Pakistan Security Brief

Twenty tribesmen kidnapped in Kurram; Girl dies of wounds inflicted by security forces in Miram Shah; Zardari vows to fight militancy; Attack on parliament house foiled; DOJ commenced investigation into Davis incident; Pakistani government condemns Quran burning; JI chief warns of “Islamic revolution;” NWA tribesmen boycott Pakistan Day; ‘Target killings’ continue in Karachi; Bomb blasts in Peshawar; NATO tankers torched in Bolan.



  • Militants in lower Kurram Agency kidnapped twenty tribesmen along with fourteen vehicles travelling from Peshawar in the Baggan area on Tuesday. The captives were taken to militant hideouts in central Kurram. Later that same day, four more people were abducted. Rebels belonging to the Sattar group kidnapped the men during a weekly festival held in the area.[i]
  • A seven-year-old girl, who was injured by security personnel in Miram Shah on Monday, died at the Agency Headquarters Hospital on Tuesday. The girl and three others were wounded when security personnel opened fire on them for allegedly violating the imposed curfew near Miram Shah. The girl’s family stated that she was on her way to a local seminary when the military convoy fired upon her.[ii]

Internal Politics

  • In his annual address at the opening of Parliament, President Zardari vowed to fight militancy and extremist elements within Pakistan. Despite speaking to a half-empty chamber after main opposition parties staged a walk out, Zardari was met with applause by his party supporters when he declared, “We will fight militants to the finish. We will not back down. We cannot permit the use of our soil for terrorist activities against any other country, we will not.” In regards to the United States, he affirmed, “With the United States we remain committed to building a long-term partnership based on mutual respect, mutual interest, and sovereign equality.” Zardari also condemned the recent killings of politicians Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti over the blasphemy laws.[iii]
  • Dawn reports that local police foiled a plot to attack the parliament house, three days before Zardari was scheduled to deliver his presidential address. One suspect was arrested who subsequently informed security personnel about the planned attack. Interior Minister Rehman Malik stated that security was increased in the area after the authorities received information on the attack.[iv]

U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • The U.S. Department of Justice has commenced an investigation into the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA-contractor who shot and killed two Pakistani men in January. Alberto Rodriguez, a Country Information Officer with the U.S. Embassy, also confirmed that the U.S. did not pay ‘blood money’ to the families of the victims, but declined to comment further on the situation.[v]
  • The Pakistani government has condemned the recent burning of a Quran by Wayne Sapp, a preacher in Florida. A statement by the Foreign Ministry criticized that, “There could be no justification for such acts. This has deeply hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and Muslims all over the world.” The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter also condemned the action, affirming that “The deliberate destruction of any holy book is an abhorrent act. This is an isolated act done by a small group of people that is contrary to American traditions.” The Jamaat-e-Islami  (JI) chief, Syed Munawar Hasan, has also expressed anger over the burning and called for demonstrations to be held on Friday in protest of the act.[vi]

JI Warns of “Islamic Revolution”

  • JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan on Wednesday stated that the people of Pakistan would commence an “Islamic revolution” in the country. While speaking at a rally on Pakistan Day, Hassan said that JI had “started a ‘public contact’ campaign in which 2.5 million people will take part.” He also condemned the release of Raymond Davis and the involvement of the Punjab government in his release.[vii]

Pakistan Day

  • The celebration of Pakistan Day on March 23 has been boycotted by tribesmen in North Waziristan in response to the recent drone strikes which killed over forty people last week. Anonymous tribal elders reportedly told The News that they had been “advised through pamphlets, believed to be circulated by the local Taliban, to avoid attending the government-sponsored functions.”[viii]

‘Target Killings’ in Karachi

  • The death toll in Karachi has reached forty-three people over the past few days, with at least fifteen more people being killed on Wednesday in ‘target killings.’ City police chief Saud Mirza was quoted as saying that the fresh killings were “executed on ethnic grounds.” Dawn reports that Orangi Town, a Pashtun-dominated neighborhood, has been the hardest hit area of the city with five people being shot to death in the area on Tuesday. On Wednesday, two rockets were also fired in the Malir area near the Jamia mosque, partially damaging the walls of the mosque. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that a security operation has been ordered by the government and will commence soon.”[ix]

Bomb Blasts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

  • On Wednesday, two separate bomb blasts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa killed one person and injured eleven others, including nine police officers. The first bomb detonated after a donkey cart came into contact with a mine in Peshawar, killing the owner of the cart as well as the animal. The second incident occurred in the village of Darsamand in Hangu district. Abdur Rashid Khan, a district police chief, affirmed that, “Nine policemen and two passers-by were wounded in this bomb blast. Taliban militants are responsible for this attack.”[x]


  • Three tankers carrying oil to NATO forces in Afghanistan were torched in Bolan on Wednesday. Four unidentified men on motorcycles opened fire on the vehicles before setting them on fire. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[xi]

[i] “Militants attack Kurram festival; 24 kidnapped,” Dawn, March 23, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Girl injured in soldiers’ firing dies at hospital,” The News, March 23, 2011. Available at
[iii]Carlotta Gall and Salman Masood, “Pakistan’s President Opens Parliament With Vow to Fight Extremism,” New York Times, March 22, 2011. Available at
[iv] “Attack on parliament foiled; terrorist arrested: police,” Dawn, March 22, 2011. Available at
[v] “‘US begins probe into shooting by Davis,’” Dawn, March 23, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Pakistan condemns Quran burning in Florida,” The Express Tribune, March 22, 2011. Available at
[vii] “‘People to bring Islamic revolution,’ says Munawar Hussain,” Dawn, March 23, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Tribesmen to boycott Pakistan Day function,” The News, March 23, 2011. Available at
[ix] Imran Ayub, “‘Ethnic’ violence claims eight lives in Karachi,” Dawn, March 23, 2011. Available at
[x] “Bomb blasts kill one, wound 11 in northwest Pakistan,” Dawn, March 23, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Three Nato tankers torched in Bolan,” Dawn, March 23, 2011. Available at
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