Pakistan Security Brief

Gunship strikes kill 33 militants in North Waziristan; Pakistan believes TTP has sanctuaries in Afghanistan; Mehsud tribal leaders to mediate between Mehsud Taliban faction and government; Mehsud Taliban faction’s leader says U.S. decision to add him to sanctions list a validation of jihad; Mehsud faction condemns attack on JUI-F chief; Jundallah claims responsibility for attack on JUI-F chief; Airstrikes kill 18 militants in Khyber; Levies solider kidnapped in Khyber; Militants blow up school in Khyber; Security forces arrest four Afghan Taliban members near Zhob district, Balochistan; Police kill nine TTP militants in firefight; Intelligence officers thwart plot in Mastung, Balochistan; 24 suspects detained in connection with recent Quetta attacks; IED injures nine security forces in Charmang, Balochistan; Indian Home Minister disapproves of U.N. intervention in Kashmir dispute, Pakistani Advisor on Foreign Affairs blames India of attempting to resolve issue unilaterally; India offers help to Pakistan for eradicating polio; India seeks permission from Pakistan for wheat exports to Afghanistan; PAT to contest all elections, chief to travel abroad; PTI chief announces “decisive war” against government; Clerics under surveillance ahead of Muharram; Army Chief to travel to U.S. in November; Baloch government trying for out-of-court settlement with mining company, TCC.


  • On October 27, Pakistani gunship helicopters killed 33 militants in separate strikes in the Datta Khel and Gharlamai areas of North Waziristan. Local security officials claim the strike in Datta Khel killed both Uzbek militants and other militants belonging to the Haqqani Network.[1]

  • On October 26, unidentified Pakistan officials stated that there is evidence that the TTP has set up sanctuaries across the border in Afghanistan to accommodate militants fleeing from North Waziristan.[2]

  • On October 25, leading elders from the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan decided to mediate between the Mehsud faction, formerly of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), headed by Khan Said Sajna, and the government. The decision was taken at a meeting in the city of Tank, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with the consent of the Mehsud faction and the government.  According to a Mehsud elder, an 11-member tribal jirga will attempt to evolve a formula for reconciliation after holding talks with both sides. The Mehsud faction reportedly split from the TTP just before the launch of the military offensive in North Waziristan, Operation Zarb-e-Azb.[3]

  • On October 25, the Mehsud Taliban faction’s spokesman, Azam Tariq, declared that the U.S. State Department’s recent decision to designate Khan Said Sajna as a global terrorist signifies the recognition of the group’s jihad against Jews and Christians. He was also reportedly proud of bounties being offered for the group’s leaders.[4]

  • On October 25, Azam Tariq condemned the failed October 23 suicide attack on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman and denied his faction’s links to the attack. He added that his group did not support the targeting of innocent people, mosques and religious clerics. He also declared that his faction was a separate group that did not have any links with the Fazlullah-led TTP.[5]

  • According to a report in The News on October 25, militant group Jundallah claimed responsibility for the Quetta suicide attack on Maulana Fazlur Rehman. According to Jundallah spokesman Ahmed Marwat, Rehman was targeted because of his pro-democracy views and for speaking and acting against the group.  According to a confidential letter by the Sindh Home Department, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto also faces threats to his life from Jundallah.[6] 

  • On October 25, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets killed at least 18 militants and destroyed a cache of arms and munitions in an airstrike in the Shalobar and Nala areas of Bara sub-district, Khyber Agency. Those killed included an important commander of Lashkar-e-Islam. Airstrikes in the Shalobar area targeted Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants and the airstrike in Nala targeted Laskhar-e-Islam (LI) militants. Artillery and mortar fire supported the air strikes.[7]

  • On October 25, unidentified gunmen kidnapped a Levies soldier in the Shalobar area of Bara sub-district in Khyber Agency.[8] 

  • On October 26, militants blew up a girl’s primary school in Kakim Khan Keley village, Aka Khel area, Bara sub-district, Khyber Agency.[9]

  • On October 26, security forces arrested four Afghan Taliban members along the Zhob to Dera Ismail Khan Road near Zhob district, Balochistan. The Afghan Taliban members were reportedly injured and heading to Peshawar for medical treatment.[10]

  • On October 26, police killed nine militants, including members of the Punjabi Taliban, in a firefight after surrounding a militant compound in Mian Jokhio Goth near Razzaqabad oil terminal, Steel Town, Karachi. Over half a dozen militants, including the TTP’s Sindh Chapter leader, Irshadullah Waziri, escaped the encounter. Police stated that the militants had been involved in several terrorist attacks in Karachi, including the failed Karachi Central Prison jailbreak attempt. The Karachi police chief, Abdul Qadir Thebo stated that one of the militants killed is believed to have been the TTP’s leader in the Sohrab Goth area of Karachi. The Police additionally stated that the militants had been plotting to conduct terrorist attacks during the Shia holy month of Muharramul Haram.[11]

  • On October 25, intelligence personnel arrested a suspect and seized a cache of arms and explosives, thwarting a militant plot in the Kanak area of Mastung district, Balochistan. An unidentified security official told Dawn that the arms and explosives had been intended for use in attacks to be carried out in Quetta during the holy month of Muharram.[12]

  • On October 24, security forces conducted raids in Pashtunabad, Klli Kamalo, Killi Qambrani, Killi Geo and Sariab areas of Quetta and detained 24 suspects in connection with attacks on the JUI-F chief, Hazara Shia community members and Frontier Corps (FC) vehicle in Quetta.[13]   

  • On October 27, an improvised explosive device (IED) injured seven Frontier Corps personnel and two Levies force personnel in Charmang sub-district, Bajaur Agency.[14]

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • On October 25, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh disapproved of Pakistan’s decision to approach the United Nations and “internationalize the Kashmir issue.” Singh reiterated that all issues should be resolved through bilateral talks between India and Pakistan. On October 26 in response to Singh’s statement, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz, accused India of wanting to resolve the Kashmir dispute in its own way. Aziz also declared that Pakistan would not allow this Indian attempt to succeed. [15] 

  • According to an Express Tribune report on October 26, India’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan offered assistance to the Pakistani government in its fight toward eradicating polio.[16] 

  • According to a Dawn report on October 27, India has sought permission from Pakistan to export over a million tons of wheat to Afghanistan through Pakistan. This move is reportedly being opposed by the local milling industry for the fear of losing the large Afghan market to cheap Indian wheat products. According to the report, the local industry has threatened to stage protests if the Pakistani government grants permission to India.[17]

Domestic Politics

  • On October 25, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri declared that the PAT would contest all upcoming by-elections. Following Qadri’s decision to take part in the political process and field candidates in elections, he said that he would travel abroad to revive the party’s overseas offices and complete other assignments.[18]

  • On October 24, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan addressed a massive rally in Gujrat as a part of the PTI’s campaign against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government. Khan reiterated the party’s demand for the resignation of the Prime Minister and announced that a “decisive war” would be fought against the government on November 30.[19]

National Security 

  • According to a Dawn report on October 26, police and local administration officials have placed 80 religious clerics belonging to Sunni and Shia sects under surveillance ahead of Muharram in Islamabad. The clerics have reportedly been asked to restrict their movements and public appearances during Muharram.[20]

  • On October 25, Sindh province’s Additional Inspector of General of Police (AIGP) Usman Ghani Siddiqui, on behalf of Sindh’s Interior Ministry, requested that the army deploy soldiers throughout Sindh in order to ensure security during Muharram. The Punjab provincial government deployed over 2,000 soldiers to Rawalpindi in order to maintain peace during Muharram.[21]

  • According to a Dawn report on October 27, army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif is expected to travel to the United States in November for talks with senior U.S. military commanders and defense officials. According to officials in Washington, the army chief’s visit will focus on strategic issues.[22] 

Economic Issues

  • According to an Express Tribune report on October 25, the Balochistan government is under pressure to accept a negotiated settlement with Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), which was engaged in mining at the Reko Diq Copper and Gold project. The company has claimed around $12 billion in monetary damages from the Balochistan government for breaching contract and treaty rights. The government is reportedly trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the TCC before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) announces its verdict.[23] 

[1] “Zarb-e-Azb updates: Air strikes kill 33 militants in North Waziristan,” The Express Tribune, October 27, 2014. Available at
“Airstrikes kill 33 suspected militants in North Waziristan: ISPR,” Dawn, October 27, 2014. Available at
[2] “Operation Zarb-e-Azb: TTP sets up new sanctuaries in Afghanistan,” The Express Tribune, October 27, 2014. Available at
[3]“New initiative: Mehsud elders to mediate between govt, breakaway TTP faction,” Express Tribune, October 27, 2014. Available at
[4]“List of global terrorists: TTP faction says US move validates its ‘jihad’,” Express Tribune, October 26, 2014. Available at
[5]“TTP Sajna group denies links with attack on Fazl ur Rehman,” The News, October 25, 2014. Available at
[6]“After Fazl, Jundallah wants to attack Bilawal,” The News, October 25, 2014. Available at,-Jundallah-wants-to-attack-Bilawal
[7] “Fighter jets pound hideouts of militants in Khyber,” The News, October 26, 2014. Available at
“Khyber Agency bombarded: 20 suspected militants killed,” Dawn, October 26, 2014. Available at
[8]“Levies man kidnapped in Bara,” The News, October 26, 2014. Available at
[9] “Militants blow up girls' primary school in Khyber Agency,” The Express Tribune, October 27,2014/ Available at
[10] “Two killed in firing on vehicle in Kharan,” The News, October 27. Available at
[11] “Nine terrorists killed in Karachi operation,” The News, October 27, 2014. Available at
[12] “Balochistan: Security forces foil major terror plot ahead of Muharram,” Dawn, October 25, 2014. Available at
[13]“24 held in connection with Quetta attacks,” Dawn, October 24, 2014. Available at
[14] “Airstrikes kill 33 suspected militants in North Waziristan: ISPR,” Dawn, October 27, 2014. Available at
[15]“India asks Pakistan to keep UN out of Kashmir,” Express Tribune, October 25, 2015. Available at
“Pakistan won’t allow India to resolve Kashmir dispute its own way: Aziz,” Express Tribune, October 27, 2014. Available at
[16]“India offers help to end polio in Pakistan,” Express Tribune, October 26, 2014. Available at
[17]“India seeks transit facility for wheat exports to Afghanistan,” Dawn, October 27, 2014. Available at
[18]“Qadri to travel abroad to revive PAT’s overseas offices,” Dawn, October 26, 2014. Available at
[19]“Imran announces ‘decisive war’ on November 30, 2014. Available at
[20]“80 clerics put under surveillance in Islamabad,” Dawn, October 26, 2014. Available at
[21] “Sindh police requests army deployment during Muharram,” Dawn, October 25, 2014. Available at
“2,000 armymen to help police with Muharram security duty,” Dawn, October 22, 2014. Available at
[22]“Army chief to visit US next month for talks on strategic issues,” Dawn, October 27, 2014. Available at
[23]“Copper-and-gold project: Balochistan in a quandry over the fate of Reko Diq,” Express Tribune, October 25, 2014. Available at
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