Pakistan Security Brief

Suicide attack in Peshawar; Pakistani military issues official details on U.S. drone strikes; U.S. drone strike in NWA; Reuters: Islamist parties connecting over anti-American sentiment; Aaron Mark DeHaven released on bail; School in Darra Adam Khel blown up; IISS: Pakistani Army presence in six tribal agencies; Landmine explosion in Dera Bugti.


Blast in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • On Wednesday, a suicide bomb attack at a funeral procession in Peshawar killed thirty-six people and wounded over 100. The funeral in the Matani area of Peshawar was for the relative of a local anti-Taliban lashkar leader. A spokesperson for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ahsanullah Ahsan, has claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber is believed to have been a boy in his teens who had pretended to be attending the funeral.[i]


  • For the first time, the Pakistani military has issued official details about U.S. drone strikes in the tribal region, providing figures on militant fatalities from 2007-2011. Major General Ghayur Mehmood said in a briefing that, “Myths and rumours about US predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it’s a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners… Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements.” Maj. Gen. Mehmood admitted, however, that the drone attacks have had negative repercussions, frightening the local population and causing displacement.[ii]
  • Urdu TV channel ARY News reports that U.S. drones fired two missiles at a house in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, killing five people and injuring three. The attack follows an earlier drone strike which killed five people in the Azam Warsak area of South Waziristan.[iii]

Growing Islamist Cooperation

  • Reuters reports that disparate Islamist political parties are increasingly connecting over a common anti-American sentiment, facilitated by a weak government that is reluctant to take more of an initiative against extremism. Chris Albritton writes that, “while there is little chance Islamist parties will be able to take power outright, they are becoming more prominent as anti-Americanism grows among ordinary Pakistanis, many of whom also reject attempts to soften a blasphemy law that has claimed the lives of two senior officials this year alone.”[iv]


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • Aaron Mark DeHaven, the U.S. national accused of overstaying his Pakistani visa, was released on bail on Tuesday. DeHaven paid a bond amount of $23,500 (two million rupees) to secure his release. The judge ordered him to not leave the area without first informing police of his whereabouts, until his case is concluded.[v]


  • A government-run school in Darra Adam Khel was blown up on Wednesday by unidentified militants. In a separate incident, the Akakhel Bridge was also damaged in an explosion on Wednesday.[vi]
  • On Tuesday, the International Institute for Strategic Studies released the 2011 Military Balance report. The report highlights Pakistan’s continual deployment of security personnel to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA, with the Pakistani Army now possessing a presence in six tribal agencies. However, it argues that the flooding last summer has put increased pressure on the government to uphold domestic security and stability.[vii]

Blast in Balochistan

  • A landmine explosion in Dera Bugti killed five people and wounded eighteen. The bomb exploded next to a small pickup truck, though it is unclear whether the vehicle was intentionally targeted.[viii]

[i]“Blast kills 36 in Peshawar; Taliban claim responsibility,” Dawn, March 9, 2011. Available at
[ii] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Most of those killed in drone attacks were terrorists: military,” Dawn, March 9, 2011. Available at
[iii] “5 killed in 2nd U.S. drone attack in NW Pakistan,” Xinhua, March 8, 2011. Available at
[iv] Chris Albritton, “Pakistan's Islamist parties challenge weakening government,” Reuters, March 9, 2011. Available at
[v] “US national held in Peshawar released on bail,” Dawn, March 8, 2011. Available at
[vi] “School blown up in Darra Adam Khel,” Dawn, March 9, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Pakistan maintains significant presence in Fata: military report,” Dawn, March 8, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Landmine blast kills five in Dera Bugti,” Dawn, March 9, 2011. Available at
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