Pakistan Security Brief

Al Qaeda established anti-drone cells; Supreme Court rules it has no authority to command military to counter U.S. drone strikes; Government will not deploy Pakistan Army to Karachi; Rangers given primacy in Karachi operations; Citizens’ Committee will oversee paramilitary operations; Pakistan Navy inducts first domestically-built frigate; Pakistan Air Force participates in joint military exercise with China; Corps Commanders Conference convenes in Rawalpindi; NATO oil tankers resume overland route between Karachi and Torkham Pass after 4-month hiatus; Unidentified gunmen kill Navy officer in Karachi; Police kill two suspected TTP members; Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government creates 8 units tasked to monitor police behavior; JUI-F leader invited to participate in Balochistan provincial government; Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs reaffirms government’s commitment to peaceful, stable Afghanistan; U.S. signs $95 million loan agreement to fund wind power plant; Islamabad shooter may have been agent for foreign government, militant group; IMF Executive Board approves $6.7 billion bailout package


  • According to a report in the Washington Post on Tuesday, leaked U.S. intelligence reveals that al Qaeda established anti-drone cells in approximately 2010.  The cells employ engineers attempting to destroy, disable, or hijack the aircraft.[1]

  • On Wednesday, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal requesting the judiciary command Pakistani security forces to defend the nation against drone strikes.  The court said drone strikes are a matter of foreign policy, thus falling outside the bounds of the judiciary’s authority.[2]

Karachi Violence and Crackdown

  • On Wednesday, the Federal Cabinet met in Karachi and authorized a targeted, Ranger-led paramilitary campaign against banned criminal and militant organizations throughout the city to restore law and order.  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said today that the campaign will commence within the next two days.  The decision comes after Sharif condemned the Sindh police force for its failure to preserve security in the region.  Sharif has also instructed the Inter-Services Intelligence and Rangers to improve information-sharing practices.  The federal government does not intend to deploy to the Army to Karachi.[3]

  • Details regarding the government’s paramilitary operation in Karachi have started to emerge.  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah will supervise the operation.  The operation will likely commence in Lyari Town and Sohrab Goth; later it will expand to other areas of the city including Manghopir, Orangi Town, Korangi, and Landhi.  Provincial and federal intelligence agencies will provide support.  A legal committee will assess and manage the various authorities granted to the Rangers during the process, and a Ranger-led operational committee will meet with police daily to discuss kinetic events.  Separately, according to a report by the Interior Ministry’s National Crisis Management Cell released earlier this week, Lashkare-e-Jhangvi deserves blame for much of the violence in Karachi; the report also notes that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al Qaeda-linked elements have infiltrated the city so a targeted operation was “inevitable.”[4]

  • A senior government official revealed on Wednesday that the Federal and provincial governments will nominate a number of citizens to a Citizens’ Committee tasked with supervising the operation to restore security in Karachi.  This committee’s authorities will supersede the authorities of all other parties.[5]

  • Additional Inspector General of Police Ghulam Qadir Thebo told the press on Tuesday that police have reduced the number of “no-go” areas in Karachi.  According to a report in the Express Tribune, Thebo made a comment insinuating police officials would accept a few murders per capita as unavoidable given Karachi’s substantial population size.[6]

  • A meeting held on Tuesday between senior police officials in Karachi found that more than 25,000 suspects have been detained since January, and that police officers have conducted almost 16,000 raids in the same time period.  Other metrics include the seizure of more than 1500kg of explosives materials, approximately 200 detonators, and nearly 60 bombs.[7]

  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave law enforcement organizations and the intelligence community license to use an “iron hand” to eradicate “no-go” areas in Karachi, according to a Geo News report on Wednesday.[8]

China-Pakistan Relations

  • On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the induction ceremony of the first domestically-built frigate into the Pakistan Navy.  A Karachi-based shipyard constructed the frigate with assistance from the China Shipbuilding & Trading Company.  Sharif commended Chinese assistance in the project, and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila touted the importance of self-reliance in Pakistan’s defense industry.[9]

  • The Pakistan Air Force will participate in joint exercise “Shaheen-II” with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force during September 3-22.  Pakistan’s involvement in Shaheen-II marks the first time a foreign air service will participate in a joint exercise occurring in Chinese airspace.[10]


  • On Wednesday, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani convened a Corps Commanders Conference at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.  Conference attendees assessed the nation’s domestic and external security environment.[11]

  • Intelligence leaks indicate that a man who caused a six-hour security crisis in Islamabad on August 15 may have been a double agent for a Middle Eastern country’s security agency as well as for militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). According to the report, the man would later double cross that country, Pakistan and LeT. The man’s son also reportedly received militant training in Muzaffarabad in 2002 and had been active in the Middle East.[12]

  • On Wednesday, NATO oil tankers resumed transiting overland to Afghanistan via Pakistan.  The route between Karachi and the Torkham crossing had been suspended for four months due to frequent militant attacks on the convoys.[13]

  • On Wednesday, unidentified gunmen killed a Pakistan Navy officer and injured his wife near the Karachi National Stadium.[14]

  • Police officials killed two suspected members of the TTP during an exchange of fire in Orangi Town, Karachi, on Tuesday.  Three other suspects escaped.[15]

  • Eleven people, including one Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist, died in various violent incidents throughout Karachi on Tuesday.[16]

  • Three suspects and one security officer died during an exchange of fire between Rangers and the suspected criminals during an operation in Lyari Town, Karachi, on Wednesday. [17]

  • An IED blast occurred on Tuesday near a security patrol along the Datta Khel- Miram Shah Road in North Waziristan agency.  No casualties have been reported.  In a separate incident, security personnel located and defused an IED near the Amin checkpoint near Miram Shah.[18]

  • Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a NATO container truck near the town of Mastung in Balochistan province.   The driver sustained injuries in the attack.[19]

  • A landmine blast injured two people in the Sohbat Pur area of Jaffarabad district, Balochistan province, on Wednesday.[20]

  • Levies personnel arrested four criminals in the vicinity of Guldar Baghicha area of Chaman in Qila Abdullah district, Balochistan province.  They also recovered approximately 1,000 rounds of ammunition.[21]

  • Security officials killed two suspects in the Shadbagh area of Lahore, Punjab province, on Wednesday.[22]

  • Two explosions occurred on Wednesday along Kutcheri Road in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.  Unidentified persons tossed a grenade at a financial building; others planted an IED near the gates of a mosque.  A subsequent search operation located and defused two more bombs.  No casualties have been reported.[23]


  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s executive board approved Pakistan’s request for a $6.7 billion loan package.  The IMF intends to distribute $540 million immediately and the remainder will follow pending favorable periodic reviews of the loan program.[24]

  • On Tuesday, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government created eight inspection teams to monitor the behavior of police officials in the region and report violations to the Inspector General of Police.  The move intends to address ongoing accusations of abusive interrogation methods, illegal detention, and mishandling of paperwork.[25]

  • In a meeting with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri on Wednesday, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch extended an invitation for the JUI-F to join the provincial government.  Haidri said he will raise the issue with the party’s leaders.[26]

  • The National Assembly and Senate opposition leaders will host a dinner tonight on behalf of outgoing President Asif Ali Zardari.[27]

Afghan-Pakistan Relations

  • On Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz addressed a seminar hosted by the East West Institute.  He assured the attendees that the government of Pakistan desires peace and stability in Afghanistan.  Aziz also expressed support for joint energy projects and improved economic ties under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement.[28]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson signed a $95 million loan agreement that will finance and build a wind power plant in Jhimpir of Thatta district, Sindh province.  The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation will distribute the loan to the Sapphire Wind Power Company over the course of the next decade.[29]   

[1] Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman, “U.S. documents detail al-Qaeda’s efforts to fight back against drones,” Washington Post, September 3, 2013. Available at:
[2] Azam Khan, “Drone strikes do not fall under judiciary's domain, rules SC,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[3] “Nisar says Karachi ‘operation’ to start in two days,” Dawn, September 4, 2013.  Available at:
“Cabinet approves Rangers-led 'operation' in Karachi,” Dawn, September 4, 2013. Available at:
“Pakistan PM Sharif rules out army deployment in Karachi,” BBC, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[4] Kulsoom Inam, “A new plan to tackle Karachi violence emerges,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
Zahid Gishkori, “Karachi peace plan: Paramilitary forces to conduct operation,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[5] Ahmad Noorani, “Plan to form Citizens Committee to monitor Karachi operation,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[6] “Law and order: Not a big deal if a few people get killed, says city police chief,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[7] “25,500 arrested in 8 months: Karachi police report,” The News, September 3, 2013. Available at:,500-arrested-in-8-months:-Karachi-police-report
[8] “PM Nawaz orders LEAs, intel agencies to abolish no-go areas in Karachi,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[9] “Indigenous defence production: Navy inducts first home built frigate,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[10] “PAF contingent leaves for China,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[11] “Kayani, Corps commanders huddle over country's internal, external security,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[12] Shakeel Anjum, “The tale of a double agent,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[13] “Pakistani contractors resume Nato oil supplies to Afghanistan,” Dawn, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[14] “Naval officer shot dead near Karachi National Stadium,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[15] “Into the open fire: Two ‘TTP terrorists’ shot dead in encounter,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[16] Faraz Khan, “Violence continues: Targeted killings claim 11 lives in Karachi,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[17] “Encounter with Lyari gangsters leaves three accused killed, one Ranger martyred,” Geo News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[18] “IED explodes near security forces convoy,” Express Tribune, September 3, 2013. Available at:
[19] “Nato container driver injured in attack,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[20] “Two injured in landmine blast,” September 4, 2013. Available at:
[21] “Levies arrest 4 bandits,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[22] “2 killed in alleged police encounter,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[23] “Twin explosions in DI Khan spread panic,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[24] “IMF board approves $6.7 billion loan for Pakistan,” Reuters, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[25] “Oversight: Eight inspection teams formed to check police behavior,” Express Tribune, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[26] “Dr. Malik invites JUI-F to join Balochistan govt,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[27] “Farewell dinner to president by Senate, NA opposition leaders tonight,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at:,-NA-opposition-leaders-farewell-dinner-to-president-tonight
[28] “Pakistan keen to strengthen ties with Afghanistan: Aziz,” Dawn, September 4, 2013. Available at:
[29] “U.S. Ambassador signs financing agreement for 50MW renewable energy project,” Frontier Post, September 4, 2013. Available at:
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