South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Weekly Assessments & Briefings

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SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 25, December 26, 2011

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
ASSESSMENT

 

PAKISTAN
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Karachi: Annus Horribilis
Ambreen Agha
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On December 12, 2011, the Gadap Town Police in Karachi, the Provincial capital of Sindh, rescued 53 children chained in an underground dungeon at a seminary, the Jamia Masjid Zakaria Kandhelwi Madrassa Arabia, situated in the Afghan Basti in the Sohrab Goth area of Karachi. These children had been chained for 30 days. Unearthing tales of torture, the Police revealed that the chained captives received indoctrination from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) instructors, preparing them to join the outfit’s ‘jihad’ (holy war) on the Afghan front. One of the rescued students stated, “We are being made mujahedeen (holy warriors) here. We are being made Taliban here. They say you should get training… we will send you to fight.” An unnamed Police official told the Press, “The rescued students included kids as young as seven years old and 21 teenagers,” and further revealed that the chained students were beaten and barely fed.

This gory incident is only the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 1,935 seminaries in Sindh, of which 1,800 are in Karachi alone. Crucially, most of the seminaries in Karachi are run by religious political parties that preach sectarianism and extremist Islamism, destabilizing both internal order in the country and regional security.

Karachi, a city of migrants, is, today, a fragmented city. Karachi’s violent landscape has long been scarred by ethnic and sectarian conflicts, in addition to conflicts, and is plagued by extortion and politically motivated crimes as well. The Mohajirs (migrants from India, who came to Karachi during Partition) are supported by the militant Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), while Pashtuns constitute the political elite of the Awami National Party (ANP). A multiplicity of armed radical formations – prominently including, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Sunni Tehreek (ST), and TTP dominate life in Sindh’s capital city.

Significantly, however, out of the 23 Districts in the Province, it is only Karachi which is constantly rocked by acts of ethnic and political violence, including an endless stream of target killings. In fact, all 1,048 terrorism-related fatalities in the Province, recorded by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP, all data till December 25) through 2011, have occurred in Karachi alone. The fatalities included 923 civilians, 60 Security Force (SF) personnel and 65 militants. Fatalities in 2010 stood at 172. The 2011 data includes ‘Targeted Killings’, which many believe are carried out by the terrorists, backed by warring political parties, while SATP data till 2010 excluded this category. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had recorded 749 fatalities in ‘Targeted Killings’ through 2010, and 490 in the first seven months of 2011.

Some of the major incidents of violence in Karachi through 2011 included:

December 9: Three Rangers were killed while four sustained serious injuries in a blast that occurred near Safura Chowrangi in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of Karachi.

September 19: At least eight people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack targeting Senior Superintendent of Police, Crime Investigation Department (CID), Chaudhry Aslam, in the Darakhshan area of Karachi.

August 18: Politically motivated ethnic violence claimed at least 27 lives in Karachi.

August 1: 40 people, including activists of the MQM and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), were killed and several others were injured in various parts of Karachi.

July 8: At least 35 people were killed and several were wounded when unidentified assailants attacked passenger buses and went on shooting sprees in several neighbourhoods in Karachi.

April 21: At least 18 people were killed and 41 sustained injuries in a powerful blast that ripped through Rami Club building near Ghaas Mandi area of Lyari locality in Karachi.

Karachi has, indeed, the unfortunate distinction of being the worst affected District in all of terror-ridden Pakistan. The fatalities in Karachi exceed the fatalities in the entire province of Punjab (137) and Balochistan (672), and almost equal those in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1,191).

Unsurprisingly, Khalid Tawab, Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, notes, “There is law in Karachi but there is no order.” HRCP Chairperson Asma Jahangir on August 23, 2011, observed that armed men from all political parties were involved in extortion and ‘Target Killings’ on the roads of Karachi, making the city a living hell. “The heads of all the parties would have to sit together to find solution to the crisis of Karachi where people of all parties were playing a game of death,” she added.

At the root of this sectarian, ethnic and political violence is the bhatta (extortion) system that has been prevalent in Karachi for the past two decades. The struggle is for the control of the country’s economic hub. Karachi accounts for over 50 per cent of the total revenue collected by the Federal Bureau of Revenue, and accounts for about 20 per cent of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Media reports indicate that all the major political parties participate in the collection of bhatta from their areas of dominance. Turf wars over control of bhatta among various parties have instigated target killings and gang wars.

Prominent among the various criminal gangs operating in Karachi are the Rehman Dakait Group, Arshad Pappu Group, D Company (Dawood Ibrahim Group), the Shoaib Group and the the Lyari Gang. The Lyari Gang has been among the most active in extortion, drug peddling and gambling related killings, backed by the political groups like the Peoples Aman (Peace) Committee (PAC), the Kachchi Raabita Committee (KRC) and elements within the local administration. Gang wars are the defining feature of the underdeveloped Lyari neighbourhood, making it a virtual “no-go area” for common people. Regrettably, as one unnamed Police officer told the media, narcotics and gambling dens in Karachi were run under the patronage of Police officers, often up to the highest ranks.

Enormously compounding the problem are the various sectarian-terrorist groupings operating in the city. These include LeJ, SSP, Jundullah, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami-Arakan (HuJI-A), Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen-al-Alami (HuMA), ST, Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP), Jafaria Alliance (JA), and the more recent, but increasingly visible TTP. Confirming the presence of TTP in Karachi, Federal Minister of the Interior Rehman Malik stated, on July 8, 2011, “Intelligence Agencies have identified presence of the TTP in Karachi and the Government is working on it.” On December 19, 2011, the CID arrested six TTP suspects and recovered weapons from their possession from different places, including the Korangi Industrial Area, Sohrab Goth and Saddar areas of Karachi. Officials said that the accused were associated with the TTP and were providing logistic support to TTP militants who arrived in the city from tribal areas.

Apart from sectarian-terrorist groups, Karachi also provides space to mainstream religious groups such as the Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI), Jama’at Ulema-e-Pakistan (JuP), Jama’at Ulema-e-Islam (JuI), Markazi Jama’at Ahl-e-Hadith, Jama’at Ghurba-e-Ahle Hadith, Jama’at-ul-Muslimeen (JM), Dawat-e-Islami (DI) and Tableeghi Jama’at (TJ). Many of these groups have direct linkages with armed extremist formations, and all of them have been instrumental in shaping the religious-sectarian-extremist landscape in Karachi, and in fuelling ethno-political conflicts.

Conspicuously, the religious-political-criminal groups involved in terrorizing Karachi have been aided and abated by the huge and unhindered inflow of arms and ammunition into the city. During a debate in the Senate on January 18, 2011, it was revealed that there were no less than an estimated two million weapons in Karachi alone. Abuse of a lax and deeply corrupted licensing system has enormously facilitated illegal arms possession. On August 1, 2010, Interior Minister Malik had claimed that “some people in Karachi are keeping around 50 weapons on a single license”. On August 8, 2011, in the middle of a wave of escalating violence, Malik had claimed that Karachi would be ‘deweaponised’ in phases, and that all arms licenses issued by the Ministry of Interior would stand cancelled with effect from September 1, 2011. He added, further, that no arms licenses, except those issued by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), a Federal Department of the Government of Pakistan which has now been authorised to issue arms license, would be valid. Malik also stressed that criminals carrying illegal arms would be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, and the Arms Ordinance, 1969. Possession of illegal weapons would be a non-bailable offence, with a minimum punishment of seven years, going up to life, imprisonment. A reward scheme was also announced for informers, with PKR 20,000 on offer for the recovery of automatic weapons and PKR 50,000 for heavy weapons.

There have been repeated earlier attempts by the Government to de-weaponise Karachi, but each of these failed to accomplish their objectives. Partial data compiled by SATP has recorded 57 incidents of arms and ammunition recovery in Karachi in 2011, of which 33 incidents occurred after Malik’s August Declaration on deweaponisation. The recoveries included Kalashnikovs, hand grenades, suicide jackets, TT pistol, and other sophisticated weaponry. The estimate of over two million weapons in circulation in the city, however, indicates clearly that these recoveries do not even begin to scratch the surface of the problem.

Evidently failing to deal effectively with the situation, Malik has started making allegations about “foreign hands” in the Karachi violence. On July 17, 2011, even before his de-weaponisation drive was initiated, he had already declared, “The use of Israeli-made weapons indicates ‘foreign hands’’ behind the Karachi unrest. Over 200 persons have been arrested and Israeli-made weapons, including AK-45, have been recovered from them. It proves that foreign hands are behind the unrest in Karachi. Weapons are being brought to Karachi from abroad. Not only weapons, even target killers also were coming from outside.”

Though the SFs have managed to arrest as many as 1,979 suspects through 2011 [till December 25], the core issues of weaponisation, ethnic violence, political patronage and sectarian strife continue to haunt Karachi. The courts, in any event, operate a turnstile system, quickly releasing a majority of those arrested, even as enforcement agencies fail to build an effective case against the accused.

It is evident that peace cannot be restored to Karachi without the elimination of millions of illegal weapons, the extortion racket that is running the politics of Sindh, and the rampage of armed criminal and Islamist extremist groupings. On January 19, 2011, civil society activists and business representatives called for the complete de-weaponisation of Karachi in order to control target killings. Zia Ahmad Awan, President Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid, thus demanded,  “all the arms licenses should be cancelled and all the illegal weapons should be recovered across the board; the criminals should be treated as ‘criminals’ irrespective of party affiliations and sympathies.”

The patronage extended to armed and extremist political, ethnic, sectarian and criminal groups has shattered the structures of society in Karachi. Before the province sinks deep into a ‘civil war’, the coalition Government of Sindh, comprising of the PPP, MQM and the ANP, will have to abandon its old policy of protecting terrorist and criminal elements, dismantle the bhatta system, and work towards the demilitarization of the population. Unfortunately, each of these political formations has deep vested interests in the perpetuation of these insidious systems and structures, and there is little reason to believe, despite escalating violence and fatalities, that effective action is now imminent.

INDIA
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Bihar: Elusive Coherence
Deepak Kumar Nayak
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) sent a hand-written letter each to the offices of Araria District Magistrate Saravanan M. and Superintendent of Police (SP) Shivdeep Lande, seeking the unconditional release of the rebels lodged in Araria Jail. The letters were signed by Krishna Yadav, who identified himself as an ‘area commander’ of the CPI-Maoist. Sources indicated that the letters, received on December 21, 2011, by Shivdeep Lande, and on December 22, 2011 by Saravanan M., were sent from Khagaria District. On December 22, the Araria SP disclosed that about 600 prisoners were lodged in the Araria Jail, but could not confirm the number of Maoists among them.

Earlier, on December 9, 2011, the Maoists abducted seven labourers from two different construction sites at Pakari village in Jamui District. The Maoists took the labourers into the Garhi Forest area, as the construction firm for which they were working had failed to meet their demands for money. Prior to this incident, Vinay Singh alias Manan Singh, the husband of the Dharfari sarpanch (head of village level local self-Government institution) Kamini Singh, was shot dead by a group of about 30 Maoists, who attacked the village under the Paroo block in Muzaffarpur District, to enforce the Bharat Bandh (All India shutdown) called by the CPI-Maoist on December 4, 2011. On the same day, heavily armed Maoists attacked a Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) battalion camp under Dumaria Police Station in Gaya District, though no casualties were reported from either side. Elsewhere in the State, a large number of Maoists stormed Suhi village under the Kutumba Police Station in Aurangabad District and set fire to the mobile tower of private mobile operator Airtel. A day earlier, on December 3, about 30 to 40 armed Maoists had raided Chain village in Jamui District and demolished another mobile tower using explosives.

These recent incidents are part of a sustained campaign. According to partial data collected by the South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 216 Maoist-related incidents have been recorded across 24 of 38 Districts in the State in 2011 (all data till December 25, 2011). In 2010, 26 Districts witnessed as many as 200 such incidents.

While the number of incidents has increased, the number of fatalities as well as incidents involving death, decreased, as did the number of Districts from where fatalities have been reported. SATP data recorded as many as 53 fatalities, comprising of 32 civilians, 19 militants and three Security Force (SF) personnel in 36 incidents of killing in nine Districts, as against 98 fatalities, including 54 civilians, 24 SF personnel and 20 militants, in 2010, in 40 incidents of killing reported from 12 Districts.

Fatalities in Left Wing Extremism in Bihar: 2005-2011

Year

Civilians
SFs
LWEs
Total

2005

25
29
52
106

2006

16
5
19
40

2007

23
21
5
49

2008

35
21
15
71

2009

37
25
16
78

2010

54
24
20
98

2011*

32
3
19
54
Total
222
128
146
496
Source: SATP, *Data till December 25, 2011
District wise fatalities in Left Wing Extremism in Bihar: 2011*

 

District

Civilians
SFs
LWE
Total

Aurangabad

2
0
2
4

Banka

3
0
6
9

East Champaran

6
0
6
12

Gaya

3
2
2
7

Jamui

7
1
0
8

Munger

6
0
0
6

Muzaffarpur

1
0
0
1

Patna

0
0
1
1

Rohtas

4
0
2
6

Total

32
3
19
54
Source: SATP, *Data till December 25, 2011
District wise fatalities in Left Wing Extremism in Bihar: 2010*

District

Civilians
SFs
LWE
Total

Aurangabad

9
4
1
14

Banka

3
0
0
3

Begusarai

1
0
0
1

East Champaran

3
0
0
3

Gaya

6
5
3
14

Jamui

15
0
2
17

Kaimur

2
0
0
2

Lakhisarai

0
8
0
8

Munger

4
1
13
18

Patna

2
0
0
2

Rohtas

3
1
1
5

Sheohar

6
5
0
11

Total

54
24
20
98
Source: SATP, *Data till December 31, 2011
**LWEs: Left Wing Extremists

Significantly, the State recorded just four major incidents (involving three or more fatalities) of Maoist-related violence through 2011, as against five in 2010. The major incidents in 2011 included:

July 30, 2011: CPI-Maoist cadres shot dead three villagers belonging to the Kharwar tribe at Banda village under the Nauhatta Police Station in Rohtas District. The bodies of the victims were recovered on July 31.

July 1, 2011: Nearly 50 armed CPI-Maoist cadres stormed Bangalwa Kareli village in Munger District, killed six people and abducted seven others. The abducted persons were released a day later.

March 13, 2011: Six CPI-Maoist cadres were killed and one Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) trooper was injured in an encounter between the SFs and the Maoists in Dharmaha village under the Kalyanpur Police Station in East Champaran District.

February 26, 2011: Six CPI-Maoist cadres were reportedly killed by the SFs during an encounter that lasted over five hours in Majidih village in Banka District.

The State also recorded at least 28 incidents of explosion in 2011, as against 23 in 2010. 18 incidents of abduction were reported in 2011 as against 14 in 2010. Similarly, reported incidents of extortion increased from three to five [significant under-reportage of abduction and extortion incidents is likely]. 24 incidents of Maoists targeting economic assets were reported in 2010, increasing to 32 in 2011 according to SATP data. According to a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) release, Details of Incidents of Damage to Economic Infrastructure, however, 38 incidents of Maoists targeting economic assets were reported in 2011, as against 41 in 2010, 59 in 2009 and 25 in 2008.

An index of the pervasive fear inflicted by the Maoists was provided by a shocking incident on April 13, 2011, when all 682 candidates for various posts in the panchayat polls, which were to be conducted on April 20 in nine panchayats (village level local self-Government institution) under the Dumaria Block in Gaya District, withdrew their nominations, apparently giving in to the Maoists call for a poll boycott. Further, the Maoists organised Kangaroo courts (“people’s court”) on at least three instances, brutally assaulting people alleged to be Police informers or for other ‘crimes’.

SFs operations have continued fitfully in the State. According to Bihar Police data, by December 18, 2011, the Government had arrested 202 LWE as against 199 such arrests in 2010 and 161 in 2009. In the most successful of these operations, on June 12, 2011, the SFs arrested Jagdish Yadav alias Jagdish Master alias Akhileshji alias Prabhatji, a top CPI-Maoist politburo member, in Gaya District. Earlier, on April 29, 2011, three Central Committee members, identified as Varanasi Subramanyam alias Shrikant alias Sukant alias Vimal (58), Secretary of the North Regional Bureau; Pulendu Shekhar Mukherjee alias Jhantu Mukherjee alias Saheb Da alias Joyda (69), Secretary of the Eastern Regional Bureau; and Vijay Kumar Arya alias Jaspalji alias Amar (50), all-India in-charge of the Sub-Committee of Mass Organisation (SUCOMO); were arrested along with Abhimanyu alias Umesh Yadav alias Rajendra (47), ‘secretary’ of the Uttar Bihar-Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand Regional Bureau (also known as “3-Us Regional Bureau”); Nokhe Lal Chowdhary alias Suraj alias Bakraf (30), a North Bihar Eastern Zonal Committee (NBEZC) member; Shyamji Rishi, another member of NBEZC. Other prominent arrestees through 2011 include, Yogi Singh, ‘secretary’, North Bihar Central Zone, from Khagarai District on March 8; Baidyanath Tiwari alias Tula Nand Tiwari alias Binod Mahto alias Sameerji alias Bhagwan Dada, ‘secretary’ of the Bihar Jharkhand Special Area Committee (BJSAC), from Banka District on April 14; and Avinash, spokesperson for the east Bihar and north Jharkhand Zonal Committee, also from Banka District on July 1.

The SFs also seized arms and ammunition on at least 34 occasions in 2011, as against 29 in 2010. In the most recent of such incidents, the Police neutralised an illegal arms and ammunition factory on December 17, 2011, which was operating from a rented house in the Kanholi area under Mithanpura Police Station in Muzaffarpur District. The Police team recovered a stock of 900 cartridges and equipment that the Maoists used to make pistols and other firearms. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP, Muzaffarpur) Rajesh Kumar said the cartridges made at the arms factory were being supplied to CPI-Maoist cadres operating in north Bihar Districts.

Clearly, not much has changed in the State in terms of Maoist violence in comparison to the preceding year, and fighting capabilities and political will to fight the menace remains elusive. The State still records the lowest number of Policemen (64) per 100,000 population among all States in the Country, less than half the national average of 133 (which itself is far from satisfactory according to international standard).  Meanwhile, Chief Minister (CM) Nitish Kumar on February 1, 2011, promised to recruit 45,000 constables and 9,500 sub-inspectors over next five years. He disclosed that 12,000 constables had been recruited recently and that the State had also been provided with 23 companies of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs). The lack of political will is also quite evident for all, with the Chief Minister repeatedly emphasising talk’ with the Maoists over an operational response. While the Nitish Kumar Government’s performance has been hailed on a wide range of other administrative parameters, coherence in its response to the Maoists remains beyond its reach.

NEWS BRIEFS
Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
December 19-25, 2011

Civilians

Security Force Personnel

Terrorists/Insurgents

Total

INDIA

Assam

2
0
0
2

Jammu and Kashmir

1
0
0
1

Manipur

0
0
1
1

Nagaland

0
0
2
2

Left-wing Extremism

Andhra Pradesh

1
0
0
1

Bihar

0
0
1
1

Jharkhand

2
1
0
3

Total (INDIA)

6
1
4
11

PAKISTAN

Balochistan

10
0
2
12

FATA

1
3
65
69

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

0
7
1
8

Sindh

4
0
0
4

Total (PAKISTAN)

15
10
68
93
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.

BANGLADESH

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alerts Awami League men to ‘subversive activities’: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed her party men to remain alert to any subversive activities in the country aimed at foiling the war crimes trial on December 22. The people of Bangladesh now want the trial of war criminals and the Government will do it, she told Bandarban District Awami League (AL) leaders at a meeting at her Gono Bhaban residence. Daily Star, December 23, 2011.


INDIA

Maoists in Odisha recruit 5,000 youths during ‘PLGA Week’: During the ‘Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Week [December 2-8]’, about 5,000 youths and adolescent girls were recruited by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) particularly from Malkangiri District, sources said. Challenging the joint combing operation of Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Special Operation Group (SOG) and paramilitary forces, they were able to hold open meetings for membership drive in the cut-off and remote pockets of the District. The Poiner , December 22, 2011.

NIA charge sheets two serving ISI officers, David Coleman Headley and Hafiz Saeed in 26/11 case: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on December 24 filed charge sheets against nine persons, including two serving Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officers- Major Iqbal and Major Samir Ali – as well as Pakistani-American of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley and Hafiz Saeed, founder of LeT for the 26/11 attacks in India. This is the first time India has framed terror charges against serving officers of Pakistan’s Army for terror attacks in India. Times of India, December 25, 2011.

Militants have triggered 11970 blasts in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990, says Jammu and Kashmir Home Department report: According to the official data of Jammu and Kashmir Home Department, militants have triggered as many as 11,970 blasts to target security personnel and civilians in the State since 1990. A total of 1,766 people were killed and 15,685 others injured in these blasts, it mentioned. Of the total number of blasts, 5,722 were triggered using (Improvised Explosive Device) IEDs while the remaining 6,248 by hurling grenades, the data said. Greater Kashmir, December 24, 2011.

Arms smugglers based in China are supplying weapons to Northeast militants: Defence Minister A K Antony informed the Lok Sabha on December 19 that Arms smugglers based in China are supplying weapons to insurgent outfits in the northeastern states through Myanmar or Bangladesh. Antony said, “There are reports that insurgent outfits operating in the northeastern states have been procuring arms through arms smugglers based in Yunnan province of China, Myanmar and Southeast Asian countries,” he said in reply to a written query. The Sangi Express, December 20, 2011.

Recently busted terror module in New Delhi had links with Lashkar-e-Toiba, says Government: The Centre on December 20 said a terror module busted in Delhi recently had links with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Union Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh said a special team of Delhi Police with the help of central intelligence agencies and Police from West Bengal, Bihar and Tamil Nadu arrested seven members, including a Pakistani national, of an Indian Mujahideen module in November. Daily Bhasker, December 22, 2011.

NIA prepares template to gather information on terror funding: National Investigation Agency (NIA) has prepared a ‘Terror Funding Template’ (TFT), which will help its officials and investigators of states’ anti-terror agencies to extract information on terror funding. The TFT has been circulated to all states and Union Territories for getting relevant information from terrorists and terror suspects during their interrogation and probe. Times of India, December 21, 2011.


NEPAL

New recruitment in NA will be done on competition, says Defence Ministry: The Defence Ministry clarified that the new recruitment in the Nepal Army (NA) will be done on competition, denying that there will be “group entry” of Madheshis. Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar, who also oversees the Defence Ministry, unveiled the policy paper on making the NA inclusive. Nepal News, December 24, 2011.

Parties agree to incorporate ‘Armed Struggle’ phrase in preamble of new constitution: The Unified communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) bid to incorporate “People’s War” phrase into the preamble of new constitution that is being drafted has failed as political parties instead agreed to replace it with “Armed Struggle” phrase. A meeting of the Dispute Resolution Sub Committee formed to settle contentious issues seen in constitution drafting and peace process on December 20 ended the disagreement among the parties over the issue of whether to incorporate “People’s War” or “Armed Struggle” into the preamble. Nepal News, December 21, 2011.


PAKISTAN

65 militants among 69 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 22 militants and three Security Force (SF) personnel were killed and unspecified number of others injured as clashes erupted between the two sides in Jogi area in Kurram Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on December 25.

Twelve militants were killed and seven others injured when jet fighters pounded militant hideouts in Toor Semat, Jandri and Jabba Killi localities in Muhammadzai, a Taliban stronghold, of Orakzai Agency.

At least 30 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants were killed and 18 SF personnel were injured in the ongoing operation in Upper Orakzai Agency on December 21. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune, December 20-26, 2011.

Top al Qaeda leaders moving from Pakistan to North Africa, reports The Guardian: British officials believed that senior leaders of al Qaeda in Pakistan had been killed in an intense campaign of drone strikes and others are moving to North Africa. According to a report published in The Guardian, the officials are confident that a “last push” in 2012 is likely to destroy the group’s remaining senior leadership in the country. The report claimed that the militants are now moving to North Africa, including Libya, to open new fronts, raising fears that the region could become a new battle field. Dawn, December 26, 2011.

CIA suspends drone missile strikes in Pakistan, says The Los Angeles Times report: The United States (US) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has suspended drone missile strikes on gatherings of low-ranking militants in Pakistan due to tensions with that country. Citing unnamed current and former US officials, The Los Angeles Times said on December 23 the undeclared halt in CIA attacks is aimed at reversing a sharp erosion of trust between the two countries. Daily Times, December 25, 2011.

Pakistan deadliest country for journalists in 2011: Pakistan remained the deadliest country for journalists for the second year in a row, while coverage of political unrest around the world was “unusually dangerous,” a New York press advocacy group The Committee to Protect Journalists said on December 20. The Committee to Protect Journalists said in its year-end report that 43 journalists died around the world in 2011. Seven journalists were killed in Pakistan, where 29 journalists have been killed in the past five years. Dawn, December 21, 2011.

Unregistered Madaris to be illegal after January 1, 2012, says Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik: Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, on December 19, said that the Madaris (religious seminaries) which are not registered with Wafaq-ul/Tanzeem-ul Madaris would be considered illegal after January 1, 2012. The minister said, “We all condemn December 12, 2011 Sohrab Goth incident in Karachi when Police rescued around 50 students of a madrassa who were found chained in the basement during a raid”. Daily Times, December 20, 2011.

Mistrust and miscommunication led to NATO attack, says US investigation report: The United States (US) Air Force Special Operations Command’s Brigadier General and investigating officer into the NATO air strike Stephen Clark said on December 22 that the lack of trust and series of miscommunications contributed to the NATO attack on November 26. Clark said that NATO failed to give precise information to Pakistan about its positions during the operation because of general mistrust as it is believed that earlier ISAF operations were compromised when Pakistan was told the exact locations of the US forces. Tribune, December 23, 2011.

Only 29 percent of non-military US supplies go through Pakistan, reveals a new SFRC Report: A new Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) report on December 19 said that only 29 percent of non-military US supplies go through Pakistan. It said American strategy is focused on Central Asia in part as a response to the challenges of transiting supplies through Pakistan for the Afghan war. According to report, the United States (US) has increasingly relied on the Northern Distribution Network to send non-military supplies to Afghanistan since 2009. Tribune, December 20, 2011.

Balochistan will not remain with Pakistan, says senior Baloch leader Sardar Ataullah Mengal: A senior Baloch nationalist leader on December 19 warned that Balochistan would not “remain with” Pakistan if extra-judicial killings and excesses by Security Forces (SFs) in were not stopped immediately in Balochistan.” If steps were not taken immediately to halt the extra-judicial killing of Baloch nationalists and to engage them in a dialogue, then “Balochistan will not remain with you”, said Sardar Ataullah Mengal, a senior leader of the Balochistan National Party (BNP). Times of India, December 20, 2011.

No plan for ‘takeover’, says Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on December 23 brushed aside all the speculations of any military takeover. “The Pakistan Army has and will continue to support democratic process in the country,” General Kayani declared. Daily Times, December 24, 2011.


SRI LANKA

Over 88,600 Northern families resettled, informs Government: The Government has completed the resettlement of 88,666 displaced families in the North to-date. This was revealed by Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiutheen and Northern Province Governor Major General G. A. Chandrasiri on December 19. Minister Bathiutheen said the number of families resettled district wise in the North is Mannar – 18,273, Mullaitivu – 4,373, Vavuniya – 11,291, Killinochchi – 4,859 and Jaffna 49,870. Daily News, December 21, 2011.

Army camps to stay, stresses President Mahinda Rajapakse: President Mahinda Rajapakse said that the Army camps set up at District level are of national importance, and these camps which have been established with the intention of promoting national security will not be removed. He noted that this was a policy maintained by every Government after achieving independence. Daily News, December 22, 2011.

The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

SAIR is a project of the Institute for Conflict Management and theSouth Asia Terrorism Portal.

South Asia Intelligence Review [SAIR]Publisher

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