Pakistan Security Brief

Security increased in Islamabad; Lawyers breach diplomatic enclave in protest bid; Foreign Minister Khar agrees with drone strikes’ aims, disagrees with methods; Foreign Office refutes article claiming Pakistan supports drone strikes; General Dempsey postpones meeting with General Kayani due to protests; Karzai and Zardari meet in New York; Bomb disposal expert killed by IED in Peshawar

Anti-Islam Film Protest

  • Authorities have greatly increased security in the capital of Islamabad, as they expect more violent protests to be held on Friday over the anti-Islam film and French cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad. Containers have strategically “been placed around the red zone as well as the diplomatic enclave.” Police and Rangers have been dispatched around the capital, and barbed wire has allegedly been put up around high profile buildings.[i]

  • A big rally by lawyers from the District Bar Rawalpindi “managed to enter the heavily-guarded diplomatic enclave up to the gate,” of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and submitted a protest resolution on Friday. The group was unable to make it any further and was turned back by security forces sent to protect the area. The lawyers were set to protest the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims.” Security near the Embassy has been beefed up, with 600 police officials being deployed, “along with the anti-riot force.”[ii]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Thursday in New York that her country agrees with the U.S. drone strike campaign’s aim, yet disagrees with the methods. She implied that as long as the drone strikes are targeting terrorists, then Pakistan agrees with the aims. She claimed that the drone strikes themselves are illegal however, and that they must find another way which is not a unilateral attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty. Khar explained that the drones make it difficult to rally public support for domestic operations on terrorists, because the public sees it as an American war imposed upon Pakistan.[iii]

  • The Pakistani Foreign Office on Friday dismissed claims made in the Wall Street Journal article that the U.S. sends a fax every month to Pakistan outlining their drone strategy, and that the non-reply to the fax combined with the clearing of air space is a form of consent from Pakistan for drone strikes. The Foreign Office spokesperson said the strikes are “illegal, counterproductive, in contravention of international law and a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.”[iv]

  • According to a statement by General Martin Dempsey on Thursday, a planned meeting between himself and General Ashfaq Kayani has been postponed due to the violent anti-American protests following the anti-Islam film. Dempsey said their meeting would be postponed, “mostly so that I would give him the time to deal with the issues he was dealing with internally.”[v]

Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari met in New York on Thursday to discuss an improvement in bilateral relations. Zardari expressed his “concern over attacks on security forces across the border.” Zardari also said that Pakistan and Afghanistan have common issues that they must work on together to solve.[vi]


  • A bomb disposal expert was killed in Peshawar on Friday as he was attempting to dismantle a roadside Improvised Explosive Device (IED). He had successfully neutralized one IED but was killed by the second as he tried to defuse it. It is unclear who planted the IEDs.[vii]


[i] “Capital security beefed up ahead of Friday,” Geo, September 27, 2012. Available at
[ii] “Anti-Islam film: Lawyers sent back from US embassy gate after registering protest,” Express Tribune, September 28, 2012. Available at
[iii] “Pak backs drones’ aim, not method: Khar,” Geo, September 27, 2012. Available at
[iv] “FO dismisses newspaper’s report on drone attacks,” Geo, September 28, 2012. Available at
[v] “US, Pakistan called off military talks due to protests: US,” AFP, September 28, 2012. Available at
[vi] “Afghan President Karzai meet Zardari,” Dawn, September 28, 2012. Available at
[vii] “Blast kills bomb disposal expert in Peshawar,” AFP, September 28, 2012. Available at:
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