Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan says nuclear weapons program safe; U.S. embassy denies 19,000 NATO containers went missing; Army leadership to continue operations against Taliban despite government’s peace talks rumors; TTP says it will announce if and when talks occur; President Zardari says death penalty moratorium not related to Taliban talks; India, Pakistan hold secret backchannel talks; Intelligence agencies say TTP, al Qaeda, Punjabi groups active in Karachi; MQM leader, army, offer support to government operation in Karachi; Army says it has cleared Tirah valley; Police arrest man behind attack on foreign climbers; Accused in potential plot to kill Musharraf arrested; Several dead in bombings and attacks in Jamrud, Bannu, Quetta, elsewhere; Government levies new tariff on agriculture sector.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during a National Command Authority session on Thursday, made statements assuring that Pakistani “nuclear facilities are in safe hands.” The meeting was held shortly after media reports emerged alleging U.S. concerns over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear program. Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai, the head of the Pakistan Army Strategic Plans Division in charge of overseeing Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent, said “doubts regarding the safety of the nuclear facilities are groundless.[1]

  • The U.S. embassy on Thursday denied the claims in a report delivered last week by the head of the Sindh Rangers that some 19,000 containers of arms and ammunition belonging to U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan had gone missing “a few years ago.” The Embassy also denied that it ships any lethal cargo through Karachi port.[2]

Taliban Talks

  • Sources privy to the discussion held during the army’s Corps Commanders’ Conference held on Wednesday say that the military has resolved to continuing counterinsurgency operations in northwest Pakistan and operations will remain unaffected by rumors of the government’s impending dialogue with the TTP.[3]

  • TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told the press on Wednesday that the organization will make an official announcement when and if it decides to hold negotiations with the government.  He revealed that the matter is currently undergoing internal debate but no final decision has been made.[4]

  • President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday issued a statement clarifying that the current moratorium on the death penalty has been implemented as part of a series of conditions from the European Union for granting Pakistan preferential market access, and should not be linked to facilitating potential peace deals with or threats by the Taliban.[5]

Indo-Pak Relations

  • A Pakistani official confirmed on Wednesday that a secret backchannel meeting had taken place a few days ago between Indian and Pakistani diplomatic officials in Dubai to discuss the proposed meeting of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the United Nations General Assembly later this month.[6]

Security in Karachi

  • A report by Pakistani intelligence officials delivered to the Federal Cabinet on Wednesday claimed that the TTP, al Qaeda and Jundullah were involved in criminal activities like kidnapping for ransom in Karachi. Officials also alleged that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had joined hands with criminal elements in the city’s Lyari neighborhood.[7]

  • Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain on Thursday said he would support Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his decision to launch a paramilitary operation to tackle lawlessness in Karachi. Senior generals at the army’s Corps Commanders’ Conference on Wednesday also pledged to support civilian authorities in their efforts to curb violence in the city.[8]


  • The Pakistani military on Wednesday announced that it had successfully established control over the militancy-plagued Tirah Valley in Khyber agency. Maj. Gen. Hamayun Saeed, the General Officer Commanding, said that the operation had been launched on May 28 and was, in places, supported by local tribesmen.[9]

  • Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Secretary Younis Dagha announced on Thursday that security officials have detained four men including Qaribullah, the former head of the TTP’s Chilas unit and the suspected mastermind of the June 23 assault on foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat.  Police also detained one additional suspect in the murder of government officials.[10]

  • Police in Islamabad on Wednesday arrested a man accused of being linked to an attempted car bombing last Friday. Intelligence officials claim the man had received militant training and was planning on using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices to assassinate former president Pervez Musharraf.[11]

  • On Thursday, an explosion targeting a NATO container in the vicinity of Karkhano market in Jamrud, Kyber agency, wounded two people.  Another blast outside the Zagara market in Bannu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa wounded 14 others.[12]

  • Civilians exchanged fire with a group of suspected terrorists in the Haji Anwar Khel area of Bannu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, on Thursday.  One suspect died and one was captured, but four more escaped.  The civilians delivered the detained suspect to police custody.[13]

  • On Wednesday night, unidentified assailants wounded three people during a grenade attack on a madrassa in Quetta.[14]

  • An IED blast targeting a security patrol in Jaffarabad, Balochistan province, killed two Levies personnel and injured four more on Thursday.[15]

  • Police killed three suspected TTP members in Karachi on Wednesday night during a raid in Manghopir.  Three other suspects escaped.  During raids in Sharafi Goth and Paposh Nagar, police detained an additional 11 suspects.[16]

  • Three suspected terrorists were killed in a shootout when police officials raided a graveyard in the Mauripur area on Thursday.[17]

  • Police detained three individuals in Liaquatabad, Lahore, on Thursday.  At the time of their arrest, the suspects were in possession of three suicide jackets and more than a dozen grenades.  Police claim the arrest may have disrupted an ongoing terrorist plot.[18]

Domestic Politics

  • On Thursday, a day after the International Monetary Fund approved a new bailout for Pakistan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced a new tariff on electricity supplies to the agricultural sector.[19]

[1] “Pakistan’s nuclear assets in safe hands: PM Sharif,” Dawn, September 5, 2013. Available at
[2] “US refutes claims of 19,000 US containers “missing” from Karachi ports,” Dawn, September 5, 2013. Available at
[3] Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Talks with Taliban not to affect operations in tribal areas,” Dawn, September 5, 2013. Available at
[4] “Talks with the govt not initiated yet: TTP,” The News, September 5, 2013. Available at:
[5] “Execution moratorium cannot be linked to Taliban talks,” Dawn, September 4, 2013. Available at
[6] “Pak, India envoys held talks in Dubai,” The News, September 5, 2013. Available at,-India-envoys-held-talks-in-Dubai:-Shahryar
[7] “Taliban make space in Karachi: Report,” The News, September 4, 2013. Available at
[8] “Altaf Hussain to support Nawaz in his bid to tackle Karachi violence,” Express Tribune, September 5, 2013.  Available at
“Turmoil in Karachi: Army vows to support operation,” Express Tribune, September 5, 2013. Available at
[9] Muhammad Irfan, “Govt establishes writ in Tirah Valley, finally,” Express Tribune, September 5, 2013. Available at
[10] “Nanga Parbat: ‘Taliban mastermind’ held over climber murders,” BBC, September 5, 2013. Available at
“Nanga Parbat attack mastermind arrested: G-B Chief Secretary,” Express Tribune, September 5, 2013. Available at:
[11] “Islamabad: Accused in explosive-laden vehicle case arrested,” The News, September 5, 2013. Available at
[12] “Jamrud, Bannu blasts injure 16,” Express Tribune, September 5, 2013. Available at:
[13] “Terrorist killed as citizens open fire in Bannu,” Geo News, September 5, 2013. Available at:
[14] “Three injured in Quetta grenade attack,” The News, September 5, 2013. Available at:
[15] “Two levies personnel martyred in remote control blast,” Frontier Pots, September 5, 2013. Available at:
[16] “CID kills 3 suspects in Karachi,” Express Tribune, September 5, 2013. Available at:
[17] “Karachi: Exchange of fire kills three in Maripur,” The News, September 5, 2013. Available at
[18] “3 held with explosives,” The News, September 5, 2013. Available at:
[19] “IMF rules: Dar unveils new tariff for agriculture sector,” Express Tribune, September 5, 2013. Available at
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