Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. accuses ISI of waging proxy war; Meetings continue between the U.S. and Pakistan; U.S. “fuelling terrorism,” says Pakistan; U.S. to limit troop numbers in Pakistan; Businessman linked to Mumbai attacks asks for new trial; Kayani rejects notion of military take-over; Supreme Court dissatisfied with police reports; PPP blames PML-N for anti-terror bill delay; Musharraf wanted for May 12 killing case; Important breakthroughs in Monday’s Karachi bombing; Pakistan calls for “comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism”; TTP changes tactics; General wounded when army helicopter hit by gunfire;Peshawar market closes to protest Monday’s deadly bombing; LeJ claims deadly bus attack; Zardari and Gilani denounce killing of former Afghan president; Musharraf to be granted immunity, according to Wikileaks; Taseer kidnapping leads; U.S. pledges $2.9 million to Pakistan flood relief.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • In a four hour meeting between U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen and Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the U.S. pushed  Pakistan to sever its ties to the Haqqani Network and to desist from using the group to carry out a proxy war in Afghanistan. During a speech on Tuesday, Mullen stated that the ISI had a history of waging proxy wars.  This new allegation came amidst rising tensions between the U.S. over the Haqqani Network’s bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on September 13.  While the U.S. had previously alluded to links between Pakistan’s ISI and terrorist elements, Mullen’s statement was the first to publically denounce the ISI’s role in waging a proxy war using the Haqqani Network specifically. Later in the day, Mullen and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued a brief at the Pentagon to discuss steps the U.S. would take to combat the Haqqani Network. Panetta reiterated the notion that the U.S. would “take whatever steps necessary to protect [U.S.] forces” and that it was “in the best interest of the Pakistanis to deal with terrorists within their borders.” In a separate meeting, newly appointed CIA Director David Petraeus reportedly met with ISI spy chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha in Washington, D.C. to further discuss the Haqqani Network and U.S.-Pakistan relations.[1]

  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued a series of meetings with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in New York City concerned with coordinated counterterrorism efforts between the two countries.  Clinton and Khar reportedly agreed on a reset in bilateral relations, and Khar stressed that a true reset must be accompanied with Pakistanis being recognized for their sacrifices in the war on terror. Later, Khar rejected the notion that Clinton gave Pakistan an ultimatum to deal with the Haqqani Network, saying that the meetings were in Pakistan’s national interest and were not forced.[2]

  • The U.S. Congress has been slow to approve legislation for Pakistani Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs), which Pakistan’s lead delegate to the dialogue on Trade Investment Facilitation Agreement (TIFA), Commerce Secretary Zafar Mehmood, told U.S. delegates had “inflicted heavy losses on Pakistan’s economy and [had] fueled unrest and militancy” in the FATA.  The U.S. has repeatedly pointed to Pakistan’s place on the “Priority Watch List of countries involved in massive infringement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)” as a reason for being hesitant to pass ROZ legislation.[3]

  • Due to frayed relations between the U.S. and Pakistan and the “highly unpopular” presence of U.S. forces in Pakistan caused by drone strikes and the May 2 Abbottabad raid by U.S. Special Operations Forces, Pakistan and the U.S. officials have agreed to reduce the number of U.S. forces within Pakistan by nearly half to less than 150 troops and 10 special operations trainers.[4]

  • A Chicago businessman, Tahawwur Rana, has asked for a new trial after being convicted of providing material support to the Pakistani militant group that took credit for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.  Rana was acquitted on charges of facilitating the Mumbai attacks.[5]

Karachi Violence

  • According to anonymous military sources commenting on the most recent Corps Commanders meeting on September 8, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani reportedly rebuked the contention of some participants that the “only way to steer [Pakistan] out of the multiple crises” it had encountered was through a military takeover.  Kayani allegedly “urged restraint and patience” telling military and civilian leaders that the civilian government should be given a chance to restore order before the military could step in.[6]

  • The Supreme Court hearing on violence in Karachi has been increasingly frustrating for top officials, who have “expressed displeasure over police crime reports,” which have reportedly failed to show “significant progress against violence” in Karachi.[7]

  • The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has placed blame on the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PLM-N) for a delay in passing the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) Bill.  The bill, which was written in 2009, has not been approved by the PML-N and consequently cannot be sent to parliament for a vote.  PML-N denies that it ever received the bill, but politicians have called for the passing of the bill, which will replace the outdated Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, to combat the nation’s worst-ever terrorism.[8]

  • The Sindh High Court had formally indicted former President Pervez Musharraf for his alleged involvement in political violence on May 12, 2007.  Muttahidda Qaudi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain was also indicted, along with a handful of others.[9]

  • Police have reportedly discovered that the Karachi bombing of a senior police chief’s home on Monday was planned within the city and was “orchestrated by the Karachi chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).  Interior Minister Rehman Malik also revealed that the attack, which killed eight people, was not a suicide attack as was previously reported.[10]


  • During the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khar asked the international community to assist Pakistan in combating terrorism, which would require a comprehensive strategy and “must address the root causes, including unresolved disputes, poverty, and unemployment.”  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called upon all nations to work together to help build a safer world by defeating terrorism.[11] 

  • The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has historically used suicide bombings in attacks; however, the recent string of attacks on the residences of police and military officials has highlighted a shift in TTP tactics.  According to a report in The News, attacks in residential areas have also displayed that the TTP may be becoming more desperate in its attacks, following the deaths and arrests of key al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. Karachi has reportedly been “one of the biggest sources of [TTP funding] through criminal activities like kidnappings and bank robberies,” and TTP militants may be leaving the safety and security of Pakistan’s tribal belt in which it has flourished to wage attacks against those involved in counterterrorism efforts in an effort to “demoralize law enforcement” officials.[12]


  • A helicopter carrying Major General Javed Iqbal was hit by two bullets in the Swat Valley near the village of Nusrat Darra.  The gunfire reportedly came from the ground, although no significant damage to the helicopter was reported. Iqbal was “slightly injured” and no militant groups have claimed responsibility for the incident. Iqbal is the General Officer Commanding for forces in Swat.[13]

  • Traders in Peshawar have agreed to close shops for three days in response to Monday’s bombing of a CD market.   The section of the market targeted was known for its bootlegged CDs and DVDs in Pashto.[14]


  • The sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has claimed Tuesday’s deadly bus attack on Shia pilgrims in Balochistan province.  At least 26 Hazara Shia pilgrims were killed in the attack, as well as three others in a subsequent attack on an ambulance en route to the scene.  LeJ is reportedly a “predominately Punjabi group with links to al Qaeda and the Taliban.”  The attack was the deadliest incident of sectarian violence in over a year and resulted in Pakistan’s Shia community declaring three days of mourning in Quetta.  Protests broke out around the city, demanding the police protect them from continued violence.  The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) was also quick to point out Pakistan’s “perpetual failure to take note of” and prevent sectarian killings of Shias.  Police have announced the arrest of over 85 people in connection with the attack.[15]

Pakistan Politics

  • President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani publically denounced the assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani on Tuesday.  Rabbani was working on peace processes between the Afghan government and the Taliban when he was allegedly killed by a Taliban militant.  Zardari and Gilani said they were mourning the death “a friend” who had been instrumental in regional peace efforts.[16]


  • According to a U.S. embassy cable leaked by anti-secrecy organization Wikileaks, Pakistani President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Kayani committed to the U.S. in 2008 that they would grant former President Pervez Musharraf immunity from prosecution after his resignation from his post. According to the cable written by then-U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson, the immunity deal was crucial in getting Musharraf to agree to resign the presidency.[17]

Taseer Kidnapping

  • Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah announced that details regarding the Shahbaz Taseer abduction case would be revealed soon.  Sanaullah claimed that investigators have confirmed the identity of the abductors but that the abductors have not yet contacted the Taseer family for a ransom.  Shahbaz Taseer, son of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, was kidnapped on August 26.[18]



Donna Miles, “Panetta, Mullen to Pressure Pakistan on Terrorism,” U.S. Department of Defense, September 20, 2011. Available at
Huma Imtiaz, “Pasha meets Petraeus in Washington to discuss Haqqani network,” Express Tribune, September 21, 2011. Available at
[2] Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, “Khar, Clinton meeting may reduce gap in Pak-US ties,” The News, September
“No US ultimatum on Haqqani network, says Khar,” Dawn, September 20, 2011. Available at
[3] Khalid Mustaf, “Pakistan says US indifference towards ROZs fuelling terrorism,” The News, September 21, 2011. Available at
[4] “US, Pakistan agree to limit troops: report,” Dawn, September 21, 2011. Available at
[5] “Tahawwur Rana wants new trial in Mumbai terror case,” Dawn, September 21, 2011. Available at
[6]Umar Cheema, “Kayani snubs call for military takeover,” The News, September 21, 2011. Available at
[7] “SC rejects police reports in Karachi violence case,” Geo, September 21, 2011. Available at
[8] Syed Irfan Raza, “PML-N blamed for delay in passing anti-terror bill,” Dawn, September 21, 2011. Available at
[9] “SHC seeks reply from Musharraf, Altaf on May 12 incident,” The News, September 21, 2011. Available at
[10] “Important breakthroughs in Karachi blast investigation,” Geo, September 21, 2011. Available at
“Karachi blast was not suicidal: Malik,” The News, September 21, 2011. Available at
[11] “Pakistan stresses addressing root causes of terrorism,” The News, September 21, 2011. Available at
[12] Amir Mir, “Pakistani Taliban changing tactics,” The News, September 21, 2011. Available at
[13] “Military helicopter under fire, general wounded,” Dawn, September 21, 2011. Available at
[14] Manzoor Ali, “After the blast: Traders down shutters to protest terrorism,” Express Tribune, September 21, 2011. Available at
[15] “Militant Pakistan group admits carrying out bus attack,” BBC, September 21, 2011. Available at
“Pakistan slammed over sectarian killings,” Dawn, September 21, 2011. Available at
[16] “Pakistan condemns Rabbani killing,” Dawn, September 20, 2011. Available at
[17] Tariq Butt, “Zardari, Gilani, Kayani promised immunity to Musharraf,” The News, September 21, 2011. Available at  
[18] “Shahbaz Taseer abduction: Sanaullah says 'good news' soon,” Express Tribune, September 21, 2011. Available at
[19] “US govt announces $ 2.9 million for flood victims,” Dawn, September 21, 2011. Available at
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