Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan Security Brief – September 30, 2010


Pakistan cuts NATO supply lines into Afghanistan; Three Pakistani soldiers allegedly killed by manned NATO aircraft; CIA director Panetta pushes for military offensive in North Waziristan; Video allegedly shows Pakistani security forces involved in extrajudicial killings; New details of thwarted E.U. terror plot emerge; Rumors of a military takeover continue to swirl; al-Qaeda spokesmen attacks Pakistani government for flood response; Secretary Clinton peeved at Pakistan for failure to tax elite. 


US-Pakistani Relations:

  • Pakistan has halted the transfer of NATO supplies into Afghanistan at one of two vital crossing points on its western border.  NATO supply vehicles were stopped on Thursday at the Torkham border post just north of Peshawar.  NATO trucks were told by Pakistani officials that they did not have permission to enter Afghanistan by way of land routes that pass through the Khyber agency. According to reports, as many as 100 NATO vehicles are currently lined up at the Torkham border post waiting to cross into Afghanistan.  Another land route—one that passes through southern Pakistan via Quetta—remains open to NATO supply vehicles.[1]   

  • Thursday’s border shutdown is likely retaliation for a NATO helicopter attack that reportedly killed three Pakistani soldiers and wounded three others in the Kurram agency earlier in the day.   The soldiers were members of the Frontier Corps and were manning an outpost in the Teri Mangal village at the time of the attack.  ISAF officials say that their aircraft were responding to insurgent fire in Pakita at the time of incident and that they did not cross into Pakistani airspace. A spokeswoman for the ISAF, Major Sunset Belinsky, told reporters that “ISAF is working with Pakistan to ascertain if the two events are linked. The matter remains under investigation.” [2]

  • Thursday’s incidents come the same day that CIA director Leon Panetta reportedly met with Pakistani military and government officials to push for a military campaign in North Waziristan. The United States has publically pushed for a full scale military in North Waziristan to disrupt the Haqqani network. It has also been confirmed that Director Panetta met privately with his Pakistani counterpart, Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who heads the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).  According to reports the two men shared intelligence about alleged terror plots being hatched in North Waziristan and threat posed by the Haqqani network. [3]

  • A video purportedly showing Pakistani security officials carrying out extrajudicial killings in the Swat valley has surfaced on the internet. Although the authenticity of the video has yet to be independently verified, U.S officials have already voiced serious concerns.  State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley called the video “horrifying,”” while other U.S. officials have called for a full investigation.    Responding to the incident, Pakistani military officials have called the video a fake, saying that it was released by militants in an attempt to embarrass the Army. The U.S. provides the Pakistani military with $2 billion annually for anti-terrorism proposes and senior State department and Congressional officials have already warned that those funds may be cut if the video is proven to be authentic. [4]

EU Terror Plot

  • New details continue to emerge about the disruption of a Mumbai-style terror plot that intended to target major cities in Western Europe.  On Thursday, intelligence officials report that as many as ten European citizens where coordinating a major terror attack against targets across Western Europe from militant hideouts in North Waziristan.  According to reports, eight Germans and two British brothers are believed to be at the center of what officials are calling “an al-Qaeda linked plot”.  Although the plot was believed to be in its early stages, European capitals have increased security as a precaution.   The revelation that the plot’s conspirators were of European origin has renewed fears about the spread of Islamic radicalization in Europe.  European security agencies have warned that they are particularly worried about a significant portion of E.U. citizens who routinely travel to Pakistan and other conflict areas.   The E.U. counterterrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, said of these individuals, “not insignificant number of radicalized E.U. nationals and residents are traveling to conflict areas or attending terrorist training camps and returning to Europe.”[5]

Pakistan’s Internal Affairs

  • Rumors continue to swirl that the Pakistani military is preparing to oust the civilian government of President Zardari and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).  The New York Times also has confirmed reports that the Chief of the Army Staff, General. Ashfaq Kayani confronted the President and top civilian officials early this week about the Pakistan Army’s growing frustration with the government’s “inept handling” of the flood situation. It was also reported that the General Kayani called on the President to fire members of this cabinet, but that President Zardari had resisted.  Details of the meeting came the same day that former Pakistani President and COAS Pervez Musharraf told an audience in London that the situation in Pakistan today reminded him of the state of affairs that “forced” his military coup in 1999.  Discussing General Kayani’s decision to confront the President, Musharraf told the crowd, “certainly at this moment all kinds of pressures must be on… I can assure you they were not discussing the weather.” [6]

Flood Aftermath

  • Adam Gadahn, an American born spokesman for al-Qaeda, released a video on Wednesday attacking the Pakistani government for its “sluggish and halfhearted” response to the flood crisis.  Gadahn, who is also known as in al Qaeda as “Azzam the American”, called on Pakistanis across the country to “take stock” of their government following the flood crisis and hold leaders responsible for their corruption.   Adam Gadahn’s statement echoed one released earlier this month by al-Qaeda’s number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, which also attacked the Pakistani government, and particularly President Zardari, for their response to the this summer’s flooding. [7]

  • Pakistani President Asif Zardari called on government officials on Wednesday to levy a “one-time flood tax” to cover the tremendous cost of ongoing rescue and rebuilding efforts.  President Zardari told lawmakers that this tax would only affect those Pakistani’s who would be able pay.  Zardari pledged that all of the collected revenues would be evenly distributed among the most destitute, and that “Unless we are prepared to share bread with our grief- and disaster-stricken brethren, we should not expect others to help us.”  The President’s comments come the same day that Secretary of State Clinton called on Pakistan to properly tax its elite so that the country can pay “its fair share” of rebuilding efforts.  Speaking at the Global Leadership Council, Secretary Clinton told the audience that Pakistan’s failure to generate modest tax revenues was one of her “pet peeves.” [8]

  • The Asia Development Bank (ADB) released a report on Wednesday which warned that the Pakistani economy has been gravely impacted by the flood crisis.  The ADB report claims that the Pakistani government has been borrowing from the nation’s central bank as well as feverishly printing new money just to “stay afloat”.  According to the ADB, the Pakistani government has undertaken these measures to offset state corporations and fund military and civil service pensions. [9]


[1] “Nato says aircraft did cross border into Pakistan,” BBC South Asia, September 30, 2010.   Available at
[2] “Pakistan Says 3 Soldiers Killed In NATO Strike,” The New York Times, September 30, 2010.  Available at
[3] Kamran Yousaf, "Pakistan under renewed pressure," The Express Tribune, September 30, 2010.  Available at
[4] Jane Perlez, “Video Hints at Executions by Pakistanis,” New York Times, September 29, 2010.  Available at
[5] Asif Shahzad and Paisley Dodds, "Official: Germans, Brits behind Europe Terror Plots," Associated Press, September 30, 2010.  Available at
Peter Finn and Greg Miller, "New focus on Europeans who have traveld to Pakistan to train at militant camps," The Washington Post, September 30, 2010.  Available at
[6] Karin Brulliard and Karen DeYoung, "Pakistan Governement on rocky ground amid flooding, terrorism, plummeting economy," The Washington Post, September 29, 2010.  Available at  “Musharraf warns of new military coup in Pakistan,” Dawn, September 30, 2010.  Available at
[7] Chris Brummitt,"Al-Qaida US-born spokesman criticizes Pakistan," Associate Press, September 29, 2010. Available
[8] Syed Irfan Raza, “Zardari calls for flood tax,” Dawn, September 30, 2010.  Available  JJ Sutherland, “Hilary Clinton Wants Pakistan To Start Paying Its Fair Share," NPR News, September 29, 2010.  Available at
[9] Tom Hussian, "Floodhit Pakistan printing cash as fast as it can," The National, September 29, 2010.  Available at
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