Pakistan Security Brief


Pakistan Security Brief – October 27, 2010


U.S. intelligence agencies report that the latest military offensive in Afghanistan has had minimal effect on the Taliban due to militant sanctuaries in Pakistan; two U.S. drone strikes target militant hideouts in North Waziristan; top Pakistani commander says that military is not prepared to launch an operation in North Waziristan.


War in Afghanistan

  • Assessments from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other U.S. intelligence bodies have concluded that the military campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan has caused only minor setbacks to the group due to its ability to quickly “re-establish and rejuvenate” its forces from safe havens in the tribal areas of Pakistan. A senior official from the defense department told reports that “the insurgency seems to be maintaining its resilience” and that increased U.S. military operations in Afghanistan have not been able to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.[i]


  • At least seven militants were killed in two separate drone strikes in North Waziristan that came approximately 12 hours apart on Wednesday. The first strike occurred in the early morning hours when a missile fired from a suspected U.S. drone struck a house in the Spin Wam area, killing three people. A second attack in the afternoon killed four suspected foreign militants belonging to the Haqqani network when a missile hit their vehicle in the Degan area of Datta Khel. Intelligence officials indicated that two Western militants were among the foreigners killed in the second strike.[ii]

  • Pakistan’s chief military commander in the country’s northwest territories, Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, said on Tuesday that the Pakistani military is not prepared to launch an operation in North Waziristan due to a lack of resources. Malik said that it was first necessary to “stabilize the whole area,” indicating that it would likely take a minimum of six months to clear militants from Bajaur and Mohmand agencies where the military is already engaged. Malik also pointed out that six brigades maintain a current presence in North Waziristans and are carrying out operations on a daily basis.[iii]

  • On Monday, Colonel Tausif Akhtar announced that the Pakistani military has blockaded five points of entry into Kurram Agency while the Taliban responded by sealing off major entrances from the opposite side of the agency. The closures have effectively isolated the Turi people, an anti-Taliban Shia tribal group. The Turis ousted the Haqqani network from Kurram following a major battle in 2008 and the group recently announced that it would refuse to allow Afghan militants to cross the border into Pakistan. Colonel Akhtar stated that the agency was sealed off due to sectarian clashes that the military did not want “miscreants from outside to exploit the situation.”[iv]

  • The Inspector General of the Frontier Corps Major General Nadir Zeb said on Tuesday that the seven-month military campaign in Orakzai Agency has crippled the Taliban’s ability to launch major operations from the region, adding that 90-percent of the agency has been cleared of militants. However, army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said that the military’s successes in Orakzai does not mean it is prepared to launch an operation in North Waziristan, adding that doing so could jeopardize previous gains in the region. Nadir Zeb became Inspector General of the Frontier Corps on October 1 when former Inspector General Tariq Khan was promoted to Lieutenant General and assigned the post of Corps Commander in Mangla.[v]

  • Taliban militants blew up a boys’ school in Mohmand Agency on Tuesday. A spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) later issued a claim of responsibility for the attack, which targeted the Government Model Boys School in Safi sub-district. Separately, security forces killed five militants while conducting a raid in Mohmand Agency on Tuesday.[vi]

  • A remote controlled bomb blast injured four people in the Bara sub-district of Khyber Agency on Wednesday. Security forces launched a search operation in the area shortly after the explosion occurred.[vii]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations 

  • President Barack Obama phoned President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday to discuss militancy in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan during which both leaders agreed that more needed to be done to combat extremist groups that are present in the area. During the phone call President Obama also “emphasized the United States’ commitment and support for democracy and transparency in Pakistan” while acknowledging the country’s economic challenges and calling on President Zardari to “work to pass key economic reforms, such as tax reform and containing energy subsidies.”[viii]


  • On Wednesday, a bomb blast targeting a police van in Quetta killed three people, including at least one police officer, and wounded eight others. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[ix]

Flood Relief

  • On Wednesday, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization announced that it has begun the distribution of wheat seed to 500,000 farming families in flood affected areas Pakistan. A spokesman for the organization said that this latest effort to address Pakistan’s food security challenges following the country’s devastating flood disaster will benefit a total of five million people while pointing out that the food needs of tens of millions of Pakistanis are at stake with this current planting season.[x]

[i] Greg Miller, “Taliban unscathed by U.S. strikes,” Washington Post, October 27, 2010. Available at
[ii] Rasool Dawar, “Suspected US missile strikes kill 7 in Pakistan,” AP, October 27, 2010. Available at Hasbanullah Khan, “US drone strikes kill up to six in Pakistan: officials,” AFP, October 27, 2010. Available at
[iii] Michael Georgy, “Pakistan says time not right for anti-Taliban assault,” Reuters, October 26, 2010. Available at
[iv] “Pakistan army blockades anti-Taliban tribe in Kurram,” BBC, October 26, 2010. Available at
[v] Nahal Toosi, “Pakistan touts success in a corner of tribal belt,” AP, October 26, 2010. Available at “90pc of Orakzai cleared of terrorists,” The News, October 26, 2010. Available at “Lt-Gen Waheed Arshad new CGS,” Dawn, October 1, 2010. Available at
[vi] “School blown up in Mohmand,” Daily Times, October 27, 2010. Available at\10\27\story_27-10-2010_pg7_3. “11 terrorists killed in Orakzai, Mohmand,” Daily Times, October 27, 2010. Available at\10\27\story_27-10-2010_pg7_7.
[viii] “Obama, Zardari urge more action against terror groups,” AFP, October 26, 2010. Available at
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