Pakistan Security Brief

Thirteen officers killed in “friendly fire,” Two schools blown up in FR Kohat; Militant cell created to hunt “spies,” Pakistan allows India to investigate Mumbai attacks; Munter arrives in DC for talks to reduce tension; NATO official said Pakistan has “hands full” with domestic extremism; Sherry Rehman in “self-imposed” prison; Tanker torched in Balochistan.


  • Thirteen security officers were killed in Khyber Agency on Monday. Initially reported as an assault by militants, a commander on Tuesday said that the deaths were due to friendly fire. Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik told reporters that the officers died due to inaccurate mortar fire which had been called in after the soldiers had come under attack.[i]

  • Two schools were blown up in Frontier Region Kohat on Monday, in addition to a rocket attack that injured four people. The schools were blown up in the Jawaki area on Monday morning. Separately, militants attacked Ara Khel village with rockets, wounding a woman and her three children. Security forces conducted a search operation on suspected militant hideouts in Darra Adam Khel following the destruction of the schools.[ii]


Taliban Hunter Cells

  • The Express Tribune reports that militant groups in Pakistan have created a separate cell to pursue men and women suspected of providing intelligence to the United States for drone attacks in the FATA. Known as Lashkar-e-Khorasan (LeKh), the group aims to “identify, capture and execute people allegedly working for what is described as a web of local spies created by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).” The group reportedly is backed by both the Haqqani network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group. The media outlet additionally reports that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) “led by Hakimullah Mehsud also has its sympathies and what is described as occasional ‘active cooperation’ with the Lashkar.” A tribal source estimates the number of members which operate in the LeKh to be around 300, operating in Datta Khel, Miram Shah, and Mir Ali. An unidentified source has said that, “In the beginning, it was a loose network with members casually going out and trying to find out who is providing information to the US. It is more organised now and they are working scientifically on the counter-intelligence line.”[iii]


Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • The Associated Press reports that Pakistan has agreed to allow Indian investigators into the country to conduct an inquiry into the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. During talks between the two countries, the home secretaries also “reiterated their commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations" and planned to set up a hotline between their offices to communicate on potential terrorist and militancy threats.[iv]


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • The United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, arrived in Washington for talks aiming to reduce tensions with Pakistan following the March 17 drone attack that killed forty people in North Waziristan. He had initially been summoned to the Foreign Office in Pakistan following the strike to receive “a strong protest.”[v]


NATO Official on Domestic Threats

  • On Monday, a senior civilian representative for NATO, Mark Sedwill, said that Pakistan is so busy fighting militants within its borders that it cannot do much more to assist NATO forces in Afghanistan. Sedwill said that, “To be honest, the Pakistanis are preoccupied with those domestic threats. This is out of hand. People sometimes say the Pakistanis must do more but actually they have lost an awful lot of soldiers fighting the groups that target them. They have their hands full.” He also said that Western governments should aim to not place “quick pressure” on the Pakistani government.[vi]


Sherry Rehman in “Self-imposed prison”

  • The Washington Post reports on the “self-imposed prison” of Sherry Rehman, the Pakistani lawmaker who had previously proposed reforms to the country’s blasphemy laws. The article highlights previous death threats the politician has received as well as her position on the laws. The paper reports that, “although she does not disavow her position on the blasphemy laws, she is now cautious when discussing the topic and declines to criticize the PPP.”[vii]



  • A tanker carrying oil to NATO forces in Afghanistan was torched near Khuzdar on Monday. The driver of the vehicle was injured after unidentified militants ambushed the tanker and set it on fire. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[viii]



[i] “Friendly fire killed 13 soldiers: Lieutenant General Malik,” Express Tribune, March 29, 2011. Available at
[ii] “4 hurt, schools destroyed in FR Kohat,” Dawn, March 29, 2011. Available at
[iii] Zia Khan, “Taliban create cell to hunt ‘spies’ assisting US drones,” Express Tribune, March 28, 2011. Available at
[iv] Kaitie Daigle, “India, Pakistan agree to cooperate on terror probe,” Associated Press, March 29, 2011. Available at
[v] Anwar Iqbal, “Munter in Washington for consultation on US-Pak ties,” Dawn, March 29, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Pakistan has ‘hands full’ against militants: Nato,” Dawn, March 29, 2011. Available at
[vii] Karin Brulliard, “Pakistan’s Sherry Rehman stands alone after colleagues’ assassinations,” Washington Post, March 28, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Nato tanker torched,” Dawn, March 29, 2011. Available at
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