Pakistan Security Brief

Reports on potential military operation in North Waziristan; ISI suspected of kidnapping Pakistani journalist; WikiLeaks: F-16 aircraft sold to Pakistan to further U.S. broad strategic interests; Cable reveals that the ISI had demanded Saudi Arabia cease funding Sharif campaign; Diplomatic cable: ISI officials continue to maintain ties with extremist organizations; Cable reveals Pakistani apprehensions about an Indian military incursion; WikiLeaks: France had decided against supplying nuclear energy technology; Blast in North Waziristan on Monday killed one person; NATO helicopter crosses into Pakistani airspace; Five people were killed and twelve others injured in Bajaur; Seventeen militants killed in Orakzai; U.S. and Pakistani officials agree on framework to jointly tackle militancy; Fourteen U.S. military trainers have left Pakistan; Clinton demands intelligence sharing from the Pakistani government; McCain: New tensions in relationship contributing to decline in support for the Afghan war; Foreign Office confirms bin Laden possessed a "support network" in Pakistan; CIA team inspects bin Laden’s former compound; bin Laden had aimed to build a "grand coalition;" Six people detained in connection to the PNS Mehran attacks; Unidentified militants assault Zardari’s Chief Security Officer; Tahawwur Rana trial continues; Indian and Pakistani defense secretaries meet in New Delhi; Five suspected terrorists arrested in Dera Ghazi Khan; Police officer killed in Peshawar; ANP leader Muzaffar Ali Khan killed in Swat; Two policemen killed in Quetta.


North Waziristan Operation

  • The News reports that Pakistan has agreed “in principle” to initiate a security operation in North Waziristan Agency. Sources report that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will kick-off the military offensive in the agency with strikes to “soften up militant targets under the ‘targeted military offensive’ before ground operations [are] launched,” against militants of the Pakistani Taliban, led by Hakimullah Mehsud. However, Pakistani officials allegedly face pressure from the U.S. to also target members of the Haqqani network in the agency. The News also states that the decision to undertake the operation had been readied some time ago, but was finalized during the recent visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen to Pakistan. In an interview on Monday, Admiral Mullen told a television network that “It’s a very important fight and a very important operation.” A senior official with an international humanitarian agency reported that humanitarian agencies in the region have been notified to prepare for the displacement of up to 365,000 people in advance of the operation. However, a Pakistani military official has told The Express Tribune that a decision on the operation has not been made. Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani will reportedly meet this week with senior officials to discuss U.S. "demands" for a security operation.[i]

Suspected Abduction by ISI



  • U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have given insight into the 2005 sale by the United States of F-16 military aircraft to Pakistan. The cable suggests that the sale was “used only to further America's broad strategic interests, with Pakistan standing to gain little from the deal…The purpose of the sale was to divert Pakistan's attention from ‘the nuclear option,’ and give it ‘time and space to employ a conventional reaction’ in the event of a conflict with India.” However, the cables assert that the F-16s would be “no match for India's proposed purchase of F-18 or equivalent aircraft.”[iii]
  • A new U.S. diplomatic cable reveals that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had demanded that Saudi Arabia cease funding Nawaz Sharif’s campaign in the last elections, as the aid violated Pakistan’s agreement with Saudi Arabia on Nawaz’s return from exile. Former National Security Advisor Tariq Aziz told former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson that the Saudis were funding Sharif’s campaign to ensure the defeat of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).[iv]
  • WikiLeaks has released a diplomatic cable sent by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which states that “’some officials of Pakistan's ISI continue to maintain ties with a wide array of extremist organizations,’ in particular the Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.” A separate cable released in September 2009 discusses the importance of solving the Kashmir conflict and reveals Pakistan’s fears that an “India-friendly government in Afghanistan will give India an opportunity to operate against Pakistan from Afghanistan.” An additional cable written in 2009 summarizes Pakistani apprehensions about an Indian military incursion following the 2008 Mumbai attacks.[v]
  • According to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, France previously had decided against supplying nuclear energy technology to Pakistan because of fears over the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. Jean-David Levitte, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's diplomatic adviser, told U.S. diplomats in 2009 that the French government was "not sure that the Pakistani nuclear deterrent [was] secure” due to “frequent movement of nuclear weapons by the Pakistani military."[vi]



U.S.-Pakistani Relations


Bin Laden Raid and Response

  • A spokesperson at Pakistan’s Foreign Office confirmed for the first time that Osama bin Laden possessed a "support network" in the country. The spokesperson said, “I would again like to recall that Secretary Clinton said that the US has absolutely no reason to believe that anyone at the highest levels of government knew about Osama and that there was an investigation being carried out to find out the facts….Obviously, there must have been a local support group, presumably consisting of [al Qaeda] and its affiliates, for bin Laden. This is common sense. The ongoing investigations hopefully will bare the truth.” On Sunday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik declared that a commission to investigate the operation in Abbottabad would be formed in two days.[xii]
  • On Friday, a CIA team inspected Osama bin Laden’s former compound in Abbottabad. The team of three to five members arrived by helicopter and spent six hours in the residence. Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that according to documents seized in the residence, bin Laden had aimed to build a "grand coalition" of Afghan and Pakistani militant groups. According to Richard Barrett, head of the United Nations al Qaeda and Taliban sanctions committee, “Bin Laden found it pretty difficult to be marginalized and was making a huge effort to stay relevant. There was some indication that he was looking at re-energizing links with [other local militant groups] to give himself a central role." [xiii]



Tahawwur Rana Trial


Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • In the first meeting of the top civil servants from the Indian and Pakistan defense ministries in over three years, two days of talks were held in New Delhi to discuss how to withdraw troops from the area over the Siachen glacier. However, after two days of dialogue, no agreement was reached on the demilitarization of the area. According to Reuters, “India has long maintained that it was unwilling to bring its forces down from Siachen until Pakistan authenticated the positions they held. Pakistan in turn has said it was willing to do so, but on the condition it was not a final endorsement of India's claim to the glacier.” The two sides announced that they would meet again in Islamabad.[xvii]

‘Terrorists’ Arrested in Dera Ghazi Khan

  • Five suspected terrorists were arrested in Dera Ghazi Khan. Among the men arrested was Mohammad Akram, suspected to have played a role in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3. The men were also allegedly involved in the robbery of a bank in Taunsa Sharif and were suspected of raising funds for militant organizations.[xviii]

Malik Declares Amnesty for Young Taliban

  • Addressing a Pakistan Peoples Party Youth Convention in Islamabad, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced an amnesty for "young Taliban" who renounced violence. The minister urged them to “give up suicide bombings and other terrorist activities and help the government strengthen the country.” Malik also said he had prepared a summary regarding civil defense training for up to 25,000 youth.[xix]





[i] Zeeshan Halder, “Pakistan tells agencies to prepare for N. Waziristan evacuation,” Reuters, May 30, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Journalist Saleem Shahzad goes missing,” Dawn, May 30, 2011. Available at
[iii] Arun Mohan, “Behind the Pakistan F-16 deal, a tale of many wheels,” The Hindu, May 30, 2011. Available at
[iv] “WikiLeaks: ISI asked Saudis to stop funding Nawaz's campaign,” Express Tribune, May 31, 2011. Available at
[v] Mukund Padmanabhan, “State Department cable cited ISI links with militants,” The Hindu, May 31, 2011. Available at
[vi] “France unsure about Pakistan's nuclear deterrent: WikiLeaks,” Times of India, May 29, 2011. Available at
[vii] Malik Mumtaz Khan, “Minor killed in NWA blast,” The News, May 31, 2011. Available at
[viii] Hasbanullah Khan, “Five killed in Bajaur suicide attack,” The News, May 29, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Forces kill seventeen militants in Orakzai agency,” Dawn, May 31, 2011. Available at
[x] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Split in Pakistan-US ties averted,” Dawn, May 28, 2011. Available at
[xi] Anwar Iqbal, “Ties with Pakistan crucial for Afghan war, says McCain,” Dawn, May 30, 2011. Available at
[xii] “Commission to be set up in two days: Malik,” Dawn, May 30, 2011. Available at
[xiii] Rashid Javed, “CIA team inspects Osama compound,” Dawn, May 28, 2011. Available at
[xiv] “Mehran base attack: Six suspects arrested,” Dawn, May 28, 2011. Available at
[xv] “President’s chief security officer attacked: DawnNews,” Dawn, May 29, 2011. Available at’s-chief-security-officer-attacked-dawnnews.html
[xvi] Sebastian Rotella, “How Do We Know Pakistan Terror Witness Is Telling the Truth?,” ProPublica, May 31, 2011. Available at
[xviii] “Five 'terrorists' arrested in Dera Ghazi Khan,” Express Tribune, May 31, 2011. Available at
[xix] “Malik announces amnesty for young Taliban,” Express Tribune, May 30, 2011. Available at
[xx] “Police officer killed during search operation in Peshawar,” Dawn, May 29, 2011. Available at
[xxi] “ANP leader among three killed in Swat,” The News, May 29, 2011. Available at
[xxii] “Gunmen kill two policemen in Quetta,” Dawn, May 29, 2011. Available at
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