Pakistan Security Brief

PTI looks to gather 300,000 supporters for rally in Lahore; Corps Commander Peshawar stresses the need for counter-terrorism operations in Punjab, Balochistan; Pakistan Air Force playing leading role in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, claims Air Chief; Police foil major terror attack in Quetta; AQAP re-tweets video of AQIS assassination of senior soldier; Policeman assassinates blasphemy-accused inmate; Pakistan International Airlines to split, be sold off; Government freezes power tariffs temporarily; 6,000 IDPs to be repatriated to Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency; Pakistan to lodge complaint with India for inadequate flood-relief efforts in Kashmir; Foreign Secretary pledges Pakistan’s support to fight terrorism at Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, New York.

Political Crisis

  • According to a report in Dawn on September 25, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has asked PTI leaders from Chakwal and Jhelum districts in Punjab to bring people for a meeting being held by the PTI at Minar-e-Pakistan monument in Lahore on September 28. Meanwhile, leaders from the Rawalpindi and Attock chapters of the party have been asked to send people to the sit-in in Islamabad. All PTI Members of National Assemblies (MNAs) and Members of Provincial Assemblies (MPAs) have been asked to get a minimum of 500 people each to the rally in Lahore. The PTI aims to gather about 300,000 people at its rally in Lahore. [1]


  • In a briefing at the National Defence University on September 24, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. Gen. Khalid Rabbani said that “terrorism cannot be eliminated without intelligence-based operations throughout the country, particularly in Southern Punjab and Sindh.” He also suggested that political issues and capacity problems of civilian law-enforcement agencies were hindering action against terror groups in Punjab and Balochistan.[2]

  • Addressing a graduation ceremony at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Academy in Risalpur on September 24, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt said that the PAF was playing a leading role in the ongoing military offensive, Operation Zarb-e-Azb, in North Waziristan. He also claimed that the PAF is well-equipped to defend Pakistan’s aerial frontiers as well as provide relief to people in times of disaster.[3]


  • In an update to the news of a raid on an under-construction house in Quetta by the police on September 24, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Abdul Razzaq Cheema said that the police had foiled a major terrorist attack after seizing a huge cache of arms and ammunition. The police recovered about 800 hand grenades, 200 kilograms of explosives, 13 Rocket-propelled grenade launchers and electric detonators from a water tank during the raid.[4]

  • On September 21, a low-level al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operative’s twitter account re-tweeted a video of a senior military intelligence officer, Brigadier Fazal Zahoor, being assassinated by militants at a shrine in Sargodha, Punjab. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has claimed responsibility for the assassination carried out on September 6, 2014.[5]  


  • On September 25, a policeman shot dead a Christian pastor, Zafar Bhatti, and wounded another inmate, British national Muhammad Asghar, in a jail in Islamabad. Both inmates were accused of blasphemy. Bhatti worked to protect the human rights of the Christian minority in Pakistan and had reportedly received death threats in prison from inmates as well as guards.[6]


  • In an interview with Reuters in New Delhi on September 24, Privatization Minister Mohammad Zubair said that Pakistan government was planning to split the national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), and sell control of the core business to a global airline over the next 18 months. He said that there was no decision on the buyer yet. PIA employs 17,000 people and owns 36 aircrafts out of which 10 are grounded due to unavailability of spare parts.[7]

  • In a news conference on September 24, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar declared that the government had decided to not increase electricity tariffs in an attempt to pacify anti-government sentiments resulting from the ongoing political crisis in Islamabad. According to analysts, this decision may create problems for Pakistan in acquiring approval for the fifth loan tranche of $550 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, Mr. Dar has insisted that the decision will not derail the IMF loan program. He also appealed to PTI chief Imran Khan to “have mercy on the nation and its economy.”[8]

Internally Displaced Persons

  • According to Assistant Political Agent for Bara sub-district, Nasir Khan, the repatriation of about 6,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to the Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency was scheduled to start on September 25. The repatriation of families belonging to the Bar Qambarkhel tribe would start from the Durrani Camp in Sadda, Kurram Agency. Khan also said that a large development package was being implemented by the government in the Tirah valley through which free food items would be provided to the IDPs for six months including help in reconstruction of their houses.[9]

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • On September 24, the Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan expressed its concerns over a supposed lack of relief efforts in Indian-administered Kashmir and decided to lodge a protest with India through the Foreign Office.  In an official press release, the Chief Secretary Azad Jammu and Kashmir also clarified that the floods were not caused by the water coming from India but due to extensive rainfall.[10]

United Nations

  • Addressing the fifth ministerial meeting of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) on September 24 at the United Nations, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry emphasized the need to develop “persuasive logic” to counter radicalism, create economic opportunities for young people and resolve political grievance and longstanding disputes as the means to deal with terrorism. He also professed Pakistan’s support to the international community “in dealing with issues of kidnapping for ransom and threat posed by foreign terrorists.”[11] 

[1] “PTI aiming to bring 300,000 people to Minar-i-Pakistan,” Dawn, September 25, 2014. Available at
[2]“Corps commander calls for curbing terror in Punjab, Balochistan,” Dawn, September 25, 2014. Available at
[3]“Graduation ceremony: PAF playing leading role in Zarb-e-Azb, says air chief,” Express Tribune, September 25, 2014. Available at
[4]“Major terror bid foiled in Quetta, claims police,” Dawn, September 24, 2014. Available at
[5]“Mujahideen of AQIS assassinate Pakistan Intelligence Officer” September 21, 2014. Available at
[6]“Policeman shoots dead blasphemy accused in Rawalpindi prison,” Dawn, September 25, 2014. Available at
[7]“PIA to be split in two, Gulf airlines may buy core business,” Dawn, September 25, 2014. Available at
[8]“$6.7b bailout package: IMF tranche may hit snags as govt decides to freeze power tariffs,” Express Tribune, September 25, 2014. Available at
[9]“Return of IDPs to Tirah Valley begins,” The News, September 25, 2014. Available at
[10] Pakistan to take up concerns over relief efforts in Kashmir with India,” Express Tribune, September 24, 2014. Available at
[11]“Global Counter-Terrorism Forum: Pakistan vows to deal with terrorism,” Express Tribune, September 25, 2014. Available at
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