militants were killed by U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan on Thursday. The attacks took place in Datta Khel when four missiles were fired at a house in the area. An unidentified official reported that militants affiliated with Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a Taliban commander, were inside the house at the time of the strikes. A senior Pakistani intelligence official stated that the dead were militants who were meeting to confer about plans to send fighters to Afghanistan, while a local governor said they were innocent tribal elders and policemen. Sharabat Khan, Bahadur’s top militant commander in Datta Khel, is believed to be among the dead, as are several foreign militants.[v]
  • Ten militants were killed in clashes in Orakzai on Wednesday. A security convoy traveling from Bori to Ghaljo was assaulted by insurgents when an exchange of fire took place. One security officer was also hurt in the attack.[vi]

Pasha Receives Extension

  • Lieutenant General Pasha has officially received a one-year extension to his term as the Director General of the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s main spy agency. Prime Minister Gilani approved the move on Tuesday. The extension is Pasha’s second as the head of the intelligence agency.[vii]

‘Target Killings’ in Karachi

  • At least thirteen people were killed in Karachi on Wednesday and Thursday, including two police officers and two political activists. Local police forces have opened up investigations into the ‘target killings.’[viii]

Blast in Balochistan

  • Two separate explosions targeting paramilitary convoys resulted in the deaths of four people, including three soldiers. The first bomb blast in Naseerabad district was claimed by the Baloch Republican Army while the second bomb was detonated in the outskirts of Quetta. No group has claimed responsibility for the second incident.[ix]

NATO Tankers Torched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Militants set ablaze two NATO tankers in Peshawar on Wednesday. The vehicles were traveling to the Afghan border when unidentified gunmen opened fire on the tankers and then set them on fire.[x]

[i]“US to probe CIA contractor killings in Lahore,” Dawn, March 16, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Judge who heard Davis case goes on leave,” The News, March 17, 2011. Available at
[iii] Asad Kharal, “Davis acquittal: A release three weeks in the making,” Express Tribune, March 17, 2011. Available at
[iv] Robert Mueller, “Statement Before the House Judiciary Committee,” FBI, March 16, 2011. Available at
[v] “Drone attack kills 30 in North Waziristan,” Dawn, March 17, 2011. Available at
[vi] “10 militants killed in Orakzai gunbattle,” Dawn, March 17, 2011. Available at
[vii] Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “PM approves one-year extension in service of DG ISI,” The News, March 15, 2011. Available at
[viii] “At least 13 killed in Karachi,” Dawn, March 17, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Bomb blasts kills four in Balochistan,” Dawn, March 17, 2011. Available at
[x] “Militants torch two Nato containers,” GEO, March 17, 2011. Available at
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