Pakistan Security Brief

ISI allegedly knew of and supported Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad; TTP not willing to hold peace talks in North Waziristan; TTP-nominated negotiating committee and government representatives to  finalize decisions regarding peace talks soon; Government gathers information on 300 non-combatants allegedly in security forces’ custody; Prime Minister willing to discuss amnesty, release of prisoners, replacing the army with the Frontier Corps, and addressing TTP’s demands; Political and Military leadership “on the same page” regarding national security policy; Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approves constitution of new National Intelligence Directorate and rapid response forces at the provincial and federal level; Meeting between Prime Minister Sharif and President of Iran will address Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline; North Waziristan militant killed in accidental bomb blast; Five injured in Peshawar blast.

Alleged ISI Involvement with Osama bin Laden

  • According to a Wednesday report in The New York Times, an “inside source” told reporter Carlotta Gall that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had an independent desk to handle Osama bin Laden. The desk allegedly reported to nobody, but the source cited claimed that the Pakistani military’s top leadership was aware of its existence and supported bin Laden’s secret existence in Pakistan.[1]

Peace Talks

  • According to a Wednesday article in Geo News, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) intermediary Professor Ibrahim Khan stated that the TTP are not willing to hold peace talks in North Waziristan, adding that the government-nominated negotiating committee should decide on a location outside of the agency. Khan added that peace talks would continue even if the TTP’s requests for the withdrawal of the army from two districts in South Waziristan and the release of non-combatants were denied.[2]

  • On Wednesday, the chief of the TTP-nominated negotiating committee, Maulana Samiul Haq, told reporters that decisions regarding the ongoing peace talks will be finalized at a meeting between government representatives and the TTP-nominated committee tonight. Samiul Haq also added that the two sides have discussed a venue for direct dialogue between the government and the TTP leadership.[3]

  • According to a Wednesday article in the Express Tribune, the government has started to gather information about some 300 non-combatants that the TTP claims are in security forces’ custody at secret detention centers throughout Pakistan. Yesterday, TTP intermediary Professor Ibrahim Khan gave the Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, a list of 300 alleged non-combatants, including women and children that the TTP have asked the government to release. Information Minister Pervais Rashid stated that once the information-gathering portion of the investigation has been complete, the government will share the information with the TTP and the media.[4]

  • According to a member of the new government-nominated negotiating committee, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is willing to discuss topics including amnesty, the release of TTP prisoners, replacing the army with the Frontier Corps, rehabilitating the affected tribal areas, and addressing the TTP’s demands. The source, cited in a Wednesday article in The News, stated that if the Prime Minister can get the support of the military on these issues, the peace process will succeed. The previous government committee also believed that the success of the peace talks would depend on the military’s response.[5]

  • On Tuesday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said after a high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister that Pakistan’s political and military leadership was “on the same page” regarding Pakistan’s national security policy. Khan added that the leadership will focus on capacity building of security forces and increasing coordination among Pakistan’s 26 different intelligence agencies that will now operate under a joint intelligence directorate called the National Intelligence Directorate.[6]

  • On Tuesday, at a meeting between Pakistan’s civil and military leadership, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the constitution of the new National Intelligence Directorate and the creation of rapid response forces at the provincial and federal level. In addition to the implementation of rapid response forces, Prime Minister Sharif delivered new Bomb Disposal Response Vehicles, equipped with the latest technology to defuse bombs, to the provincial chief ministers. The Prime Minister asked all provincial governments and institutions to work hard to strengthen national security and utilize all available options under the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance.[7]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On Tuesday, the Iranian Consul General in Lahore told businessmen in Sialkot, Punjab that the upcoming meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will address problems with the planned Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline.[8]


  • On Wednesday, a Taliban commander named Aalim Deen Mehsud died while trying to construct a bomb in Talib Jan, North Waziristan agency. He was trying to extract explosive material from a mortar when it exploded, killing him and five members of his family.[9]

  • On Wednesday, an explosion in the Sarki Gate area of Peshawar injured five people.[10]

  • According to a Tuesday AFP report, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) released a video praising the March 1 stabbing attack in Yunnan province, China, though the video stopped short of claiming credit. The TIP is a separatist group from China’s western Xinjiang autonomous region and is believed to be based in North Waziristan agency.[11]

[1] Carlotta Gall, “What Pakistan Knew about bin Laden,” The New York Times, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[2] “Taliban not ready for talks in N. Waziristan: Prof. Ibrahim,” Geo News, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[3] “Details of next govt-TTP meeting to likely finalise today: Sami,” Dawn, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[4] “Islamabad to scour for matches on TTP list,” Express Tribune, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[5] Ansar Abbasi, “Key TTP demands are of concern to establishment,” The News, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[6] Shakeel Anjurn, “Political, military leadership united on national security: Nisar,” The News, March 19, 2014. Available at:,-military-leadership-united-on-national-security%3a-Nisar
[7] Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “Deal with rivals on your own, PM tells Taliban,” The News, March 19, 2014. Available at:,-PM-tells-Taliban
[8] “Pak-Iran Meeting on Gas Pipeline Soon: Diplomat,” Dawn, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[9] “Militant Kills Self, Family in North Waziristan Bomb Accident,” Dawn, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[10] “Peshawar Explosion Near Sarki Gate Injures 5,” Geo News, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[11] “Militant Islamist Group Backs China Station Attack: SITE,” Yahoo News, March 18, 2014. Available at:
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