Pakistan Security Brief

Gunship helicopters shell several parts of North Waziristan; Prime Minister invited to attend incoming Indian Prime Minister’s swearing-in ceremony; Prime Minister calls for engagement with India’s and Afghanistan’s new governments; U.S. Intelligence community concerned by al Qaeda threats against Western targets; IED blast in Karachi injures five; Gunmen kill six in Balochistan; Train tracks blown up in Sindh; Chief of the Army Staff says Pakistan is prepared for any foreign aggression at induction ceremony for F-16 fighter jets; Intelligence personnel brief Rangers of possible terrorist attacks in Karachi; Defense budget to increase by 10 percent; TV regulator divided over whether to suspend Geo News’ license.

Military Operations

  • On Wednesday, military jets, gunship helicopters and heavy artillery struck several parts of North Waziristan agency, killing at least 32 suspected militants and injuring 80. Varying reports put the death toll at 60 suspected terrorists, including some important commanders and foreign fighters, with another 30 militants injured. According to unnamed military sources, the operation targeted militants who, according to intelligence reports, had carried out terrorist activities in Peshawar, Bajaur, Mohmand, and other areas, as well. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reportedly made the decision to launch air strikes during yesterday’s high-level security meeting.[1]

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a Wednesday report in Dawn, India’s incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to India for his swearing-in ceremony on May 26.[2]

  • At a meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif advocated for engagement between Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan once new governments in Afghanistan and India take office.[3]


  • According to a Wednesday article by CNN, the U.S. intelligence community is concerned by a series of al Qaeda threats against American and Western targets in Europe. One of the threats is from the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is capable of carrying out attacks in Yemen, Europe, and inside the U.S. An unnamed official stated that the core al Qaeda group in Pakistan is also working to attack U.S. domestic and overseas targets. The intelligence community believes that Abdullah al Shami, who was born in the United States but is now living in Pakistan, may be heading the group’s efforts to attack external targets.[4]

  • On Wednesday, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast near the Rangers headquarters in the North Nazimabad area of Karachi injured five people and damaged nearby shops.[5]

  • On Wednesday, unidentified gunmen killed six people in Dasht Chot, Turbat district, Balochistan.[6]

  • On Tuesday, a bomb blast in Kotri, Jamshoro district damaged a rail track, but caused no casualties.[7]


  • On Wednesday, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif stated at the induction ceremony of new F-16 fighter jets into the Pakistan Air Force that Pakistan would be “prepared for any possible foreign aggression.” The military purchased the F-16 jets from the Royal Jordanian Air Force. Sharif also praised the close cooperation and coordination between the army and air force in recent operations in the tribal areas.[8]

  • On Wednesday, intelligence personnel briefed Rangers officials in Karachi at a high-level meeting on possible terrorist attacks in the city.[9]

  • On Wednesday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and the Finance Secretary Dr. Waqar Masood presented the standing committees of the Senate and National Assembly on Finance and Revenue with a medium-term budgetary framework for 2014-2017 that will increase the defense budget by 10 percent and pensions by up to 15 percent for the next financial year. According to an article in Dawn, Dar and Masood have been criticized for not consulting with the parliamentary committees responsible for budget making.[10]

  • On Tuesday, five members of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) announced the suspension TV licenses for three channels that are part of the Geo network until May 28, after the organization had been accused of defaming Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). A few hours later, in a move characterized by commentators as the government throwing Geo a lifeline, several other members of the Pemra board, including members of the government, disavaowed the decision, saying that the previous announcement “had no legal standing” since it was made by only a minority of PEMRA’s members.[11]

[1] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “North Waziristan blitz kills 32 suspected militants,” Dawn, May 21, 2014. Available at: “Bombing in North Waziristan leaves 60 dead,” Express Tribune, May 21, 2014. Available at:
[2] “Nawaz Sharif Invited for Modi’s Swearing-in Ceremony,” Dawn, May 21, 2014. Available at:
[3] “Pakistan Wants Talks with New Indian, Afghan Govts: Nawaz,” The News, May 21, 2014. Available at:,-Afghan-govts%3a-Nawaz
[4] Barbara Starr, “Stream of al Qaeda threats has U.S. intelligence concerned,” CNN, May 21, 2014. Available at:
[5] “Blast near Rangers headquarters in Karachi; five injured,” Dawn, May 21, 2014. Available at:
[6] Shezad Baloch, “6 Killed in Balochistan Gun Attack,” The Express Tribune, May 21, 2014. Available at:
[7] “Two Blasts Damage Railway Tracks in Khairpur, Kotri,” The News, May 21, 2014. Available at:,-Kotri
[8] Mateen Haider, “Armed forces to counteract any possible foreign aggression: COAS,” Dawn, May 21, 2014. Available at: Saqib Nasir, “General Raheel Sharif praises PAF, promises more cooperation between the two forces,” Express Tribune, May 21, 2014. Available at:
[9] “Blast near Rangers headquarters in Karachi; five injured,” Dawn, May 21, 2014. Available at:
[10] “Govt may increase defence budget by 10pc,” Dawn, May 21, 2014. Available at:
[11] “Bitter Divisions Emerge within Pakistan’s TV Regulator,” BBC News, May 20, 2014. Available at:
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