Pakistan Security Brief

Kayani and Sharif in unprecedented meeting; Imran Khan blames MQM for PTI leader's murder, MQM holds protests; Re-polling held peacefully in Karachi and won by PTI; Bail granted to Musharraf and judges' detention case dropped; Sharif calls for Taliban peace talks; Sharif expected to unveil plan for dealing with power cuts; PPP leader alleges rigging by Frontier Corps; Zardari rejects allegations of appointing questionable government officers; Asad Qaiser named speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly; Ongoing talks regarding JUI-F/PML-N coalition; Nawaz says foreign policy agenda to focus on security and economy; Independent members of Parliament from FATA rejects offers of coalition; Soldier killed in attack on polio vaccination team; Several people killed in violence across country; IDP representatives call for peace in Orakzai; Gunmen fire on empty NATO trucks; Body of Hafiz Saeed's bodyguard found; Violence against PTI in Hyderabad; Obama to address legality of drones on Thursday; U.S. lauds Pakistani attempts to make fertilizer less dangerous; Sherry Rehman denounces drone strikes in farewell speech; Karzai to visit India, plans to ask for support against Pakistan; Britain admits to funding polls on drone strikes; British High Commissioner meets with Nawaz Sharif; Pakistan to adopt Chinese GPS satellite system.

Domestic Politics

  • On Saturday, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani met with incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at a luncheon hosted at Sharif's brother Shahbaz's house in Lahore that lasted for over three hours. The meeting is reportedly the first an army chief has visited a prime minister-elect. According to an anonymous military official, the meeting was arranged to allay suspicions or doubts regarding the army's commitment to democracy. The Express Tribune reports that the result of the meeting was an agreement between Kayani and Sharif on an overhaul” of national security and foreign policies.1

  • After Imran Khan accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and specifically its leader Altaf Hussain, of responsibility for the murder one of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) senior leaders on Saturday, the MQM denied the allegations and responded with a demonstration in Karachi on Monday against Khan and the PTI. MQM supporters at the party's headquarters in Karachi reportedly “pushed and shoved” senior members of the MQM's coordination committee in anger that they were not doing enough to defend Hussain. Lawmakers-elect and journalists were also reportedly manhandled. MQM deputy convener Farooq Sattar on Sunday called Khan's accusations baseless and premature and a sign of Khan's “political immaturity.” Sattar said his party would respond with a series of peaceful protests in Karachi and Hyderabad.2

  • Forty three polling stations in district NA-250 in Karachi held a new election on Sunday after widespread reports of vote rigging in the original election. An official result has yet to be announced, but the PTI's Dr. Arif Alvi looks to have won the district's national assembly seat after getting 17,489 votes to the Jamat-e-Islami candidate's 446 in the re-election, and PTI candidates look set to win both provincial assembly seats as well. Turnout was reportedly low and the PPP and MQM boycotted the the re-election altogether. 5,000 security forces were deployed to polling stations on the day, and re-polling was reportedly uneventful.3

  • A Rawalpindi Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) granted bail to Pervez Musharraf on Monday in connection with the Benazir Bhutto murder case. Musharraf was earlier denied bail over fears he would flee the country. Bail was reportedly posted at two surety bonds of Rs 1 million each. Meanwhile, Aslam Ghumman, the lawyer that initiated charges against Musharraf in the case of the detention of senior judges, decided to drop the case, and refuted allegations of coming under military pressure to do so. On Saturday, a court had extended the judicial remand in the judges' detention case by fourteen days.4

  • In a speech to PML-N members on Monday, Nawaz Sharif called for peace talks with the Taliban, who have reportedly shown an “inclination” to negotiate with Sharif. Sharif expressed his belief that any offer from the Taliban be taken seriously and that “all options” should be tried in bringing an end to the insurgency. Army Chief of Staff General Pervez Kayani, in a speech on the subject last month, said that he would like militants to return to the national fold but only once they submit completely to the rule of law.5

  • At a news conference in Lahore on Monday, two ministers in charge of water and power said they could do nothing about chronic electricity shortages besides raise prices, due to financial constraints and incompetence.6

  • According to a report in The News, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam on Saturday expressed a wish to meet with Nawaz Sharif, hold a detailed briefing with him, and extend all possible support.7

  • In his first speech as Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif is expected to unveil a strategy for combatting power outages and Sharif has reportedly put together a team of experts to tackle the issue.8

  • Testifying before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday, former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf denied all allegations leveled against him in the Rental Power Projects (RPPs) case, claiming that there was no concrete evidence that he had received kickbacks and that the case is damaging to his reputation.9

  • Speaking with the media, incoming finance minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sirajul Haq said that restoring peace to the area is a matter of will. He furhter claimed his party had agreed to banning women banned from the polls in parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa last week allegedly as a “security concern,” as he claimed intelligence reports indicated a high likelihood that militants were planning on using female suicide bombers to attack the polls.10

  • Speaking to a delegation of the South Asia Free Media Association in Lahore on Sunday, Asif Ali Zardari offered several reasons for the PPP's defeat in Punjab, including the inability to campaign due to threats of Taliban attack, a lack of good leadership, and having the judiciary biased against them.11

  • PPP leader Mir Baz Mohammed Khan Khetran, a losing candidate in Balochistan, alleged that polls in his constituency, NA-263, were rigged by members of the Frontier Corps, whom he accused of stuffing ballot boxes and that when he brought his concerns to the Election Commission of Pakistan he had not been heard.12

  • President Asif Ali Zardari rejected the PML-N's allegations that he was involved in recent transfers and appointments of “notorious” persons to government offices, calling the claims “baseless” and “highly irresponsible”. He suggested the the PML-N take the issue up with the caretaker government.13

  • On Saturday night, Asad Qaiser, the runner-up in the race for the post of for the PTI's nominee for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, was nominated as speaker of the provincial assembly by Imran Khan.14

  • The incoming government's foreign policy agenda will be dominated by security concerns and an ailing economy, according to Nawaz Sharif's aides. Sharif plans to strengthen existing friendships with the U.S., China, and Saudi Arabia, and reach out to Afghanistan and India with an emphasis on economic cooperation, trade and investment.15

  • The PTI's Pervez Khattak, soon to be chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said on Friday that he has no enmity with the Taliban and is ready to hold talks with them to work towards peace.16


  • In Mamund, Bajaur agency, one paramilitary soldier was killed when militants opened fire on a polio vaccination team on Monday. The current anti-polio campaign aims to vaccinate 223,570 children in three days. It is unclear whether the effort will continue after the incident. The Afghan Taliban recently announced that they will cooperate with the government's anti-polio efforts, but the Pakistani Taliban reportedly do not intend to follow suit.17

  • The body of a policeman missing for several days was found in a stream in Chapri Waziran, Hangu on Saturday.18

  • A roadside IED targeting a police van detonated near Azad Mandi, Bannu on Saturday. No one was hurt.19

  • A police raid in Maqsoodabad, Peshawar on Saturday resulted in the wounding of three officers and the death of one unidentified person.20

  • Two men were wounded in a bomb blast outside the house of a tribal elder in Dera Allahyar, Jaffarabad, Sindh on Saturday.21

  • A patrol car of the Matani police station was attacked on Kohat Road on Saturday. A sub-inspector was wounded.22

  • A child was killed and five others injured in Baseyakhel, Bannu on Sunday after they mistook an explosive device for a toy and tried to open it.23

  • On Sunday morning, gunmen opened fire on two empty trucks passing through Jamrud, Khyber Agency on their way back from Afghanistan. The trucks suffered heavy damage but both drivers were unhurt.24

  • Four bombs were defused in Jamrud, Khyber agency on Sunday: one on the grounds of the Government Primary School and the other three on the Jamrud and Landi Kotal bypass roads.25

  • The body of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed's bodyguard and chief of security was found on Muridke road in Lahore on Sunday. He had reportedly left his house in the evening, and in the morning his body was found bearing signs of torture,.26

Election Violence

  • On Saturday, PTI Sindh vice president Zahra Shahid Hussain was killed outside her home in Karachi by unknown gunmen. According to PTI spokesman Jamal Siddiqui, Shahid was killed to sabotage re-elections that took place in Karachi on Sunday. Hundreds attended her funeral at a Karachi mosque. Via Twitter, Imran Khan publicly accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement's (MQM) Altaf Hussain on Sunday for the murder, while PTI activists held a protest in the streets of Karachi against the MQM and demanded the British government take action against Hussain, who is a British citizen and resides in Britain. .27

  • On Sunday, PTI members were the target of violence in Hyderabad, as the residences of two PTI leaders were attacked and three cars torched. A Lahore-bound train was also attacked, injuring its driver, and indiscriminate shooting took place across Hyderabad.28

  • Three passers-by were killed in shooting between armed groups in Lyari on Saturday. Each of the two gangs was reportedly backed by a political party.29

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • U.S. Officials reportedly lauded Pakistan's efforts to keep Pakistani fertilizer from being used in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan. The issue has reportedly been a contentious one between the U.S. and Pakistan, but in a speech on Monday in Islamabad, the deputy chief of the U.S.'s main anti-IED organiztion, U.S. Brig. Gen. Robert T. Walters Jr., said that Pakistan had reinforced its border to keep the fertilizer form Afghanistan and the supplier, the Fatima Group, had improved its distribution and tracking systems. However, the state of Indiana still canceled subsidies for a planned $1.8 billion fertilizer plant there because of the parent company's ties to the Fatima Group.30

  • At a farewell reception last week after resigning from her post, Pakistani Ambassador Sherry Rehman gave a speech denouncing drone strikes, assuring that Islamabad wants to cultivate a good relationship with the U.S, and noting the improvement in ties since a “low point” in 2011. On Saturday, Rehman was also quoted as saying that trade should be the basis of strong future ties.31

Indo-Pak Relations

  • A report in Reuters on Sunday details the past relationships between the Pakistani military and civilian governments, looking in particular at attitudes towards India. According to the report, the military may be less anxious to reach out to India than Nawaz Sharif appears to be. Three subjects are reportedly being watched particularly closely by the military: the formation of a commission to investigate the 1999 Kargil incident, Sharif's choice of a new Chief of Army Staff, and Sharif's plans to deal with militants.32

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a spokesman for Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Karzai will visit India for three days starting Monday and reportedly request military aid following recent border clashes with Pakistan in a move that could reportedly “irk” Pakistan and upset Pakistan's tenuous relationship with India.33

U.K.-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a report in the Guardian, the British government admitted to funding opinion polls in Pakistan's tribal regions that show locals' resentment towards U.S. drone strikes. Previously, British officials had refused to comment on drone strikes, saying they were a matter between the U.S. and Pakistan.34

  • British High Commissioner Adam Thomson met with Nawaz Sharif on Saturday. They reportedly discussed political and regional matters, including Altaf Hussain's controversial comments, and Thomson expressed that Britain wants a better relationship with the future government of Pakistan. Sharif said that he would like to focus more on trade rather than aid from Britain.35

  • Adam Thomson called Imran Khan in the hospital on Friday, who urged the High Commissioner to take notice of MQM leader Altaf Hussain's recent alleged threats against PTI worker, remarks that, he claimed,violated British laws regarding incitement of hatred and violence.36

China-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a report on Saturday, Pakistan will soon become the fifth Asian country to use a Chinese GPS satellite system called Beidou that has both civilian and military applications.37

  • A Chinese man working on an energy project in Kashmir may be tried for blasphemy, after workers claim they saw him throw a Quran on the ground and a riot of over 1,000 people erupted on Saturday. The man, Lee Ping, is in protective custody after the rioters attacked his office.38 

1Richard Leiby, “Pakistan army chief meets incoming prime minister in 'good omen',” The Washington Post, May 19, 2013. Available at
“General Kayani meets Nawaz Sharif in Lahore,” The Express Tribune, May 18, 2013. Available at
Shaheen Sehbai, “Army explains Kayani-Nawaz meeting,” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
Kamran Yousaf, “Behind closed doors: Nawaz, Kayani agree on 'policy overhaul',” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
2Syed Raza Hussan, “Pakistan's MQM denounced Imran Khan in Karachi protest,” Reuters, May 20, 2013. Available at
Ammar Shahbazi, “MQM leaders chastised for failing to defend Altaf Hussain,” The News, May 20, 2013. Available at
“MQM workers manhandle their leaders, journalists,” Dawn, May 20, 2013. Available at
“Accusations against MQM are premature: Farooq Sattar,” The Express Tribune, May 19, 2013 Available at
“Imran's allegations: MQM announces series of protests,” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
“MQM stages protests in Karachi and Hyderabad,” Dawn, May 19, 2013. Available at
3Atif Raza, “Pakistan repeats vote in Karachi despite killing,” Yahoo! News, May 19, 2013. Available at
“Karachi tense as Imran Khan's PTI 'wins revote',” BBC News, May 20, 2013. Available at
Hafeez Tunio, “Karachi partial re-polling: PTI's Arif Alvi wins NA-250 seat,” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
“NA-250 PTI candidate Arif Alvi wins,” Dawn, May 19, 2013. Available at
Salman Masood, “Killing of Pakistani Politician Shakes New Voting Round,” The New York Times, May 19, 2013. Available at
“Low turnout, as re-polling at Karachi NA-250 ends,” The Express Tribune, May 19, 2013. Available at
4“ATC grants Musharraf bail in Benazir murder case; SC adjourns treason case,” Dawn, May 20, 2013. Available at
“Benazir murder case: Pervez Musharraf granted bail,” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
Annabel Symington, “Lawyer Withdraws Musharraf Complaint,” The Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2013. Available at
Obaid Abrar Khan, “ATC extends Musharraf's remand in judges' detention case,” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
5“Pakistan's presumptive prime minister calls for peace talks with Taliban,” The Washington Post, May 20, 2013. Available at
6“Pakistan holds news conference to say can't end power blackouts,” Reuters, May 20, 2013. Available at
7Ansar Abbasi, “ISI chief also wants to meet Nawaz Sharif,” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
8Ansar Abbasi, “Nawaz working on crash plan to check power outages,” The News, May 20, 2013. Available at
9“RPPs case: Raja Pervaiz denies receiving kickbacks,” The Express Tribune, May 18, 2013. Available at
10Azam Khan, “Elections 2013: 'Dir women disenfranchised for security reasons',” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
11Khalid Qayyum, “Elections 2013: Zardari blames Ros for PPP's defeat in Punjab,” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
12Amir Wasim, “PPP comes out with charge against FC,” Dawn, May 18, 2013. Available at
13“President terms Shahbaz's charges baseless,” Dawn, May 19, 2013. Available at
14Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Imran nominates Asad Qaiser for KP speaker,” Dawn, May 18, 2013. Available at
15Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Security, ailing economy await Nawaz's foreign policy agenda,” Dawn, May 18, 2013. Available at
16Zahir Shah Sherazi, “No enmity with Taliban, says PTI CM-designate,” Dawn, May 17, 2013. Available at
17Ismail Khan and Declan Walsh, “Gunmen Attack Polio Workers in Pakistani Tribal Belt,” The New York Times, May 20, 2013. Available at
Anwarullah Khan, “Pakistan: Gunmen attack polio team, kill policeman,” Yahoo! News, May 20, 2013. Available at
Ashfaq Yusufzai, “TTP unlikely to follow Afghan Taliban on anti-polio help,” Dawn, May 19, 2013. Available at
18“Policeman found dead in Hangu,” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
19“Cops escape IED attack,” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
20“One killed in Peshawar 'encounter',” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
21“Two injured in Jaffarabad blast,” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
22“SI injured in Matani attack,” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
23“Toy-bomb kills child in Bannu,” The News, May 20, 2013. Available at
24“Gunmen attack two trucks in Jamrud,” The News, May 20, 2013. Available at
25“Gunmen attack two trucks in Jamrud,” The News, May 20, 2013. Available at
26Owais Jafri, “Mysterious death: Hafiz Saeed's security chief murdered,” The Express Tribune, May 19, 2013. Available at
27“Gunmen Kill Pakistan Party Official,” The New York Times, May 18, 2013. Available at
“PTI senior leader Zahra Shahid killed on eve of Karachi re-polls,” Dawn, May 19, 2013. Available at
Richard Galpin, “Murdered Pakistan politician buried in Karachi,” BBC News, May 19, 2013. Available at
Jon Boone, “Imran Khan blames MQM leader Hussain for killing of activist,” The Guardian, May 19, 2013. Available at
“Crying foul: Protest against PTI leader's murder in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
Ali Usman, “Zahra's murder: PTI protests in Karachi today,” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
28Mohammed Hussain Khan, “'Unknown persons' attack PTI leaders' residences, torch vehicles,” Dawn, May 19, 2013. Available at
29“Three killed in Lyari,” Dawn, May 18, 2013. Available at
30“US military praises Pakistan's steps to curb fertilizers used in Afghan bombs,” The Washington Post, May 20, 2013. Available at
“US state cancels subsidy for investment from Pakistani company,” Dawn, May 18, 2013. Available at
31James Morrison, “Embassy row: 'cognitive disconnect',” The Washington Times, May 19, 2013. Available at
“Sherry Rehman urges end to drone strikes,” The Express Tribune, May 18, 2013. Available at
“Trade should be basis of strong Pak-US ties: Sherry,” The News, May 19, 2013. Available at
32Katharine Houreld, “Pakistan army will be watching Sharif's cozying up to India,” Reuters, May 19, 2013. Available at
33Kay Johnson, “Karzai seeks Indian military aid amid Pakistan row,” Yahoo! News, May 19, 2013. Available at
34“Drone strikes: U.K. admits to funding opinion poll in Pakistan,” The Express Tribune, May 20, 2013. Available at
35“General Kayani meets Nawaz Sharif in Lahore,” The Express Tribune, May 18, 2013. Available at
“British High Commissioner meets Nawaz, discusses bilateral relations,” Dawn, May 17, 2013. Available at
36“Imran urges British High Commissioner to warn Altaf,” Dawn, May 17, 2013. Available at
37“Pakistan adopts Chinese GPS satellite system,” The Express Tribune, May 18, 2013. Available at
38“Chinese held in Pakistani Kashmir over Quran abuse,” Dawn, May 18, 2013. Available at
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