Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan Security Brief – October 1, 2010


Militants attack convoy of NATO fuel trucks; Khyber Pass remains closed to NATO supply trucks; Tribesmen protest U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan; Panetta vows to intensify drone campaign; Washington grows increasingly worried about the stability of Zardari government; Cameron Munter confirmed as next U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan; Musharraf announces creation of new political party; Osama bin Laden discusses the floods in a new tape; EU and World Bank pledge funds to Pakistan; Sindh High Court hears allegations of flood water manipulation.    


NATO Supply Chain

  • As many as 27 NATO fuel tankers were torched after their convoy was attacked by militants in the province of Sindh on Friday.  The attack occurred while the vehicles were refueling in the town of Shikarpur in northern Sindh.  According to the district police chief, 15 militants opened fire on the convoy with automatic weapons and rocket launchers to scare away the drivers.  Once the vehicles were abandoned, the militants then lit the entire convoy on fire.  Although NATO supply trucks are frequently targeted elsewhere in Pakistan, Thursday’s attack was the first of its kind in Sindh.  No group has yet claimed responsibility and authorities are investigating whether or not the attack was retaliation for recent manned NATO air raids into Pakistani territory.  [1]

  • The main land route used to ferry NATO supplies into Afghanistan remained closed for a second straight day at its crossing point at Torkham, in Khyber-Pukthunkhwa.  Pakistani security officials in Peshawar confirmed that NATO supply vehicles would be not granted access to land routes into Afghanistan by way of Khyber agency.   Pakistan shut down the vital supply line on Thursday, after NATO aircraft reportedly killed three Pakistani soldiers in an airstrike.  While other supply routes are available to NATO forces, including a route still open in Balochistan near Chaman, ISAF officials have publically stated that they hope the Khyber Pass resupply route will soon be reopened.  ISAF spokesman Lt. Col. John Dorrian told reporters, “It's a thoroughfare we use a lot so it is significant. But we can work around it." [2]


US-Pakistan Relations

  • Tribesmen in North Waziristan staged protests on Thursday condemning the U.S. drone campaign that has targeted the agency.  In the four main towns, including the agency’s capital at Miram Shah, streets were clogged with protestors, while many shops and business where closed out of solidarity.  Protestors condemned the drone attacks, saying that they repeatedly kill innocent civilians.  One local tribesman told reporters, “They are attacking civilians; they are killing women, children and old-age people.”[3]

  • CIA Director Panetta met with President Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani in Islamabad on Thursday.  According to reports, the CIA Director pushed President Zardari to consider a military incursion into North Waziristan, and vowed that the CIA drone program would continue to intensify so long as militants continued to operate in the agency.  The meeting was described as “extremely tense” and it came at a time when US-Pakistani relations are increasing strained.  A recent NATO airstrike that killed three Pakistani soldiers was also discussed at the meeting. [4]

  • A  Washington Post article reports that relations between the United States and Pakistan are at an all time low, with senior officials in Washington seriously questioning the competency and stability of the Pakistani government led by President Zardari.  Although Pakistan plays a vital role in the war on terror, U.S. officials are increasingly worried about the ability of the government to simultaneously quell widespread political instability, deal with the aftermath of the floods, and conduct a war against militants operating within its borders.  U.S officials are reportedly writing up a number of contingency plans in case the Zardari government collapses or is overthrown in a military coup.  [5]

  • The United States Senate unanimously confirmed Cameron Munter on Wednesday to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan.  Munter has pledged “ceaseless engagement” to combat terrorist threats to America orientating in Pakistan.  Additionally, Munter has said that as ambassador he plans to make Pakistan wholly aware of the United State’s long-term commit to building a peaceful and stable Pakistan. [6


Bin Laden Statement

  • A statement purportedly from Osama bin Laden surfaced on jihadi websites on Friday.  In the11-minute statement, bin Laden focuses mainly on Pakistan’s devastating flood crisis.  Bin Laden attempts to rally fellow Muslims to aid those who have been affected, asking for “men to take serious and prompt action to provide relief for their Muslim brothers in Pakistan.” In the video bin Laden also calls for the creation of a “reliable task force” to deal with natural disasters in Muslim countries.  Friday’s statement from Osama is his first public comments since last March.  If proven to be authentic, the new bin Laden tape will be the third released by senior al-Qaeda leaders in which Pakistan’s flood crisis is the principal focus.  [7]



  • A new poll of residents in the FATA has found that almost 3 out of 4 people living there oppose U.S. drone operations.  According to the poll, conducted jointly by the New America Foundation and Terror Free Tomorrow, over half of those surveyed believe that U.S. drone strikes mainly killed civilians.  Additionally, the poll reports that 9 out 10 people rejected the idea that America has a right to infringe on Pakistani sovereignty to pursue terrorists.  Others disapproved of the strikes because they anger residents and encouraged militancy.  Data for the poll was collected from over 1,000 personal interviews with residents living in all seven of Pakistan’s tribal agencies.[8] 

  • A spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), Colonel Waseem, told reporters on Thursday that 600 militants were killed and 250 were arrested in military operations that began last March in the Orakzai tribal agency. The Colonel also informed reporters that 85% of the agency was clear of militants and that security forces were still combating militants in 15% of the tribal area.  For more information on the military offensive in the Orakzai tribal agency, please click here.[9]

  • Militants blew up a school for girls in Mohmand agency on Friday.  The blast occurred in the Kaado Kor area and was perpetrated by a group of unidentified militants.  According to officials, no causalities were reported in the attack, but the school was completely destroyed.   As many as 52 schools in the Mohmand tribal agency have been destroyed by militants in recent years.  [10]


Pervez Musharraf

  • Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf formally announced from London the creation of a new political party, The All Pakistan Muslim League.  Speaking to an audience at the National Liberal Club, Musharraf apologized for some of the mistakes he made as President and vowed never to repeat them, “I take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to the whole nation. Ladies and gentlemen, only God is infallible.”  The speech was highly critical of the government of President Zardari; Musharraf used Zardari’s failures as evidence that he must return to Pakistan to “redeem” the nation and wage “jihad against poverty, hunger, illiteracy and backwardness.”  President Musharraf, who is currently living in London in exile, vowed to return to Pakistan to stand for elections, telling the audience, "I will go back to Pakistan before the next election whatever the dangers.” [11]



  • Three people were injured when a UN relief helicopter crash landed on Friday.  The chopper was ferrying relief supplies when it was forced to make a hard landing in the Dadu area of the Sindh province.   Those injured were taken by helicopter to hospitals in Karachi, and officials report that none of their injuries appeared life threatening. [12] 

  • On Friday, Kristalina Georgieva, the chief of humanitarian aid for the European Union, announced at a press conference that the EU was planning to double the amount of flood aid pledged to Pakistan.  The EU will now provide Pakistan with $205 million dollars to deal with the aftermath of record flooding.  Georgieva told reporters, “more financial resources will translate into more lives saved and more people helped.” The EU announcement comes one day after the World Bank approved a $400 million dollar loan to Pakistan.  The $400 million dollar loan is the first to be offered by the World Bank to Pakistan since this summer’s deadly flood season.  World Bank officials said the loan would be made immediately available to pay for the import of “food, medicine, tents, fuel and machinery” all desperately needed by those afflicted. [13]

  • New reports have surfaced that crime and the sale of relief aid are exacerbating the plight of flood victims.  In the regions affected by flooding, the homes of victims forced to flee from rising waters, are increasingly becoming the target of enterprising local criminals.  Additionally, there have been instances of international and USAID relief aid being stolen or resold on the streets.  In one instance, two warehouses full of stolen relief supplies were discovered by authorities in Peshawar.  Government officials have promised victims and international donors that the problem is being addressed by law enforcement agencies across the country.[14]

  • Former Ministry officials filed a petition on Friday in the Sindh High Court seeking a judicial inquiry into allegations of flood water manipulation.  Former ministers Mumtaz Ali Khan Bhutto and Liaquat Ali Jatoi asked the court to assess whether or not provincial government officials illegally breeched certain levies in order to protected favored areas during the height of last summer’s flood season.  The petitioners were particularly adamant that the court investigate the decision to breech the Torri levee, a move that led to the destruction of tens of thousands of homes in the area. [15]

[1]  “Nato tankers torched in Pakistan,” BBC News, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[2] “Nato supplies in Pakistan blocked for second day,” Dawn, October 1, 2010.  Available at  “Militants in Pakistan torch supply trucks bound for Afghanistan,” CNN, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[4] “CIA chief takes tough line on drone hits,” Dawn, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[5] Karan DeYoung and Karin Brulliard, "U.S. tense over Paksitan," The Washington Post, September 30, 2010.  Available at
[6] “US Senate confirms Pakistan envoy,” Dawn, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[7] “'Osama Bin Laden' tape on relief work,” BBC News, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[8] Nahal Toosi, "Poll: US Strikes unpopular in Pakistan tribal belt," Associated Press, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[9] “600 militants killed, 250 held in Orakzai operation: official,” The News, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[10] “School blown up in Mohmand Agency,” The Express Tribune, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[11] “'Sorry' Pervez Musharraf launches new Pakistan party,” BBC News, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[12] “UN chopper crash lands in Pakistan; 3 hurt,” Associated Press, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[13] “EU doubles Pakistan flood aid to 150 million euros,” AFP, October 1, 2010.  Available at “World Bank OKs over $400 mn in Pakistan flood aid,” Dawn, October 1, 2010.  Available at
[14] Rebecca Conway, “Crime adds to misery for Pakistan's flood victims,” Reuters, September 30, 2010.  Available at
[15] Tahir Siddiqi, ” Petition filed for judicial probe into dyke breaches,” Dawn, October 1, 2010.  Available at
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