Pakistan Security Brief

Militants warn tribesman against leaving Khyber; Pakistani military airstrikes kill 30 militants in North Waziristan; Cross-border firing from Afghanistan kills one, injures two in Bajaur; TTP attacks FC post, three officials injured in Bajaur; Militants warn polio workers against participating in vaccination drive in Bajaur; U.S. Treasury Department sanctions Pakistani Taliban leader; Border incident not to affect ties with Iran, claims Pakistani national security advisor; Indian Defense Minister warns Pakistan against continuing ceasefire violations; India upset with U.S. support for Pakistani dam project in Gilgit-Baltistan; Indian National Security Advisor says al Qaeda, IS not a threat to India; Media network critical of government temporarily suspended by media regulator.  


  • On October 21, militants based in the Bara sub-district of Khyber Agency warned local tribesmen against leaving the area in a bid to use the local population as human shields against a fresh Pakistani military operation. Militants reportedly threatened to blow up the houses of people who leave the area or support the government in the new offensive, titled Operation Khyber I.[1]

  • According to an Express Tribune report on October 21, the Pakistani military launched Operation Khyber I after Manghal Bagh, the chief of Lashkar-e-Islam (LI), refused to vacate three strategic positions in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. Security forces claim that LI militants were displaced from one of the positions in the first 48 hours of the offensive while operations continue in the other two positions. Government officials claim around 100 militants have surrendered since the offensive began on October 17.[2]

  • On October 21, Pakistani military airstrikes killed 30 suspected militants and destroyed four militant hideouts in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. The airstrikes reportedly killed a key Taliban commander called Daud Matta.[3]

  • On October 21, mortar shelling from across the border in Afghanistan killed one civilian and injured two in the Charmang sub-district of Bajaur Agency. Pakistan’s Bajaur Agency borders Afghanistan’s Kunar province and has a history of cross-border militant attacks.[4]            

  • On October 20, cross-border firing by militants on a Frontier Corps (FC) check post in the Ghakhi area of Bajaur Agency injured three FC officials. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the attack via telephone.[5]

  • On October 21, militants in Bajaur Agency distributed pamphlets warning polio workers against participating in polio vaccination drives and threatening attacks on all participating workers in the Khar area of Bajaur. Militants allege that polio vaccination is “anti-Islamic” and that the drives are a cover for espionage.[6]

  • On October 21, the U.S. Department of the Treasury added Pakistani national Sajna Mehsud, alias Khan Said, the head of the Mehsud branch of militants formerly part of the TTP, to the department’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Meanwhile, late-TTP chief Hakeemullah Mehsud was deleted from the SDN list.[7]

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • On October 21, Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley warned Pakistan of more “pain” if it continued to violate the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and international boundary. He emphasized that India had asked its armed forces to retaliate forcefully to Pakistani aggression. He also said that the onus was on Islamabad to create conditions for resumption of peace talks.[8]

  • On October 20, the Minister for States and Frontier Regions, retired Lt. Gen. Agdul Qadir Baloch, declared that India and Pakistan had managed their nuclear capability with utmost responsibility but warned India that Pakistan would not tolerate New Delhi’s “aggressive policy” with total silence. He also said that nuclear capabilities could be used in times of need but reiterated that his statement was not to be considered a threat.[9]

  • According to a report in the Times of India on October 21, India is upset with the recent U.S. move to mobilize funds for the 4,500-MW Diamer-Bhasha hydel power project which is to be launched in the Gilgit-Baltistan region in northern Pakistan. India considers this territory to be illegally occupied by Pakistan. The Indian government is reportedly expected to use diplomatic channels to register a protest with the U.S over the project. [10]

Foreign Affairs

  • On October 20, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz, told media personnel that recent border incidents between Iran and Pakistan would not affect bilateral relations and that improvement in relations with Iran would continue. Pakistan and Iran had summoned each other’s ambassadors to protest over recent border clashes.[11]

  • On October 20, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz, declared that Pakistan was working with Afghanistan to create a “comprehensive road-map” to improve bilateral relations between the two countries. This road-map will reportedly address the issue of bilateral mistrust and build on constructive engagement and economic cooperation.[12]

Islamic State and al Qaeda in South Asia

  • On October 21, Indian National Security Advisor, A.K. Doval declared that militant groups al Qaeda and Islamic State do not currently pose a threat to India  but that the Indian government was watching the two groups closely.[13]

Domestic Politics

  • On October 20, the Pakistani government temporarily suspended the license of a broadcast network called ARY News for a period of 15 days on alleged charges of maligning the country’s judiciary during a talk show episode. Analysts claim, however, that the network was suspended for being overly critical of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government. The move was widely criticized by rights groups and journalists.[14]

[1]“Khyber Agency militants warn ‘human shield’ tribesmen to stay put,” Dawn, October 21, 2014. Available at
[2]“Operation Khyber-I: Security forces closing in on LeI strongholds in Tirah,” Express Tribune, October 21, 2014. Available at
[3]“Taliban commander among 30 killed in North Waziristan,” Dawn, October 21, 2014. Available at
[4]“Cross-border fire kills civilian in Bajaur,” Dawn, October 21, 2014. Available at
[5]“Cross-border attack 3 FC men injured from TTP firing in Bajaur,” Express Tribune, October 20, 2014. Available at
[6]“Militants in Bajaur threaten polio workers of ‘severe consequences’,” Dawn, October 21, 2014.
[7]“Counter terrorism Designations; Counter Terrorism Designation Removals; Counter Narcotics Removals; Counter Narcotics Update,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 21, 2014. Available at
[8]“Sword, Not Just Shield, in India’s Hand, Defence Minister Warns Pakistan,” NDTV, October 21, 2014. Available at
[9]“Talk of N-hazards in Kashmir clashes,” Dawn, October 21, 2014. Available at
[10]“US fund flow into Pakistan occupied Kashmir dam floods Delhi with concern,” Times of India, October 21, 2014. Available at
[11]“Border incident not to affect ties with Iran, says Aziz,” Dawn, October 21, 2014. Available at
[12]“Pakistan, Afghanistan working on ‘roadmap’ for tension-free ties: Aziz,” Express Tribune, October 20, 2014. Available at
[13]“India says Islamic State not yet a threat,” Reuters, October 21, 2014. Available at
[14]“Pakistani Government Suspends License of ARY News,” NYT, October 20, 2014. Available at


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