Pakistan Security Brief

TTP refuses to release abducted sons of former Punjab Governer and former Prime Minister; TTP Spokesman says government committee and TTP shura reached an agreement on release of non-combatants and extension of ceasefire; TTP negotiating committee member says TTP has demanded release of 400 prisoners; Government-nominated negotiating committee briefs Federal Interior Minister on yesterday’s meeting between government representatives and TTP shura; PTI leader says TTP wants to liberate Pakistan from U.S. War on Terror, not implement Sharia at gunpoint; Iranian President demands action by Pakistan to find kidnapped Iranian border guards; Prime Minister waiting for elections in India before pushing for trade deal; Gunmen kill policeman guarding polio team in Balochistan; Baloch separatists hold strike across Balochistan’s accession to Pakistan; Afghan security forces arrest suicide bomber with ties to Pakistan; Pakistan says Nuclear Security Summit endorses its credentials as responsible nuclear state; Justice denies that he recused himself from Musharraf’s treason trial; Pakistan says U.S. has not provided it intelligence substantiating claims that militants in Pakistan are traveling to Syria.

Peace Talks

  • According to a Thursday article in The News, the TTP refused to release the abducted sons of the former Punjab Governor Salman Tasser and former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. At yesterday’s meeting, TTP members told the government-nominated committee that they are willing to release kidnapped professor, Ajmal Khan if the government released two of their own men. Professor Ibrahim Khan of the TTP peace committee said that negotiations are progressing in a positive way.[1]

  • On Wednesday, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that the government committee and members of the TTP central shura reached an agreement on the release of non-combatant detainees and the extension of the ceasefire. The TTP also demanded that the army stop patrolling in Waziristan to allow “tribesmen” in the area to move freely. According to a Wednesday article in the Wall Street Journal, the two sides agreed to extend the month-long ceasefire and discussed a time frame for the next phase of negotiations.[2]

  • On Thursday, a member of the TTP-nominated negotiating committee, Maulana Samiul Haq, said that the TTP have demanded the release of 400 prisoners, including women and children, held in the custody of government security forces. Samiul Haq added that both sides should continue to exchange demands. The TTP-nominated negotiating committee will meet with the government team tomorrow to continue with peace talks.[3]

  • On Thursday, the government-nominated negotiating committee briefed the Federal Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, on yesterday’s meeting with representatives of the TTP central shura. The two sides discussed demands put forward by the TTP and the government, and also discussed the agenda for the next phase of talks. According to an unnamed source, negotiations may result in the release of Professor Ajmal Khan, as well as eight other hostages held in TTP custody.[4]

  • On Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan stated at the Supreme Court in Islamabad that the TTP do not want to enforce Shariah law in Pakistan at gunpoint, but that the group did want to liberate Pakistan from the U.S.-led war on terror. Khan also said that talks between the TTP shura and government representatives had made it apparent which groups were sincerely interested in holding peace talks and which weren’t.[5]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by phone with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and asked for Pakistan to take more serious action to find the four Iranian border guards who were kidnapped by militants in Balochistan. Sharif said that he is “prepared to boost action to free the soldiers.”[6]

  • On Wednesday, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said that Pakistan will “act on any credible and actionable intelligence made available to it,” but that Pakistan has not found any evidence that the kidnapped Iranian border guards are being held in Pakistan.[7]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a Thursday report, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif backed out of a trade deal with India at the recommendation of the Foreign Office, due to concerns about whether the current ruling coalition in India can win the April elections. Sharif has instead decided to wait until after the elections to negotiate with the incoming government in New Delhi.[8]

  • On Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the current government wants better relations with all of Pakistan’s neighbors, including India. He added that he hopes that India and Pakistan will improve their economic ties.[9]

  • On Wednesday, Narendra Modi, the Prime Ministerial candidate for India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused his political opponents of being soft on Pakistan, saying that the ruling Congress party’s Defence Minister AK Antony and the Aam Aadmi Party leader, Arvind Kejriwal are “very popular in Pakistan.”[10]


  • On Thursday, unidentified gunmen killed a policeman who was guarding a polio vaccination team in Nasarabad, Loralai district, Balochistan.[11]

  • On Thursday, the Baloch National Front (BNF) led a strike throughout Balochistan protesting the anniversary of the province’s accession to Pakistan, which a BNF spokesman said was “against the will of the Baloch people.”[12]

  • On Thursday, Afghan security forces arrested a 16 year-old who was reportedly planning to carry out a suicide attack in Mehtarlam, Laghman province, Afghanistan with the intention of disrupting the upcoming elections. He reportedly received two months’ worth of training in Peshawar.[13]


  • On Wednesday, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam stated that Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague endorsed Pakistan’s credentials as a responsible nuclear state. Although Pakistan did not join 35 other countries that pledged to improve nuclear security, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif highlighted the steps Pakistan has taken to ensure the safety and security of its nuclear facilities and materials.[14]

  • On Thursday, news agencies reported that Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court formally recused himself from the hearing of the treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf. However, Justice Arab later issued a statement correcting previous reports, stating that he simply walked out of the hearing following disagreements with Musharraf’s lawyer. The court decided that Musharraf’s non-bailable arrest warrant will remain intact, meaning that the government will arrest and produce Musharraf if he refuses to voluntarily appear before the court by March 31.[15]

  • On Thursday, the Foreign Office Spokesperson, Tasneem Aslam, said that the U.S. had not provided the government of Pakistan with any intelligence to substantiate the claim that militants were traveling from Pakistan to Syria. The spokesperson was responding to an article in yesterday’s New York Times that quoted the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, as saying that “dozens of al Qaeda militants in Pakistan were seeking to establish bases in Syria.”[16]  

[1] “Taliban refuse to release abducted sons of Gilani, Taseer,” The News, March 27, 2014. Available at:,-Taseer.
[2] “Pact on release of non-combatants, ceasefire extension: TTP,” The News, March 26, 2014. Available at:,-ceasefire-extension:-TTP. Annabel Symington, “Pakistan Officials, Taliban Hold Direct Talks,” The Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2014. Available at:
[3] “Taliban demand release of 300-400 prisoners: Sami,” Dawn, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[4] “Govt team briefs Nisar over meeting with Taliban Shura,” Dawn, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[5] “TTP does not want to enforce Shariah at gunpoint, says Imran,” Dawn, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[6] “Iran Warns Pakistan After Abducted Border Guard Feared Killed,” Dawn, March 26, 2014. Available at:
[7] “Pakistan Ready to Act on Credible, Actionable Intel to Recover Mission Iranian Soldiers,” The Express Tribune, March 26, 2014. Available at:
[8] Mariana Baabar, “PM Dumps MFN, Trade with India on FO’s Advice,” The News, March 27, 2014. Available at:,-trade-with-India-on-FOs-advice
[9] “Pakistan Desires Best Relations with India: Shahbaz,” Dawn, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[10] “Modi Taunts Rival for Being ‘Popular’ in Pakistan,” The Express Tribune, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[11] Syed Ali Shah, “Attack on Polio Team Kills Policeman in Balochistan,” Dawn, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[12] Shezad Baloch, “Shutter-Down Strike Observed in Major Parts of Balochistan,” The Express Tribune, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[13] Ghanizada, “16-Year-Old Suicide Bomber Arrested in Laghman,” Khaama, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[14] “Nuclear summit endorsed Pakistan’s nuclear credentials: FO,” Express Tribune, March 26, 2014. Available at:
[15] “Musharraf case: Justice Arab hasn’t recused; arrest order stands,” Dawn, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[16] “No intel shared by US on militants moving to Syria: FO,” Dawn, March 27, 2014. Available at:
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