Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistani government condemns drone strike; New reports allege drone strike victims were not militants; Three-day mourning for victims of strike; Thousands rally in the streets in protest of Davis release; LHC petition protesting release forwarded to CJP; Davis’ release practiced day prior; CIA may face reduced role in Pakistan; Girls’ school blown up in Khyber; TTP kill alleged ‘spy;’ Blast in Bara kills four security officials; Five militants killed in Swat.


NWA Drone Strike and Fallout

  • General Kayani has condemned the U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan, which killed around forty people on Thursday, an unusually high death toll for a drone strike. Kayani said that the attack struck a peaceful meeting of tribal elders, calling it "unjustified and intolerable." A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Tehmina Janjua, also stated,  “The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the drone strike which has resulted in a large number of casualties. Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir conveyed this strong condemnation to US ambassador Cameron Munter and has demanded an apology and explanation.” In a separate statement, Prime Minister Gilani said that the attack “will only strengthen the hands of radical and extremist elements.”[i]
  • New reports have alleged that the people killed in Thursday’s drone strike may not have been militants discussing plans to send fighters across the border into Afghanistan, as initially stated by Pakistani intelligence sources. Unidentified officials have now come forth to say that the strike may have hit a meeting between two tribes who had gone to the Taliban for assistance in arbitrating a dispute over a local mine. A local official said that a total of twelve Taliban militants and twenty-four innocent civilians were killed. U.S. officials have disputed the claim, arguing that, “These people weren’t gathering for a bake sale. They were terrorists.” [ii]
  • GEO News has reported thattribal elders of Tank have announced a three-day mourning period for civilians of the Mehsud tribe who were killed in Thursday’s U.S. drone strike. They additionally demanded that the U.S. government provide “blood money” to the families of the victims killed in the attack.[iii]

U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • Thousands of Pakistani men and women gathered in the streets of Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, and Miram Shah on Friday to protest against the U.S. drone strike that killed around forty people on Thursday, and the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis. 3,000 rallied in Islamabad, 1,500 in Lahore, 400 in Multan, and 1,000 more demonstrated in Miram Shah. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and its consulates in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar were closed in anticipation of the demonstrations. A local AFP reporter said that “They burned US flags, chanting ‘Go America, go’ and ‘Go Zardari, go.’”[iv]
  • The petition filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging Davis’ release has been forwarded to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry after an LHC justice excused himself from hearing the petition. The chief justice said that he would not preside over the case as he had previously heard a case on Davis’ diplomatic immunity.[v]
  • The Express Tribune reports that Davis’ release was practiced the day prior, while the Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, in partnership with outside agencies, administered the entire release operation in less than forty-eight hours. According to unidentified sources, Davis had made preliminary practice trips to the airport in anticipation of his release.[vi]
  • Reuters reports that the CIA may face a reduced role in Pakistan following the release of Raymond Davis. The outlet reports that “People familiar with the views of the Pakistani government say that as part of the deal for the freeing of Raymond Davis, the CIA agreed to give Pakistan more credit for its role in counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan, to cut back on U.S. spying in Pakistan and to keep Pakistani authorities better informed of CIA activities.” Senior U.S. officials have denied that such a deal had been struck between the CIA and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.[vii]


  • A girls’ school and two bridges were blown up in Khyber Agency. The girls’ school in the Alamkhanu area was attacked by militants on Wednesday, though no injuries were reported. Meanwhile, unidentified militants attacked two bridges in Bara.[viii]
  • The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed to have killed an alleged “spy” in Kohat on Thursday. The body of the man was found with a note warning local tribesmen of a similar fate if they did not cease providing information about the TTP to the government.[ix]
  • A blast in Bara of Khyber Agency killed four security officials on Friday. Security personnel were conducting an operation against militants in the Qambarabad area when they came into contact with an improvised explosive device (IED). An investigation has commenced into the incident.[x]

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Five militants were killed in Swat on Friday in a clash with security forces. The security personnel were conducting an operation in the Gawalerai area of Swat when the fighting broke out. A cache of arms was recovered in the raid.[xi]

[i] "Gen Kayani condemns US drone strike in NW," Dawn, March 17, 2011. Available at
[ii] “US-Pakistan relationship increasingly strained,” AP, March 18, 2011. Available at
[iii] “3-day mourning against killing of tribal elders in drone strike,” The News, March 18, 2011. Available at
[iv] “Thousands of Pakistanis rally against US,” Express Tribune, March 18, 2011. Available at
[v] “Davis release: LHC CJ excuses himself from hearing petition,” the News, March 18, 2011. Available at
[vi] Asad Kharal, “Davis release rehearsed one day earlier,” Express Tribune, March 18, 2011. Available at
[vii] Chris Allbritton and Mark Hosenball, “CIA may face reduced role in Pakistan after murder row,” Reuters, March 18, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Girls school, bridges blown up,” Dawn, March 18, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Taliban kill alleged spy,” Dawn, March 18, 2011. Available at
[x] “Blast in Khyber injures four security officials,” Dawn, March 18, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Security forces kill 5 in Swat,” Express Tribune, March 18, 2011. Available at
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