Pakistan Security Brief

Interior Minister says no plans for North Waziristan offensive; 17 killed in car bomb explosion in Peshawar; Militants kill four soldiers in military checkpoint attack; At least 5 security forces killed in checkpoint attacks; Five militants killed in Bara Sheikhan clash; Six killed in skirmish between rival TTP factions; Satellite phone seized from Dr. Shakil Afridi; 106 detained for suspected terrorist facilitation; Malala’s condition gradually improving; Thousands attend anti-attack demonstration in Karachi; Afghan President urges cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan in fight against militancy; 25 arrested in connection with Malala Yousafzai attack; Swat jirga declares war on Taliban; JUI-F leader says religious leaders can save Pakistan; TTP to target media organizations, journalists who report on Malala attack; PTI Chairman’s comment angers Afghan government; Abbottabad commission finishes report; Pakistani government has “serious reservations” about UN missing persons report; JI women hold anti-Islam film protest; Wagah customs officials to work round-the-clock; Pres. Zardari attends ECO Summit in Baku; Prime Minister attends ACD Summit in Kuwait; Ten killed in Karachi gunfire incidents.

No Waziristan Offensive

  • Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Monday that there were no plans for a military offensive in North Waziristan in the wake of the attack on Malala Yousafzai. He further claimed that the attack was planned in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. He also stated that if an operation were to be planned, the military and civil leadership would make that decision together based on the opinions of military commanders in the field. He reiterated that Malala’s attackers had been identified, though declined to release names due to security concerns.[i]

Militant Activity

  • At least 17 people were killed when a car bomb exploded outside an office for anti-Taliban tribal elders in Darra Adam Khel, Orakzai agency on Saturday. Forty people were wounded in the blast while at least 35 shops and eight vehicles were damaged. While no-one has yet claimed responsibility, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain suspects the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack.[ii]

  • Militants attacked a military checkpoint in the Asman Manza area of Ladha sub-district, South Waziristan on Friday, killing four soldiers. More than seventy militants reportedly ambushed the checkpoint. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan later claimed responsibility for the attack. Security forces claimed that they killed four militants and injured three others.[iii]

  • In a Sunday attack on two military posts in Ghaziabad and Frontier Road, militants killed at least five security personnel and injured 10 police and Frontier Corps troops. Among the deceased was Superintendent of Police Rural Khurshid Khan. Deputy Superintendent of Police Fazal-e-Mula said dozens of militants had attacked the check posts and exchanged fire with security forces for nearly 45 minutes, and that a search operation was under way.[iv]

  • A Sunday clash between militants and the Frontier Corps (FC) in the Bara Sheikhan area near Peshawar resulted in the death of five militants and one FC official. Police arrived at the Aziz market in Bara Sheikhan after receiving a tip-off about bomb planted in the area, and militants attacked police forces during their search operation.[v]

  • Two rival TTP groups exchanged gunfire in a Saturday skirmish that pitted forces under Mullah Toofan, the TTP’s vice commander in Orakzai agency, against those led by Maulvi Gul Zaman, the agency’s TTP commander. Four of Toofan’s men were killed while three were injured; two of Zaman’s men were killed while one was injured. According to security officials, the fight took place after a heated argument in which Toofan told Zaman he was breaking away from Zaman’s command. Militants led by Hafiz Ziaur Rehman and Pir Saifur intervened to stop the fighting in Mamuzai and call a jirga to decide how to proceed.[vi]

Dr. Shakil Afridi Case

  • Authorities at the Peshawar Central Jail seized a satellite phone from the imprisoned Dr. Shakil Afridi over the weekend, sparking fury within the ISI and renewed uncertainty over whether or not a secret interview took place with Afridi in September. Fox News released the transcript of the interview on September 11, prompting outrage and denial on the part of Pakistani authorities.  With the discovery of the satellite phone, investigators now believe the interview might have been authentic, though the Pakistani security establishment still says it is not and has recommended that Afridi be immediately transferred to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi as a “highly dangerous” prisoner. Authorities have arrested four police commandos in connection with the case, one of whom confessed to providing Afridi with the phone, thereby allowing him to make 68 national and international calls.[vii]

Islamabad Arrests

  • Police apprehended 106 suspects in Islamabad on Sunday after receiving a tip that terrorist facilitators may have been taking refuge in Sihala on the outskirts of Islamabad. Officials say that they have received multiple threats recently from terrorists who say they are targeting certain locations in Islamabad. According to police, most of the suspects did not have legitimate documentation and “could not justify their purpose of visit to the city.” They have been sent to different detention facilities for questioning.[viii]

Malala Yousafzai Attack

  • A spokesman for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Sunday that Malala Yousafzai’s condition was “satisfactory,” and that doctors had registered some movement in her arms and legs. ISPR’s Director General Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa confirmed that Malala’s condition was gradually improving, though she was sent to Britain on Monday for emergency treatment.[ix]

  • In the largest display of solidarity since Malala Yousafzai was shot on October 9, tens of thousands of demonstrators attended a rally led by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Karachi on Sunday. MQM Party Chief Altaf Hussain criticized other Pakistani political parties for not condemning Islamic extremism strongly enough and not calling for rallies against the attack on Malala[x] 

  • On Saturday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai wrote letters to over a dozen senior Pakistani officials and politicians urging the need for Afghanistan and Pakistan to take “coordinated and serious” steps in combating terrorism. Karzai said the attack on Malala was also an attack on Afghan girls, and that it was imperative for both countries to work together to protect their children from such threats.[xi]

  • Security forces have arrested 25 additional suspects connected to the attack on Malala Yousafzai. The men were apprehended from Mingora, Swat; Sangota; Keel; and Malakand agency and escorted to an undisclosed location for questioning. A man named, Attaullah, the alleged mastermind of the attack, is still at large.[xii]

  • On Sunday, the Nepkikhel Aman Jirga, a local council in the Swat valley, declared war against the Taliban until militant forces were expelled from the region. Saifullah Khan, chairman of the jirga, condemned the attack as cowardly and urged the government to mete out exemplary punishment to Malala’s attackers.[xiii]

Targeting the Media

  • A government official in the Interior Ministry revealed on Saturday that TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud is planning to target media organizations in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi, and other cities for reporting on the Malala Yousafzai case. According to the official, intelligence agencies discovered this through a recorded telephone conversation between Mehsud and a TTP operative named Nadeem Abbas in which Mehsud was instructing Abbas on attack logistics. The government has ordered all media organizations to increase security around their buildings and urged other officials to help.[xiv]

  • According to testimonies of journalists in Swat, militants have been threatening them for allegedly “blowing the Malala incident out of proportion.” Some journalists have received threatening messages on cellphones urging them to cease reporting on developments related to the attack.[xv]

Tension with Afghanistan

  • Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s comment on Sunday that Afghan militants were fighting an justified “holy war” against foreign occupiers in Afghanistan has sparked tense exchange with the Afghan government. Some within Afghanistan have called for his arrest, while the Ulema Council of Islamic clerics in Afghanistan has called Khan’s statement “un-Islamic.” A spokesman for Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry declared that Khan was “either profoundly and dangerously ignorant about the reality in Afghanistan, or he has ill will against the Afghan people….to call any of that jihad is profoundly wrong and misguided."[xvi]

Abbottabad Report

  • The judicial commission in charge of examining the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011 has completed its report and will submit it upon the return of one of its members from a trip overseas. The contents of the report have not been made public.[xvii]

Balochistan Missing Persons

  • In light of a report published last month by the United Nations working group on enforced disappearances, an anonymous official revealed on Saturday that the Pakistani government “[had] serious reservations” about the report and intended to convey them to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The official criticized the report for allegedly lacking evidence to support its claim that 14,000 individuals were missing from Balochistan.[xviii]

Anti-Islam Film Protest

  • On Sunday, women in the Jamaat-e-Islami’s Attock wing held a peaceful protest in Darulsalam, Attock. Protesters condemned the film and called its production a “devilish act.” They also called for the expulsion of the U.S. Ambassador and cutting diplomatic ties between Pakistan and the U.S.[xix] 

 Indo-Pak Relations

  • As of Monday, customs officials at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan have been ordered to work round-the-clock to “ensure fast-tracked trade” between the two countries made possible due to their increasingly friendly trade relations. Wagah officials have also requested the installation of an additional scanner and weighbridge to facilitate processing trucks and other vehicles through customs.[xx]

International Economic Relations

  • President Asif Ali Zardari attended the 12th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), an intergovernmental organization consisting of Asian and Eurasian states, in Baku, Azerbaijan on Monday. The Summit will produce a Baku Declaration that offers recommendations on how to improve development and encourage trade and investment between the ECO and the European Union.[xxi]

  • Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf traveled to Kuwait on Monday for the first Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit, an initiative launched by Thailand. Over the next two days, attendees will discuss their interests in “energy, agriculture, tourism, environment and financial matters.” Ashraf said he particularly welcomed the opportunity to strengthen ties with Kuwait through discussing how to encourage trade and energy cooperation between the two countries.[xxii]

Karachi Violence

  • Ten people were killed in various firing incidents around Karachi on Monday in what authorities term “territorial gang wars.” Four were shot by unidentified gunmen on Abul Hasan Isphahani Road, one was killed in North Nazimabad, a policeman was gunned down in Baldia Town, a political activist was killed in North Karachi, another man was shot in Landhi, and a gang suspect was killed in Dalmia.[xxiii]


[i] “North Waziristan operation not on the cards: Rehman Malik,” Dawn, October 15, 2012. Available at:
[ii] Riaz Khan, “Car bomb kills 17 people in northwestern Pakistan,” AP, October 13, 2012. Available at:
[iii] Zulfiqar Ali, “South Waziristan insurgency: Militants attack security post, kill four soldiers,” Express Tribune, October 13, 2012. Available at:
[iv] Riaz Ahmad, “Taliban attack: SP among five security personnel killed in Peshawar,” Express Tribune, October 15, 2012. Available at:; “Militant attack kills six Pakistan police,” AFP, October 15, 2012. Available at:   
[v] “Five militants, FC official killed in encounter near Peshawar,” Express Tribune, October 14, 2012. Available at:
[vi] “Infighting: 6 militants killed in clashes between rival TTP groups,” Express Tribune, October 14, 2012. Available at:
[vii] Arnir Mir, “ISI furious at Afridi’s secret satellite phone in jail,” The News International, October 15, 2012. Available at:
[viii] “Counter-terrorism operation: Police round up 106 for ‘aiding militancy,’” Express Tribune, October 15, 2012. Available at:
[ix] “Malala taken off, put back on ventilator,” Geo News, October 14, 2012. Available at:;  Declan Walsh, “Schoolgirl Wounded by Taliban is Airlifted to Britain,” New York Times, October 15, 2012. Available at:
[x] Adil Jawad and Sebastian Abbot, “Thousands rally for Pakistani girl shot by Taliban,” AP, October 14, 2012. Available at:
[xi] “Karzai writes to Pakistani politicians, urges cooperation against extremism,” AP, October 14, 2012. Available at:
[xii] “Attack on Malala: 25 more suspects held in Swat,” Geo News, October 14, 2012. Available at:
[xiii] Fazal Khaliq, “Incensed by Malala attack, jirga declares war on Taliban,” Express Tribune, October 14, 2012. Available at:
[xiv] “Pakistani Taliban to target media organizations: Report,” Express Tribune, October 13, 2012. Available at:
[xv] “Swat journos receive threats,” The News International, October 13, 2012. Available at:
[xvi] Jon Boone, “Imran Khan says Taliban’s ‘holy war’ in Afghanistan is justified by Islamic law,” The Guardian, October 14, 2012. Available at:
[xvii] “Abbottabad commission completes report,” Express Tribune, October 13, 2012. Available at:
[xviii] Qaiser Butt, “Serious reservations: Islamabad miffed at UN group’s report on missing men,” Express Tribune, October 13, 2012. Available at:
[xix] “JI stages protest,” Dawn, October 14, 2012. Available at:
[xx] Asad Kharal, “Fast-track business: Fresh move for speedier India-Pakistan trade,” Express Tribune, October 15, 2012. Available at:
[xxi] “President Zardari to attend ECO summit in Baku on October 15,” APP, October 13, 2012. Available at:
[xxii] “Prime Minister leaves for Kuwait to attend ACD summit,” APP, October 15, 2012. Available at:
[xxiii] “Karachi firing kills 10, including political worker,” Dawn, October 15, 2012. Available at:
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