Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. says American troops involved in NATO airstrike in Pakistan will not be charged; President Zardari meets with U.S. Special Envoy Marc Grossman; Washington Post profiles chief of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center; Pakistan’s Parliament resumes review of PCNS recommendations; PML-N intends to reject PCNS recommendations; Prime Minister Gilani urges international community to give Pakistan access to nuclear technology; TTP threatens to attack lawmakers who support reopening of NATO supply routes; TTP’s Jandola faction says French Algerian gunman trained with TTP in North Waziristan; Pakistani intelligence officials say 85 Frenchmen training with Pakistani Taliban; Three soldiers killed in Taliban attack on paramilitary check post; Security forces kill 40 militants in operation in South Waziristan; President Zardari meets with Iranian, Afghan and Tajik leaders in Tajikistan; One man killed during protests against load shedding in Lahore; Osama bin Laden’s family to be charged with illegally entering and residing in Pakistan on April 2; Hussain Haqqani asks Pakistani Supreme Court for permission to record “memogate” testimony via video link in London.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • The U.S. military has decided that none of the officers involved in the NATO airstrike in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers will face disciplinary charges. A U.S. investigation in December found that both U.S. and Pakistani troops were at fault, “but noted that the Pakistanis fired first from two border posts that were not on coalition maps,” and that they kept firing even after U.S. troops tried to identify themselves as allied troops. Pakistan rejected these findings and blamed the U.S. for the incident. A second inquiry into the incident was recently completed, and it found that U.S. troops fired in self-defense and thus should not be punished. “We found nothing criminally negligent on the part of any individual in our investigations of the incident,” said one senior U.S. military official involved in the process.[1]

  • President Asif Ali Zardari met with U.S. Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman on Sunday. Zardari said that the parliamentary review of U.S.-Pakistan relations “was a manifestation of democracy taking roots in Pakistan and the elected representatives taking ownership of one of Pakistan’s most important bilateral relationships.” He called for “working within the parameters set by parliament and not bypassing them,” which included calling for an end to drone strikes. He also drew attention to Pakistan’s energy crisis and said that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project “should be seen as vital” to solving the country’s severe energy problems. Grossman told Zardari that the U.S. respected the parliamentary review process, and he “expressed the hope that the process would be completed soon,” and that relations between the two countries “would soon be returned to normal.”[2]

  • The Washington Post published a story on Saturday profiling the chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC). Known only as Roger, the first name of his cover identity, the Post reported that he is “the principal architect of the CIA’s drone campaign and the leader of the hunt for Osama bin Laden.” [3]

  • Pakistan’s Parliament on Monday resumed reviewing the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s (PCNS) recommendations for U.S.-Pakistan relations. “I don’t think Parliament can give a final verdict” on the PCNS report “this week … there is going to be a delay, [maybe] a long one,” said a government official on Sunday. According to Express Tribune, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) intends to reject the PCNS recommendations by boycotting the session instead of voting against the proposals. The Express Tribune reported that the PML-N has formed a three-member committee to prepare an alternative set of proposals, which will reportedly be virtually impossible to implement. The PML-N wants to see the agreements between the Pakistani government and the U.S., NATO and ISAF; to know date of withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan; and to obtain a U.S. promise to not attack Iran. The PML-N committee is expected to present the proposals to other opposition parties as well, stated the Express Tribune.[4]

  • The Express Tribune reported on Monday that the U.S. and its allies “[do not] appear to be much worried” that Pakistan’s Parliament might decide against reopening NATO supply routes, thus adversely affecting U.S. efforts to withdraw from Afghanistan. Western officials are uncertain as to whether or not their governments would approach the UN, if Pakistan withdraws its support from the war in Afghanistan.[5]

Nuclear Summit

  • Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani arrived in South Korea on Sunday to attend the second Nuclear Summit being held in Seoul on March 26-27. The prime minister briefly met with President Obama on their way to Monday night’s dinner arranged for the world leaders attending the summit, and the two informally discussed U.S.-Pakistan relations. Prime Minister Gilani and President Obama are expected to meet again on Tuesday evening.[6]

  • Prime Minister Gilani urged the international community on Monday to give Pakistan access to nuclear technology, which he said it needs to meet its growing energy needs. Gilani said that Pakistan had been active in “support[ing] the work of the global initiative to combat nuclear terrorism.” He added that Pakistan has taken the necessary measures “to secure sensitive materials and technologies,” has “developed a strong nuclear emergency response mechanism,” and has implemented a Nuclear Security Action Plan that “reinforces physical protection of nuclear medical centers and civilian nuclear plants.”[7]


  • The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced on Sunday that it “will target each and every member of parliament” who supports the “shameful and unacceptable” reopening of NATO supply routes in Pakistan. TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan also advised “the drivers of NATO supply trucks to quit this job,” because the TTP would “publicly slaughter” drivers transporting NATO supplies.[8]

  • Ahmed Marwat, a spokesman for the TTP’s Jandola faction, said on Sunday that Mohammed Merah, the French Algerian Muslim who killed seven people in France and was then killed in a gunfight with police on March 22, trained with the TTP in North Waziristan. However, Marwat said the TTP had no information on the killings in France, which were not linked to the TTP. French authorities said on March 23 that they have no evidence linking Merah to any radical Islamist network. [9]

  • Pakistani intelligence officials said Saturday that “approximately 85 Frenchmen have been training with the Pakistani Taliban in the North Waziristan tribal area for the past three years,” most of them have “dual nationality with France and North African countries.” According to officials, they “operate under the name Jihad-e-Islami,” are led by a French commander known as Abu Tarek, and receive training in how to use explosives and other weapons at camps near Miram Shah in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. The officials said that five of the men went back to France in January 2011 “to find new recruits,” and authorities are investigating whether the French Algerian gunman Mohammed Merah was part of this group.[10]

  • The number of casualties in Friday’s suicide bombing at a Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) mosque in Kolay village of Tirah valley, Khyber agency has been revised. According to administration officials, over a dozen people were killed and at least seven others were injured with most of the victims belonging to LI. The TTP claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing and said that it would “continue attacking” LI.[11]

  • Three soldiers were killed when several dozen Taliban militants armed with guns and rockets attacked a paramilitary check post in the Khadizai area of Upper Orakzai agency, said officials on Saturday.[12]

  • Pakistani security forces conducted an operation against militants in Wana, South Waziristan over the weekend, and approximately 40 militants and four security officials were killed on Saturday. Despite the ongoing operation, a senior commander of the Mullah Nazir group said that the peace treaty they had entered into with the Pakistani government in 2007 was still intact.[13]

  • On Sunday, a tribal elder of Mohmand agency was killed along with three of his family members, when armed men attacked their vehicle in the Shero Jangi area of Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[14]

  • On Sunday, unknown assailants gunned down a man in the Killi Kamolo area of Quetta, Balochistan. In a separate incident on the same day, unidentified gunmen killed a man in Machh, about 60 kilometers from Quetta.[15]

  • Two unidentified men on a motorcycle killed two young Hazara men in Quetta on Monday. According to a local police official, the incident might have been a sectarian attack, but he could not officially confirm it until the investigation was completed.[16]

  • According to a Levies Force official, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a truck carrying marble in the Surab area of Kalat district, Balochistan on Sunday, killing the driver.[17]

  • Unidentified assailants blew up a general store and a telecommunications tower of a cellular phone company in Aisha Kor village in the Shabqadar area of Charsadda district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. There were no casualties reported.[18]

  • The bodies of four terrorists involved in the May 22, 2011 attack on the PNS Mehran base in Karachi were finally buried in unmarked graves. Even though authorities collected DNA samples and conducted numerous tests, they say they could not obtain conclusive results on the identities of the four men.[19]

International Relations

  • Pakistani President Zardari, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan over the weekend. The four leaders met for Nowruz (Persian New Year) celebrations hosted by the Tajik leader, and they “discussed matters of mutual interest, including ways and means to strengthen trade and economic cooperation, among their countries.” They also “renewed their resolve to put up a joint fight against terrorism, militancy and drug trafficking for a ‘win-win situation.’” President Zardari told the other leaders that Pakistan was “committed to completing the Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline projects.” In a statement released on Saturday, Ahmadinejad said that “only the friends and neighbors of Afghanistan can…help this nation,” and “the occupiers who came to this nation…are not here to aid the government and the people of Afghanistan but are here to loot the resources and mines of Afghanistan.”[20]

  • Addressing Monday’s inaugural session of the fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-V) being hosted by Tajikistan, President Zardari reiterated “Pakistan’s commitment to Afghan peace, development and prosperity.” He expressed Pakistan’s “belief that Afghanistan and Pakistan’s destinies are interlinked inextricably,” and therefore “support[ing] development for Afghanistan,” is “in essence supporting development for Pakistan.”[21]            

  • News Track India reported on Saturday that India is concerned about “the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.” New Delhi reportedly has “very little confidence” about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons being in “safe hands,” and it fears that there an “insider threat” within Pakistan.[22]              


  • One man was killed and another was injured on Monday when a guard at a petrol pump in Shalimar Chowk in Lahore tried to disperse a crowd of people protesting load shedding and prolonged power cuts in the city. The protesters set the petrol pump on fire in retaliation, and they also burned tires and blocked roads for several hours. Similar protests occurred in Faisalabad, where more than 300 protesters blocked roads, looted shops and damaged cars and other property. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif spoke to the media and assured the protesters that the Punjab government would support their protest against load shedding, but he asked them to refrain from harming public property.[23]

Osama bin Laden

  • On Monday, a Pakistani court gave three of Osama bin Laden’s widows and two of his daughters copies of the case and the evidence against them. According to a defense lawyer for bin Laden’s family, the court will charge the five women with illegally entering and residing in Pakistan when the hearing resumes on April 2.[24]

Domestic Politics




[1] Eric Schmitt, “U.S. Plans No Charges Over Deadly Strike in Pakistan,” New York Times, March 24, 2012. Available at
[2] “Zardari urges transparency in Pak-US relationship,” Daily Times, March 26, 2012. Available at\03\26\story_26-3-2012_pg1_3
[3] Greg Miller, “At CIA, a convert to Islam leads the terrorism hunt," Washington Post, March 24, 2012. Available at
[4] Qamar Zaman and Zia Khan, “Resumption of NATO supplies: Parliamentary approval likely to suffer long delay,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
Abdul Manan, “Joint sitting: PML-N to prepare ‘impossible’ counter-proposals for PCNS,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[5] “Reaction: No worries in Western capitals,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[6] “Gilani arrives in Seoul to attend Nuclear Summit,” APP, March 25, 2012. Available at
“Gilani briefly meets Obama in Seoul,” APP, March 26, 2012. Available at
[7] “Pakistan needs nuclear technology to meet energy needs: Gilani,” APP, March 26, 2012. Available at
[8] “Taliban warn lawmakers over restoration of NATO supplies,” Daily Times, March 26, 2012. Available at\03\26\story_26-3-2012_pg1_5
“Taliban warn Pakistan lawmakers over Nato supplies,” AP, March 26, 2012. Available at
[9] Saud Mehsud, “Taliban faction claims French gunman trained in Pakistan,” Reuters, March 25, 2012. Available at
[10] “Pakistani Taliban training Frenchmen,” AP, March 25, 2012. Available at
[11] “Taliban bomber kills 13 ‘extremists’ in Khyber region,” The Express Tribune, March 24, 2012. Available at
[12] “Taliban attack kills three Pakistani soldiers,” Agence France-Presse, March 24, 2012. Available at
[13] Zulfiqar Ali and Riaz Ahmad, “2007 peace treaty to remain intact: Mullah Nazir group,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[14] Zulfiqar Ali and Riaz Ahmad, “2007 peace treaty to remain intact: Mullah Nazir group,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[15] “Balochistan violence: Three shot dead in separate incidents,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[16] Shehzad Baloch, “Two killed in suspected Quetta sectarian attack,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[17] “Balochistan violence: Three shot dead in separate incidents,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[18] Zulfiqar Ali and Riaz Ahmad, “2007 peace treaty to remain intact: Mullah Nazir group,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[19] Salman Siddiqui, “Unknown assailants: After 10 months, PNS Mehran attackers buried,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[20] “Dushanbe quadrilateral meeting: Looking past US curbs, govt pushes ahead with IP project ,” Agencies, March 26, 2012. Available at
[21] “Pakistan committed to Afghan peace: Zardari,” APP, March 26, 2012. Available at
[22] “India expresses concern over safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal,” ANI, March 24, 2012. Available at
[23] “Loadshedding: Guard kills protestor in Lahore,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[24] “Pakistani court to charge bin Laden’s family with illegal entry, says defense attorney,” AP, March 25, 2012. Available at
[25] “PM contempt: Hearing adjourned till tomorrow due to Aitzaz’s illness,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[26] “Memogate commission: Proceedings adjourned till Supreme Court issues order,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2012. Available at
[27] “Javed Hashmi made PTI president: Imran,” The News, March 19, 2012. Available at
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