Pakistan Security Brief

AQIS explains motives for targeting U.S. navy; 23 suspected militants killed in air strikes in North Waziristan; Police arrest two suspected militants in Peshawar; Police kill seven suspected TTP militants in Karachi; Afghan security forces kill 22 Taliban militants including Punjab insurgents in Kunar, Afghanistan; convicted al Qaeda-linked scientist to abandon appeal in U.S. court; Dean of Islamic Studies faculty killed in Karachi; Houses bombed in Peshawar; One security official killed in explosion in Kech, Balochistan; PTI to expand protests to other cities; PAT chief Qadri calls for immediate arrest of Prime Minister Sharif, other federal ministers; New ISI chief, new promotions, to be announced next week; Chinese President to visit Pakistan soon, says Foreign Office; Prime Minister Sharif to address UNGA on September 26; Pakistan Foreign Office lodges protest with Afghanistan over cross-border attacks; Afghan nationals demand end to Pakistan rocket attacks in Kunar, Afghanistan.  


  • On September 17, Usama Mahmoud, the official spokesman of al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS), posted a statement on Twitter in Arabic, Bengali, English and Urdu explaining the group’s motivations for targeting a U.S. naval ship in the foiled naval dockyard attack in Karachi. He explained that the U.S. naval forces were targeted because of America’s ability to control the fortunes of the “Ummah” through its naval superiority. He reiterated that the U.S. was the group’s primary enemy and that the group would continue to fight against America and its interests. He also accused America of being responsible for the bloodshed of Muslims in countries like Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq, Mali, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen.[1] 

  • According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on September 18, airstrikes killed 23 suspected militants in Zaram and Ismail Khel areas of North Waziristan as part of the Pakistani military’s ongoing offensive, Operation Zarb-e-Azb.[2]

  • On September 17, the police arrested two suspected militants in a raid on Adezai village, Peshawar district, close to the Khyber Agency. The arrested militants, Wilayat and Misri Khan, are suspected to be involved in attacks on anti-Taliban militias and have links with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).[3]

  • On September 17, the police allegedly killed seven suspected TTP militants and arrested one in an encounter in Macchar Colony, Sohrab Goth, Karachi. According to District Malir Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rao Anwar, the raid was conducted on a tip-off about the presence of members of the TTP’s Waliur Rehman group. The police also seized a cache of explosives and weapons from the militants’ hideout.[4]

  • According to Afghan security forces, 22 Taliban militants, including Punjabi insurgents, were killed in clashes with the security forces in Ghaziabad district of Kunar province in Afghanistan on September 17. One Afghan police and two army personnel were also injured in the clashes.[5]

  • According to an Express Tribune report on September 18, Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman serving an 86-year sentence in prison for attempting to shoot and kill a group of FBI agents, U.S. soldiers and interpreters interrogating her for alleged links to al Qaeda, is trying to abandon the appeal process against her conviction. Siddiqui argues that the U.S. court system is unjust, and says she wants to be sent home to Pakistan through a diplomatic deal rather than through the legal system.[6] 

  • On September 18, unknown assailants shot and killed Dr. Shakeel Auj, the Dean of Islamic Studies faculty at the University of Karachi. The incident occurred in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal town near Baitul Mukarram mosque. According to SSP Pir Mohammad Shah, a fatwa had been issued against Dr. Auj by a madrassah in Karachi for allegedly committing blasphemy in advocating moderate views on religion.[7]

  • On September 17, two houses, that of a health department official and a lawyer, were bombed by unidentified attackers in Peshawar.[8]

  • On September 18, unknown militants bombed a security forces’ vehicle, killing one official, in the Shapuk area of Turbat, Kech district, in Balochistan. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.[9]

Political Crisis

  • In a meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) core committee on September 17, the party decided to expand its protests to other parts of the country and hold weekly protests in all major cities. Following the decision of the party, PTI chief Imran Khan will conduct a rally in Karachi on September 21 to address party workers.[10]

  • Addressing his party workers on September 17, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri urged the heads of “patriotic institutions” to take action against the “corrupt rulers.” He also called for the immediate arrest of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other federal ministers named in a criminal case regarding the deaths of PAT and PTI workers in protests in late August.[11]

Military Promotions

  • According to a report published by BBC Urdu on September 17, the names of the new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief and four new lieutenant generals of the army are likely to be announced next week. Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif reportedly wants to promote five major generals to the position of lieutenant generals before the new ISI director general is named so as to allow one of the promoted generals to be in contention for the top intelligence post. The incumbent ISI chief and four other lieutenant generals are scheduled to retire from service in the first week of October.[12]

Domestic Politics

  • On September 18, Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam told media representatives that the Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting Pakistan soon and that the President’s recent visit to India will not affect Pakistan-China relations.[13] 

  • According to Prime Minister Sharif’s Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatemi, the Prime Minister is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 26. He is also expected to chair important meetings with U.S. Vice President and Japanese Prime Minister on UN peace missions. The Prime Minister will also meet with his counterparts from Denmark and Norway to discuss energy-related issues.[14]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • Officials from the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed serious concerns to Afghanistan in a statement issued on September 17, over an attack launched by militants from Afghanistan into North Waziristan. The ministry said that about 100 militants had infiltrated Pakistani territory on September 16 from recently-established sanctuaries in the Khost region of Afghanistan which is directly across from North Waziristan in Pakistan. The statement further urged the Afghanistan government to cooperate with Pakistan in eliminating militant sanctuaries and safe havens in the region.[15] 

  • On September 18, about 500 Afghan nationals protested near the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul, demanding an end to alleged rocket attacks by the Pakistan Army in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan. The protestors also threatened to extend their protest to other Pakistani consulates in Afghanistan if Islamabad failed to take any action.[16]  

[1]“AQIS Explains Motivations for Targeting U.S. Navy in Karachi, Considers America its Primary Enemy,” SITE, September 17, 2014. Available at
[2]“Zarb-i-Azb: Army airstrikes kill 23 suspected militants in NWA,” Dawn, September 18, 2014. Available at
[3]“2 militants arrested in Peshawar raid,” The News, September 18, 2014. Available at
[4]“Sketchy details: Seven alleged TTP members killed in encounter,” Express Tribune, September 18. Available at
[5]“Punjabi Taliban among 22 killed in Kunar clashes,” Khaama Press, September 18, 2014. Available at
[6]“Aafia Siddiqui seeks to drop US legal appeal,” Express Tribune, September 18, 2014. Available at
[7]“Dean of KU Islamic Studies department shot dead,” Dawn, September 18. 2014. Available at
[8]“Two houses bombed in Peshawar,” September 18, 2014. Available at
[9]“Security man killed in Kech explosion,” Frontier Post, September 18, 2014. Available at
[10]“Imran Khan to address Karachi rally on Sunday,” Dawn, September 18, 2014. Available at
[11]“Qadri urges ‘patriotic institutions’ to act against ‘corrupt’ rulers,” Dawn, September 18, 2014. Available at
[12]“New ISI chief: Zaheerul Islam’s successor to be named soon,” Express Tribune, September 18, 2014. Available at
[13]“Chinese President to visit Pakistan soon: FO,” Dawn, September 18, 2014. Available at
[14]“PM Nawaz to address UNGA on September 26,” Geo News, September 18, 2014. Available at
[15]“Pakistan lodges protest over cross-border attack from Afghanistan,” Express Tribune, September 17, 2014. Available at
[16]“Cross-border attacks: Protest staged near Pakistani Embassy in Kabul,” Express Tribune, September 18, 2014. Available at
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