Pakistan Security Brief

Authorities name militants killed in Waziristan air strikes; Families from Mir Ali flee after curfew in North Waziristan lifted; Interior Minister says no decision yet to abandon peace talks or launch full-scale operation; TTP and Lashkar-e-Islam militants parley in Tirah Valley; Army chief arrives in South Waziristan to brief troops on situation in North Waziristan; Clashes between rival militant groups kill four, in Shawal, North Waziristan; Congress restricts aid to Pakistan on condition of freeing Dr. Afridi; Prime Minister attends Indian Prime Minister Modi’s inauguration in New Delhi, meets to discuss India-Pakistan relations; Afghan President accuses LeT of attack on Indian embassy in Herat; China, Pakistan begin third joint military exercise; Jang News group apologizes to military and ISI in Hamid Mir case; U.S. Chairman Joint Chiefs warns of “arc of militancy” running from Pakistan to Nigeria; Rapid Response Forces deploys in Islamabad, Rawalpindi; IED blast kills one in Islamabad; Clash between militants and security forces kills eight militants, two soldiers in Landi Kotal; IED blast kills six security officials in Mohmand; TTP Mohmand and “Lashkare-Jarrar” claim responsibility; Gunmen kill eight Levies personnel in Balochistan; Security forces in Bajaur agency kill five militants; Levies soldier injured in Bajaur agency bombing; One killed and 12 injured in bombing at Karachi Shia congregation center; Gunmen kill three including two policemen in Hyderabad; Interior Minister denies reports of civil-military rift; PTI holds Islamabad protest against rigging.

Military Operations in the Tribal Areas

  • On Saturday, military authorities released some of the names of militants believed to have been killed in the military’s airstrikes in North Waziristan. Authorities claimed to have killed Uzbek Commander Abu Ahmad, Commander Qanooni, a suicide bomber named Sabir, Commander Gilamand, and Commander Jihadyar.[1]

  • On Saturday, families from the Mir Ali sub-district fled to Bannu and other parts of the country after the local political administration lifted the curfew in North Waziristan. Other families from Mir Ali and Machis Camp returned to their homes, many of which had been destroyed in the air strikes, to retrieve valuables.[2]

  • On Saturday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stated that Pakistan has not yet decided to abandon peace talks with the TTP or to launch a full-scale military operation in North Waziristan. Khan added that the recent air strikes and limited ground operations were an extension of the existing policy whereby the military will respond to any act of violence against civilian or military targets. In response, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed on Sunday that the government has launched military operations in all of Pakistan’s tribal agencies except Bajaur.[3]

  • On Saturday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to share with Pakistan’s political leadership the state of peace talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan.[4]

  • On Sunday, the Chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami-Sami (JUI-S) Maulana Samil Haq stated that the situation in North Waziristan is “getting tense” due to the military airstrikes and ground operations conducted late last week. Samiul Haq added that “even after carrying out the operation, there will be no other option in the end but to depend on dialogue.”[5]

  • According to a Monday article in The News, militants from the TTP and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) are holding talks in Khyber agency’s Tirah Valley. The talks are being led by the TTP’s Gul Zaman and LI’s Mangal Bagh while TTP leaders from North Waziristan, South Waziristan, and Orakzai agency attended a Jirga to discuss ways to restore confidence and eliminate differences between the two groups, as well as to exchange prisoners; current peace talks with the government were also discussed.[6]

  • On Tuesday, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif arrived in South Waziristan to brief troops on the ongoing security situation in the agency.[7]

TTP Infighting

  • On Tuesday, clashes between rival militant groups killed four and injured three in Shawal sub-district of North Waziristan.[8]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Thursday, members of the U.S. House of Representative, led by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, introduced an amendment to the defense spending bill that designated the provision of military aid to Pakistan contingent on the release of Doctor Shahid Afridi, who was arrested for helping the United States find Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad. Representative Rohrabacher introduced another amendment stipulating that Pakistan’s government could not use U.S. funds to persecute minority groups, including Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis.[9]

India-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, Narendra Modi was sworn in as India’s Prime Minister in New Delhi. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was at the ceremony and met with Modi on Tuesday. At a bilateral meeting the next day, Modi told Sharif that Pakistan needs to stop Pakistan-based militant groups from attacking India. He also said the two countries could immediately begin normalizing trade ties. Sharif said he welcomed Indian investment in Pakistan.[10]

  • On Sunday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the release of 151 Indian fishermen as a “goodwill gesture” prior to his visit to India to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. The fishermen had accidentally crossed the ill-defined maritime border between India and Pakistan.[11]

  • On Saturday, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed criticized Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for attending Nerendra Modi’s inauguration and said that Modi and Abdullah Abdullah were installed by the U.S. in India and Afghanistan respectively to surround Pakistan with hostile neighbors.[12]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • On Monday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused LeT of being responsible for last week’s attack on the Indian consulate in Herat. LeT spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi disputed the accusation and condemned the attack.[13]

  • On Friday, the Minister for Defense and Water and Power, Khawaja Asif, spoke at the Third Moscow Conference on International Security about the need for stability in Afghanistan in order for the goals of regional and global peace to be realized. Asif added that spillover effects from Afghanistan, including militancy, narco-trafficking, arms proliferation, and refugee outflows, could impact the entire region.[14]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, Iranian border guards killed two Pakistanis who were trying to cross the border into Iran from Taftan, Chaghi district, Balochistan.[15]

Saudi-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, the federal government revised its fiscal accounts and excluded Saudi Arabia’s gift of $1.5 billion “from the head of statistical discrepancy,” which widened the national budget deficit by $1.5 billion for the July-March period of the current fiscal year.[16]

Russia-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, Political Counsellor at the Russian Embassy in Islamabad, Andrey Shabalin, stated that there are “bright” prospects for defense cooperation between Pakistan and Russia. Shabalin also commented that Russia is interested in various projects, including the conversion of the Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station to coal, the rehabilitation and expansion of Pakistan Steel Mills, in addition to long-term defense cooperation.[17]

China-Pakistan Relations

  • On Saturday, a contingent of China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and members of Pakistan’s Air Force (PAF) began a third set of joint air exercises, named “Shaheen-III” at an operational base in Pakistan. The exercise is part of “multidimensional joint air exercises” that are held annually between China and Pakistan.[18]

Jang/Geo Controversy

  • On Monday, the news outlets associated with the Jang news group issued apologies to the military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for accusing them of involvement in the attempted murder of broadcaster Hamid Mir. They said that their coverage of the attack was “distressful and emotional” and caused “deep hurt” to ISI chief Zahirul Islam.[19]

  • On Sunday, unidentified men attacked a van carrying copies of Jang and The News and set it on fire. On Friday, unidentified attackers “tortured” a driver for Geo TV.[20]

  • On Monday, TTP Mohmand chief Omar Khalid Khorasani and TTP political shura leader Qari Shakil both denied that the TTP had threatened Geo TV cable operators to stop its broadcasts.[21]

  • On Friday, a spokesman for the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) said that moves to shut down Geo TV were illegal.[22]


  • On Thursday, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, warned of instability in the Middle East and North Africa after a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military leaders in Brussels. Dempsey stated that although the U.S. and NATO forces have suppressed al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan and Pakistan, al Qaeda has adapted and decentralized, which has created an “arc” of groups spreading from Pakistan to Nigeria. Dempsey also noted that the Afghan Taliban should seek a negotiated solution to the conflict in the Afghanistan while the window of opportunity is still open.[23]

  • On Friday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stated that the newly stood-up Rapid Response Force (RRF) will be deployed in Islamabad and Rawalpindi during the following week as part of the government’s counterterrorism efforts.[24]

  • On Saturday, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Islamabad’s upmarket shopping area killed one security guard and injured another. According to a police official, a second bomb in a car detonated approximately an hour-and-a-half later in a different part of the city. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. A similar article in the Express Tribune reported that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the shopping market in Islamabad, which killed the security guard and injured another. In response to the blasts, Islamabad Senior Superintendent of Police Muhammad Ali Nekakura ordered police officials to remain on high alert, conduct “snap checks” at entry and exit points in to the city, and increase patrolling.[25]

  • On Saturday, militants ambushed a security forces’ vehicle in Landi Kotal sub-district of Khyber agency. The security forces responded to the attack, killing eight militants, including a militant commander. Two soldiers were killed and three others injured in the clash.[26]

  • On Saturday, an IED blast targeting a security forces’ convoy killed at least six security officials and injured one in the Pindiali sub-district of Mohmand agency. The leader of the TTP in Mohmand agency, Omar Khalid Khorasani claimed responsibility for the attack. Additionally, a man named Mohammadullah, who claimed to be the spokesman of a new group called “Lashkar-e-Jarrar,”, also claimed responsibility for the attack while speaking to reporters from Kohat.[27]

  • On Monday, Frontier Corps personnel recovered five bodies in the Pandiali area of Mohmand agency. Official sources said the deceased appeared to have been shot in the head.[28]

  • On Sunday, unidentified gunmen attacked a checkpost in Wadh, Khuzdar district, Balochistan, killing eight Levies personnel and injuring one.[29]

  • On Sunday, Afghanistan-based militants fired on a checkpost in Manro Jangal, Bajaur agency. Security forces in Pakistan retaliated, killing five militants.[30]

  • On Saturday, a roadside bomb blast in Kamarsar, Bajaur agency injured a Levies soldier.[31]

  • On Saturday, two bomb blasts in Orangi Town, Karachi killed one person and injured twelve at a Shia congregation center.[32]

  • On Saturday, unidentified gunmen attacked a house in Hyderabad, Sindh, killing three people, including two policemen.[33]

Civil-Military Relations

  • On Saturday, a “government insider” denied previous reports that divisions between Pakistan’s civilian government and the military were deepening. After a reportedly tense meeting between Pakistan’s civil and military leadership last week, Reuters cited an unnamed source as saying that that the Chief of Army Staff told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that “the time for talks with the Taliban was over.” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has also declared that the Reuters report was “nonsensical and farcical,” denying tensions between the government and the military over peace talks with the TTP.[34]


  • On Friday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers clashed with police and held a protest in Islamabad against the alleged rigging of elections for several National Assembly seats in last year’s polls.[35]

  • On Friday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan chaired a high-level meeting, at which the Islamabad administration and police decided to seek assistance from the Pakistan army to help secure Pakistan’s “big cities,” including Islamabad and Rawalpindi. At the meeting, the army’s 111 Brigade was granted police powers and asked to deploy across Islamabad alongside Rangers personnel in order to prevent anticipated militant attacks retaliating for recent military operations in North Waziristan.[36]

  • On Friday, the Joint Opposition in the Senate outlined a “diluted version” of the Pakistan Protection Ordinance, called the “Protection of Pakistani Citizens Act, 2014.” Amendments to the original Pakistan Protection Ordinance aim to differentiate between local militants fighting against the state of Pakistan and foreign militants; militants who encourage others to take up arms against the state of Pakistan or a foreign state; and an ordinary Pakistani citizen who is suspected of militant activity.[37]

[1] “Military says five commanders killed in air strikes,” The News, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[2] “Surgical strikes: Dozens of families flee N Waziristan,” Express Tribune, May 25, 2014. Available at: “Military says five commanders killed in air strikes,” The News, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[3] Mateen Haider, “North Waziristan offensive “not full-scale operation”,” Dawn, May 24, 2014. Available at: Nasruminallah, “Peace dialogue in jeopardy: Govt on warpath in all but one tribal agency, says TTP,” Express Tribune, May 26, 2014. Available at: “No decision yet on full-scale operation in NWA: Nisar,” Geo News, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[4] Amir Wasim, “Political ownership sought for military action in Fata,” Dawn, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[5] “Operation is operation, announced or otherwise: Samiul Haq,” The News, May 25, 2014. Available at:,-announced-or-otherwise%3a-Sami
[6] “Talks underway between TTP and Lashkar-e-Islam,” The News, May 26, 2014. Available at:
[7] “Army chief visits South Waziristan,” Express Tribune, May 27, 2014. Available at:
[8] “NWA militant rival groups’ clash leaves 4 dead,” The News, May 27, 2014. Available at:
[9] Wajid Ali Syed, “US aid to Pakistan again linked to Dr. Afridi’s release,” The News, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[10] “Narendra Modi Sworn in as India’s 15th Prime Minister,” Dawn, May 26, 2014. Available at:
Shyamantha Asokan, “Modi Tells Pakistani PM to Prevent Terrorism against India,” Reuters, May 27, 2014. Available at:
“Indian Investment in Pakistan Welcome, Says Nawaz,” The News, May 27, 2014. Available at:,-says-Nawaz
[11] Mohammad Hussain Khan, “PM Orders Release of 151 Indian Prisoners Before Delhi Visit,” Dawn, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[12] “Modi’s Swearing-In: Hafiz Saeed Urges PM to Review Decision,” The Express Tribune, May 26, 2014. Available at:
[13] “Karzai Blames Lashkar-i-Taiba for Indian Consulate Attack,” Dawn, May 26, 2014. Available at:
“LeT Denies it Attacked Indian Consulate in Afghanistan,” The Express Tribune, May 27, 2014. Available at:
[14] “Stability in Afghanistan must for regional peace: Khawaja Asif,” The News, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[15] “Iranian Border Guards Kill Two Pakistanis,” The News, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[16] “Budget deficit widens after Saudi Arabia grant excluded,” Express Tribune, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[17] “Islamabad, Moscow eye defence deals,” Express Tribune, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[18] Mateen Haider, “Pakistan, China air forces begin joint drills “shaheen-ill”,” Dawn, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[19] “Geo/Jang Group Tenders Apology to ISI, Armed Forces,” Dawn, May 26, 2014. Available at:
[20] “Van Carrying The News, Jang Bundles Set on Fire,” The News, May 26, 2014. Available at:,-Jang-bundles-set-on-fire
[21] “Taliban Deny Threatening Cable Operators to Stop Geo,” The News, May 27, 2014. Available at:
[22] “Pemra Terms Geo Shutdown, Change in Position Illegal,” The News, May 24, 2014. Available at:,-change-in-position-illegal
[23] “Top US general warns of a decentralized al Qaeda ‘arc’ running from Pakistan to Nigeria,” Express Tribune, May 23, 2014. Available at:
[24] “Rapid Response Force for twin cities next week,” Express Tribune, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[25] “One dead in twin bomb attack on Pakistan campital,” Dawn, May 24, 2014. Available at: “Suspected suicide bomb explosion in Islamabad kills one, injures another,” Express Tribune, May 24, 2014. Available at: “Enhancing security: Capital’s cops receive a flurry of orders,” Express Tribune, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[26] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Clash leaves eight militants, two soldiers dead in Landi Kotal,” Dawn, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[27] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Mohmand Agency blast kills six security officials, injures one,” Dawn, May 24, 2014. Available at: Mureeb Mohmand, “IED blast in Mohmand Agency kills 6 security officials,” Express Tribune, May 24, 2014. Available at: “Six soldiers killed in Mohmand IED explosion,” The News, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[28] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Five bodies recovered in Mohmand tribal region,” Dawn, May 26, 2014. Available at:
[29] “Eight Levies Personnel Shot Dead Near Wadh,” Dawn, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[30] “Five Militants Killed in Bajaur agency,” The News, May 26, 2014. Available at:
[31] “Levies Man Injured in Bajaur Blast,” The News, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[32] Faraz Khan, “Eight-Year-Old Killed in Blasts Near Imambargah in Karachi,” The Express Tribune, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[33] Mohammad Hussain Khan, “Two Policemen Among Three Gunned Down in Hyderabad,” Dawn, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[34] “Pakistan says no tension between government and army,” Reuters, May 25, 2014. Available at:
[35] Peer Muhammad, “Anti-Rigging Protest: Police Baton Charge PTI Workers Again,” The Express Tribune, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[36] “Army’s help to be sought for security of big cities,” The News, May 24, 2014. Available at:
[37] Iftikhar Firdous, “Controversial legislation: Opposition waters down terror law,” Express Tribune, May 24, 2014. Available at:
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