Pakistan Security Brief

Bhatti laid to rest; U.S. had attempted to increase Bhatti’s security; Malik warns of resignation; Thirty suspects released; U.S. considering punitive measures over Davis; Washington Post: possibility of “blood money” for Davis release; Small portion of civilian aid being disbursed to Pakistan; ISI chief set to retire; Nine killed in Nowshera; Five killed in Hangu; NATO tanker explosion damages shops in Hayatabad; Lashkar threatens to stop fighting TTP; Reduction of planned fuel price hike; Indo-Pakistani talks in March; Schools reopen in Darra Adam Khel; NATO tankers destroyed in Khyber.


Bhatti’s Assassination and Fallout

  • Former Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was laid to rest on Friday, as hundreds of people mourned and demanded justice for his death. In a visit to a Roman Catholic Church in Islamabad, Prime Minister Gilani said that, “People like him, they are very rare. I assure you, we will try our utmost to bring the culprits to justice." In a separate statement, a U.S. official said that the Obama administration had tried in the weeks before Bhatti’s assassination to increase his security. According to Leonard Leo, the chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, the measure by the State Department to provide an armored car was hindered by strained relations between Pakistan and the U.S. over the arrest of Raymond Davis.[i]

  • In a speech at the National Assembly on Friday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that he would resign from his position if it was evident that Bhatti’s assassination was due to a lapse in security. Several members of the National Assembly had criticized Malik’s failure to protect Bhatti as well as resolve the country’s security issues. The Daily Times moreover reports that of the sixty suspects arrested in connection to the murder, thirty have been released due to a lack of evidence against them.[ii]


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • Reuters reports on discussions within the Obama Administration about possible measures to be taken if Pakistan does not free Raymond Davis on the basis of diplomatic immunity. According to an unidentified official, the administration is considering the slowing of U.S. aid disbursements and the issuing of U.S. entry visas to Pakistanis. The official said that a less likely possibility would be to expel various Pakistani diplomats from the United States. However, two U.S. officials acknowledged that the U.S. government was not yet ready to enforce any of these punitive measures, adding that the pace would be dictated by proceedings in Pakistan.[iii]

  • The Washington Post has evaluated the potential of “blood money” being paid by the U.S. in order to secure the release of Raymond Davis. Prime Minister Gilani has suggested monetary reparations to the victims’ families as one possible solution. Another senior Pakistani government official has said that "the opinion of the government and many sensible people is that the payment of money could prompt the families of those killed in the episode to drop their cases.” However, various religious parties such as the Jamaat-e-Islami have said that the Davis case is not one for compensation and the families would not accept U.S. money.[iv]

  • The Washington Post cites figures by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which reports that only $179.5 million out of $1.51 billion in U.S. civilian aid to Pakistan was actually distributed in fiscal year 2010. A spokesperson for Marc Grossman, the new special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said that, "While the facts of the GAO report are accurate, it doesn't reflect the big picture nor adequately represent what we've achieved with civilian assistance over the last year."[v]


ISI Chief Set to Retire

  • The Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Ahmad Shuja Pasha, is set to retire this month, along with two other lieutenant generals, Bahawalpur Corps Commander Lt-Gen Naeem Khalid Lodhi and IT Inspector-General, Lt-Gen Tanvir Tahir. General Pasha is set to retire on March 18, unless granted an extension.[vi]


Blast in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Nine people were killed in Nowshera on Friday after a bomb exploded near a mosque in the Akbarpura area. Moreover, senior police officer Mohammad Qureish Khan reported thirty three causalities in the bombing. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[vii]

  • Five people, including three policemen, were killed on Thursday when a militant drove his explosives-laden vehicle into a van of the Quick Response Force in Hangu. The blast additionally destroyed eight houses and two vehicles that were located in the vicinity.[viii]

  • Three people were injured on Thursday when a NATO oil-tanker was blown up near the Karkhano Market in Hayatabad. More than thirty shops were also damaged in the blast and ensuing fire.[ix]

  • An Adezai tribal militia has threatened to stop fighting the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) if the government fails to provide the militia with promised food, arms, and ammunition within one week. Dilawar Khan, the chief of the Adezai Qaumi Lashkar, said that militia volunteers have been forced to sell their own properties and buy ammunition because of the shortages.[x]


Internal Politics

  • Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh has announced that the government will reduce its planned 9.9 per cent fuel price increase, as a concession to protests by the opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party. The price hike will instead be around five percent, a figure which will likely dissatisfy the International Monetary Fund, which has pushed for raised taxes and an end to subsidies.[xi]


Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • A spokesperson from Pakistan’s Foreign Office has announced that Pakistan and India will hold talks on counter-terrorism, humanitarian issues, and narcotics control in late March. The spokeswoman said, “The meeting will be held in New Delhi on March 28 and 29 following the agreement of the resumption of full spectrum dialogue between Pakistan and India.” Top government bureaucrats from the Pakistani Interior and Indian Home ministries are scheduled to participate.[xii]



  • Nineteen schools in Darra Adam Khel have reopened after receiving assurance from the TTP that they would not attack schools for girls in the region.  However,Political Agent Syed Gul Jamal has said that no representatives of the government were involved in the negotiations, and so could not confirm the promise made by the Taliban.[xiii]

  • On Friday, two tankers carrying oil for NATO troops in Afghanistan were destroyed in a bomb blast near the Torkham border in Khyber. No causalities have been reported.[xiv]


[i] Zarar Khan and Munir Ahmed, “Prayers for patience as Pakistani Christian buried,” Associated Press, March 4, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Rehman Malik to resign if security lapse proved in Bhatti assassination,” Dawn, March 4, 2011. Available at
[iii]“U.S. sees limited progress in Pakistan spy standoff,” Reuters, March 3, 2011. Available at
[iv] Karin Brulliard, “Pakistanis say 'blood money' might win release of jailed CIA contractor,” Washington Post, March 3, 2011. Available at
[v] Josh Rogin, “Most U.S. aid to Pakistan hasn't gotten there yet,” Washington Post, March 2, 2011. Available at
[vi]Iftikhar A. Khan, “ISI chief to retire this month,” Dawn, March 4, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Nine killed in Nowshera bomb blast,” Dawn, March 4, 2011. Available at
[viii] “3 policemen, two civilians killed in suicide attack,” Dawn, March 4, 2011. Available at
[ix] Javed Aziz Khan, “Three injured, shops gutted in tanker blast,” The News, February 4, 2011. Available at
[x] “Lashkar threatens to stop fighting Taliban,” Dawn, March 4, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Govt decides to cut oil price hike by half,” Dawn, March 4, 2011. Available at
[xii] “Pakistan, India to hold talks on counter-terrorism,” Dawn, March 3, 2011. Available at
[xiii] Abdul Sami Paracha, “Schools reopen in Darra with Taliban’s consent,” Dawn, March 4, 2011. Available at
[xiv] “Bomb blast destroys two Nato oil tankers in Khyber,” Dawn, March 4, 2011. Available at
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 [RNJ1]Make its own section titled ISI Chief set to retire and move it up above KP section
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