Pakistan Security Brief

Police station attacked in Peshawar; New details emerge about raid on Karachi naval base; Commander of base relieved of duties; Pakistani navy considering relocating base; Chinese technicians detained by militants on base; Head of NATO: Safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is a “matter of concern;” WikiLeaks: U.S. continues to monitor Pakistani nuclear program; Concerns over biased teaching at National Defense University; Clinton to make visit to Pakistan; Wreckage of helicopter returned to U.S.; Headley provides testimony at Rana trial; LeT militant killed in Kashmir; China denies receiving request to help build base.


Blast in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa


Karachi Naval Base Attack

  • New details have emerged about the militant raid on the naval base in Karachi on Sunday. Dawn reports that the assailants had shot at armored cars tasked with getting six Americans and eleven Chinese away from the base. Security sources have stated that the militants seemed to be aware of the base's emergency evacuation plans for foreigners. In addition, a local officer who had attempted to negotiate with the militants said that they “spoke Urdu clearly and from their accent they appeared to be locals.” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the assailants had taken advantage of a blind spot not covered by security cameras while entering the base.[ii]
  • The commander of the PNS Mehran base in Karachi has been “relieved from his duties with immediate effect.” However, a spokesperson for the navy has maintained that the replacement is not related to the recent attack on the base. Meanwhile, the Express Tribune reports that the Pakistani navy is considering relocating the base, as it is surrounded by a civilian population and vulnerable to security risks. Meanwhile, after previously denying that any of its citizens had been taken hostage during the attack, China confirmed on Tuesday that Chinese technicians had been detained by militants on the base. However, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that there have been no reports that any Chinese nationals sustained injuries. [iii]
  • Following the assault on the Karachi naval base, the head of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said that though he “felt confident that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is safe and well-protected” the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is “a matter of concern.” However, following an attack in Peshawar on Wednesday, Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that future attacks would not target nuclear installations because "Pakistan is the only Muslim nuclear power state."[iv]


  • Newly released U.S. diplomatic cables have revealed that the U.S. has continued to monitor Pakistan’s nuclear program, despite repeated assurances from Pakistan that its nuclear proliferation problems have been fixed. The cables divulge that Pakistani shipments and business transactions related to the country's nuclear and ballistic missile program have come under intense scrutiny by U.S. embassy officials. [v]
  • The former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, has stated her concerns that military officials were being taught biased information about the U.S. at the National Defense University in Pakistan. She said that while giving a lecture at the university, she “received astonishingly naive and biased questions about America.” The cable adds that “students and instructors were adamant in their approval of all things Chinese.”[vi]

U.S.-Pakistani Relations

Tahawwur Rana Trial

  • On Tuesday, 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 revealed more details about close ties between the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist group. He said that his ISI handler, known as Major Iqbal, was a mastermind behind the terror plot and had deployed Headley on reconnaissance missions in India to scout potential targets. Headley stated that he had been told one of the targets would include the Chabad House, a Jewish community center that Iqbal argued was a front office for Israel’s intelligence agency. Headley also confessed that he had met with Iqbal and his LeT handler, Sajid Mir, in late 2008 to discuss an attack against the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which had published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Headley testified that “We were all angry about it…Major Iqbal said he was surprised such an attack had not taken place already.” [ix]



Gwadar Base


[i] “Car bomb destroys police station in Peshawar, 6 killed,” Express Tribune, May 25, 2011. Available at
[ii] S. Raza Hassan, “Foreigners were attacked during evacuation,” Dawn, May 25, 2011. Available at
[iii] “Navy contemplates relocating PNS Mehran base,” Express Tribune, May 25, 2011. Available at
[iv] “Analysis: Pakistan Raid Raises Nuclear Fears,” Associated Press, May 25, 2011. Available at
[v] Sultana Saifi, “Intense US monitoring of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes,” Dawn, May 25, 2011. Available at
[vi] Idrees Bakhtiar, “US thinks anti-Americanism rife in NDU,” Dawn, May 25, 2011. Available at
[vii] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Clinton visit likely this week,” Dawn, May 25, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Pakistan returns US helicopter from bin Laden raid,” Dawn, May 24, 2011. Available at
[ix] Sebastian Rotella, “Witness: Pakistani Intel Officer Ordered Hit on Mumbai Jews,” ProPublica, May 24, 2011. Available at
[x] “Militant killed in occupied Kashmir: police,” Daily Times, May 25, 2011. Available at\05\25\story_25-5-2011_pg7_9
[xi] “China denies knowing about Pak naval base proposal,” The News, May 25, 2011. Available at
View Citations


Arrow down red
Jun '11
May '11
Apr '11