Pakistan Security Brief

Details emerge on Karachi naval base attack; WikiLeaks cables prompt strong rebuttals from Pakistani officials; Zardari encouraged by U.S. to turn down Iran’s offer of concessional oil for Pakistan; Javed: “We are not as advanced as you are" with respect to freedom of religion; Cable points to politics behind the removal and restoration of Iftikhar Chaudry; Cable reveals India’s concern over troop drawdown; Intelligence obtained from Abbottabad compound shows no evidence of an imminent terrorist threat; Five more killed in Kurram clashes; Three LI militants killed in Khyber; David Headley provides testimony Rana trial; Eight unidentified helicopters observed flying over Muzaffarabad.


Karachi Attack

  • New details have emerged about the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) attack on a naval base in Karachi on Sunday. A police account released on Tuesday stated that between ten to twelve militants were involved in the attack, resulting in the deaths of ten people. Four of the insurgents were killed in the eighteen-hour fire fight, but two managed to escape the scene. Defense analysts have said that the Karachi attack has renewed doubts on the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the attack “showed that international allies, including the United States, need to provide more assistance to Pakistan’s security forces.” Malik also confirmed that the assailants had entered the base from a nearby residential district and alluded to “external elements” being involved, though he cited no evidence to the claim.[i]


  • While government officials have worked to revive the strained relationship between the United States and Pakistan, the publishing of more than 4,000 U.S. diplomatic cables has prompted strong rebuttals from Pakistani officials. Meanwhile, a newly released cable written by former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton claims that Pakistan was “one of a handful of countries…that routinely oppose the United States in multilateral debates despite strong bilateral ties to the US.” Bolton wrote that “While much of its [behavior] in New York may reflect Pakistan’s rivalry with India…the positions Pakistan adopts to curry [favor] with other member states often put it in direct opposition to U.S. policies.”[ii]

  • A diplomatic cable written on October 22, 2008 reveals that U.S. officials encouraged President Asif Ali Zardari to turn down “Iran’s offer of concessional oil for Pakistan" in exchange for [providing] Iran with a foothold in Pakistan.” Further cables show that the U.S. government was in touch with Saudi officials regarding negotiations to assist Pakistan economically “by deferring crude oil payments.”[iii]

  • A cable sent from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad on May 12, 2008 cites Hasan Javed, Director General of the United Nations and Economic Cooperation Division of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who told the U.S. "we are not as advanced as you are" with respect to freedom of religion. Meanwhile, a separate cable points to the private politics behind the removal and restoration of Pakistani chief justice Iftikhar Chaudry. [iv]

  • WikiLeaks has released a cable that reveals India’s concern over President Obama’s decision to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 2011. Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon warned that if the Pakistani government “felt that the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan was flagging, it would ‘sit it out and use the Indian threat as an excuse for not doing what was needed’ on its western frontier.”[v]

Bin Laden Raid and Response

  • U.S. counterterrorism officials have said that in reviewing the material confiscated from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, no evidence of an imminent terrorist threat has emerged. Intelligence officials have reported that “while bin Laden apparently was involved in brainstorming possible attacks, scant evidence has surfaced that he was involved in any plot under way.”[vi]


Tahawwur Rana Trial

  • On Monday, David Headley provided testimony at the trial of Tahawwur Rana, the Chicago resident charged with providing material support in connection to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. Headley alleged that throughout the attacks, the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had operated "under the umbrella" of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. Headley said that in planning for the attacks, he had met a member of the ISI who had offered to provide financial support. Meanwhile, on her four-day visit to India, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano paid tribute to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. On Tuesday, Napolitano laid a wreath at a memorial to sixteen policemen who were killed during the attacks. [x]

Helicopters in Muzaffarabad


[i] Mohammad Farooq and Munir Ahmed, “Contradictions emerge in accounts of Pakistan raid,” Associated Press, May 24, 2011. Available at
[ii] Qurat ul ain Siddiqui, “US was concerned about Pakistan opposing its interests at the UN,” Dawn, May 24, 2011. Available at
[iii] Qurat ul ain Siddiqui, “Don’t provide Iran with a foothold, US told Pak,” Dawn, May 24, 2011. Available at
[iv] Suresh Nambath, “We are not as advanced as you are in respect for freedom of religion, Pakistan told U.S.,” The Hindu, May 24, 2011. Available at
[v] B. Muralidahar Reddy, “Don't leave Afghanistan, India told U.S.,” The Hindu, May 24, 2011. Available at
[vi] Mark Hosenball, “Bin Laden cache reveals no evidence of imminent threats,” Reuters, May 23 2011. Available at
[vii]“Tribal clashes kill five more in Kurram,” Daily Times, May 24, 2011. Available at\05\24\story_24-5-2011_pg7_8
[viii] “Three LI men killed in clash with tribesmen,” Daily Times, May 24, 2011. Available at\05\24\story_24-5-2011_pg7_9
[ix] “8 militants, soldier killed in Mohmand clash,” Dawn, May 24, 2011. Available at
[x] Ginger Thompson, “Terror Trial Witness Ties Pakistan to 2008 Attacks,” New York Times, May 23, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Mysterious helicopters seen roaming in Muzaffarabad,” The News, May 24, 2011. Available at
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