Pakistan Security Brief

New ISI leader appointed, five Lt. Generals promoted; U.S. State Dept. approves sale of $198 million worth of MRAPs to Pakistan; Pakistan near acquiring sea-based missile capability; Al Qaeda’s American spokesman calls for attacks against western interests; Foreign Office welcomes Afghanistan’s “unity government;” Bomb blast injures three in Quetta; PTI chief Imran Khan holds large rally in Karachi; Punjabi Taliban reportedly involved in attack on Karachi dockyard; TTP claims senior commander killed in North Waziristan; 14 Pakistani detainees repatriated to Pakistan from Bagram Prison, Afghanistan; 15 militants, one soldier killed in Boya, North Waziristan; 23 militants killed in airstrike in Ghulam Khan, North Waziristan; Police defuse bomb in Hangu; JUI-F leader killed in Hangu; Three suspected militants killed in Khuzdar, Balochistan; Seminary caretaker killed in Rawalpindi, Punjab; Three police killed in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Police arrest key militant in Matani, Peshawar; Four killed in attack by militants in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Defunct Baloch separatist group kills militant commander and 10 others.


  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, at the proposal of army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, appointed now Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar to the head the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Akhtar is considered an ally of Gen. Sharif. Prior to this appointment, then-Maj. Gen. Akhtar headed the Sindh Rangers where he oversaw an operation to clear Karachi of militants and gangs. Prior to that, Maj. Gen. Akhtar commanded the 9th Infantry Division in in South Waziristan. Five other major generals were promoted to lieutenant general as well. Lt. Gen. Hilal Hussain has been posted to the Mangla Corps from his post as Director General of Military Training in Rawalpindi. Lt. Gen. Hidayat was posted to Peshawar Corps from his post as Chief Instructor at the National Defence University (NDU). Lt. Gen. Navid Mukhtar was posted to the Karachi Corps from his post as a deputy director general in the ISI. Lt. Gen. Ghayur Mahmood was posted to the Gujranwala Corps from his post as Vice Chief of General Staff in Rawalpindi. Lt. Gen. Butt was appointed Inspector General of Commutation and Information Technology from his post as Commandant of the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul.[1]

  • On September 19, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of 160 Navistar mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles along with spare and repair parts to the Pakistani government for $198 million. The State Department’s determination was based in part on the fact that Pakistan had demonstrated the ability to use and maintain mine-resistant vehicles in counterterrorism operations, suggesting that Pakistan has acquired mine resistant vehicles in the past.[2]

  • On September 20, a military aircraft crashed injuring two pilots in Ziarat, Balochistan. The aircraft was on a training mission when it crashed due to a technical problem.[3]

Nuclear Capabilities

  • According to a report in the Washington Post on September 21, Pakistan is progressing toward achieving sea-based nuclear missile capabilities and is also expanding its interest in tactical nuclear warheads. According to analysts, this could give Pakistan a “second strike” capability in the event of the destruction of its land-based weapons.[4] 

Al Qaeda

  • On September 20, al Qaeda’s as Sahab Media Foundation released a speech entitled “The Pakistani Regime: The Agent of the Devil” made by the group’s American spokesman, Adam Yahiye Gadahn alias Azzam al Amriki. In the speech, Gadahn urged Muslims to target American, Western, and Jewish interests in Pakistan and abroad as the “fastest” means of achieving regime change in Pakistan. He accused the Pakistani government of being an agent of the U.S. and the West while also “subduing” Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. He urged Muslims in Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent to support the Afghan Taliban in establishing an independent Islamic administration.[5] 

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • In a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on September 21, spokesperson Tasneem Aslam welcomed the “unity government” deal signed by Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. According to the deal, Ghani will take over the Presidency of Afghanistan while Dr. Abdullah will be the “chief executive.” The statement also reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to Afghanistan in building a peaceful, stable and unified country.[6]

Political Crisis

  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan addressed an estimated crowd of 80,000-100,000 supporters in Karachi on September 21 in an attempt at garnering support for his anti-government protests in Islamabad. He claimed that he wanted to unite all Punjabis, Sindhis, Mohajirs, Pathans and Balochis living in Karachi. He called on citizens to support his struggle and reiterated that his campaign would not stop until Prime Minister Sharif resigned.[7]


  • On September 20, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said that a senior TTP commander identified as Gul Hasan Afghani was killed in clashes with security forces in the Boya area of North Waziristan two days earlier. He claimed that the TTP’s Mehsud faction and local Taliban carried out the attack on security forces in which Afghani was killed. The TTP also released photographs of the funeral of Commander Hasan, which was reportedly attended by TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah.[8]

  • According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), 15 militants and one soldier were killed in clashes with security forces in the Boya area of North Waziristan on September 20. Three militants and one soldier were killed in a ground clearance operation while 12 militants were killed in subsequent air strikes by Pakistani Air Force jets. Air strikes also destroyed three militant hideouts.[9]

  • On September 22, the ISPR stated that airstrikes killed 23 militants in the Bandigar area, Ghulam Khan, North Waziristan.[10]

  • In a message on Twitter on September 19, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesperson Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa said that the Pakistani army would pursue and hunt down terrorists hiding in remote tribal areas of North Waziristan including the Datta Khel area and beyond. He also said that militants have been effectively targeted through air and ground assaults as a part of the ongoing military offensive Operation Zarb-e-Azb.[11]

  • On September 22, according to a report quoting noted Pakistani analyst Najam Sethi, the Punjabi Taliban was involved in the attack on the Karachi dockyard on September 6. Sethi speculated that the Pakistani military’s goal is to divide the TTP into smaller splinters and divert their militant activities away from Pakistan.[12]

  • As reported by Dawn on September 20, according to Pakistani legal firm Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), the U.S. released 14 Pakistani detainees from custody in Bagram Prison, Afghanistan. The detainees are to be repatriated to Pakistan; it is unclear whether they will be at liberty or in Pakistani custody upon their return.[13]

  • On September 21, unidentified armed men killed Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader, Maulana Sher Alam Farooqi, in the Tor Gundai area of Hangu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[14]

  • On September 22, security forces shot three suspected militants and arrested four in the Wadh area of Khuzdar district in Balochistan. According to a Frontier Corps (FC) spokesperson, the militants belonged to the Lashkar-e-Balochistan and United Baloch Army. FC personnel also recovered weapons, ammunition and improvised explosive devices from the suspects.[15]

  • On September 21, deputy caretaker of Taleemul Quran seminary, Mufti Amanullah, was shot dead in what the police have characterized as a targeted killing near Qasim aviation base in Rawalpindi, Punjab. Student protests erupted in Rawalpindi following the killing.[16]

  • On September 20, the police allegedly arrested a key militant in a raid in Matani, Peshawar district. The militant was reportedly involved in attacks on senior police officers.[17] 

  • On September 22, unidentified militants attacked a police checkpost in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa killing four people including three policemen.[18]

  • On September 20, police foiled an attempted terror attack when they defused an explosive device weighing 20 kilograms in the Kach Phattak area of Hangu.[19]

  • On September 20, three people were injured in a bomb blast in the Jinnah Town area of Quetta.[20]

  • On September 22, Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Durrani stated that a Baloch separatist group attacked the convoy of another militant commander, Yaqoob Balgatheri, killing him and 10 others in Turbat, Balochistan.[21]

  • According to Pajhwok Monitor on September 20, 2014, M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles among others firearms have been selling at a brisk pace on the black market in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Reportedly, the arms have been stolen from U.S. and N.A.T.O. forces in Afghanistan and then smuggled across the border to the FATA.[22]

[1] “Pakistan army appoints Rizwan Akhtar as ISI spy chief,” BBC News Asia, September 22, 2014. Available at
“Pakistan Army Chief Names New Head of ISI,” Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2014. Available at
“Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar named new ISI chief,” Dawn, September 22, 2014. Available at
“Ex-DG Rangers Sindh named new ISI chief,” The Express Tribune, September 22, 2014. Available at
[2] “US State Dept okays sale of IED-resistant vehicles worth $198m to Pakistan,” Dawn, September 20, 2014. Available at
[3] “Two pilots injured as military aircraft crashes in Ziarat,” Dawn, September 20, 2014. Available at
[5]“Adam Gadahn Calls to Target American and Western Interests to Achieve Regime Change in Pakistan,” SITE, September 21, 2014. Available at
[6]“Pakistan welcomes Afghanistan’s unity deal,” Express Tribune, September 21, 2014. Available at
[7]“Mazar-e-Quaid rally: Not even US, Saudis can save Nawaz, says Imran,” Express Tribune, September 22, 2014. Available at
[8]“Clashes with security forces: TTP commander killed in North Waziristan,” Express Tribune, September 20, 2014. Available at
[9]“15 militants killed in NWA ground, air offensive,” Express Tribune, September 22, 2014. Available at,-air-offensive
[10] “Air strikes kill 23 suspected terrorists in North Waziristan,” Dawn, September 22, 2014. Available at
[11]“Army to hunt down terrorists: ISPR,” The News, September 20, 2014. Available at
[12] “Punjabi Taliban involved in Dockyard attack: Sethi,” The News, September 22, 2014. Available at
[13] “US frees 14 more Pakistanis from Bagram prison,”  Available at
[14]“JUI-F leader shot dead in Hangu,” Express Tribune, September 21, 2014. Available at
[15]“Three militants killed, four arrested in Khuzdar,” Express Tribune, September 22, 2014. Available at
[16] “Key seminary cleric shot dead in Rawalpindi,” Dawn, September 21, 2014. Available at
[17]“Militant held in Peshawar search,” The News, September 21, 2014. Available at
[18]“Militants kill four in Hangu,” Express Tribune, September 22, 2014. Available at
[19]“IED defused in Hangu,” The News, September 21, 2014. Available at
[20]“Three injured in Quetta blast,” The News, September 21, 2014. Available at
[21] “Armed clash in Balochistan's Turbat leaves 11 dead,” Dawn, September 22, 2014. Available at
[22] “ISAF arms find way to Pakistani black market,” Pajhwok Monitor, September 20, 2014. Available at
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