Pakistan Security Brief

Retired general says Pakistan gave U.S. permission to launch drones from the UAE; Pakistan and Afghanistan seek greater military and intelligence cooperation; Pakistan official says Afghanistan responsible for restarting Taliban reconciliation process; Saudi Arabia strengthening ties with India in combating terror; President Obama says OBL would have escaped if U.S. asked Pakistan for raid permission; State Dept. spokesman wants Abbottabad report contents made public; Seven kidnapped from Balochistan bus; IED injures four in outskirts of Peshawar; Supreme Court ordered FIA investigation in election rigging case, not gov’t; Supreme Court dissatisfied with Sindh gov’t report on Karachi violence.

Drone Permission

  • Appearing before the Senate Standing Committee on Defense on Monday, retired Defense Secretary Yasin Malik revealed that the U.S. “was given the use of Shamsi air base by the UAE for drone attacks with the approval of Pakistan.”[i]

Afghanistan – Pakistan Relations

  • Pakistan and Afghanistan have reportedly begun seeking greater cooperation between their military and intelligence agencies. A Pakistani foreign ministry official said that the idea was first proposed “at a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai in September at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.” The official revealed that the two countries sought to establish an institutionalized mechanism to create consistent interaction between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS).[ii]

  • A Pakistani official interviewed by Dawn said that the reconciliation process between Afghanistan and the Taliban was stalled, “because the Taliban were not offered any tangible incentive,” and that the responsibility to restart the process lies with the Afghan government. He claimed that Pakistan has exhausted its resources in the process, saying “we have made our contribution. If [the Afghan government hasn’t] been able to convince [the Taliban], how do they expect us to do that?” One of the major problems with the reconciliation is that the Afghan High Peace Council, the organization in Afghanistan tasked with leading the reconciliation process, is reportedly internally divided around the issue.[iii]

Saudi-Indo-Pakistani Relations

  • According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia is strengthening its ties with India when it comes to pursuing terrorist suspects, developments that will have significant implications for Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Pakistan. While traditionally Pakistan has been Saudi Arabia’s principal ally in South Asia, recent evidence implies that Saudi Arabia is moving closer to India. It has already extradited two members of the terrorist group Indian Mujahideen, as well as a Lashkar-e-Taiba suspect of Indian origin. Naresh Chandra, Chairman of India’s National Security Advisory Board, observes that the Saudis are concerned with Pakistan’s inability to rein in extremists and militant proxies; retired Pakistani general Talat Masood says that Saudi Arabia’s growing relationship with India is part of its efforts to force Pakistan to reduce its support for militant groups.[iv]

U.S. – Pakistan Relations

  • Both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney were asked about Pakistan in the last U.S. presidential debate on Monday night. On the subject of the Abbottabad raid, President Barack Obama said that if the U.S. had sought Pakistan’s permission to raid Osama Bin Laden’s compound the al Qaeda leader would have escaped. When asked if continued relations with Pakistan were in the United States’ best interests, Romney replied that, “it’s not time to divorce a nation on Earth that has 100 nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point.” There was no separation on the policy of drones between the two candidates with Romney offering his support for the Obama administration’s policy on the issue.[v]

  • In a Monday press briefing, State Department spokesman Mark Toner requested that the contents of the Abbottabad report investigating the circumstances of Osama bin Laden’s presence in the town before his death in May 2011 be made public. He said that it would be important for both the American and Pakistani public to see the contents of the report once it has been finalized, adding that “we share a profound interest in what kinds of support networks Bin Laden may have had.”[vi] 


  • Unidentified gunmen pulled over a bus in Balochistan and kidnapped seven people on Tuesday. The van was traveling from Quetta to a nearby town called Sibi. Police have claimed that “the unknown gunmen took those they had abducted into the mountains…and no-one has so far claimed responsibility for the abduction.”[vii]

  • An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated by remote control injured four Frontier Constabulary personnel on the outskirts of Peshawar on Tuesday. A security official said that the bomb went off as the personnel were “taking positions on Aziz Market’s Faqirabad Chowk.”[viii]

Election-Rigging Case

  • In response to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Chaudhry Nisar’s opposition to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) taking charge of recovering funds received from the military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the Supreme Court and not the government had ordered the FIA to recover the funds. Nisar had asked for an independently-formed commission to do so; it is unclear if that request will be granted.[ix]

Karachi Unrest

  • In September 2011, the Supreme Court took suo moto action on a case regarding the rampant violence in Karachi and police force corruption, slamming the Sindh Government for taking inadequate measures against target killings and extortion. The Supreme Court ordered the government to put together an investigative report on the situation, which it presented today. The Court was dissatisfied with the report and criticized the Sindh government for not doing more to control criminal behavior. The judges added that high-ranking officials should stop traveling the city with squads of police for their own protection and instead let the police “do their jobs” protecting the community.[x]


[i] “Use of Shamsi for drone attacks had Pak approval: Defence Secretary,” Geo, October 22, 2012. Available at
[ii] Kamran Yousaf, “Pakistan and Afghanistan militaries to work more closely,” Express Tribune, October 23, 2012. Available at
[iii] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “’Onus of reviving peace talks on Kabul,’” Dawn, October 22, 2012. Available at
[iv] Tom Wright, “Saudi Arabia Uses India to Balance Pakistan,” Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2012. Available at:
[v] “Bin Laden would have escaped if Pakistan permission sought: Obama,” Reuters, October 23, 2012. Available at; Anwar Iqbal, “’It’s not time to divorce Pakistan,’” Dawn, October 23, 2012. Available at
[vi] Huma Imtiaz, “Commission says no one knew about bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad: Report,” Express Tribune, October 22, 2012. Available at:
[vii] “Pakistan bus passengers are abducted by unknown gunmen,” BBC, October 23, 2012. Available at
[viii] “Blast in Peshawar injuries four FC soldiers,” Dawn, October 23, 2012. Available at
[ix] “SC not government ordered FIA to investigate Asghar Khan case: Kaira,” Geo News, October 23, 2012. Available at:
[x] Qaiser Zulfiqar, “Karachi suo moto: Verdict out,” Express Tribune, October 6, 2012. Available at:; “Karachi unrest case: SC displeased with Sindh government report,” Express Tribune, October 23, 2012. Available at:
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