Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. officials scrutinize Mullen’s rhetoric; U.S. must take “tougher line” on Pakistan, says Mullen; U.S. to designate Haqqani Network as FTO; Khar reaffirms Pakistan’s commitment to U.S.-Pakistan cooperation; ISI maintains right to retaliate against U.S. strike, says ISI chief; Zardari meets with U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan; U.S. places sanctions on LeT leaders; ISI chief heads to Saudi Arabia; NYT reports rise in anti-American media and sentiment in Pakistan; Pakistan envoys to seek western support; Former cricket star encourages ISI to utilize Haqqani links; MQM leader calls for national unity; PPP leader calls for closing of U.S. consulates in Pakistan; CIA drone strike in South Waziristan kills 3 militants; Militant killed in Bajaur; LeJ leader detained for 30 days; Pakistan arrests finance ministry employee for militant links; Militants open fire on police in Peshawar; MQM-H leader to be released from jail.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Unnamed U.S. officials have scrutinized U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen’s criticism of Pakistan, saying that his statements to Congress were made “at a time of intense frustration with Pakistan” and represented a striking change in the Admiral’s rhetoric toward Pakistan.  One official pointed out that, by Western standards, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may be regarded as a “veritable arm” of Pakistan, but that the Pakistanis “use extremist groups” regularly in order to maintain their influence in Afghanistan.  Officials went on to say that Mullen’s testimony “is open to differences in interpretation” and “overstates the case.”[1]

  • When Mullen first filled the post of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, he publically applauded Pakistan’s commitment to “take on militant groups that the U.S. wanted to shut down.”  However, in recent weeks, Mullen became the first U.S. official to publically declare that the ISI is collaborating with the Haqqani Network which launched an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on September 13.  In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mullen affirmed that he had been Pakistan’s “best friend” but believed that in light of ISI support for militant groups, the U.S.-Pakistan partnership would be “difficult to revive.” The Obama administration has been attempting to “play down the impact of [Mullen’s] public criticism” last week, and Mullen fears that, due to his upcoming retirement,  “the strategic partnership he championed” with Pakistan will now be “harder [to] sell in Washington.”[2]

  • The U.S. Department of State will designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) “fairly soon,” a U.S. official told CNN on Wednesday.  Doing so will freeze the Haqqani Network’s assets, although the official said the move “could be more symbolic than anything.”  The U.S. Treasury and Department of State have previously targeted individual members of the Haqqani Network; however, designating the entire Haqqani Network as an FTO will permit “more tools to [U.S.] government agencies to sanction [the terrorist] organization.”[3]

  • In a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that “eliminating terrorism is in [Pakistan’s] national interest.  We believe that our success is critical to regional and global peace and security.”  Khar stressed that it was “vital for allies to remain united” and went on to reaffirm Pakistan’s “desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan.” Khar also appealed to member states to support Pakistan’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, citing Pakistan’s history of multilateralism and role in “restoring peace and stability” to the world.[4]

  • In a meeting last week with CIA Director David Petraeus, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha reportedly said that “the Pakistani people [would] not tolerate any U.S. misadventure”  and that Pakistan would “be forced to retaliate” in response to a unilateral strike launched by the U.S. in North Waziristan.[5]

  • President Asif Ali Zardari met with the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, on Tuesday night to discuss bilateral relations between the U.S. and Pakistan.  No other details of the meeting were released.  During the same day, Munter met for a second time with Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, Salman Bashir, in an effort to “diffuse tensions between the two countries.”  Munter noted a “trust deficit” in current U.S.-Pakistan relations and motioned to mend relations.[6]

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury has imposed financial sanctions on two of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) “most significant leaders,” Zafar Iqbal and Hafiz Abdul Salam Bhuttavi, according to U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen.  Cohen cited that both men have “been responsible for fundraising, recruitment, and indoctrination of operatives” during the past two decades.  These sanctions come as an attempt by the U.S. to “degrade [LeT’s] ability to facilitate terrorist activities.”[7]  

  • Pakistan’s ISI spy chief General Ahmad Shuja Pasha reportedly flew to Saudi Arabia yesterday to continue meetings with Saudi intelligence officials in Riyadh.  Pasha flew to Saudi Arabia shortly after high-level meetings with Saudi intelligence officials took place in Islamabad to discuss the “the ongoing acrimony and tension in relations between Pakistan and the United States on Haqqani Network.” Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas denied the reports, stating that Pasha had remained in Islamabad for a joint military exercise between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.[8]

  • The New York Times reported that Pakistan has seen a rise in anti-American media, citing that many Pakistanis believe the U.S. is “on a war path with their country” since the U.S. accused the ISI of having links to the Haqqani Network last week.  In an interview, Former Pakistani Senator Enver Baig said that U.S. allegations have “resulted in gluing all political parties together. “  He went on to comment that “the majority of the public sentiment is anti-American despite the fact that the U.S. is the biggest donor to Pakistan.”[9]

  • An official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that Pakistan has instructed its envoys in western countries to garner support that could prevent the U.S. from exercising economic or military action against Pakistan.  Veteran Pakistani diplomats told the Express Tribune that while armed hostilities are unlikely, Pakistan may face U.S. economic sanctions if negotiations fail.[10]

  • Former cricket star turned politician Imran Khan expressed his view that the ISI still may have Haqqani Network ties, although he was not under the impression that the ISI actually controlled the Haqqani Network.  Instead of cutting ties with the Haqqani Network altogether, Khan suggested that the ISI use the Haqqani Network to bring the Taliban, with which it is closely linked, to the negotiating table in Afghanistan.  Khan believed that doing so would excuse Pakistan from taking on the Haqqani Network on its own, and it would allow U.S. troops to be more quickly withdraw from Afghanistan.[11]

  • Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader and founder, Altaf Hussain, called for national unity following a period of flooding, dengue epidemic, bomb blasts, drone strikes, and attacks by religious extremists. Hussain noted that Pakistan is “passing through the most critical period” as it is in the “throes of grave danger.”[12] 

  • Pakistan Peoples Party South General Secretary Zafar Baloch called for all U.S. consulates in Pakistan to be closed in light of U.S. allegations against Pakistan.  Baloch marched with thousands of protestors to show solidarity with Pakistan’s security forces outside of the U.S. consulate in Karachi.[13]




Karachi Violence

[1] Karin Brulliard, Shaiq Hussain, and Haq Nawaz Khan, Adm. Mullen’s words on Pakistan come under scrutiny,” Washington Post, September 28, 2011. Available at
[2] Julian E. Barnes and Adam Entous, “How Pakistan Lost Its Top U.S. Friend,” The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2011.
[3] Jill Dougherty and Elise Labott, “US close to adding Haqqani network to terror list,” CNN, September 28, 2011. Available at
[4] “Khar stresses close cooperation to tackle terror,” The News, September 28, 2011. Available at
“Hina Khar offers ‘uninterrupted’ talks to India,” Dawn, September 28, 2011. Available at
“Hina seeks global support for UNSC seat,” The News, September 28, 2011. Available at
[5] Kamran Yousaf, “Pakistan will be forced to retaliate, CIA chief told,” Express Tribune, September 28, 2011. Available at
[6] “Munter calls on Zardari, Salman,” The News, September 28, 2011. Available at
[7] “Treasury Sanctions Lashkar-e Tayyiba Leaders and Founders,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, September 28, 2011. Available at
[8] Salman Masood, “In Pakistani Media, the U.S. Is a Target for Acrimony,” The New York Times, September 27, 2011. Available at
“Saudi Arabia steps in to cool down US-Pak tension, ISI Chief dashes to Saudi Arabia,” The Nation, September 28, 2011. Available at
Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Diplomacy under way to de-escalate crisis,” Dawn, September 27, 2011. Available at
[9] Salman Masood, “In Pakistani Media, the U.S. Is a Target for Acrimony,” The New York Times, September 27, 2011. Available at
[10] Qaiser Butt, “Pak-US tensions: Foreign ministry seeks international support to deter US,” Express Tribune, September 27, 2011. Available at
[11] “Haqqanis should be used to bring Taliban to negotiating table: Imran Khan,” Express Tribune, September 27, 2011. Available at
[12] “Pakistan in throes of grave threats, says Altaf,” The News, September 28, 2011. Available at
[13] “US aggression to be responded with full force: Shahid Rehman,” Geo, September 27, 2011. Available at
[14] “US missile strike kills three in South Waziristan,” Dawn, September 27, 2011. Available at
“Drone strike kills 4 in S Waziristan,” Express Tribune, September 27, 2011. Available at
Irfan Burki, “Four killed in SWA drone attack,” The News, September 27, 2011. Available at
[15] “Afghan militant killed in Bajaur Agency clash,” Express Tribune, September 27, 2011. Available at
[16] “LeJ chief Malik Ishaq jailed for 30 days,” Express Tribune, September 28, 2011. Available at
[17] “Finance ministry employee arrested for militant links,” Dawn, September 28, 2011. Available at
[18] “One constable killed, 3 injured in Peshawar firing incident,” Express Tribune, September 28, 2011. Available at
[19] “MQM-H chief set to be released today,” Dawn, September 28, 2011. Available at
“MQM-H chief Afaq Ahmad not to be released: Sindh govt,” Geo, September 28, 2011. Available at


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