Pakistan Security Brief

Former TTP spokesman confirms prisoner exchange; TTP leaders discuss negotiating with the government;  Ansarul Islam supports peace talks between government and TTP; Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff discuss TTP talks; Security officials detain 30 suspects in Karachi; Data shows most Karachi suspects are affiliated with PAC, not MQM; Prime Minister surprised by number of political appointments in Sindh police force; Karachi police force to be reshuffled; Pakistan Foreign Office plans to raise issue of drone strikes at the U.N.; Punjab Chief Minister and U.S. Ambassador discuss energy crisis and counterterrorism cooperation; Afghan and Pakistani parliamentarians pledge cooperation in regional security and defense; Prime Minister to visit Turkey in mid-September; Chinese official commends Pakistani counterterrorism efforts; President dismissed several senior aides.

Talks with the TTP

  • Despite denials by a spokesman of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Mehsud chapter, former TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan confirmed to the Express Tribune on Thursday that a prisoner swap occurred between the Pakistan Army and the TTP.  According to Ehsan, the swap occurred on Wednesday at Hakimullah Mehsud’s residence in Shawal, South Waziristan.   Ehsan also claimed plans for the exchange pre-dated the All Parties Conference (APC) decision to participate in peace talks with the TTP, and noted that – contrary to media reports – the TTP has not yet convened a shura to discuss the government’s proposal.  Separately, two unnamed intelligence officials revealed that the released militants had been detained in 2009 during a military operation in South Waziristan’s Mehsud area.  Military spokesman Major General Aslam Bajwa denied reports of the prisoner exchange yesterday.[1]

  • On Thursday, leaders of the TTP met in an undisclosed location near the border with Afghanistan to discuss peace overtures from the government. TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud is reportedly chairing the talks, despite previously expressing opposition to negotiating with the government. The TTP will make an announcement about its decision after the conclusion of the internal talks.[2]

  • Pro-government militant group Ansarul Islam’s (AI) deputy leader Maulana Izatullah told the press on Thursday that his organization supports the government’s decision to engage in peace talks with the TTP.  AI is active in Khyber agency.[3]

  • On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General  Ashfaq Pervez Kayani met to discuss talks between the government and the Taliban. Sharif allegedly suggested that the head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Maulana Fazlur Rehman could begin the negotiations for the government. Kayani reportedly wanted to consult with a broader array of religious leaders who were close to the Taliban, including JUI-Sami (JUI-S) chief, Maulana Sami-ul-Haq.[4]

Karachi Unrest

  • Security officials detained approximately 30 suspects and seized numerous weapons on Thursday in various parts of Karachi.   Separately, police seized firearms and munitions in a raid on the North Nazimabad office of an unspecified political party.[5]

  • The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) party requisitioned a session of the Sindh Assembly on Thursday to protest what they claim have been politically motivated attacks on their members during the current operation in Karachi.[6]

  • According to government statistics as reported in The News on Thursday, security officials have detained a comparatively small number of MQM activists.  Rather, suspects are predominantly linked to Lyari gangs such as the People’s Aman Committee.  The report contradicts allegations by MQM leaders that their political workers are unfairly targeted by these operations.[7]

  • On Wednesday, Sindh Rangers’ Director General Rizwan Akhter met with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to discuss the operations in Karachi. Shah ordered Akhter to target criminals without discrimination or disturbing stability.[8]

  • At a meeting last week, federal officials briefed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption and political appointments in the Sindh police force. Over 10,000 people have been appointed to the force since 2002, of which at least 2000 were known criminals. Sharif expressed concern about effectiveness of the force and requested that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah address this issue. Due to these allegations and the ongoing unrest in Karachi, provincial officials intend to reshuffle the police force there. Among those likely to be included in the reorganization are the police chief, and the chiefs of three Karachi districts. Further reshuffling will occur later and will allegedly include much lower ranking personnel.[9]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • At a press briefing on Thursday, a Foreign Office spokesman denied the existence of a secret agreement between U.S. and Pakistani government officials permitting drone strikes within Pakistan.  The spokesman told reporters that the Pakistani government intends to bring a case before the United Nations assembly regarding the permissibility of the strikes.[10]

  • On Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson met in Rawalpindi to discuss possible areas of cooperation between the two countries. Sharif suggested that the United States could assist Pakistan in the generation of hydroelectric power, while Olson mentioned counterterrorism.[11]

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • According to a statement made in Thursday’s press briefing by a Foreign Office spokesman, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz will meet with his Indian counterpart tomorrow.  The pair will convene a meeting in Bishkek, Turkmenistan, to discuss strengthening bilateral relations.[12]

Turkey-Pakistan Relations

  • A Foreign Office spokesman informed the press on Thursday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Turkey from September 16-18.[13]

China-Pakistan Relations

  • At a press conference on Wednesday, Chinese government spokesman Hong Lei commended the Pakistani government’s counterterrorism efforts.[14]

Saudi-Pakistan Relations

  • Saudi Arabian Ambassador Abdul Aziz al Ghadeer met with Federal Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss economic cooperation between their two countries. Ambassador al Ghadeer also announced that a delegation from the Saudi Development Fund will visit the country to discuss development projects in Pakistan.[15]

Japan-Pakistan Relations

  • Japanese Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi met in Islamabad with Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to discuss Japanese investment in Pakistan’s energy infrastructure projects, and their views on the future of Afghanistan.[16]

Afghan-Pakistan Relations

  • The Pakistani Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production issued a joint statement on Wednesday with the Afghan Parliament’s Internal Security and Local Administration Committee of the Meshrano Jirga.  The statement pledged continued dialogue and cooperation in regional security matters; a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) institutionalized the agreement.  This announcement  followed a two-day meeting of Afghan and Pakistani parliamentarians in Kabul to discuss security and military cooperation, terrorism, narcotics trafficking, NATO’s 2014 withdrawal, and the Afghan peace process.[17]

  • On Wednesday, merchants protested the decision by security officials to close an unspecified crossing along the Afghan-Pakistan border for the fourth day in a row.  The demonstrators congregated in Miram Shah, North Waziristan agency, and appealed to the administration to re-open the border for trade.[18]


  • Militants released 14 prisoners on Tuesday night along Kohat Road in Mattani, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.  The kidnappers had mistaken a civilian convoy for security officials during an ambush on Friday night in the same region.[19]

  • Security officials defused a bomb on Wednesday outside a boys’ school in Katlang sub-district of Mardan district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.[20]

  • A blast occurred outside the home of a former union council official  on Wednesday night in Paharipura, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.  There were no reported casualties.[21]

  • On Thursday, security officials recovered the bullet-ridden bodies of three kidnapped migrant laborers near Gwadar, Balochistan province.[22]

  • On Tuesday night, police officials imposed a curfew on Sheikhan village near Akka Khel, Khyber agency, in response to militants’ threatened assault against a police base.[23]

  • On Thursday, security officials detained two suspected terrorists in Johar Town, Lahore.  The pair intended to bomb a train.  Telephone records indicate one of the men was in contact with individuals in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, although it is unclear whether these calls were related to the plot.[24]

  • On Thursday, police arrested a man in Diamer, Gilgit-Baltistan who is suspected of planning the August 6th killings of a police officer and two military personnel in Chilas, Gilgit-Baltistan. The arrested man, identified as “Hamidullah” is alleged to have also planned the earlier attack that killed nine foreign tourists and their guide in the Nanga Parbat area.[25]


  • President Mamnoon Hussain has dismissed several senior government officials, including Chief Security Officer (CSO) Colonel Babar and Deputy Military Secretary (DMS) Commander Aamir Saeed.  Both men have served the office of the presidency for more than ten years.  Hussain has appointed Colonel Muhammad Tariq as the new CSO, but he has not yet named the new DMS.[26]

  • The Pakistani Supreme Court dismissed a case seeking to cancel former President Pervez Musharraf’s bail. The petitioner failed to pursue his petition, which forced the Supreme Court to dismiss it. The petitioner allegedly made a deal with Musharraf and is currently out of the country.[27]

[1] “TTP denies release of its six prisoners by govt,” The News, September 12, 2013. Available at:
Kamra Yousaf and Tahir Khan and Zulfiqar Ali, “Trust-building?: Taliban confirm, military denies prisoners swap,” Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[2] “Pakistan Taliban Discuss Peace Talks Offer,” The Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[3] “Taliban negotiations: AI welcomes govt offer for talks,” Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[4] “Talks with Militants: Nawaz, Kayani Mull Choice of Facilitator,” The Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[5] “Targeted operations: 30 arrested from different Karachi areas,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[6] “Disgruntled MQM Requisitions Sindh Assembly Session,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at: “
[7] Ahmad Noorani, “Karachi operation: very few MQM activists arrested,” The News, September 12, 2013. Available at:
Mariam Essa, “MQM being targeted by Rangers: Faisal Sabzwari,” Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[8] “Discussing Matters: Rangers DG, US Consul General Meet CM,” The Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[9] “Political Appointees in Police: Magnitude Surprised Nawaz,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
“Transfers: Top Karachi Police Officials to be Reshuffled,” The Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[10] “Govt to raise its case on drone attacks at the UN: FO,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[11] “Shahbaz, Olson Discuss Energy Crisis, Mutual Issues,” The News, September 12, 2013. Available at:,-Olson-discuss-energy-crisis,-mutual-issues
[12] “Govt to raise its case on drone attacks at the UN: FO,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[13] “Govt to raise its case on drone attacks at the UN: FO,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[14] “China lauds Pakistan’s efforts for curbing terrorism,” The News, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[15] “Dar, Saudi Ambassador Discuss Pakistan’s Economy,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[16] “Japanese Vice Minister, Sartaj Discuss Afghanistan,” The Frontier Post, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[17] Asim Yasin, “Pak-Afghan MPs call for boosting defence ties,” The News, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[18] “Closure of Pak-Afghan border protested,” The News, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[19] “Kohat Road ambush: Militants release 14 kidnapped people,” Express Tribune, September 11, 2013. Available at:
[20] Muhammad Ayub, “Prompt response: Bomb targeting school defused,” Express Tribune, September 11, 2013. Available at:
[21] “Blast near ex-UC nazim’s house,” The News, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[22] “Three migrant labourers gunned down in Gwadar,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[23] “On lockdown: Sheikhan village under curfew after militants threaten to attack,” Express Tribune, September 11, 2013. Available at:
[24] “Alleged terrorist arrested from Lahore,” Geo News, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[25] “Chilas Incident: Police Arrest Suspected Mastermind,” The Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
“Suspected Mastermind of Chilas Attack Arrested: Police,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[26] Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “Mamnoon removes all senior officers of Presidency,” The News, September 12, 2013.  Available at:
[27] “Judge’s Detention Case: SC Dismisses Plea Seeking Cancellation of Musharraf’s Bail,” The Express Tribune, September 12, 2013. Available at:
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