Pakistan Security Brief

Orakzai drone strike kills 16 suspected militants; Malala Yousafzai moved to better hospital in Rawalpindi; TTP defends attack on Yousafzai; KP gov’t offers Rs 10 million bounty on attackers, Interior Minister says attackers identified; Nat’l Assembly unanimously condemns attack; Gen. Kayani vows to continue fight against militant terrorism; JuD condemns attack as “barbaric;”Protests held around Pakistan over attack; UN Sec’y Gen. outraged by attack; Obama, Clinton speak out against attackers; Afghan Pres. Karzai expresses “shock and grief” over attack; Eight killed, 20 injured by IED in Hasanzai Bazaar; Five killed, 15 injured by roadside blast in Sibi; Bomb strapped to donkey kills 4, injures 10; Militants blow up government school in Akora Khattak; Former Pakistani intelligence officer kidnapped; Pres. Zardari says UK a “genuine development partner;” New report says Pakistan at “high risk” of food crisis.

Drone Strike in Orakzai

  • A Thursday drone strike in the Buland Khel area of Orakzai agency killed 16 militants and wounded six others. The last drone attack in Orakzai agency took place in 2009. Officials said Thursday’s attack targeted the compound of Maulana Shakirullah, a commander in the Pakistani Taliban faction led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur in North Waziristan.[i]

Malala Yousafzai Case

  • Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for allegedly promoting secularism, has been airlifted by helicopter from a hospital in Peshawar to a military hospital with better facilities in Rawalpindi. Doctors successfully removed the bullet lodged in her neck yesterday, but officials say she is still in critical condition. One member of the medical team in charge of treating her in Peshawar explained that “‘neurologically she has significantly improved’ but that the ‘coming days…are very critical.’” A doctor interviewed by AFP said that Yousafzai “had a 70% chance of survival.”[ii]

  • On Wednesday the TTP released a statement defending their attack on Malala on the basis of Sharia law. They said that Malala was attacked not because of her education, but because she was supposedly “preaching secularism and so called enlightened moderation.”  TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that religious law justified the killing of anyone “leading a campaign against Shariah and [trying] to involve the whole community in such [a] campaign,” adding that anyone fomenting a “war against mujahideen” deserved death. He further elaborated the TTP’s stance on education by declaring that the TTP’s “crime wasn’t that they banned education for girls. Instead, our crime was that we tried to bring education system for both boys and girls under Shariah. We are against co-education and secular education system, and Shariah orders us to be against it.”[iii]

  • The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) offered Rs 10 million ($104,000) on Wednesday to anyone who could help identify and arrest the TTP men who shot Malala Yousafzai. KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain added that the identities of anyone who could help would remain anonymous. Today in Islamabad, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the two men had been identified; additionally, Malik urged Islamic scholars across the country to issue a fatwa against the attack.[iv]

  • The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously condemned the TTP attack on Malala Yousafzai in a resolution demanding the government take action against the perpetrators as well as cover all medical and other necessary care for Malala. Law Minister Farooq H. Naek called the shooting a “crime against humanity” while renowned literary figure Bushra Rehman criticized the government for not doing more to protect Yousafzai after she received the National Peace Award in 2011. Members of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) condemned the attack but said that the government should not “cut off” the perpetrators but rather continue efforts to negotiate with them.[v]

  • Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani reiterated on Wednesday his commitment to the fight against terrorism after visiting Malala Yousafzai at the Combined Military Hospital in Peshawar. He called the attack on Yousafzai and two of her classmates a “heinous act of terrorism” carried out by individuals with a “twisted ideology” that ran counter to true Islamic values.[vi]

  • Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the charity wing of banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, spoke out against the attack on Wednesday. In a Twitter message, JuD wrote that the attack was a “shameful, despicable, barbaric attempt…Curse b upon assassins and perpetrators.”[vii]

  • Around 250 civil society activists protested the attack on Malala Yousufzai in Islamabad on Wednesday. They urged the state to take prompt action and demanded that extremists cease attacking educational institutions. In a Chakwal protest, Awami National Party Punjab chief Ayub Malik called the attack an attack against “humanity and all types of civilizations,” and that the “enemies of humanity and Islam must be dealt with iron hands.” Lawyers in Chakwal held a strike to protest the attack. Additionally, private schools in the Swat Valley closed down in protest over the attack and other smaller rallies took place in Karachi, Lahore, and Mingora.[viii]

International Outrage

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the attack against Malala Yousufzai on Wednesday, calling “for the perpetrators of this heinous and cowardly act to be swiftly brought to justice.” He praised Yousafzai’s “courageous efforts to promote the fundamental right to education” and expressed his deepest sympathies to her family.[ix]

  • White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Wednesday that President Barack Obama found the attack on Malala Yousafzai “reprehensible and disgusting and tragic,” and that U.S. forces were prepared to provide transportation and other care if necessary. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the “attack reminds us of the challenges that girls face, whether it is poverty or marginalization or even violence just for speaking out for their basic rights,” and criticized extremists frightened of girls’ empowerment.[x]

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai called President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday to express his “grief and shock” over the shooting and condemn its perpetrators as cowards.[xi] 


  • Eight people were killed and another 20 were injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Orakzai agency’s Hasanzai Bazar area on Thursday. The roadside IED was triggered by a remote control when a passenger van drove by. All the victims of the attack “belonged to anti-Taliban Mushti tribe,” and officials speculate that they were targeted by militants “for their anti-Taliban stance.”[xii]

  • Five people were killed and another 15 were injured by a roadside bomb in Sibi, Balochistan on Thursday. The bomb had 20 kilograms of explosives and destroyed most of the twelve shops and five vehicles it hit as well.[xiii]

  • According to officials interviewed by the Express Tribune, A bomb strapped to a donkey killed four people and injured another 10 in Lower Orakzai agency on Thursday. The attack took place in a small bazaar in Mishti Mela village.[xiv]

  • Unidentified militants blew up a government primary school in Akora Khattak near Nowshera on Wednesday. Sources interviewed by Dawn said that “4 to 6 kilograms of explosives were used in the blast,” and that the explosion caused “substantial damage,” to the school.[xv] 

Islamabad Kidnapping

  • A former officer of a Pakistani intelligence agency, Brigadier Tahir Masood, was kidnapped in Islamabad’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Phase II on Thursday. The kidnappers also shot and killed Masood’s driver who tried to prevent the kidnapping. Police and intelligence officials arrived soon after the crime to begin their investigations.[xvi]

British-Pakistani Relations

  • In a Wednesday discussion with British parliamentarian and former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband, President Asif Ali Zardari said that Pakistan considered Britain a very important development partner and that Pakistan greatly values its relationship with the UK. He underlined the need to reach the mutual trade targets established by the Pakistan-UK Trade and Investment Roadmap to further strengthen British-Pakistani bilateral relations.[xvii]

Potential Food Crisis

  • A survey conducted by British consulting firm Maplecroft placed Pakistan at number 27 out of 48 countries deemed to be at “high” risk of a food crisis on Wednesday. Out of 197 countries, 59 were considered at risk for a food crisis in the near future due to price hikes, conflict, shortages, etc. The survey is intended for government and NGO use.[xviii]                    

[i] Zahir Shah Sherzai, “US drone strikes in Orakzai kill 16 suspected militants,” Dawn, October 11, 2012. Available at:
[ii] “Malala Yousafzai: Shot Pakistan girl moves hospitals,” BBC, October 11, 2012. Available at
[iii] “Taliban use Islamic Shariah to defend Malala attack,” Dawn, October 10, 2012. Available at:
[iv] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “KP govt announces Rs 10 million bounty for attackers of Malala,” Dawn, October 10, 2012; Available at:; “Malala’s attackers identified: Rehman Malik,” Express Tribune, October 11, 2012. Available at:
[v] Qamar Zaman, “National Assembly: Lawmakers condemn Malala attack in unison,” Express Tribune, October 11, 2012. Available at:
[vi] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Kayani vows to carry on fight against terror,” Dawn, October 10, 2012. Available at:
[vii] Declan Walsh, “Pakistanis Unite in Outrage Over Girl’s Shooting by Taliban,” New York Times, October 10, 2012. Available at:
[viii] “Protest against attack on Malala,” Dawn, October 10, 2012. Available at:; Declan Walsh, “Pakistanis Unite in Outrage Over Girl’s Shooting by Taliban,” New York Times, October 10, 2012. Available at:; Rebecca Santana and Riaz Khan, “Shooting of Pakistan girl activist sparks outrage,” AP, October 10, 2012. Available at:    
[ix] “Ki-moon outraged by attack on Malala,” The News International, October 11, 2012. Available at:
[x] “Obama, Clinton, UN Chief condemn attack on Malala,” Dawn, October 10, 2012. Available at:
[xi] “Karzai calls Zardari, condemns murderous attack on Malala,” The News International, October 11, 2012. Available at:,-condemns-murderous-attack-on-Malala.
[xii] “Orakzai blast kills eight, injures 20,” Dawn, October 11, 2012. Available at
[xiii] “Roadside blast kills five, injures 15 in Sibi,” Dawn, October 11, 2012. Available at
[xiv] “Bomb strapped to donkey kills 4 in Orakzai: Officials,” AFP, October 11, 2012. Available at
[xv] “School blown up in Nowshera,” Dawn, October 11, 2012. Available at
[xvi] “Former intelligence officer kidnapped in Islamabad,” Dawn, October 11, 2012. Available at
[xvii] “Pakistan deems UK genuine development partner: Zardari,” The News International, October 11, 2012. Available at:
[xviii] “Pakistan at ‘high’ risk of food crisis: Report,” AFP, October 11, 2012. Available at:
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