Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan’s top military commanders in two-day meeting; PML-N opposes PPP resolution for operation in North Waziristan; Imran Khan said he is ready to serve as a mediator between the government and the Taliban; Cross-border shelling injures three in North Waziristan; Al Qaeda operative killed in Miram Shah raid; Pakistan accuses India of launching “unprovoked” attack on Line of Control; Pakistan ready to import fuel from India if price is right; Girls at Malala’s school in Swat fear Taliban attack; Malala will need reconstructive surgery; Sunni group condemns Malala’s attack; Polio vaccinator killed in Quetta; Zardari and Ahmadinejad discuss bilateral cooperation at ECO Summit; Chief of Naval Staff satisfied with annual maritime exercises; President tells Supreme Court there has been no ISI cell in the Presidency since 2008.

North Waziristan Operation

  • A two-day meeting headed by Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani began in Islamabad on Tuesday. Many within the country have speculated that the meeting’s purpose is to discuss a military offensive in North Waziristan in response to the fresh public outcry against the Taliban. The army’s media wing said however that the meeting was a “routine conference.” Referencing the speculations that the meeting was to plan an offensive, the official from the media wing said “it is premature to say anything at this stage.” Former security secretary of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Brigadier (retired) Mehmood Shah said that while “it may not be a decision making body,” the formation of the commanders will have to discuss the current situation including the possibility of a North Waziristan operation.[i]

  • The Pakistan People’s Party-led (PPP) parliamentary coalition’s goal to pass a unanimous resolution for a military operation in North Waziristan was met with opposition by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday. The ruling coalition tabled the resolution due to the fact that there was not unanimous support for it. PPP leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed said, “we do not want to divide the nation, therefore, will not table the resolution.” Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan questioned the logic of undertaking an operation “against militant leaders such as Maulvi Fazlullah, ‘who were hiding in Afghanistan.’”[ii]

  • Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said he was ready to be a mediator between the government and the Taliban in response to speculation that the army may launch an operation in North Waziristan. He claimed that the Taliban consider “him as an honest arbitrator,” and that a military operation in FATA is only a part of the solution to the issue of terrorism. Implying that the issue of terrorism could be handled in political ways, he said he would support the operation only if “the government assures peace after North Waziristan operation.”[iii]

Cross-Border Shelling

  • According to security officials, three people were injured in Hasan Khel village, North Waziristan after four mortars were fired from Afghanistan into Pakistan on Wednesday. Both countries have repeatedly accused each other of cross-border shelling in the last few months.[iv]

Death of al Qaeda Operative

  • According to the SITE Intelligence Group, a militant Islamist website on Monday announced the death of Belgian-Moroccan al Qaeda recruiter and trainer Moez Garsalloui. Garsalloui had previously claimed responsibility for one of the March attacks in Toulouse, France carried out by al Qaeda operative Mohamed Merah. Garsalloui was based in Belgium and Switzerland and involved in recruiting militants to attack European targets. He left Europe with his wife in 2007 for Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, where he was killed in a raid in Miram Shah. The post did not mention the details of Garsalloui’s death nor the exact date of the raid, but it was announced “a few days after two US drone strikes in North Waziristan killed 23 people.”[v]

Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • After India accused Pakistani forces of firing across the Line of Control in contested Kashmir and killing three civilians early on Tuesday, Pakistan countered that the attack was in retaliation for India launching an “unprovoked” attack on a Pakistani army post.[vi]  

  • Pakistan’s petroleum minister Asim Hussain confirmed on Tuesday that Pakistan was willing to purchase diesel and jet fuel from India “if the right prices are given.” Previously, Pakistan had banned the import of fuel from India but that restriction has now been lifted; however, diesel and jet fuel imports are currently only allowed by ship. Hussain expressed optimism that Pakistan and India could find a way to import over land.[vii]

Malala Yousafzai

  • The young girls at Malala Yousafzai’s school in Swat told reporters on Monday about their thirst for knowledge, yet claimed that they are worried for their lives once out of earshot from an official from the Pakistani military’s public relations wing. The army has claimed that the attack on Malala was an aberration, yet the military “assigned a heavily armed squad from its Rapid Reaction Force…to protect a small convoy of international journalists for a six-hour trip to Mingora from Islamabad.” Soldiers were posted all along the route, with a few protecting Malala’s school. [viii]

  • A doctor at the hospital in Britain where Malala Yousafzai is staying said on Tuesday that she, “will need reconstructive surgery and we have international experts in that field.” The extent of her brain in damage has not been made public yet, and outside experts caution that a full recovery of all brain functions is highly unlikely.[ix]

  • At a march outside the Rawalpindi railway station Tuesday, the Sunni ittehad Council (SIC) demanded a crackdown on terrorists who make innocent civilians insecure. Calling Islam as a peaceful and tolerant religion, Chairman Sahibzada Fazal Karim condemned the attack on Malala Yousafzai and called it un-Islamic.[x]


  • A polio vaccinator was killed in Quetta on Tuesday by unknown gunmen. According to a senior government official, the shooting took place in the Killi Jeo area of Quetta, an area that is “home to thousands of Afghan refugees and local tribesmen.” The Taliban are opposed to the immunization campaign in some areas, and now the campaign has been suspended in parts of Quetta to ensure the safety of the polio vaccinators.[xi]

Iranian-Pakistani Relations

  • President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met on the sidelines of the 12th ECO Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan to discuss bilateral, regional, and international issues. Zardari said he was pleased with the growing relations between the two countries and wanted to increase collaboration in trade and investment, energy, and “connectivity” to bring the bilateral trade volume up to $10 billion. In addition to calling for a reduction of tariff barriers, Zardari and Ahmadinejad agreed to expedite work on the Iran-Pakistan oil pipeline and work to facilitate the visa process.[xii]

Navy Exercise

  • Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila expressed his satisfaction with the annual Pakistan maritime exercises in a debrief session on Tuesday. He said the exercise demonstrated the Navy’s ability to use ships, submarines, and to employ different Air Force aircraft “in support of maritime operations.”[xiii]

Domestic Politics

  • Secretary to President Zardari, Malik Asif Hayat submitted a response to the Supreme Court on Wednesday regarding the accusations that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had a cell operating in the Presidency “distributing money among politicians.” Hayat’s response stated that there had been no political cell operating from the Presidency since 2008, but that it was possible that an election information cell had been present prior to that time. He claimed that he would need to review files in the “possession of the President’s military secretary,” before he could confirm that.[xiv]


[i] “Fresh operation?: Top military huddle kicks off,” Express Tribune, October 17, 2012. Available at
[ii] Qamar Zaman, “NA session: PPP steps back from ownership of NWA operation,” Express Tribune, October 16, 2012. Available at
[iii] “Imran conditionally supports NWA operation,” Geo, October 16, 2012. Available at
[iv] Zahir Shah Sherazi, “Shelling from Afghanistan injures three in North Waziristan: officials,” Dawn, October 17, 2012. Available at:
[v] “Belgian al Qaeda recruiter killed in Pakistan: report,” AFP, October 17, 2012. Available at:
[vi] “Pakistan says attack across LoC in retaliation to ‘unprovoked’ attack,” AFP, October 16, 2012. Available at:
[vii] “Paksitan ready to import fuel from India if ‘price right,’” Express Tribune, October 16, 2012. Available at:
[viii] Richard Leiby, “In Pakistan’s Swat Valley, a girls’ school is gripped by fear,” Washington Post, October 16, 2012. Available at
[ix] “Malala will need reconstructive surgery: hospital director,” Dawn, October 17, 2012. Available at
[x] “Sunni Ittehad Council condemns Malala attack, urges crackdown on terrorists,” APP, October 16, 2012. Available at
[xi] “Gunmen kill polio vaccinator in Quetta,” AFP, October 16, 2012. Available at
[xii] “Pakistan, Iran vow to jointly pursue major projects,” Dawn, October 16, 2012. Available at:  
[xiii] “PN exercises conclude,” Dawn, October 17, 2012. Available at
[xiv] “No political cell operating in Presidency since Sept 2008,” Dawn, October 17, 2012. Available at
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