Pakistan Security Brief

Air strikes kill 40 militants in North Waziristan; Concern of increased cooperation between TTP Punjab and Haqqani Network; Update on Karachi naval dockyard attack; PTI leaders says they want honestly negotiated settlement with government; Army chief guaranteed five out of six PTI demands, says Imran Khan; Criminal case registered against Prime Minister Sharif, other federal ministers; Government threatens to clear out PAT, PTI protestors; Hafiz Saeed accused India of “water terrorism.”


  • According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistani military airstrikes killed 40 militants, including unidentified foreign militants, and destroyed five militant hideouts in Datta Khel sub-district of North Waziristan on September 17. Fighter jets targeting the villages of Nawae Zilli and Zaram Asar north of Datta Khel destroyed terrorist hideouts and ammunition dumps. The airstrikes are a part of the ongoing military offensive Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan.[1]

  • In an update on the air strikes conducted by Pakistan Air Force on September 16 in Khyber Agency, the Inter-Services Public Relations said that fighter jets killed 23 militants and injured five in Dwa Toi and Wacha Wano areas of Tirah Valley. The air strikes also destroyed three militant hideouts and two ammunition dumps in Tor Darra and Kokikhel areas. According to official sources, the dead and injured militants were affiliated with the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group.[2]

  • As reported by The News on September 17, the “diplomatic community” in Islamabad has expressed concern that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Punjab’s announcement that it will cease violent attacks in Pakistan and instead focus on attacks inside Afghanistan may lead to increased cooperation with the Haqqani Network conducting cross-border attacks.[3]

  • On September 17, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal published reports on AQIS’s recent claim of responsibility for the attack on the Karachi naval dockyard and its subsequent attempt to hijack a Pakistani naval ship.  AQIS spokesman Usama Mahmoud stated that the attackers had taken control of the Pakistani frigate PNS Zulfiqar and were attempting to attack nearby U.S. vessels when soldiers intervened. According to The Wall Street Journal, 10 militants and one naval officer died in the attack. A Pakistani security official stated that rogue officers were able to simply walk on board the PNS Zulfiqar by showing their service identity cards. Once on board, the plan was for the naval servicemen to assist additional militants in arriving by boat and stowing away on board. However, a gunner aboard the Zulfiqar was suspicious when he saw the militants approaching by boat dressed in Pakistani Marine uniforms. The militants were armed with AK-47s which are not standard for Pakistani Marines. The gunner fired a warning shot at the approaching boat which initiated a firefight. The last militant blew himself up in a suicide bombing when surrounded by security forces. The PNS Zulfiqar was scheduled to sail away the day of the attack to join an international naval flotilla. The plan reportedly was that once the PNS Zulfiqar got close to U.S. vessels, militants would use the onboard weapons systems to attack U.S. ships.[4]

Political Crisis

  • In televised remarks on September 17, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared that the government had responded with decency and patience to the ongoing political protests in Islamabad but that it was not difficult for the government to clear the streets and protest camps established outside government offices.[5]  

  • According to an Express Tribune report published on September 16, PTI chief Imran Khan that army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif had guaranteed the approval of five out of six demands made by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), while refusing to accept the demand for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation. He also clarified that his campaign did not have the support of the army.[6]   

  • On September 16, the police registered a criminal case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique regarding the deaths of three people in clashes with the police on August 30.[7]

  • On September 16, in a briefing to the media, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders said that they wanted an honestly negotiated end to the current political deadlock but that the government had resorted to cracking down on PTI workers, thus hampering the dialogue process. PTI General Secretary Jahangir Tareen also clarified that the government had agreed to constitute a special judicial commission to investigate the elections but was unwilling to accept PTI’s definition of rigging.[8]

Indo-Pak Relations

  • In an interview with Reuters on September 17, Hafiz Saeed, who is suspected of being the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, accused India of “water terrorism” and blamed India for dumping excess water in Pakistan and thereby exacerbating the recent flooding in Pakistan. Indian officials in the water resources ministry refused to respond to the charges made by Hafiz Saeed saying that the accusations were being initiated by militants and not the Pakistani government.[9]

[1]“Air Strikes kill 40 suspected militants in fresh N Waziristan blitz,” Dawn, September 17, 2014. Available at
[2]“23 militants die in Tirah air strikes,” The News, September 17, 2014. Available at
[3] “Punjabi Taliban to join hands with Haqqani network,” The News, September 17, 2014. Available at
[4] “New al Qaeda wing in South Asia claims major attack,” Reuters, September 17, 2014. Available at
“Al Qaeda Militants Tried to Seize Pakistan Navy Frigate,” The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2014.
[5]“Pakistan’s PM threatens to clear protesters camped in capital,” Reuters, September 17, 2014. Available at
[6]“Army chief gave assurances of meeting PTI’s 5 demands: reveals Imran,” Express Tribune, September 16, 2014. Available at
[7]“PAT presses fresh murder charges against PM Nawaz, close aides,” Express Tribune, September 17, 2014. Available at
[8]“PTI ‘still open to talks’,” Dawn, September 17, 2014. Available at
[9]“Pakistani Islamists use floods to turn opinion against India,” Reuters, September 17, 2014. Available at


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