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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 1, No. 19, November 25, 2002

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


Fatalities in Extremist related violence in Bihar

Security Force Personnel

                           *      Data till September 2002
                                  Compiled from official sources

Fatalities in Jammu and Kashmir - 2002

Security Force Perfonnel

                               *      Data till November 24
                                      Compiled from English language media sources.



A New Government 'takes charge'
Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management

The process to establish a puppet government - through the manipulation and extensive amendment of laws and the Constitution, through 'pre-rigging' and rejection of the nomination forms of numerous candidates, through a substantially rigged election, and finally, through the continuous postponement of the convening of the National Assembly and orchestration of defections in support of the 'King's party' - has now come to a 'successful' end. Such elaborate manoeuvres leave little doubt that the new government will operate entirely at the behest and pleasure of President Musharraf and the Pakistan Army that backs him. If any doubts remained, these are substantially settled by the personality profile of the new Prime Minister, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who distinguished himself over periods of faithful service to a previous dictator in Zia-ul-Haq's Federal Parliament and as a minister, holding various portfolios from 1981 to 1988. Prominent Pakistani commentators have characterized Jamali as "the last description of the spineless", a "rubber stamp prime minister" and an "inconsequential Baloch leader". Worse, the Prime Minister - with the full force of the dictatorship behind him - barely scraped through to a majority of one in the National Assembly, claiming 172 votes in a 342 member House. For this, he had to secure the support of 20 parties - including 'dissenters' lured from the main opposition Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPP) after the reported intervention of, and alleged pressure from, President Musharraf. This creates an unstable coalition, 'held together by threat and allurement'. General Musharraf has proclaimed that 'power' has now been 'transferred' to Prime Minister Jamali and his 21-member Cabinet, but given the circumstances, the possibilities of a real transfer of effective powers to civilian authority, as 'promised' by General Musharraf, remain remote. As Ayaz Amir of the Dawn writes, "This is not the rolling back of military rule but rather its continuation by other means."

Clearly, the stranglehold of the military over civil society and democratic politics in Pakistan will not loosen. However, the new Assembly creates other and grave dangers for the country's future. The Islamist extremist parties that comprise the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) won an unprecedented 53 seats in the new Assembly; they control an absolute majority in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and are the largest single party in Baluchistan - both on the sensitive border with Afghanistan; and their prime ministerial candidate, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman got as many as 86 votes in the three-cornered final face-off (well ahead of the PPP's 70).

The outcome of the elections has also created what has been described as a 'horizontal polarisation', with each of the four provinces 'going in different directions'. The NWFP has gone to the MMA; Punjab is controlled by the 'King's Party', the Pakistan Muslim League - Qaid-e-Azam (PML-Q); the PPP retains much of Sindh, though Karachi and Hyderabad are dominated by the Muttahida Quami Mahaz (MQM); and with no clear majority in Baluchistan, the MMA is expected to consolidate its position, despite desperate measures by General Musharraf to keep the party out of power in this province. Indeed, the manoeuvres in government formation and Musharraf's continuous tampering with the Constitution have already taken rhetoric to unprecedented levels, with Fazl-ur-Rahman declaring that the country could head towards a repeat of "the 1971 catastrophe" [the breaking away of Pakistan's Eastern wing and the creation of Bangladesh].

The MMA has lost no time in asserting itself in the Assembly, and it is both significant and ominous that the Islamist parties used the execution of Mir Aimal Kansi in the US as a first excuse to reassert their extremist and anti-US agenda. Indeed, the Pakistan National Assembly - and not just the MMA - officially mourned Kansi's death when it met for the first time on November 19, hailing him as a 'hero of Islam'. Kansi was executed on November 14, 2002, for the murder of two US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employees outside the Agency's headquarters at Langley, Virginia, in 1993. Prayers in Pakistan's National Assembly were led by Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a religious leader elected from Quetta, who intoned: "God, destroy those who handed him over to America. God, his murderers, whether in America or in Pakistan, may they meet their fate soon." [Ahmad is a member of the Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur faction)].

Kansi's death was also mourned by thousands in a stadium in his native Quetta in a funeral that media described as the 'largest in living memory' in the city. The entire city shut down for the event with shops closed and black flags on rooftops.

This indicates the beginning of the process of street mobilisation in favour of the extremist agenda that has been imminent since the declaration of the election results, and the MMA's 'shock sweep' of the NWFP and Baluchistan, as well as its penetration of the other two provinces, Punjab and Sindh.

The leaders of the MMA are now 'repackaging' themselves as democrats and Parliamentarians, and it is crucial that the current avatar of the MMA as a 'democratic political party' is not allowed to cloud the history of its many constituent members, including several of its most prominent elected representatives, many of whom comprise the frontline of the terrorist leadership in Pakistan, and have direct linkages with Osama bin Laden, the
Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The most significant of these are the MMA's prime ministerial candidate, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman of the JuI-Fazlur, Maulana Sami-ul-Haq of the Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (Sami-ul-Haq faction) and Maulana Azam Tariq of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP).

Fazl-ur-Rahman, who heads a faction of the JuI, is not just, as is generally believed, a 'supporter' of the Taliban. He - with Sami-ul-Haq - was its creator and remained intimately linked with both Mullah Mohammed Omar and Osama bin Laden throughout the period of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and had spearheaded street demonstrations in Pakistan, vociferously protesting the American campaign in Afghanistan after 9/11. He is also the creator of the banned terrorist organisation Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM, earlier called Harkat-ul-Ansar) and is closely linked with the activities of the Harkat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HuJI), and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). HuM and HuJI are active in India, Bangladesh, Chechnya, the Arakan areas of Myanmar and southern Philippines, while the JeM is currently active only in India.

Sami-ul-Haq, who heads his own faction of the JuI, runs the Haqqani Madrassa at Akora Khattak, which produced much of the Taliban leadership. Haq was the principal advisor to Mullah Omar and was closely associated with Osama bin Laden.

Azam Tariq is the deputy patron-in-chief of the SSP, one of the five sectarian groups banned by General Musharraf in January this year. The Pakistan police blame Tariq's SSP for some 400 killings in the last year alone. In September 2001, he had declared, "We do not consider ourselves separate from the Taliban or Afghanistan. Our history, our religion and blood and culture are the same… We consider the war against Osama and the Taliban a war against us, Pakistanis and Pakistan."

Another faction in the MMA is the Jamaat-ul-Ulema Pakistan (JuP), whose Secretary, Shaykh Mir Hamzah, was a signatory to the 1998 Al Qaeda "Declaration of Jihad against Jews and Crusaders" which sanctioned attacks against American civilians.

With increasing evidence of the presence of a large number of surviving Taliban and Al Qaeda - and, indeed, increasingly of bin Laden himself - in Pakistan, the consolidation of the Islamist and terrorist forces in the surviving institutional structure of governance in the country will have a snowballing impact on the mobilisation of extremist cadres and their eventual deployment in acts of terrorism. These are all elements that cannot be treated in isolation, as they constitute a mutually supporting rubric that comprehends the military-intelligence establishment, the new quasi-democratic set up, the consolidation of extremist Islamist groupings in the political process, and the unchecked activities and infrastructure of terrorism that exists in Pakistan; and that has great potential for harm.

Directly, of course, the swearing in of a new Prime Minister and Cabinet will have very limited immediate impact, particularly in view of the Constitutional Amendments that General Pervez Musharraf pushed through before the elections. Specifically, the PM would have little control over Pakistan's nuclear arsenal or Army. Nevertheless, the pre-election arrangements are not fail-safe, as the emergence of the MMA at the centre of the power structure has already demonstrated, and it should be fairly certain that the fundamentalist groupings will use their position in Parliament, backed by their very substantial street power and terrorist muscle, to consolidate and expand their constituencies and secure a far greater and more definitive role in determining the course and destiny of Pakistan than may have been imagined by General Musharraf when he was planning his 'democratic' strategy. It is not clear, under the conditions of uncertainty that currently prevail, that Musharraf would have the power to neutralise or reverse these trends.

The 'international community' is still eager to give Musharraf the benefit of doubt, despite the fact that virtually the entire terrorist leadership in Pakistan - including the leadership of all the 'banned' terrorist groups (and declared as terrorist organisations by the US as well) - operates freely in the country. With many of these leaders now sitting in Pakistan's National Assembly, it is high time that those who have put their entire faith in Musharraf's dictatorship as a bulwark against terrorism begin to revaluate their strategies and options.



J&K: No Respite from Jehadis
Kanchan Lakshman
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

38 persons, including 17 security force (SF) personnel, were killed in three separate terrorist strikes in a span of just three days over the last week in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). These high-intensity attacks come against the backdrop of a 'soft approach' adopted by the new coalition government headed by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. Evidently, the decision not to implement the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA), the proposal to merge the Special Operations Group (SOG) into the J&K Police, and the release of some terrorists and secessionist leaders has substantially emboldened the terrorist groupings.

At least 13 persons were killed and 45 others injured, eight of them seriously, when two fidayeen ('suicide' terrorists) simultaneously attacked two shrines - Raghunath and Panjbakhtar temples - in the heart of Jammu City in the evening of November 24. A six-hour long gun battle ended with a total of 13 dead. Violence recommenced briefly around the Panjbakhtar temple the next morning when a third terrorist, presumed to be part of the same squad was engaged and neutralized by the by SFs. J&K Director General of Police A.K. Suri indicated that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was responsible for this attack, the second in eight months on the Raghunath temple - the most important Hindu shrine in the Jammu region. This information was derived from a telephone call received by Suri at his residence in which a "Pakistani LeT cadre" said, "we have done it and now it is your turn."

Earlier, in its first suicide attack in year 2002 in Srinagar, a LeT squad, killed six, and injured nine SF personnel at a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp on November 22. Both the terrorists in this attack were killed in retaliatory firing. This was also the first major terrorist attack after the new coalition government took office on November 2. An unidentified LeT spokesperson reportedly claimed that the incident was part of the group's "Operation Badar" which had been launched in the holy month of Ramzan. Incidentally, LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was released from house arrest on November 19 in Lahore, Pakistan. Earlier, the military regime had released Saeed from prison on October 31 after five months in detention, and had immediately placed him under house arrest.

In the third major incident last week, 19 persons - including nine SF personnel, three women and two children - were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast at Lower Munda in South Kashmir on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on November 23. According to official sources, one of the vehicles in a convoy carrying SF personnel and their family members to Jammu from Srinagar hit a landmine, six kms short of the Jawahar Tunnel.

The terrorist strikes are not restricted to the State of J&K. In what appears to be a series of strikes on places of worship, a woman was killed and approximately 20 people were injured in an explosion near the Sai Baba temple in the Dilsukhnagar area in Hyderabad, the capital city of the southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh on the night of November 21. The blast occurred three hours after United States Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill had left the city after a two-day visit. The South India 'commander' of LeT, Syed Aziz alias Khalil alias Imran, one of the two prime accused in the November 21-bomb blast, was killed in an encounter near Rekurthi village on the outskirts of the Karimnagar town, on November 24. Earlier, Mohammad Azam, the other accused who allegedly triggered the Hyderabad blast, was killed in an encounter in the Parvatipuram area on the outskirts of Hyderabad on November 22.

The Hyderabad attack appears to be part of a concerted campaign by Pakistan to extend terrorism into other theatres across India, not only maintain the cover of deniability, but also to project the notion that minorities in India are resorting to 'indigenous uprisings' to protest their supposed 'persecution in Hindu India'. Exactly two months prior to the Raghunath and Panjbakhtar temples incidents, 32 persons had been killed, on September 24, 2002, when two LeT terrorists launched an attack at the Akshardham Temple in the western Indian State of Gujarat. Part of an old terrorist stratagem, recent attacks on places of worship are conspicuously designed to create religious tensions in the highly polarized post-Godhra scenario prevailing in parts of the country, as also as a result of the impending Legislative Assembly elections in Gujarat.

There has been no systematic de-escalation in the levels of terrorist violence in J&K since the pre-election spurt - indeed, the beginning of the year (Table) - and monthly variations would largely be attributable to operational inefficiencies, extraordinary international pressure on Pakistan for brief periods of time, or other transient factors. 98 civilians and 104 SF personnel have been killed (till November 24) after the completion of the electoral process in the State on October 9. 122 civilians and 123 SF personnel have been killed during the months of October and November.

While trends in violence remain unchanged, a more disturbing development is the deliberate lowering of guard by the new coalition government in the State, which has obstructed ongoing counter-terrorism operations, and has already enlarged a number of terrorists on bail, including, prominently, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) 'commander' Nazir Ahmad Sheikh and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) 'commander' Mohammad Ayub, as well as former terrorist and current secessionist Yasin Malik, chairman of the JKLF.

The State government has announced its decision to hold talks on the Kashmir issue "without any pre-conditions" with a mélange of groups actively pursuing the agenda of violence. All these 'initiatives' are purported to be part of the 'healing touch' that the Mufti Mohammad Saeed regime wishes to administer in the violence riven State. How a refusal to impose the criminal law of the land, and the creation of conditions that enhance the ease of operations for terrorist groups, is going to 'heal' the wounds inflicted on the people of J&K remains unclear. What is clear, however, is the fact that over 33,000 people have lost their lives to terrorism in the State over the past 13 years, and that the intensity of violence shows no signs of decline; that the Pakistan-backed terrorist agenda shows a remarkable continuity, with no signs of dilution in the post 9/11 phase; that the Indian political leadership has still to define a consistent counter-terrorism strategy that goes beyond populist sloganeering; and that, consequently, the terrorists are going to continue to kill with a distressing frequency in the foreseeable future.




Bihar: Expanding Left-Wing Violence
Sanjay K. Jha
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

With the bifurcation of Bihar in November 2000, there was a general feeling that the State would witness a decline in the violence perpetrated by various left-wing extremist groups - called Naxalites. A number of the affected districts in south Bihar went over to the newly created State of Jharkhand, and it was expected that the remaining areas in Bihar would be easier to control. The last two years, however, have not only witnessed a consolidation of extremists in their strongholds, but a further expansion of their activities into new areas. Moreover, the growing understanding between hitherto warring Naxalite groups and their deepening linkages with Maoist insurgents in Nepal have created additional threats in this eastern State of India.

The Naxalite movement, which originated in the small town of Naxalbari in Darjeeling district, West Bengal, had a direct impact on Bihar, and the Bihar State Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (BSCCCR) was formed on December 10, 1968. The militant Communist Party of India, Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) came into being in 1969. The Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), which came into existence in 1967 in West Bengal, surfaced for the first time in Bihar in 1972. The Majdoor Kishan Sangharsha Samiti (MKSS), later known as the CPI-ML (Party Unity) was formed in 1982. In a major effort at the consolidation of left-wing activity, the CPI-ML (Party Unity) merged with the People's War Group (PWG) of Andhra Pradesh in 1998, to constitute the CPI-ML (People's War).

At present, the major left-wing extremist groups active in Bihar include the MCC; the CPI-ML (People's War) - commonly known as the People's War Group (PWG); the CPI-ML (Liberation), which continues to maintain underground squads even though it claims to have relinquished the path of violence and has been participating in parliamentary politics since 1992; the Shantipal group; and the CPI-ML (New Democracy). Of these, the MCC and the PWG are the primary surviving threats in the State.

Bihar presently stands third, after Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, in terms of the scale of Left-wing activities. In the first nine months of year 2002, a total of 104 persons, including 19 extremists, six police personnel and 79 civilians had been killed in the extremist violence. This followed 121 killings in the year 2001, which included 14 extremists, 24 police personnel and 83 civilians.

Left-wing extremists are active in twenty-eight out of Bihar's 40 districts, and the worst affected Patna, Gaya, Aurangabad, Arwal Bhabhua, Rohtas and Jehanabad in South western parts of the State. Of late, however, there has been a spurt in extremism in parts of North Bihar including the Motihari, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga districts. The PWG has also extended its areas of influence in Shaharsha, Begusarai and Vaisali, and the MCC is trying to use Kaimur Hills, situated on Bihar's borders with Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh (UP), to expand its activities in the Kaimur region and UP. The formation of the Utpirit Mukti Vahini (Force for the Liberation of the Oppressed) in West Champaran district has also caused considerable alarm in the establishment.

The growing nexus of the Naxalites in Bihar with Maoist insurgents in Nepal is another cause for rising concern. Bihar has eight districts with 54 police stations situated along the 753 kilometre-long open border with Nepal. As a result of the crackdown on Maoists in the Himalayan Kingdom, the Bihar-Nepal border has become increasingly vulnerable to use by the Nepali Maoists. An estimated 20 Maoist insurgents have been arrested from different parts in North Bihar since January 2001. In recent incidents, six Maoist insurgents were arrested in Sitamarhi on July 20, 2002; another three were arrested in Motihari district on July 19, 2002; and on November 27, 2001, the West Champaran district police arrested a Naxalite with explosives meant for the Maoists in Nepal.

MCC and the PWG linkages with the Nepali Maoists are not a recent development. In February 1996, the MCC Central Committee published a paper welcoming the Maoist movement in Nepal, and in October that year, condemned the 'repression' of the Maoists by the Nepalese government. All three groups are part of the joint 'Indo-Nepal Border Regional Committee,' and unconfirmed reports indicate that the MCC has been training Nepali Maoist cadres in Aurangabad district. Training camps are also said to exist in the West Champaran district of North Bihar.

The growing linkage between the MCC, the PWG and the Nepali Maoists are part of their larger strategy to create a 'Compact Revolutionary Zone' stretching across Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Bihar, to Nepal. With Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) becoming increasingly active along the Bihar-Nepal border and the growing use of Nepalese territory by the ISI for anti-India activities, there are apprehensions that the ISI may also incorporate Left-wing extremist groups in its strategy to destabilize India.

The Bihar Government, on its part, has initiated a number of steps to contain Left-wing extremism, including the creation of a Special Task Force (STF) and Special Operations Groups (SOGs) to neutralize the armed groups, as well as a comprehensive surrender and rehabilitation package. These measures, however, have failed to check the expansion of Naxalite activities.

The collapse of the institutions of civil governance, the general breakdown of the rule of law, the sharp polarization of state institutions on the basis of caste, the criminalisation of politics, and the existence of a collusive arrangement between the political establishment, various state institutions and extremist elements, create a context that sustains the violence of these groups. There is little evidence, under the present circumstances, that the present and projected initiatives by the administration will succeed in neutralising the growing menace of extremism in one of India's most backward States.


Weekly Fatalities: Major conflicts in South Asia
November 18-24, 2002

Security Force Personnel
Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Jammu & Kashmir
Left-wing Extremism
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


13 persons killed in Lashkar suicide attack on two temples in Jammu: At least 13 persons were killed and 45 others injured when two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) fidayeen (suicide cadres) simultaneously attacked, and subsequently forced their entry into, two shrines - the Raghunath and Panjbakhtar temples - in Jammu City on November 24, 2002. The two fidayeen, who stormed the Raghunath temple were killed by security forces (SFs) after a three-hour operation while a third associate who had stormed the Panjbakhtar temple was killed on November 25. Among those dead were two SF personnel, a woman and a child, while the injured included several devotees. Police and local people from the Raghunath temple rescued at least 75 devotees including women and children, while others fled to safety on their own after the attack commenced. This is the second attack on the Raghunath temple in less than eight months. Earlier, on March 30, two fidayeen had killed seven persons, including three SF personnel. Daily Excelsior, November 25, 2002.

19 persons killed in IED blast in J&K: 19 persons, including nine security force (SF) personnel, three women and two children were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast at Lower Munda in South Kashmir on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on November 23, 2002. According to official sources, one of the vehicles in a convoy carrying SF personnel and their family members to Jammu from Srinagar hit a landmine, six kilometers short of the Jawahar Tunnel. According to local news agencies, three terrorist groups, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HuJI) and Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JuM) have claimed responsibility for the attack. Daily Excelsior, November 24, 2002.

Six SF personnel, two Lashkar fidayeen killed in Srinagar attack: In its first suicide attack of the year 2002 in Srinagar, capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) fidayeen (suicide cadres), on November 22, 2002, killed six security force (SF) personnel, and injured another nine, at a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp. Both the terrorists in the attacking group were killed in retaliatory firing. This was also the first major terrorist attack after the new coalition government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took office on November 2. An unidentified LeT spokesperson reportedly claimed the incident was part of the group's "Operation Badar" which had been launched in the holy month of Ramadan. Daily Excelsior, November 23, 2002.

Eight SF personnel killed in PWG landmine-blast in Jharkhand: Left wing extremists -- Naxalites -- of the People's War Group (PWG) killed eight security force (SF) personnel in a land mine blast on November 20, 2002, in Jharkhand's Latehar district. According to police sources, the Naxalites detonated the landmine under a jeep carrying Jharkhand Armed Police personnel near Lamarnaka on the Daltonganj-Mahuadand Road. Times of India, November 21, 2002.

Seven SF personnel killed in Manipur ambush: Seven security force (SF) personnel were killed in an ambush at Jivan Nagar in the Bishnupur district of Manipur on November 20, 2002. The terrorists who reportedly laid the ambush belonged to the Manipur People's Army (MPA), armed-wing of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF). The terrorists also managed to loot all the arms of the SF personnel. Indian Express, November 21, 2002.

Government's report details Pakistan-hand in terrorist activities against India: India has released a comprehensive list of Pakistan-based terrorists and their activities in India in a recent report. The 188-page report on Pakistan's involvement in terrorism against India has also been sent to the country's missions abroad. It contains details on terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Al Badr among others. It also lists names of Khalistani leaders who have found shelter in Pakistan. According to the report, Al Badr terrorists were among the earliest Pakistanis to start anti-Indian activities in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Al Badr has two main offices in Rawalpindi and Karachi, seven fund raising offices and two active bank accounts. The report further reveals that the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka is the "nerve centre" of terrorism in India's Northeast. The report also mentions Pakistan's external intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence's (ISI's) activities in Nepal. Hindustan Times, November 21, 2002.

14 civilians killed in Naxal landmine-blast in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh: 14 civilians, including a four-year child, were killed and 17 more injured, in an attack by left wing extremists - Naxalites - of the People's War Group (PWG), in Andhra Pradesh's Warangal district, on November 18, 2002. The Naxalites set-off a land mine under a moving bus at Chintagudem village near Eturunagaram. The blast-site is close to Ilapuram where the police killed five Naxals in an encounter the previous day. The Naxalites possibly wanted to avenge the killing of their colleagues and blew up the bus assuming it to be transporting police personnel who had participated in that encounter. However, the bus was carrying civilian passengers and 14 of them were killed on the spot. New Indian Express, November 20, 2002.


Deputy Premier Mandal asks India to hand over Maoist insurgents: Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Badri Prasad Mandal, on November 18, 2002, while speaking in Biratnagar, asked India to hand-over Nepal's Maoist insurgents hiding in that country since India's Union government had already designated them as terrorists. Nepal News, November 18, 2002.


Al Omar Mujahideen 'supreme commander' arrested in Islamabad: Pakistan-based Al Omar Mujahideen 'supreme commander' Mushtaq Zargar was arrested in Islamabad, on November 21, 2002, after he was reportedly invited there for some talks, a spokesperson for his group said in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), on November 22. Spokesperson Khalid Mumtaz said that Zargar had gone to Islamabad on the invitation of unidentified Pakistani authorities on November 20 evening and was missing since then. Zargar was among the three terrorists who were released by the Indian government on December 31, 1999, in exchange for the release of 155 passengers of the hijacked Indian aircraft IC-814 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Dawn, November 23, 2002.

Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali elected Prime Minister: Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam candidate, was elected 16th Prime Minister of Pakistan on November 21, 2002. Jamali secured 172 votes in a House of 342. Jamali, the first leader from Baluchistan to be elected Premier, defeated his nearest rival from the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, who secured 86 votes. The third candidate, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, belonging to the Pakistan People's Party, secured 70 votes. Dawn, November 22, 2002.

Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed released from house arrest in Lahore: Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was released from house arrest on November 19, 2002, as Punjab Home Secretary Brigadier Ijaz Shah ordered the removal of police presence around his Johar Town residence in Lahore. The government had released Saeed from prison on October 31 after five months in detention and subsequently placed him under house arrest. Dawn, November 20, 2002.


Sinhala-Muslim clashes in Chilaw division and Galle-Katugoda refugee camp: In Chilaw division, North Western Province, clashes between Muslims and Sinhalese were reported in 14 villages on November 18, 2002, resulting in 10 houses of Muslims being burnt down. Consequently, a 12-hour dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in the area. Further, on the same day, a Muslim youth was killed and four more injured in firing by police on an angry group of Muslim protestors in the Galle-Katugoda area. The subsequent transfer of a senior Sinhala police official took a communal colour and as tensions erupted between the two communities curfew was imposed in the area. In a third incident, a group of Sinhala youth attacked a Muslim refugee camp in the Puttalam-Srimapura area and damaged 15 houses. Tamil Net, November 19, 2002.

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 the South Asia Terrorism Portal.


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