Pakistan Security Brief

Location for TTP-government talks could be chosen today, with talks possibly following Friday; Government committee meets to finalize negotiating plans; Government to seek three month extension of TTP ceasefire; ISPR rejects report of ISI cooperation with Osama bin Laden; Prime Minister says Pakistan will not send troops to Bahrain or Saudi Arabia; Pakistan exploring importing electricity from India; Bomb diffused outside house of Express News Peshawar bureau chief; Two injured in South Waziristan clash between TTP and peace militia; Prime Minister promises to improve security for journalists in Pakistan.

Talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

  • On Thursday, Samiul Haq, the head of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)-nominated negotiating committee said that the location of the talks will be chosen today, and that the talks themselves could occur as early as Friday. Haq said that the TTP is united and that the militant group claiming responsibility for recent attacks across Pakistan, Ahrar-ul-Hind, has no ties with the TTP. According to a Thursday report in The Express Tribune, the choices for the location have been narrowed down to two: Shaktu, South Waziristan agency, proposed by the TTP, and Frontier Region Bannu, proposed by the government.[1]

  • On Wednesday, the government negotiating committee met and finalized a plan for negotiating with the TTP, after being informed that the TTP had agreed to disavow any group which does not observe the ceasefire.[2]

  • According to a Thursday report in The News, the government will seek an extension to the ceasefire with the TTP for at least three months. TTP intermediary Ibrahim Khan indicated that the TTP will seriously consider extending the ceasefire.[3]

Allegations of ISI-bin Laden Cooperation

  • On Thursday, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), General Asim Bajwa, disputed a Wednesday report in The New York Times, alleging that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had a secret desk that handled Osama bin Laden. Bajwa called the story “baseless and ridiculous.”[4]

Bahrain- Pakistan Relations

  • On Wednesday, the King of Bahrain met with high-level Pakistani officials, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Raheel Sharif in Islamabad. They discussed strengthening defense and security cooperation.[5]

  • On Thursday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responded to reports that Pakistan is planning to send troops to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, saying that the rumors are false, and that neither country had asked for troops.[6]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a Thursday report in The Express Tribune, the World Bank has offered to fund a feasibility study of a line to import 1200 megawatts of power to Pakistan from India.[7]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On Wednesday, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that international sanctions are the only thing preventing the Iran-Pakistan pipeline from being built.[8]


  • On Wednesday, a Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) in the Murshadabad area of Peshawar defused a bomb planted outside the house of Express News Peshawar bureau chief Jamshed Baghwan.[9]

  • On Wednesday, two people in Wana, South Waziristan agency were injured in a clash between a peace committee and local Taliban militants from the Maulvi Nazir Group.[10]

  • According to a Wednesday report in The Guardian, authorities in Islamabad have started cracking down on the Afghan Basti slum in the wake of the March 3 bombings on a court in the city. The neighborhood is predominantly ethnically Pashtun, and has a large number of migrants from western Pakistan and Afghanistan. The police are considering building a fence around the slum to control who enters and leaves it.[11]


  • On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan will improve security for foreign reporters and make it easier for journalists to travel to Pakistan. In addition, Sharif said that his government will review the travel ban of New York Times Pakistan Bureau Chief Declan Walsh, who was expelled from Pakistan in May, 2013.[12]    

[1] “Direct Govt-TTP Talks Could Take Place Tomorrow: Sami,” Dawn, March 20, 2014. Available at:
Kamran Yousaf, “Peace Initiative, Phase 2: Govt, TTp Shortlist Two Venues for Direct Talks,” The Express Tribune, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[2] “Govt Finalises Plan for Direct Talks with TTP,” Dawn, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[3] Ansar Abbasi, “Govt Wants TTP to Extend Ceasefire,” The News, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[4] “Pakistan Military Spokesman Terms NYT Report Baseless,” Geo News, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[5] “Bilateral Relations: Pakistan, Bahrain Weigh Options to Strengthen Defence Ties,” The Express Tribune, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[6] “Pakistan not Sending Troops to Bahrain or Saudi: PM,” Dawn, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[7] Zafar Bhutta, “Pakistan all Set to Import Electricity from India,” The Express Tribune, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[8] “Iran Project Hit by Sanctions: Minister,” Dawn, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[9] “Bomb Defused Outside Express News Bureau Chief’s House,” The Express Tribune, March 20, 2014. Available at:
[10] “Commander, Peace Committee Member Injured in SWA Jirga Clash,” The News, March 20, 2014. Available at:,-peace-committee-member-injured-in-SWA-jirga-clash
[11] Jon Boone, Islamabad Targets Slums after Suicide Bomb Attack,” The Guardian, March 19, 2014. Available at:
[12] Douglas Schorzman, “Pakistan Vows to Improve Journalists’ Freedom and Safety,” The New York Times, March 19, 2014. Available at:
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