Pakistan Security Brief

Haqqani Network says U.S. hostage is safe; U.S.-Pakistan relations will go “back to square one”; Security forces regain control in Salarzai; ten people killed in 45 injured in a car bomb attack in Parachinar; Two killed in IED attack; Militants blow up an all girls school in Orakzai agency; Christian girl in blasphemy case released from jail; Pakistan and India officially sign new visa agreement; Pakistani Hindus refuse to go back to Pakistan; Pakistan becoming impatient as a refugee host; UN experts to investigate “enforced disappearances”; PML-Q leader shot dead; eight killed in Karachi over the weekend.

Haqqani Network Terror Designation

  • A senior member of the Pakistan-based Haqqani network interviewed by the Associated Press on Saturday said that Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier held by Afghan militants will be kept safe even after the U.S. declared the group a Foreign Terrorist Organization. According to the Haqqani commander the network is, however, planning many retaliatory attacks pending Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s permission. The commander claimed that Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, “wants to carry out 80 to 100 attacks on US forces in Afghanistan and 20 attacks on other Nato members.”[1]

  • According to a senior Pakistani security official, the Obama administration’s recent decision to designate the Haqqani Network as a foreign terrorist organization will cause relations between the U.S. and Pakistan to go “back to square one.” Speaking to Agence France Presse, the official further stated that the decision would ruin, “the improvement seen in ties between the two countries during the last couple of months.”[2]


  • After two weeks of fighting, Pakistani security forces on Saturday, backed by the Salarzai tribe’s anti-Taliban militia or lashkar, regained control of “Salarzai [sub-district] of Bajaur Agency as militants have fled Batwar and other areas along the border with Afghanistan,” according to official sources interviewed by Dawn. Meanwhile Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told reporters “we have vacated the areas under a strategy and the fighters will soon come again to Salarzai [sub-district].”[3]

  • Officials interviewed by Reuters said on Monday ten people were killed and 45 wounded by a car bomb in a market in the town of Parachinar in Kurram agency. Officials said the “death toll was likely to climb.” No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.[4]

  • Two paramilitary personnel were killed on Saturday by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Shalobar in Bara sub-district, Khyber agency. The men were initially injured, but later succumbed to their injuries.[5]

  • Officials interviewed by Dawn said militants have blown up an all girls school in lower Orakzai agency on Sunday. The school was located near Khail Maat Shah village in Storikhel area. This was the 93rd school destroyed in the tribal region.[6]

  • According to the Express Tribune, the “district general secretary of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid was gunned down along with his gunman in the Safal Area of Gujrat.” The gunmen have yet to be identified.[7]

Blasphemy Case

  • After being granted bail by a judge in Islamabad on Friday, Rimsha Masih, the young Christian girl accused of blasphemy, was finally released from jail on Saturday. According to an Associated Press reporter, due to the high media attention surrounding the case, Masih was escorted from the jail in an armored vehicle and then evacuated by helicopter. Masih’s lawyers are working to have the case against her dismissed.[8]

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • On Saturday, Pakistan and India officially signed a new visa agreement that would liberalize travel restrictions between the two neighbors. While providing more concessions, the new agreement also eases the visa granting process for businessmen, tourists, and pilgrims from both countries.  India’s External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, and Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, both signed the agreement in Islamabad during Krishna’s three-day visit to Pakistan. By changing its visa procedures after 40 years, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said, “Pakistan is sending a very very strong message of being willing to forge ahead without being hostage to the past.”[9]

  • A group of Pakistani Hindus, who arrived in Jodhpur in the Indian state of Rajasthan on Sunday, affirmed that they had no intention of returning to Pakistan due to persecution. The group, consisting of 171 Pakistani Hindus belonging to the tribal Bheel community in Sindh, traveled to India via the Thar Express train on pilgrim visas. The leader of the group stated, “You can kill us here, but we do not want to go back. Every day we face persecution and our troubles have doubled with the rise of Islamic extremism.” The Pakistani Hindus are being assisted by the Seemant Lok Sangthan (SLS), a campaign group, which is seeking refugee status for them in India.[10]

Afghan-Pakistani Relations

  • The Los Angeles Times examines the issue of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, commenting that Pakistan appears to be becoming, “increasingly impatient as host of the world’s largest refugee community – millions of Afghans who fled the Soviet invasion and, later, Taliban rule.” At the end of 2012, an estimated 3.5 millions Afghans in Pakistan will lose their legal refugee status. Although, Pakistani officials claim Afghans will not be immediately deported, they also will not be hosted indefinitely. This year, about 42,000 Afghan refuges returned home from Pakistan. The Chief representative in Pakistan for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Neill Wright, says forcing Afghan refugees to return home against their will may strain already fragile relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.[11]

UN investigates “enforced disappearances”

  • According to the AFP, a team of UN experts arrived in Pakistan on Monday to investigate “enforced disappearances” that have continuously been occurring in the country. UN spokesperson Ishrat Rizvi, said along with collecting information on the cases, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances would also examine during its 10-day mission the “measures adopted by the state to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances, including issues related to truth, justice, and reparation for the victims of enforced disappearances.”[12]

Karachi violence


[1] “Captive US soldier safe, says Haqqani commander,” Associated Press, September 8, 2012. Available at
[2] Carlo Muñoz. “Pakistani official: Haqqani decision puts US-Pakistan ties ‘back to square one’,” Defcon Hill, September 7, 2012. Available at
[3] “Tehsil in Bajaur cleared of militants,” Dawn, September 9, 2012. Available at
[4] “Car bomb kills 10 in Parachinar: officials,” Reuters, September 10, 2012. Available at
[5] “Khyber Agency: Two paramilitary personnel killed in IED blast,” Express Tribune, September 9, 2012. Available at
[6] “School blown up in Orakzai,” Dawn, September 10, 2012. Available at
[7] “PML-Q’s local leader, gunman shot dead in Gujrat,” Express Tribune, September 9, 2012. Available at
[8] Declan, Walsh and Salman, Masood. “Girl Released in Pakistan Blasphemy Case,” The New York Times, September 7, 2012. Available at
[9] Moni, Basu. “South Asian rivals take baby steps to warmer relations,” CNN, September 10, 2012. Available at
[10] Narayan, Bareth. “Pakistani Hindus say will not return from India visit,” BBC, September 10, 2012. Available at
[11] Alex, Rodriguez. “Pakistan weary of hosting millions of Afghan refugees,” Los Angeles Times, September 10, 2012. Available at,0,5940768.story
[12] “UN mission arrives to investigate “enforced disappearances”, AFP, September 10, 2012. Available at
[13] “Karachi: seven more killed during 24 hours,” Geo, September 9, 2012. Available at; “One gunned down in Karachi firing,” Geo, September 10, 2012. Available at
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