Pakistan Security Brief

No N. Waziristan offensive without national consensus; Pakistani court may seek arrest of two CIA operatives; Abbottabad commission report says no-one knew bin Laden’s whereabouts; Al Qaeda making comeback in Afghanistan; Foreign Minister Khar asks U.S. envoy to urge Afghanistan to take action against Mullah Fazlullah; Another education activist threatened by Taliban; “Malala moment” may have passed; UN calls on the Taliban leadership to reinforce its 1998 ban on IEDs; LeT claims responsibility for hotel attack in Indian-administered Kashmir; Militant activity  kills one, injures five in Balochistan; Militant activity in FATA kills 10, injures 15; Three terror suspects go on trial in London; Indian Home Minister says Pakistani facilitating terrorist entry into India; U.S. Special Envoy praises Pakistan for stabilization efforts; Supreme Court recommends legal action against former Army,  ISI Chiefs; Political solution still a possibility in Balochistan; Three killed in Karachi on Monday; MQM activist killed in Karachi on Saturday.

North Waziristan Offensive

  • In a Sunday statement, President Asif Ali Zardari declared that there would be no North Waziristan offensive without a national consensus. Zardari warned that such an operation could backfire without a national consensus given “widespread” sympathies with certain Islamist elements.[i]

Possible CIA Arrests

  • According to Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani court may soon call for a murder investigation and seek international arrest warrants for CIA operatives Jonathan Banks and John Rizzo, accused of authorizing drone strikes that allegedly killed “hundreds of innocent civilians.” Should Akbar and fellow attorneys be granted their petition to open an investigation, the court could request Interpol to issue the equivalent of an international arrest warrant, though Interpol may not comply on the grounds that it is forbidden to “[undertake] any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”[ii]

Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda

  • According to a report completed by the Pakistani commission tasked with investigating the Abbottabad raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed in May 2011, allegedly no-one in Abbottabad was aware that bin Laden was hiding in the area. The report says that bin Laden’s presence had gone without notice until a young neighbor accidentally saw him while she was in his compound for a Quran lesson. She did not recognize him until seeing his face on television several days later. U.S. officials say the report has little new material and continue to accuse Pakistani officials of knowing more than they say.[iii]

  • Despite 11 years of combat, al Qaeda in Afghanistan is reportedly making a comeback in the country’s mountainous eastern areas as ISAF troop drawdown looms in 2014. U.S. General John Allen and Afghan security officials say that the group continues targeting Western forces in Afghanistan and is still an influential force in the region, joining forces with other terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Haqqani Network to increase its strength. Richard Barrett, leader of a U.N. group that monitors al Qaeda and the Taliban, says that al Qaeda is afraid that the Taliban will eventually reach a settlement with the Afghan government that would make al Qaeda “all but irrelevant,” and as such they are doing all they can to retain some power.[iv]

Mullah Fazlullah

  • Diplomatic sources said on Sunday that Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar requested that U.S. Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman put pressure on Afghanistan to extradite Maulvi Fazlullah, the man accused of ordering the attack on Malala Yousafzai. Pakistan has been involved in cross-border shellings with Afghanistan for months now as it accuses Fazlullah’s men of attacking Pakistan from Afghan hideouts. While Afghanistan denies that Fazlullah or his men are in Afghanistan, an Afghan security official interviewed by the BBC said there were “reports that Fazlullah was in Kamdesh or Chapa Dara.” Asked about the likelihood of Afghan action against Fazlullah, however, the security official replied that “Fazlullah does not attack any Afghan security forces.”[v]

Malala Yousafzai Attack

  • On Monday, another young activist, Hina Khan, confirmed that she had also received threats from the Taliban for her work in promoting girls’ education and speaking against the militant group. According to Khan’s family, she has not been provided with additional security despite several requests to the Interior Ministry. Khan and her family left Swat in 2006 due to security concerns but militants have allegedly been threatening them in Islamabad since August. Hina’s father said that he recently received a call from the Taliban warning him that Hina would be the next target after Malala.[vi]

  • According to analysis by the New York Times, Pakistan’s “Malala moment” may be over as the nationwide rage over the attack begins to die down. Some Pakistani citizens have expressed uncertainty over whether the attack was, in fact, carried out by the Taliban or whether it was an American-led publicity stunt. Others are still outraged over the attack, but the ambivalence that characterizes the government and the public’s responses at this point may mean that Pakistan has missed its chance to harness the initial rage into a concerted campaign against militancy and extremism in the area.[vii]

Call to Ban IEDs

  • The United Nations urged the Taliban leadership to reiterate its 1998 ban on anti-personnel landmines due to the “devastating harm to civilians” that the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) cause. The statement by the UN came a day after an IED killed 19 Afghan civilians on their way to a wedding party. 1,145 civilians were reportedly killed in the first six months of this year, “with 80 percent of the deaths blamed on insurgents.” Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid dismissed the UN report, calling it “Western propaganda.” Mujahid denied that the Taliban had any responsibility in the IED that killed the 19 Afghans on their way to a wedding party, and said that such propaganda is an attempt to “prevent us from planting bombs which cause the deaths of invaders in our country.”[viii]


  • Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) claimed responsibility on Saturday for an attack on a hotel in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed a bellboy. LeT spokesman Abdullah Gaznavi told an Urdu language newspaper that his group “’lobbed grenades and opened fire’ at an Indian army convoy as it passed through the highway where the Silver Star hotel is located.” Gaznavi also claimed that one of the Indian army vehicles was badly damaged.[ix]

  • One law enforcement officer was killed and five others were injured in the Sui area of Dera Bugti district, Balochistan when unknown gunmen ambushed a law enforcement agency post on Friday. The attackers were able to escape from the area.[x]

  • Security forces killed seven suspected militants in the Mamuzai area of Orakzai agency on Sunday. Three militant hideouts were destroyed in the strike as well.[xi]

  • Seven civilians were injured by mortar shells that hit different houses in Machis Camp near Miram Shah, North Waziristan on Saturday. The mortars were part of a retaliatory attack on two militants who attacked a security check post. According to sources interviewed by Dawn, both militants were killed.[xii]

  • A passenger coach headed to Kalaya, Orakzai agency from the Dargai area was hit by an IED in Zeridar Killay. Three of the passengers were killed and six passengers were injured. Officials of the political administration came to the area soon after the explosion and “arrested six suspects during a search operation in the surrounding area.”[xiii]

  • A bomb planted on a motorbike exploded and injured two people in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday. Police sources believed that “the bomb was planted to target the chief minister’s convoy.”[xiv]

UK Terror Plot Trials

  • On Monday, three British Muslim men who traveled to Pakistan for terror training went on trial in London for plotting to detonate eight bombs across the city in an attack even bigger than 2005’s London bus and subway attacks. The three men were inspired by al Qaeda preacher Anwar al Awlaki, killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011. All three have denied the charges.[xv] 

Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde claimed on Sunday that India had information that implicated Pakistan in facilitating terrorism on Indian soil. Shinde accused Pakistan of helping terrorists enter India through the disputed Kashmir region, adding that India was “on alert.”[xvi]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • After meeting with Foreign Minister Khar and Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, U.S. Special Envoy Marc Grossman issued a statement on Sunday that praised Pakistan’s “role in stabilising the political process in Afghanistan.” Grossman claimed that the talks were constructive and peaceful, which were key to coming to mutual understanding of security and cross-border issues.[xvii]

Election Rigging Case

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday that former Army Chief Aslam Baig and former head of intelligence Asad Durrani face legal action for distributing funds to opposition political parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), running against the Pakistan People’s Party in the lead-up to the 1990 election. The Federal Investigation Agency has been tasked with recovering more than $1,460,000 from recipients of military and ISI funds; however, PML-N chief Chaudhry Nisar strongly rejected the choice of the FIA as “one cannot expect fair performance” from a PPP “handmaiden” agency. For its part, the PPP has demanded that recipients of funding from the military and ISI not only be identified but fined as well, while those who lost the 1990 election should be compensated.[xviii]


  • Experts including former Pakistani senator Sanaullah Baloch and Amnesty International’s Director for International Advocacy T. Kumar said on Friday that a political solution is still an option in Balochistan even though the Pakistani government continues to support a military solution. Kumar noted Balochistan’s missing persons problem as well as human rights violations carried out by Balochmilitants. Senator Baloch urged “aggressive political engagement” on the part of the United States and other international institutions, arguing that Balochistan was oppressed both by Iran and the Pakistani government and that “only a new constitutional arrangement” would stabilize the region.[xix]

Karachi Violence

  • Three people were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on MondayUnknown gunmen killed one and injured another in Surjani Town. A man shot by unknown gunmen in Kharadar died from his wounds in Civil Hospital. A body was found in Nazimabad No 2 area. Rangers conducted operations in Yousuf Goth and Nazimabad areas, recovering weapons and arresting three.[xx]

  • A young man working for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was shot and killed by armed riders on Saturday in Karachi. Police said that the reason for the killing was the young man’s political affiliation. In a separate incident, a young man’s body was recovered near Shahrah-i-Quaideen.[xxi]


[i] “No anti-militant operation without consensus: Zardari,” APP, October 22, 2012. Available at:
[ii] Chuck Bennett, “CIA duo faces bust,” New York Post, October 22, 2012. Available at:
[iii] Rob Crilly, “Pakistan’s Osama bin Laden report: al-Qaeda leader feared to set foot outside compound,” The Telegraph, October 21, 2012. Available at:
[iv] Robert Burns, “After 11 years of war, al-Qaida in Afghanistan is smaller but trying to mount a comeback,” AP, October 20, 2012. Available at:
[v] “Pakistan asks Afghanistan to hand over Fazlullah,” Dawn, October 22, 2012. Available at:; Andrew North, “Afghanistan feels pressure in hunt for Swat Taliban chief,” BBC, October 19, 2012. Available at
[vi] “Another schoolgirl from Swat faces threats from Taliban: Report,” Express Tribune, October 22, 2012. Available at:
[vii] Declan Walsh, “‘Malala moment’ May Have Passed Over, as Rage Over a Shooting Ebbs,” New York Times, October 19, 2012. Available at:
[viii] “UN calls on Afghan Taliban to enforce ban on IEDs,” AFP, October 21, 2012. Available at:; “Taliban deny their bombs cause most Afghan deaths,” AP, October 21, 2012. Available at:
[ix] “Lashkar-e-Taiba claims Kashmir hotel attack: report,” AFP, October 20, 2012. Available at
[x] “One LEA’s man killed, five injured in Dera Bugti firing,” APP, October 19, 2012. Available at
[xi] “Seven suspected militants killed in Orakzai,” Dawn, October 21, 2012. Available at
[xii] “Seven hurt in Miramshah shelling,” Dawn, October 21, 2012. Available at
[xiii] Saleh Din Orakzai, “Three killed in Orakzai roadside blast,” The News International, October 20, 2012. Available at:
[xiv] “Blast in Nowshera district; two injured,” Dawn, October 22, 2012. Available at:
[xv] “3 British men on trial over alleged bomb plot, accused of planning attack ‘bigger than 2005,’” AP, October 22, 2012. Available at:
[xvi] “Pakistan helping terrorists enter India, claims Indian home minister,” Express Tribune, October 21, 2012. Available at:
[xvii] “Grossman praises Pakistan’s role in Afghan stability,” Dawn, October 21, 2012. Available at
[xviii] “Pakistan’s top court recommends legal action against former army, intelligence chiefs,” AP, October 19, 2012. Available at:; Ferya Ilyas, “Asghar Khan case: Chaudhry Nisar doubts FIA will perform,” Express Tribune, October 21, 2012. Available at:; “Compensation to poll losers: PPP wants SC to slap fines on ISI funds recipients,” Dawn, October 21, 2012. Available at:
[xix] Anwar Iqbal, “Political solution still possible in Balochistan,” Dawn, October 22, 2012.  Available at:  
[xx] “Three killed in incidents of violence across Karachi,” Dawn, October 22, 2012. Available at
[xxi] “Muttahida activist gunned down,” Dawn, October 20, 2012. Available at
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