Pakistan Security Brief

Afghan Taliban reportedly convince TTP to negotiate with government as part of secret agreed to shift focus to Afghanistan; First round talks between government and TTP central shura hit roadblock; TTP demands creation of demilitarized zone and release of prisoners if talks to continue; TTP negotiators reject reports of deadlock in peace process, say government and TTP committees could meet in days to discuss demands from first round talks; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police claim readiness to respond to security threats if peace talks fail; Iran threatens military action inside Pakistan to rescue kidnapped border guards; U.S. will not give Pakistan excess equipment from Afghanistan; U.S. will not make deal to sell Pakistan LNG; PPP leader receives threat from LeJ; Police detain suspect in murder of senior Karachi cop; Militants blow up Balochistan gas pipeline; Militants attack Indian troops in Kashmir; Pakistan to receive $2.2 billion in international loans; Christian man sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Peace Talks

  • According to a Thursday article in Reuters, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban have secretly agreed to focus on operations in Afghanistan. The article alleges that the TTP only agreed to a ceasefire with the Pakistani government in order to preserve militant bases that could be used to facilitate Taliban attacks into Afghanistan. Earlier this week, Afghanistan’s Interior Minister said the one-month ceasefire announced by the TTP prompted an increase in militant attacks into Afghanistan from Pakistan. The Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, reportedly key players in bringing the Pakistani Taliban to the table, feared that a Pakistani military offensive could impact their ability to conduct attacks in Afghanistan during the crucial presidential election period and NATO withdrawal. They, therefore, urged the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) leadership to agree to the ceasefire that would afford the militants the chance to regroup and carry out attacks in Afghanistan. This month, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif expressed his concern at the possibility of increased convergence and cooperation between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.[1]

  • A Friday article in Dawn quoted peace talks insiders as saying that the first round of direct talks between the government committee and the TTP central shura are at a stalemate. The TTP has demanded the creation of a demilitarized peace zone in Shaktoi, South Waziristan to allow freedom of movement, as well as the release of non-combatants, if talks are to continue. The TTP committee members also said they wanted written guarantees from the government guaranteeing the implementation of these two conditions before they commit to an extension of the ceasefire, which is set to expire on Monday.[2]

  • On Friday, TTP negotiating committee member Professor Ibrahim Khan stated that there was no deadlock in peace talks between the government and the TTP, refuting other reports that the government rejected the TTP’s demands. Khan added that confidence between the two sides would increase if prisoners in security forces’ custody were released.[3]

  • On Thursday, sources reported that the TTP refused to release the kidnapped sons of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the Punjab governor, Salman Taseer, but conditionally agreed to release the former vice-chancellor of Peshawar’s Islamia College University. In return for the release of Professor Ajmal Khan, the TTP also want the government to free two TTP members jailed in Sindh province.[4]

  • On Thursday, Professor Ibrahim Khan said that the government and TTP-nominated committees could meet again in the tribal areas in the next three or four days after both sides discuss the demands that were put forward during the first round of direct talks.[5]

  • On Thursday, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Inspector of General Police, Nasir Durrani, stated that the KP police force is ready to respond to any security threat if peace talks between the TTP and the government fail.[6]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On Thursday, the rapporteur of Iran’s parliament on national security and foreign policy said that if Pakistan does not take action to recover kidnapped Iranian border guards believed to be held in Pakistan, Iran “will attack the base of terrorists inside Pakistan.”[7]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a statement issued on Thursday by U.S. General Joseph Dunford, the United States will not give Pakistan any equipment from Afghanistan when it withdraws from the country, contrary to previous reports.[8]

  • According to a Thursday report in The Express Tribune, the United States will not sell Pakistan liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the absence of a bilateral free trade agreement. The United States reportedly will not sign an agreement because Pakistan does not meet American security and human rights standards.[9]


  • On Thursday, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari claimed that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) had made threats against him. He promised to hold the Punjab government responsible for any LeJ attacks on him since, he alleged, the Punjab government sheltered the group and refuses to take action against it. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the police had been notified and were launching a probe.[10]

  • According to a Friday report in The Express Tribune, Police in Karachi have detained a suspect in the January murder of police Superintendent Chaudhry Aslam Khan. The man, who was arrested in the SITE area of the city, admitted to providing a suicide bomber to LeJ for the attack.[11]

  • On Friday, unidentified militants blew up a gas pipeline in Pirkoh, Dera Bugti district, Balochistan.[12]

  • On Friday, three gunmen disguised as Indian soldiers attacked a car in Dayalchak, Kathua district, Indian-administered Kashmir, killing one person and injuring three. They then attacked an army camp at Kalibari, Kathua district, injuring one Indian soldier.[13]

  • On Thursday, police in Kahuta, Rawalpindi district reportedly foiled a potential terrorist attack when they seized  a cache of weapons and explosives and arrested one person.[14]


  • On Thursday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan expects to receive loans worth $2.2 billion over the next two months. $1.7 billion will come from a World Bank loan, while the remaining $500 million will come from floating Eurobonds in April. The World Bank loan will be used for energy and tax reform as well as a dam construction project.[15]

  • On Thursday, a court in Lahore sentenced a Christian man to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed in a conversation with a Muslim last year. The Christian man has claimed that the accusations were prompted by a property dispute and that he never defamed Mohammed. The alleged incident sparked widespread rioting and arson in a Christian neighborhood in Lahore.[16]

[1] Katharine Houreld, “Exclusive – Pakistan Taliban agrees to ceasefire to help Afghan allies,” Reuters, March 27, 2014. Available at:
[2] Ismail Khan, “Talks deadlocked; TTP rigidity blamed,” Dawn, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[3] “No deadlock in talks: Professor Ibrahim,” Geo News, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[4] Iftikahr A. Khan, “Taliban refuse to set free sons of Gilani, Taseer,” Dawn, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[5] Ahmad Hassan, “Next round of talks in three to four days,” The News, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[6] Jehangir Shahzad, “Armed and ready: Prepared to take action if peace deal derails, says K-P IG,” Express Tribune, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[7] “Mounting Pressure: Top Iranian Aide Warns of Cross-Border Raid,” The Express Tribune, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[8] “US Will not Hand over Military Hardware in Afghanistan to Pakistan,” The News, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[9] Zafar Bhutta, “Free Trade Agreement: Pakistan Ineligible for LNG Deal with US,” The Express Tribune, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[10] “Shahbaz Takes Notice of LJ Threat to Bilawal,” Dawn, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[11] Sohail Khattack, “Ch Aslam’s Murder Suspect Nabbed,” The Express Tribune, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[12] “Dera Bugti Gas Pipeline Blown Up,” The News, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[13] “One Killed in Kashmir ‘Militant’ Attack,” BBC, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[14] Shakeel Anjum, “Police Foil Terror Attempt in Kahuta,” The News, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[15] Shahbaz Rana, “Incoming: New Loans of $2.2b to Come in Next Two Months,” The Express Tribune, March 28, 2014. Available at:
[16] “Blasphemy: Christian Sentenced to Death in Joseph Colony Case,” Dawn, March 28, 2014. Available at:
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