Pakistan Security Brief

CIA shifts towards a concentration on targeted killing; Retaliatory attack kills four Sunnis in central Kurram; Militants attack tribal leader’s residence in Mohmand Agency; Militants kidnap 30 Pakistani boys near the Af-Pak border; Medvedev announces Russia’s willingness to invest in a transnational gas pipeline through Pakistan; U.S. considering financially backing Daimer Bhasha dam project; Pakistan and Russia call for increase in training of Afghan security forces; Suicide car bombing kills twelve in Lakki Marwat; Malik and Wasan optimistic about Karachi security operations; Mirza builds on accusations against MQM.


  •  According to an article in the Washington Post, over the past decade, the CIA has undergone a transition away from broad based analysis towards a more centralized focus on counterterrorism with the bulk of analysis being used to target and kill terrorists through drone strikes. The CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) which had only 300 employees a decade ago has grown to over 3,000 and the drone program run through CTC has killed over 2,000 militants since 2001. According to one agency employee, “You’ve taken an agency that was chugging along and turned it into one hell of a killing machine”. The model for the CTC’s targeted drone strikes has been mastered in the unit known as the Pakistan Afghanistan Department (PAD). The agency hopes to apply this model towards Yemen and Somalia. The CIA has also reportedly increased its cooperation with U.S. Special Operations Forces to an astonishing degree, often sharing bases with contractors and elite military operatives. According to the article, CIA operatives infiltrated Pakistan covertly at least five times between 2002 and 2006. [1]


  • On Friday, armed gunmen opened fire on a bus traveling from Sadda to Baggan in central Kurram. Local officials claim that four people were killed and several others were injured in the ambush. The victims were all Sunni. Officials suspect that the attack was in retaliation for Thursday evening’s ambush of Shias on the Thall-Parachinar road near Alizai. [2]

Pakistan Energy

  • In a summit with Pakistan and Afghanistan, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev claimed that Russia was open to investing “millions of dollars” in joint energy projects. Medvedev added, however, that “There’s a whole range of projects that have been on the table for a long time which have seen no movement forward and which should be implemented”. He went on to confirm Russia’s interest in a transnational gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and into Pakistan and India. The pipeline would provide a huge economic boost to the region but has been delayed to the Taliban insurgency. [5]

Pakistan and Russia on U.S. Withdrawal

  • Russian President Medvedev and Pakistani President Asif Zardari called on NATO to increase its training of local Afghan security forces as the coalition prepares for its staged withdrawal from Afghanistan. The leaders’ joint statement said, “The heads of state emphasize that the reduction of foreign military presence in Afghanistan should be accompanied by an adequate increase of efforts by the participants of the international coalition for training and arming Afghan national security structures”. Approximately 10,000 U.S troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year and 23,000 additional troops will be withdrawn by the end of next summer. [7]



  • Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan built upon Malik’s remarks and lauded the efforts of police and Rangers to secure Karachi. Wasan claimed that. “The operation in Karachi started on August 10…500 suspects were arrested within 10 days…large quantities of arms and ammunition were recovered from their possession”. Wasan also announced that “no-go areas” were to be eliminated and peace would soon be established in the city. [10]
  • On Friday, Former Sindh Interior Minister, Zulfiqar Mirza followed up on his accusations of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Last week, following his resignation from office, Mirza accused the MQM of conducting targeted killings and extortion in Karachi. In a media address in Badin, Mirza asserted that last week’s announcement had only revealed 10 percent of his information on MQM and that the rest had yet to be released. [11

[1] Greg Miller & Julia Tate, “CIA shifts focus to killing targets,” Washington Post, September 2, 2011. Available at
[2] “Gunmen kill 4 in northwest Pakistan,” CNN, September 2, 2011. Available at
[3] “Militants attack tribal leader’s residence in Mohmand,” Dawn, September 2, 2011. Available at
[4] “Militants 'kidnap' Pakistani boys on Afghan border,” BBC, September, 2 2011. Available at
[5] “No progress in Pakistan, Afghanistan eco projects: Medvedev,” Dawn, September 2, 2011. Available at
[6] “US plans to extend financial support for Dam project,” Dawn, September, 2 2011. Available at
[7] “Russia, Pakistan urge better Afghan security training,” Dawn, September, 2 2011. Available at
[8] “12 Killed in Lakki Marwat suicide bombing, ambush,” Express Tribune, September 2, 2011. Available at
[9] “Law and order situation in Karachi is improving: Malik,” Dawn, September 2, 2011. Available at
[10] “Wasan lauds role of police, Rangers in Karachi operation,” Dawn, September 2, 2011. Available at
[11] “Mirza declares war on MQM,” Express Tribune, September, 2 2011. Available at
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