Pakistan Security Brief

Anonymous email claims al Qaeda behind U.S. consulate vehicle attack; FBI investigating consulate vehicle attack; Pakistan can “bring down” U.S. drones if it wants to; Seven militants killed in Bajaur agency; suicide bombing foiled in KP; Pakistan passes Fair Trial Act of 2012; U.S. Senators urge Zardari to protect religious minorities; Minister of National Harmony Paul Bhatti urges government to prevent blasphemy law abuse; Indian Minister hopeful about visa policy with Pakistan; Pakistan and Germany commit to strategic dialogue on security issues; Local refineries halt oil supply to PSO; Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf to march to South Waziristan; Two killed in sectarian violence in Karachi; Special profile on heroin kingpin Imam Bheel


  • An anonymous email sent to various media organizations and journalists claims that al Qaeda was responsible for the suicide attack on a U.S. consulate vehicle Tuesday. The attack was supposedly retribution for disrespect shown to the Holy Quran as well as the deaths of “[al Qaeda’s] martyred brothers and leaders in the drone attacks, especially the recently martyred our beloved Shaikh Abu Yahya al-Libi.” The email further claimed that more attacks would be carried out against allied forces in the future. As of yet, there is no way to identify whether or not the message is actually from al Qaeda.[i]

  • The FBI is taking the lead in investigating the Tuesday suicide bomb attack on a U.S. consulate vehicle. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said that the U.S. was not speculating over who was responsible, as no one has yet claimed responsibility. He confirmed that U.S. officials were investigating the case with their Pakistani partners.[ii]

  • Seven militants were killed in firing by Pakistani security forces in the Salarzai sub-district of Bajaur agency on Tuesday, while several others suffered injuries. Security forces fired heavy artillery on militants hideouts. No reports are available about any losses suffered by security forces.[iii]

  • Police foiled a suicide bomb attack in Jandool, Lower Dir district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday when they shot a suicide bomber outside the Mayar police station to prevent him from detonating his explosive vest. The bomb exploded due to the gunfire, injuring two policemen.[iv]

  • According to Federal Minister for Defense Production Sardar Bahadur Sehar, Pakistan has the ability to bring down the U.S. drones if it wants to; Pakistan also has drones of its own to use for air surveillance.[v]

Pakistani Counter-terror Efforts

  • Pakistan’s federal cabinet approved the Fair Trial Act 2012 on Wednesday. The act allows electronic evidence, such as emails, text messages, and telephone conversations, to be used to prosecute suspected terrorists. Additionally, the act authorizes action against individuals who use telephones or mobile phones for harassment purposes.[vi]

Blasphemy Case

  • In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Paul Bhatti, Pakistan’s sole Christian cabinet member and leader of the Ministry of National Harmony, stated that while Pakistan does not need to reform its current blasphemy law, it does need to prevent the law's misuse. With regards to the globally-headlining blasphemy case against a young Christian girl with learning disabilities, Bhatti said that “the situation shows there are occasions where [the blasphemy law] is misused, which defames Islam, the country and frames innocent people.”  To prevent further such cases, Bhatti has proposed the creation of an interfaith commission that would attempt to independently deal with blasphemy allegations before sending cases to the Pakistani courts.[vii]

  • A bipartisan group of three U.S. Democratic and three U.S. Republican Senators sent a letter to President Zardari asking him to “protect Pakistan’s minorities from the misuse of the blasphemy law,” reports Anwar Iqbal from Dawn. The Senators allegedly noted that Rimsha Masih, a young Christian girl accused of blasphemy, had been in custody for two and a half weeks now, that the Christians living Rimsha’s area had all fled fearing retribution, and that Hindus and Ahmadis were subject to sectarian violence as well. The Senators urged Zardari to “ensure the protection and equitable treatment of all Pakistani citizens, regardless of their religion.”[viii]

Indo-Pak Relations

  • In regards to a revised visa policy soon to be signed between India and Pakistan, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma implied that the signing of the agreements had been delayed due to changes in key bureaucratic positions. The Indian media quoted him as saying, “we have a new commerce secretary, Pakistan has a new commerce secretary. So it is taking some time.” Sharma, however, expressed optimism at the warming relationship between the two countries, saying that “if Pakistan takes one step, India will always take two steps.” Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna is expected to visit Pakistan this weekend.[ix]

German-Pakistani Relations

  • On Tuesday, Pakistan’s and Germany’s Foreign Ministers agreed to commit to a "strategic dialogue" on security issues, particularly regarding Afghanistan. In her first address to the German Council on Foreign Relations, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar emphasized the need for military cooperation and collaboration along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and stressed the negative impact of unilateral military actions in the conflict. Khar also claimed that “history will bear witness to the level of effort exerted by this government to normalize Pakistan-India relationship,” citing Pakistan's decision to grant India Most Favored Nation status as a significant step in normalizing relations between India and Pakistan.[x]

Oil Troubles

  • According to Pakistan State Oil (PSO), domestic oil refineries halted their oil supplies to the company on Wednesday because of a lack of payment, estimated to be 95 billion Pakistani rupees ($1 billion). A PSO official stated the company was unable to make payments to domestic refineries, “as we are not receiving funds from the government and electricity producers, which owe in excess of Rupees 240 billion [$2.5 billion].”[xi]

March to South Waziristan

  • During a press conference on Wednesday, Imran Khan announced that on October 6th his political party, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI), would organize a ‘peace march’ from Islamabad to South Waziristan to support the people of South Waziristan as well as to protest the ongoing U.S. drone strikes in the region. According to Khan, 100,000 participants, including former British prime minister Tony Blair’s sister-in-law and families of American soldiers who had died fighting the War on Terror, are expected to participate. Although Khan has faced threats from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for his desire to march to South Waziristan, he says PTI will continue with its plans.[xii]

Sectarian Strife in Karachi

  • A police officer and a tailor were shot down in two incidents Tuesday. The officer was shot five times near his home in the Lines Area while in New Karachi, the tailor was killed at his shop. It is unclear if the attacks were linked, though investigators suspected that the men were killed on sectarian grounds. The attackers fled the scene before apprehension.[xiii]

Special Profile: Heroin Kingpin Imam Bheel

  • In a special news report, Reuters profiles heroin trafficker Imam Bheel, a Pakistani whom President Obama named an international drug "kingpin" on par with the drug lords of Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico three years ago. While Bheel's family denies his involvement in the narcotics industry, Senator Hasil Khan Bizenjo says that "Everybody knows that he's involved in drugs...He admitted it to close friends." Nonetheless, Pakistan has remained relatively quiet about Bheel's links with politicians and his alleged role in the March murder of Gwadar official Abdul Rehman Dashti. In Bheel's home region of Balochistan, Baloch separatists accuse him of being a military stooge who uses his network to help security forces arrest them; villagers have testified that Bheel's followers visited their homes to ask about individuals who later vanished.[xiv]  

[i] “E-mail claims al-Qaeda responsibility for Peshawar blast,” The News International, September 5, 2012. Available at:
[ii] “FBI probing Peshawar suicide attack: US,” Geo News, September 5, 2012. Available at:
[iii] “Seven militants killed in Bajaur,” The News International, September 5, 2012. Available at:
[iv] “Lower Dir: Suicide bombing foiled at Jandool,” Geo News, September 5, 2012. Available at:
[v] “Pakistan has capacity to down US drones: Sardar Bahadur,” Geo News, September 5, 2012. Available at:
[vi] “Federal cabinet approves bill, amendments to counter terrorism,” Dawn, September 5, 2012. Available at:
[vii]Rob Crilly. “ Pakistan’s Chrisitan cabinet member urges blasphemy rethink,” The Daily Telegraph, September 4, 2012. Available at:
[viii] Anwar Iqbal, “US senators urge Zardari to protect minorities,” Dawn, September 4, 2012. Available at
[ix] “If Pakistan takes one step, India will take two: Sharma,” The News International, September 5, 2012. Available at,-India-will-take-two:-Sharma.
[x] “Germany, Pakistan commit to dialogue on security issues,” AFP, September 4, 2012. Available at; Mariana Baabar, “Afghanistan must match Pak action to counter cross-border attacks,” The News International, September 5, 2012. Available at
[xi] “Pakistan refineries halt supplies to PSO over $1 bil unpaid bills,” Platts, September 5, 2012. Available at
[xii] Ikram Junaidi. “Imran plans Waziristan march on Oct 6,” Dawn, September 5, 2012. Available at:
[xiii] “ASI, tailor killed in ‘sectarian’ attack,” Dawn, September 5, 2012. Available at:
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[xiv] Matthew Green, "SPECIAL REPORT--Murder spotlights Pakistan's 'heroin kingpin,'" Reuters, September 5, 2012. Available at:  
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