Pakistan Security Brief

Many parties stage protests and sit-ins across the country because of alleged election rigging; PTI has first right to a coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Sharif sets goals for first 100 days; Observers pronounce election free and fair; Independents join PML-N in national assembly; Coalitions being worked out in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Punjab governor resigns from politics; Zardari calls to congratulate Sharif; MQM candidate demands do-over of election in all of Karachi; NAB summons Ashraf in RPP case, who fails to appear; Ex-PM Gilani takes responsibility for the PPP's defeat; Written agreement barring women from voting surfaces; Musharraf's judicial remand extended; Multiple dead in violent incidents; Security clampdown in Karachi; PML-N will allow Zardari to finish term; Ambassador Sherry Rehman resigns; Death toll from Quetta attack rises to eight; Economists outline steps for new government; Pakistan sends $500 million of exports to India; Remittances to Pakistan total $11.5 billion, trade deficit falls; Sharif reiterates high hopes for cooperation with India; PM Singh turns down invitation to Sharif's oath-taking ceremony; U.S. Ambassador visits Sharif; Afghan Taliban call border skirmishes a conspiracy; Afghan official says Pakistan leadership change represents an opportunity; David Cameron calls Sharif to congratulate him.

Election Aftermath

  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members launched allegations of election rigging since Nawaz Sharif declared victory on Sunday, detailed their suspicions. Party spokesman Shafqat Mahmood claimed that in Punjab, ballot counters were afraid to call the vote for the PTI's Imran Khan because Sharif's brother runs the province. Sharif dismissed the allegations and said opposition parties should show good sportsmanship and accept the election's outcome. The PTI will hold a meeting in Lahore to discuss the evidence it says it has of “massive rigging” in 25 constituencies. Further protests were held on Monday in Hyderabad by members of the JI, PTI, JUP, and PML-F to protest rigging in the city by the PPP and MQM and demand a re-election in the area. Jacobabad, Sindh was completely shut down by protesters pouring in from the countryside to accuse the PPP and SPSF of rigging. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), saw protests alleging rigging that benefited PML-N candidates at the expense of the ANP, PTI, and JUI-F. Firing between protestors and security forces and amongst protestors in Jacobabad wounded sixteen PML-N activists. Police baton-charged protestors in Lahore on Sunday. The PTI supporters were alleging ballot rigging by the PML-N in district NA-125 and several other parts of the country, and demanding re-polling by staging a sit-in. Several protesters were injured during a similar protest in Swabi.[1][2]

  • E.U. observers pronounced Pakistan's election “free and fair” on Monday. According to an interim report, voting at 90 percent of stations was satisfactory, although voting at the remaining ten percent of stations, primarily in Sindh, had “serious irregularities”. Over 140 E.U. observers inspected polling, ballot counting, and results compilation. However, data from elections observation group FAFEN shows that at least 49 polling stations across all four provinces had turnouts of over 100 percent, indicating voting at those stations had been rigged.[3]

  • Shahbaz Sharif, former chief minister of Punjab and brother of future Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said on Monday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has the first right to form a coalition government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where it won a plurality of seats but not enough to govern alone.[4]

  • A New York Times report published on Monday looks at Sharif's past dealings with Pakistan's powerful military and what the future might bring in terms of their relationship. Sharif claims that he never had any problems with the military, only with General Pervez Musharraf himself, and analysts point to how Sharif seems to have changed since his last stint as prime minister, becoming “more mellow and less authoritarian”. However, his stated desire to renew good relations with India could become a sticking point with the military, as could his upcoming decision on whether Musharraf will face treason charges.[5]

  • The Awami National Party (ANP) discussed their sound defeat at a meeting on Monday. They joined in the voices crying for investigations into ballot rigging, but at the same time accepted the results and called for respect for the people's mandate. Another meeting will be held on May 16 to determine the course of the party's future.[6]

  • Many independent assembly members have reportedly joined the PML-N or are in talks about doing so, moving the PML-N closer it towards the simple majority it needs to form government at the federal level.[7]

  • The PTI's Pervez Khattak was nominated by his party as its candidate for provincial chief minister is in the coalition government it hopes to form in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Other possible coalition partners include the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) or the Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan. Late on Monday, it was announced that the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) had agreed to a partnership with the PTI. Meanwhile, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) is reportedly talking to the PML-N about the possibility of forming a coalition that shuts out the PTI in Khyber-Paskhtunkhwa[8]

  • Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani took responsibility for the PPP's defeat during a press conference on Monday, and stepped down from the post of the party's senior vice chairman. He discussed the reasons for the PPP's failure, said that the party would continue to play an active opposition role, and extended his “best wishes” to Nawaz Sharif. PPP president Amin Fahim accepted the election's results “with reservations” in the interest of political stability, democracy, and the welfare of the people. [9]

  • On Tuesday, Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman sent her resignation to interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso.[10]

  • Punjab governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood announced his resignation from politics after PML-N election victory. He said that he hopes for the success of Nawaz Sharif in administering Pakistan.[11]

  • President Asif Ali Zardari reportedly called Nawaz Sharif on Monday to congratulate him on winning and express his hope that Sharif will be able to strengthen the democratic process while in office. A PML-N spokesperson denied any such call.[12]

  • The PML-N will let President Asif Zardari  serve the last five months of his term, as opposed to seeking to oust him through impeachment, according to a party leader. Nawaz Sharif said in an interview that he has no reservations about taking oath from Zardari.[13]

  • MQM candidate for Karachi’s NA-250 constituency Khushbakht Shujaat demanded on Monday that the constituency be re-polled because of “maladministration” and vote rigging by her opponents.[14]

  • MQM chief Altaf Hussain clarified on Monday that he did not, in fact, want Karachi to secede from Pakistan as earlier comments of his had indicated. In a press release, he denied the “baseless allegations” and praised the democratic process in the face of terrorism and violence.[15]

  • On Monday, a written agreement between political parties conspiring to hinder women voting surfaced in Lower Dir. The document bears signatures of seven local leaders of all the major Pakistani political parties in Lower Dir. Women did not, in fact, vote in the area.[16]

  • High voter turnout was seen in Peshawar on Saturday, where 44 percent of registered voters cast their ballots, in comparison to 28 percent in 2008. 28 percent of these were women. The PTI won a plurality of seats in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.[17]

  • The Election Commission of Pakistan has released results from 254 of 269 races, showing a big win for the PML-N with 123 of the 254 seats. The PPP received the second highest number at 31, and the PTI received, 26.[18]

Domestic Politics

  • Rawalpindi's anti-terrorism court, which is handling Benazir Bhutto's murder case, extended Pervez Musharraf's judicial remand to May 28. Musharraf's bail plea in the judges' detention case has been adjourned until May 20.[19]

  • On Tuesday morning, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to record his statement in connection with a corruption investigating relating to Rental Power Projects. His name has allegedly been put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which bars him from leaving the country. Ashraf responded in writing to the NAB, saying that he was unable to appear due to illness.[20]


  • The death toll from Sunday's suicide attack in Quetta rose to eight after an injured person died on Monday. Militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack.[21]

  • Two people were killed on Sunday by a roadside land mine in Goth Manzoor Jan area of Nasirabad district.[22]

  • Militants fired two rockets on a checkpost on Sunday from the mountains surrounding a check post in Chatkan area of Panjgur district, Balochistan. There was no loss of life.[23]

  • A passenger van carrying people from Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Mir Ali, North Waziristan exploded on Sunday, killing at least 19 people. Explanations for the blast range from a suicide bomber accidentally setting off his jacket to a terrorist attack or a gas cylinder.[24]

  • In response to a demonstration at Teen Talwar, Karachi by the PTI against voter fraud, Sindh's Provincial Home Department has imposed Section 144 on Karachi, which bans all political gatherings and displays of weapons.[25]

  • One more casualty was reported from the Election Day gunfight between MQM and PPP supporters in Taj Colony, bringing the total to four.[26]


  • Senior economists outlined to the press on Sunday the steps the incoming government will need to take to improve Pakistan’s economic situation. According to experts, the country must either cut $3 billion from imports immediately or apply to the IMF for a loan to avoid a balance of payment crisis.[27]

  • Trade relations with India reached a milestone: Pakistan's exports to India have surpassed US$500 million for the first time, India pointed out on Monday evening.[28]

  • On Monday, the State Bank reported that remittances sent to Pakistan from citizens living abroad, particularly in Saudi Arabia and England, totaled over $11.5 billion in the first ten months of this fiscal year, almost absorbing the negative impact of the trade deficit of the nine months before that.[29]

  • During the first ten months of fiscal year 2012/13, Pakistan's trade deficit reportedly fell by 6.75 percent, with exports rising to $20.147 billion from $19.329 and imports falling to $36.665 billion from $37.042 billion.[30]

Indo-Pak Relations

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson paid a visit to Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday morning to congratulate him on his victory, reiterate U.S. respect for Pakistan's sovereignty, and wish Sharif and the PML-N well.[33]

  • According to an anonymous close aide of Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N's foreign policy will focus on safeguarding the “supreme national interest”, which will involve revisiting “covert and overt agreements” with the U.S. He clarified that this did not indicate a “divorce” from the U.S., only that Pakistan will need to make sure all relations are in Pakistan's best interest. This will include renegotiating with the U.S. Pakistan’s policy on U.S. drone strikes inside Pakistan, which PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif has publicly said he considers to be a violation of territorial integrity.[34]

Afghan-Pakistan Relations

  • The Afghan Taliban claimed on Tuesday that recent border skirmishes between Afghanistan and Pakistan are a “conspiracy” to divert attention from their recently launched spring fighting season. A spokesman also said that they Taliban “condemn the invasion of [Afghanistan] and its people, be it from the neighbouring countries or the world powers and are ready to safeguard and defend our national interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”[35]

Pakistan-U.K. Relations

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron called Nawaz Sharif on Monday to congratulate him on his victory, praise his commitment to economic reform, and reinforce the “strong bond” between the two countries.[36]

[1] “Police thrash PTI activists protesting 'rigging',” The News, May 13, 2013. Available at
“'Unfair poll results': Police baton-charge PTI protesters in Swabi,” The Express Tribune, May 14, 2013. Available at
[2] Saeed Shah and Annabel Symington, “Pakistan Election Gets a Seal of Approval,” The Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2013. Available at
Mansoor Malik, “Imran alleges rigging in 25 constituencies, seeks recount,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
“Parties join protests over poll results,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
Waseem Shamsi, “Jacobabad shut in protest against 'rigging',” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
 “'Rigged' elections spark protests in KP, Fata,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[3] Kamran Yousaf and Zahid Gishkori, “Interim report: Voting at 90% of polling stations 'satisfactory',” The Express Tribune, May 14, 2013. Available at
Sajjad Haider, “Rigging: 49 polling stations across Pakistan received over 100pc turnout,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[4] “PTI has the right to form govt in KP: Shahbaz,” The News, May 14, 2013. Available at
[5] Declan Walsh, “Pakistan Vote Revives Premier's Rivalry With Army,” The New York Times, May 13, 2013. Available at
[6] Peer Muhammed, “Crying foul: ANP blames rigging, security situation,” The Express Tribune, May 14, 2013. Available at
[7] “Simple majority? Many independent candidates join PML-N,” The Express Tribune, May 14, 2013. Available at
[8] Ismail Khan, “Fazl moves to keep PTI out of power,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
Zahir Shah Sherazi, “PTI nominates Khattak as parliamentary leader in KP amid power tussle,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[9] “Gilani accepts responsibility for PPP defeat,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
 “PPP accepts results with reservations: Zardari felicitates nation on landmark elections,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[10] “Ambassador to US, Sherry Rehman resigns,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
[11] “Governor Punjab resigns, quits politics,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[12] “Zardari congratulates Nawaz on winning elections,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[13] Umair Ali, “'PML-N will not curtail Zardari's time in office',” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[14] “Khushbakht Shujaat calls for re-election in Karachi's NA-250,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[15] “Altaf denies having threatened secession,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
[16] “'Dir agreement' against women voting surfaces,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[17] Waseem Ahmed Shah, “Higher voter turnout seen in Peshawar,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[18] Munir Ahmed, “Pakistan vote count shows big Sharif win,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
[19] “Benazir murder case: ATC extends Musharraf's judicial remand to May 28,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
[20] Syed Irfan Raza, “NAB summons ex-PM Ashraf in RPP scam,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
 “'Sick' Raja fails to appear before NAB in RPP probe,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
[21] “Quetta attack toll rises to 8,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[22] “Two die in landmine blast,” The News, May 13, 2013. Available at
[23] “Two rockets fired at Panjgur,” The News, May 13, 2013. Available at
[24] “19 killed in NWA van blast,” The News, May 13, 2013. Available at
[25] Asif Mahmood, “Section 144 imposed in Karachi,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[26] “PPP-MQM gunfight death toll climbs to four,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
[27] Mehtab Haider, “Economists want PML-N to open immediate talks with IMF,” The News, May 13, 2013. Available at
[28] Mariana Baabar, “Pakistan's exports to India cross $500m mark,” The News, May 14, 2013. Available at$500m-mark
[29] Shahid Iqbal, “$11.5bn remitted in 10 months,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
[30] “Pakistan trade deficit to $16.518 bln in July-April FY 12/13,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
[31] “Nawaz wants to end mistrust with India, boost ties with US,” Dawn, May 14, 2013. Available at
[32] “Manmohan Singh not to attend Nawaz's oath-taking: Report,” The Express Tribune, May 14, 2013. Available at
[33] “US envoy calls on Nawaz Sharif,” The News, May 14, 2013. Available at
[34] Kamran Yousaf, “On foreign front: 'PML-N will revisit foreign policy',” The Express Tribune, May 13, 2013. Available at
[35] Tahir Khan, “Border skirmishes: Taliban dub Pak-Afghan clashes as a 'conspiracy',” The Express Tribune, May 14, 2013. Available at
[36] “British PM praises Nawaz Sharif for economic aims,” Dawn, May 13, 2013. Available at
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