Pakistan Security Brief

OIC condemns blasphemous video; Workers protest anti-Islam film; TTP pardons Bilour after bounty call; Zardari slams U.S. drone campaign in front of UN General Assembly; U.S. worried over legality of drone strikes; Two al Qaeda deaths confirmed by Pakistani official; Hafiz Saeed says Obama has started a religious war; Swiss engineers guilty of nuclear smuggling avoid jail; Pakistan and China sign military cooperation agreement; Pakistan and Saudi Arabia meet for bilateral talks; Pakistan and Afghanistan FMs talk border issues at UN General Assembly; UAE to transfer 2,100 jailed Pakistanis to Pakistan; Supreme Court gives government until October 5th to finish Swiss letter; ECP determines overseas Pakistani’s can’t vote; Eight militants dead in Orakzai; Roadside bomb kills 2, wounds 14 near Miram Shah; Militants attack girls’ school in Charsadda; Geologist killed in Quetta in sectarian attack; New report says majority of FATA journalists threatened on the job; Report shows 275,000 houses and shops destroyed in recent Pakistani floods.

Anti-Islam Film

  • Responding to the recent flare of tensions in the Islamic world due to the new anti-Islam film, and speaking on behalf of the 56 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Pakistan’s ambassador Zamir Akram condemned the “Innocence of Muslims,” video made in the United States at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Akram expressed that “Islamophobia has to be treated in law and practice equal to the treatment given to anti-Semitism, especially in legislations.” Akram also implied that videos like these are deliberately discriminatory and incite violence; therefore they should not be protected by free speech.[i]

  • Workers of the Hydro Electric Union of WAPDA marched in protest from WAPDA’s office to Martyr’s Square in Kohat on Tuesday. They protested the recent anti-Islam film, and urged the government to close the NATO supply routes to Afghanistan. The protestors burnt American and Israeli flags.[ii]

Amnesty for Bilour

  • After Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour’s announcement of a $100,000 bounty on the filmmaker behind “Innocence of Muslims,” the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have removed his name from their hit list and have “totally forgiven him,” according to TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan on Wednesday. While the rest of the Pakistani government has distanced itself from Bilour’s announcement, TTP authorities “praised Bilour for his sacrifice for the cause of Islam.”[iii]

UN General Assembly

  • President Asif Ali Zardari spoke in front of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. He opened up with a severe condemnation of the anti-Islam film made in America saying, “the international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression.” Zaradari also defended Pakistan against critics claiming his country has not done enough in the war on terror. Stating that his country has suffered more than any other during the conflict, he referenced the 7,000 dead security forces and 37,000 dead civilians. The President slammed U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan as well, stating “Drone strikes and civilian casualties on our territory add to the complexity of our battle for hearts and minds through this epic struggle.”[iv]

U.S. Drone Strikes

  • According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the CIA faxes Pakistan’s ISI every month outlining areas where they plan on using drone strikes. The ISI returns the message, yet stops short of endorsing the plan. The Obama Administration has taken this lack of reply combined with the continued clearing of air space as consent for their drone program in Pakistan. After the bin Laden raid, the ISI stopped sending messages back. Many officials are now concerned with the continued legality of the strikes. Since General David Patraeus has become head of the CIA, he has reportedly become more cautious with drone strikes in Pakistan. He has been known to overrule strikes “that could create friction with Pakistan.”[v]

  • According to a Pakistani security official’s confirmation on Tuesday, a Turkish Al Qaeda operative, Seleh al Turki and an Iraqi liaison of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Abu Akash al Iraqi were two of the five killed in Monday’s drone strike. Seleh al Turki was a “midlevel” al Qaeda operative, and Abu Akash al Iraqi was an important link between al Qaeda and the Taliban who has been a target of counterterrorism agencies for a long time.[vi]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Hafiz Saeed, thought to be the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, said on Wednesday that Obama has started a religious war against Islam. He mocked the fact that Obama could not do anything about the new anti-Islam film, and that if the United States couldn’t take tough action against the film makers then he should “hand them to us.” Saeed has a $10 million reward on his head for information leading to his arrest by the United States.[vii]

Nuclear Scandal

  • Swiss engineers Friedrich, Marco, and Urs Tinner have all plead  guilty on Tuesday in Bellinzona to “supplying centrifuge parts and participating in the smuggling ring of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the former head of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.” Switzerland is not authorized to possess documents related to nuclear weaponry under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).After making a plea bargain, the guilty were given suspended jail sentences of 24 to 50 months.[viii]

Sino-Pakistani Relations

  • During the ninth round of Pakistan-China defense and security talks on Monday, Pakistan and China signed a military cooperation agreement. Chinese Deputy Chief of General Staff General Ma Xiaotian discussed cooperation between Pakistan’s and China’s armed forces. He also called upon Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss “matters of professional interest.”[ix]

Saudi -Pakistani Relations

  • The 9th session of Pak-Saudi Joint Ministerial Commission meeting will be held in Islamabad on Wednesday. There will be three technical groups for the commission, according to sources interviewed by APP. The first will deal trade matters, the second will deal with energy and infrastructure, while the third group will deal with education, culture and security.[x]

Afghan-Pakistani Relations

  • Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Aghanistan’s Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul met on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly to review the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA). The ministers discussed cross-border issues as well, according to a statement by Pakistan’s Foreign Office.[xi]

UAE-Pakistan Relations

  • According to an interior ministry official’s claim on Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates is likely to pass a prisoner exchange agreement with Pakistan and begin transferring 2,100 jailed Pakistanis to jails in Pakistan. The agreement has been ratified by Pakistan, and is now waiting on the United Arab Emirates. While some prisoners were jailed for dangerous crimes, most of them were illegal immigrants. According to the interior ministry official, “the government of Pakistan will bear the cost of the operation.”[xii]

Domestic Politics

  • After Law Minister Farooq Naek resubmitted the draft of a letter to be sent to Swiss authorities to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the court asked for further amendments. Expressing that he was not the final authority on the matter, Naek said that he needed to talk the issue over with Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. The Supreme Court gave the government till October 5 to comply with its orders or, it warned, would “be compelled to resume with contempt of court proceedings.”[xiii]

  • According to a Geo News report on Wednesday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided that the four million Pakistanis living overseas will not be able to vote unless they travel back to Pakistan. The ECP made this decision due to a lack of time to deal with legal hurdles and the unavailability of an adequate voting mechanism.[xiv]


  • Clashes between militants and security forces in the Barlas area of Orakzai agency on Tuesday have left at least eight militants dead and one soldier injured. Security forces recovered a stash of weapons in a subsequent search operation.[xv]

  • Officials have confirmed that a roadside bomb near Miram Shah, North Waziristan killed two soldiers and injured 14 more on Wednesday. The bomb was targeting a Frontier Corps military convoy in the Spin Wam area. One vehicle out of the 20 in the convoy was directly hit and partially damaged. Security officials have launched an investigation into the attacks; it is unclear which militants are responsible.[xvi]

  • Militants blew up a government girls’ school in Shabqadar sub-district, Charsadda district on Tuesday. The explosion occurred at midnight.. Militants attacked the same school a year ago.[xvii]

Sectarian Violence in Quetta

  • Unknown gunmen killed Mohsin Ali Naqvi, a senior official of Pakistan’s Geological Survey, on Wednesday in Quetta in a suspected sectarian attack. Naqvi’s family said they had no feuds with anyone and that he was murdered because he was a Shia. According to police officials, Balochistan province is currently witnessing a wave of sectarian violence against Shias.[xviii]

Journalists Threatened

  • In a recently released report, Intermedia Pakistan, a media advocacy group, has revealed that over 50% of journalists working in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have received various threats while on the job, and that at least 33% have been threatened with assault. Eighty-seven percent of journalists polled in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said they felt militants and security forces were the biggest threats while in the FATA; all journalists polled said militants were the number one threat. The report also revealed that only 57% of journalists working in volatile regions receive a salary.[xix]

Pakistan Floods

  • A report issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Tuesday said that a total of “275,000 houses and shops were destroyed and at least 370 people killed in the recent floods in various parts of the country.” The majority of the destruction to property occurred in Sindh, where 235,831 houses and shops were destroyed. 32,570 ration bags, 15,000 tents and 29 de-watering pumps were distributed as part of the relief operation.[xx]


[ii] “Rallies against hate film,” Dawn, September 26, 2012. Available at
[iii] “Pakistan Taliban remove Bilour from hit list after bounty call,” AFP, Express Tribune, September 26, 2012. Available at:
[iv]Ashish Kumar Sen, “Pakistani president fires back at critics over terror fight,” The Washington Times, September 25, 2012. Available at
[v] Adam Entous, Siobhan Gorman, Evan Perez, “U.S. Unease over drone strikes,” Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2012. Available at
[vi] Ismail Khan, Scott Shane, “Qaeda operatives killed in drone strike, official says,” New York Times, September 25, 2012. Available at
[viii] “Swiss family involved in nuclear smuggling ring avoids jail,” Zurich, September 25, 2012. Available at
[ix] “Military ties with China move forward,” Dawn, September 26, 2012. Available at
[x] “Pak-Saudi joint ministerial commission meeting today,” Geo, September 26, 2012. Available at
[xi] “Pak, Afghan FMs review progress on transit trade agreement,” APP, September 26, 2012. Available at
[xii] Qaiser Butt, “Prisoner exchange: UAE may repatriate Pakistani convicts by year end,” Express Tribune, September 26, 2012. Available at
[xiii] Sunara Nizami, “SC to proceed with contempt charges if Swiss letter not written by Oct 5,” Express Tribune, September 26, 2012. Available at
 [xiv] “Overseas Pakistanis will not vote in Next Elections: ECP,” Geo, September 26, 2012. Available at
[xv] “Clashes in Orakzai agency leave eight militants dead,” APP, September 25, 2012. Available at:
[xvi] “Bomb kills two soldiers, injures 14 in North Waziristan,” Dawn, September 26, 2012. Available at:
[xvii] “School blown up in Charsadda,” The News International, September 26, 2012. Available at:
[xviii] “Gunmen kill senior geologist in Quetta,” AFP, September 26, 2012. Available at:
[xix] “Fata journalists face high security threat: report,” The News International, September 26, 2012. Available at:
[xx] “Floods killed 370 people, says NDMA,” Dawn, September 26, 2012. Available at:
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