Pakistan Security Brief

Religious and tribal leaders have urged to TTP to cooperate with the government; Interior Minister concerned that third parties will derail TTP talks; Operation in Karachi to continue; Sindh Chief Minister favors banning forced strikes; Sindh police force reshuffled; MQM calls reshuffle politically motivated; Pakistan sticks to plan to protest drone strikes at UN; Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security meets Indian External Affairs Minister in Kyrgyzstan; President and Saudi Ambassador meet to discuss economic ties; NATO vehicles in Balochistan and Khyber Agency destroyed by militants; Government of Balochistan to negotiate with insurgents; Two terrorists captured in Lahore; Bomb defused in Kurram agency; IMF warns Pakistan that austerity measures could depress economic growth next year.

Talks with the TTP

  • While official talks between the government and the TTP have yet to commence, back channel communications have reportedly begun. According to one report, religious and tribal leaders, and some journalists close to the group, have allegedly urged the TTP to respond positively to the government’s overtures in order to improve their own image and create trust between the TTP and the government.[1]

  • On Thursday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan defended the government’s decision to engage in talks with the TTP, and warned that certain elements within Pakistan would try to derail the talks in order to force a military solution. Khan did not single out any particular group as guiltily in this regard.[2]

Karachi Unrest

  • On Friday, the federal government and the Sindh provincial government reportedly agreed to continue the ongoing operation in Karachi for as long as it takes to restore calm to the city. The government of Sindh is reportedly considering granting more power to the paramilitary Rangers, including prosecution and investigation capabilities.[3]

  • At a meeting on Thursday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah indicated that he favors a law banning forcible strikes in the wake of the violence in Karachi this week. He claimed that he has public support, and that he has the votes in the Sindh Assembly necessary to pass the law.[4]

  • As promised, the Sindh government reshuffled its police force in response to the unrest in Karachi. Several high ranking officers were replaced, and a new Chief of Karachi Police, Shahid Hayat who had previously been the Deputy Inspector General Special Branch, was appointed.[5]

  • On Thursday, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leadership claimed in a statement that the reshuffle of the Sindh police force was politically motivated and part of a larger campaign, which includes the operation in Karachi, to cripple the party. The statement claimed that members of the MQM are being targeted in the operation, and that the reshuffle was a disguised attempt to put police personnel who sympathized with the government in charge.[6]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Chaudhry stated on Thursday that after the recommendation of the All-Parties Conference, the Foreign Office has issued orders to Pakistan’s United Nations missions in New York and Geneva to protest American drones operating in Pakistan’s airspace. Chaudhry also denied that the government has made a secret deal with the U.S. to allow drones in certain territories.[7]

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • On Friday, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz and Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid met in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to discuss a range of issues of concern to both countries. They discussed the Line of Control in Kashmir, security concerns, and the upcoming meeting at the UN between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[8]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • Iranian Consul General Hossain bin Asadi and Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar met in Lahore on Friday to discuss potential areas of cooperation. Sarwar spoke of increased trade between the two countries and of the planned gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan.[9]

  • 62 Pakistani laborers in Iran have been arrested and handed over to Pakistan at the border town of Taftan on Thursday after their visas expired.[10]


  • About 35 militants opened fire and launched rockets at Sro police check post in Shabqadar, Charsadda district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on Thursday, killing one and wounding one. The attackers retreated after also bombing a school and killing one person and wounding another at a filling station, and have not been caught.[11]

  • A NATO vehicle supplying coalition troops in Afghanistan was torched on Thursday in Landi Kotal, Kyber agency after breaking down. Two vehicles broke down, but one was safely removed to a nearby checkpoint. The second one was not moved in time, and it was destroyed by militants.[12]

  • Nine NATO oil tankers were destroyed in Sohrab district of Balochistan on Friday. The attack was carried out by militants on motorcycles using rockets. There have been no deaths so far, although one of the drivers of the tankers is missing.[13]

  • The government of Balochistan province has reportedly decided to begin talks with the militant groups in the province who have been waging an insurgency for years. Exactly which groups will be approached has not been announced yet, but the provincial government reportedly has the backing of the government in Islamabad and the military.[14]

  • Two alleged terrorists were captured in Lahore on Friday. They were found after terrorists who had previously been arrested gave authorities information. One of the men was reportedly in telephone contact foreigners.[15]

  • A bomb was discovered and defused in Chinarabad, Kurram Agency on Thursday. The bomb was discovered on a roadside after a tip-off to local officials.[16]


  • The IMF told Pakistani leaders on Thursday that the austerity measures implemented as part of the deal which facilitates a $6.7 billion loan from the IMF to Pakistan will lower economic growth in Pakistan. The current IMF projection for next year is 2.5 percent growth, significantly lower than the 7 percent needed to keep pace with the expanding work force.[17]

  • In an interview on Thursday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan indicated that he does not support extending Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s term. Khan expressed concern that Kayani is too powerful and said that replacing him will strengthen institutions.[18]

  • At a meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to begin privatizing the national airline, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Opposition parties, including the PPP and the PTI have expressed their opposition to the plan and claim that privatization will result in many workers losing their jobs.[19]




[1] “Back Channel Contacts Begin for Govt, Taliban Talks,” The Frontier Post, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[2] “Ch Nisar Fears Some Out to Sabotage Talks with Taliban,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[3] Tahir Khalil, “Federal, Sindh Govts Agree to Continue Karachi Operation,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:,-Sindh-govts-agree-to-continue-Karachi-operation
“Sindh Govt Considers Equipping Rangers with Special Powers,” The Frontier Post, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[4] “Seeking Punishment: CM Wants Law Against Strikes,” The Express Tribune, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[5] “Police Command Changed in Karachi,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:
Salis bin Perwaiz, “Shahid Hayat Khan Likely to Take over as New Police Chief,” The News, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[6] “MQM Terms Police Reshuffle a Political Move,” Dawn, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[7] “Pakistan Preparing to Take up Drone Issue at UN: FO,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[8] “Sartaj Aziz, Indian FM Discuss Nawaz-Singh Meeting, LoC,” Dawn, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[9] “Iranian Envoy Calls on Punjab Governor,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[10] “Iran Releases 62 Pakistani Labourers,” The Frontier Post, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[11] “Hail of Bullets: Nearly Three Dozen Militants Attack Police Check Post,” The Express Tribune, September 13, 2013. Available at:
“Militants Kill Watchman in Charsadda,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[12] “Khyber Agency: NATO Vehicle Torched, Supplies Destroyed,” The Express Tribune, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[13] “Nine NATO Oil Tankers Torched in Kalat,” Dawn, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[14] “Balochistan Govt Prepares to Talk to Estranged Groups,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[15] “Two Terrorists Nabbed in Lahore,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[16] “Bomb Defused in Kurram,” The News, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[17] “IMF warns Pakistan of Worse Economic Growth in Coming Days,” Dawn, September 12, 2013. Available at:
[18] “Kayani’s Term as COAS Should not be Extended: Imran Kahn,” The Express Tribune, September 13, 2013. Available at:
[19] Khawar Ghumman, “26pc of PIA Shares to be Privatised,” Dawn, September 13, 2013. Available at:
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