Maharashtra: Red Subversion in Gadchiroli | Uncertain Calm | South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Vol. No. 11.3
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 11, No. 3, July 23, 2012

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Maharashtra: Red Subversion in Gadchiroli
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
Deepak Kumar Nayak
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Located in the north-eastern part of the State, and bordering the most troubled areas of neighbouring Chhattisgarh, Gadchiroli has, for long, been reeling under Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) violence. Abruptly, however, it appears to have been brought under an intensive and complete siege by the rebels. Mass resignations of elected representatives in recent months have paralyzed local governance, the third tier of the administrative setup which takes administration to the grassroots.  Out of 467 gram panchayats (GPs, village level local self government institutions,) in the District, nearly 200 are reportedly under the Maoists influence. More than 400 posts in the GPs are now lying vacant. Security officials are now describing the mass resignations as “the biggest unarmed sabotage by the Maoists to weaken the Government”.

According to media reports, at least 355 local body representatives in the District have resigned since May 1, 2012, after the Maoists issued a diktat in April 2012 demanding their resignations by this date, also commemorated as ‘Maharashtra Day’. The local body representatives include members of the Zilla Parishad (ZP, District Council), Municipal Corporation, Panchayat Samitis (PS, Block Committees) and GPs. Gadchiroli ZP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sumant Bhange, on July 16, 2012, confirmed the distressing trend, disclosing that his office had received 218 resignations from the Korchi taluka (administrative division) alone, and the number of resignations received from other parts of Gadchiroli stood at 137. Nandkishor Vairagade, Secretary to the Sarpanch (head of panchayat) Union of Korchi, stated on the same day, “The list includes 27 Sarpanchs, 27 deputy Sarpanchs, 31 Police patils [volunteers working as Police representatives in villages] and 133 gram panchayat members (from Korchi).”

In a face-saving exercise, the administration has sought to argue that these resignations have not been made under Maoist pressure, but are the result of some unfulfilled demands of these members. In evidence, the argument goes, is the fact that at least 162 elected representatives, including 24 Sarpanchs, 24 deputy Sarpanchs and 114 members of the various GPs who had resigned on July 11, 2012, withdrew their resignations on July 18, 2012, on Government assurances relating to their supposed ‘demands’. Earlier, on June 16, 2012, Vairagade had stated that the Government had not paid attention to the 23-demand charter, prominently including the cancellation of mining leases, submitted to it on November 28, 2011, by the people and local representatives of Korchi: “...not even a signal demand was fulfilled, on the contrary Police atrocities have increased in the region which has forced us to take this extreme step... The administration’s decision to grant mining leases to few people in the area is also one of the reasons for our resignations.”

The Government’s current assertions, however, contradict what Government officials had earlier admitted. On July 12, 2012, disputing Vairagade’s claims, Abhishek Krishna, Gadchiroli District Collector, had stated “This is not entirely true. There is scope to believe that these resignations have come due to threat of Naxals [Left Wing Extremists] as some of the demands we have received are demands about non-existent issues like (not to give) licence for coal mining. No licence even for prospecting activity for coal or any other mineral has been given in the area.” Similarly, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Naxal Range, Ravindra Kadam, stated on July 10, 2012, that the resignations were most likely prompted by the Naxals because "It is the Naxal agenda to oppose open leases and mining."

More significantly, soon after the January 3, 2012, declaration of local body elections in the State, the Maoists created havoc among local body representatives. As many as seven representatives have since been killed in the District. In the first such incident, the Bhamragarh PS Chairman and Bhamragarh tehsil (revenue unit) Congress chief, Bahadurshah Alam, was killed on January 28, 2012, after he chose to ignore Maoist warnings not to contest. Subsequently, two candidates, who had filed nominations for the ZP elections, and three candidates, who had filed nominations for PS elections, withdrew on January 30, 2012. The withdrawal of candidates from the elections left two ZP and four PS seats in Korchi without any contestant. Elections to these seats were subsequently held on March 11, 2012.

Local body elections across Maharashtra were held on February 7, 2012, though the Gadchiroli District saw a two-phase process on February 7 (North Gadchiroli) and February 12 (South Gadchiroli). On February 12, 2012, two incidents of exchange of fire between the Police and Maoists were reported from Repanpalli village in Aheri tehsil and Ghotsur village in Etapalli tehsil, both in Gadchiroli, though there were no reports of any casualties.

Having failed in their attempt to thwart polls, the Maoists upped the ante against local body representatives in the District and started targeting them in the rural areas of Gadchiroli. On April 13, 2012, the Maoists killed ex-ZP member, Kewal Atkamwar, in Etapalli. On April 20, 2012, they killed Pawan Bhalavi, a former Maoist and husband of ex-PS chairperson in Arewada village under Bhamragad tehsil. Again, on April 22, 2012, the rebels abducted and subsequently killed Gardewada’s third term Sarpanch and ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, Chamru Kulle Joi, at Gardewada village under Etapalli tehsil. On April 24, 2012, the Maoists killed Rainu Juru Kowse, deputy Sarpanch of Wangeturi GP in Todgatta village under Gatta Police outpost of the District.

More worryingly, in early April 2012, the Maoists asked the leaders of all political parties to resign by April 26, 2012, and members of local bodies to resign by April 30, 2012. The deadline for the local body representatives was subsequently extended to May 1, 2012. Following the diktat, District Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) Vice President, Sunil Biswas, District BJP General Secretary, Bhikaji Atram, Bhamragarh tehsil BJP President, Joga Usendi, Bhamragarh Congress chief, Raju Wadde and Bhamragarh NCP President, Ramji Pungati, resigned from their posts.

On May 1, 2012, local body representatives followed suit, with one ZP member and four PS members submitted their resignations in Bhamragarh tehsil, openly citing threats from the Maoists. On May 4, 2012, another two ZP members from Etapalli tehsil – Karu Rapanji and Geeta Hichami – submitted their resignations in the wake of the Maoist ultimatum. As time passed, this snowballed into 355 local body representatives resigning, though 162 among these withdrew their resignations on July 18, 2012.

Meanwhile, the Government’s attempt to conduct by polls on June 24, 2012, for 435 posts in 139 GPs, vacated by members under Maoist pressure, was thwarted by the Maoists. Candidates dared to contest the elections in only five wards in four GPs in the entire District. Three other GPs elected members unopposed. Elections for the remaining 132 GPs are now scheduled to be held in October 2012. Reports suggest that there are already around 40 GPs in Gadchiroli where local governance has crashed completely, and that are running without any local office-bearers, in many cases, for several years. Now with another 132 GPs going without election, the democratic set up at the grassroots level is bound to crumble further. For the moment, the District administration has directly appointed administrators "to carry on the work in the absence of elected members."

Troubled by these developments, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, according to a June 27, 2012, report, had urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to beef up security for local body members in Gadchiroli. Earlier, on June 11, 2012, State Home Minister and Guardian Minister of Gadchiroli, R.R. Patil, had claimed, "So far only one NCP zilla parishad member has resigned but that too not in a proper way. There cannot be any substantial reason as to why the representatives, who have been elected just a few months ago, should resign. We are not accepting any such resignations furnished under fear [of the Maoists]."

With an estimated 2,000 armed Naxals currently camping in Gadchiroli, the Maoists have also initiated an assault against the tanta-mukhti committees, committees set up in every village with the aim of resolving petty issues amicably, without legal recourse at the Police Station or the courts. On May 31, 2012, the rebels shot dead Gajanan Madavi, President of the tanta-mukhti committee of Jarawandi village in Etapalli, for ignoring their instructions to vacate his post. Again, on June 12, 2012, the rebels killed another tanta-mukhti committee member Rama Korke Madavi at Pattigaon in the Aheri taluka of the District.

In addition, the Maoists continued their practice of conducting kangaroo courts, delivering ‘justice’ to the locals. In one such incident, some 250 to 300 rebels, led by Aheri-Jimalgatta ‘area committee commander’ Shankar Anna, South Gadchiroli ‘division committee’ member Bhaskar Hichami alias Prabhakar, and ‘platoon commander’ and ‘divisional committee member’ Laxman, organised a massive kangaroo court between May 14-20, 2012, in the dense forest area near Jimalgatta in Aheri tehsil in Gadchiroli, some 10 kilometres from the Jimalgatta Sub Police Station. In the latest incident, on July 19, the Maoists held a ‘meeting’ at Kamalpur village in South Gadchiroli before abducting a youth, identified as Kishor Atram. The body of the youth, who was axed to death, was recovered on July 21. The Naxalites branded the deceased a ‘Police informer’.

Conspicuously, Gadchiroli is the only highly Naxalite-affected District in Maharashtra, while the State stands fourth in terms of Maoist-related fatalities in 2012 (till July 22, 2012), with 33 killed – 17 civilians, 14 SF personnel and two extremists – in a total of 28 incidents so far, after Chhattisgarh (70), Jharkhand (46) and Odisha (39), according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database. Barring two civilian killings in the neighbouring District of Gondia, the remaining 30 killings have taken place in Gadchiroli alone. 

Despite the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (UMHA) showing rising concerns about the deteriorating situation and asking for action, the State Government has failed to respond adequately. According to a June 17, 2012, report a letter sent to the State from the UMHA has stated, “No effective action was taken by the State on advisories sent from the Government at least on four occasions in the recent past. If increasing influence of the Maoist writ goes unchallenged any longer, Gadchiroli would become as good as a Maoist-liberated zone.”

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Uncertain Calm
Fakir Mohan Pradhan
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

Deadlines mean little to Nepali leaders. Having failed to draft a Constitution after four extensions for the Constituent Assembly (CA) before its dissolution, other things can certainly wait. The July 22, 2012, deadline set by the Election Commission (EC) to clear the legal hurdles to facilitate the Constituent Assembly polls on November 22 was, in any event, far to knotty a problem to be resolved by the Baburam Bhattarai-led caretaker Government. The EC had no option but to extend the deadline by another few days (five to nine days) after Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda [Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M)], Ramchandra Poudel [Nepali Congress (NC)] and Jhalanath Khanal Dahal [Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML)] told the EC during a meeting on July 22 that they would try to forge a consensus “at the earliest”.

Bhattarai had announced the dissolution of the CA on May 27, 2012, after a failure to secure consensus on the issue of “ethnic federalism”, and after the Supreme Court (SC) refused to allow further extensions to the CA. The date for fresh elections to the CA was announced simultaneously. At that point, it was difficult to imagine that this process would itself become embroiled in inflexible legal hurdles. A High Level Committee, led by a Member of the EC, which reviewed the relevant election-related provisions in the Interim-Constitution and other Acts, concluded on June 15 that fresh CA polls could not be conducted, without first amending the Interim Constitution and some election laws. It had not occurred to anyone during the framing of the interim-Constitution that the CA could fail in its task, and that another CA may be required. The Interim Constitution, consequently, has no provision for a second CA election. However, since the CA has now ceased to exist, there is no available mechanism for the amendment of the Interim Constitution and the relevant Acts. Bhattarai is now receiving flack for having failed to secure the amendments before announcing the dissolution of the CA, but that moment has already passed. The High Level Committee now feels that there is no alternative to amending the Interim Constitution through an ordinance by the President, exercising his discretionary powers, though it remains uncertain whether there is any example in the world of a constitutional amendment by an ordinance. A member of the Committee is reported to have conceded that such a step would surely be undemocratic, but that the President could use his powers on the basis of a broad national consensus.

As a result, the EC put the ball in Government’s court on June 20, arguing that, since it needed 120 clear days to organize the polls, the Government must clear all legal roadblocks by July 22.

A range of contentious legal positions has, thereafter, emerged. One opinion is that CA election can be held on the scheduled date without amending the Interim Constitution, in compliance to the SC judgment, as it was a Supreme Court verdict that had put a final cap on the CA’s term. Other poll related Acts could be amended through a Presidential ordinance on the recommendation of the Cabinet. This position is contested on the grounds that the Cabinet cannot make such a recommendation, as it draws its legitimacy and power from the CA, which now stands dissolved. A third position argues that CA polls could be held by forging a consensus among the political parties, and this agreement could be endorsed later by the new Parliament or CA.

The legal conundrum is compounded further by the fact that, while the acting Chairman of the EC, Neel Kantha Uprety's term expires in November 2012, two other commissioners, Ayodho Prasad Yadav and Dolakh Bahadur Gurung, retire on January 11, 2013. If the CA election is not completed before the end of these terms, the legality of the position of the EC members would come under question. Further, new appointments would not be possible, as the EC members are appointed by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council.

Given the mounting complexities, there is an insistent clamour for ‘political consensus’, but, given Nepal’s fractured and fractious polity, an agreement is nowhere in sight.

The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML remain adamant that they cannot participate in CA elections if these are held in November, under the Bhattarai-led Government of UCPN-M and the United Madheshi Democratic Front (UDMF), which they deem ‘unconstitutional’. They insist that Bhattarai must first resign to make way for a ‘national unity government’. Bhattarai, however, continues to insist that he would hand over the reins of Government only to an elected government. Indeed, a ‘political paper’ presented by UCPN-M Chairman Prachanda in the 7th plenum of the Party, which commenced on July 17, argues that leaving the Government without securing an agreement on contentious issues of the new constitution will be ‘suicidal’ for the party.

As the deadlock persists, all sorts of ‘solutions’, including the revival of the old CA, a ‘national convention’, and elections for a new Parliament that could then approve a constitution, are being proposed, creating greater confusion, rather than any clarity. If the old CA can be revived, what was the need to dissolve it? How can a parliament write a constitution? And if elections can be held, why not for a CA instead of a Parliament? Moreover, on July 18, 2012, CPN-UML formally adopted the stand that the demand for revival of the dissolved CA was “inappropriate”. Instead, the party opted for a fresh mandate to complete the remaining tasks of maintaining peace and writing the constitution. The party, however, reiterated its position, stating that it would not be part of any fresh CA elections under Prime Minister Bhattarai.

Within this constitutional and legal mess, however, it is heartening to recognize that, despite all sorts of questions regarding the Bhattarai-led Government’s legitimacy and intentions, there has been no collapse of governance. Indeed, Nepal, today, remains relatively calmer than most people expected. The much-expected power tussle between the President and the Prime Minister has not taken place. The President has not questioned the legitimacy of the Government. The Government, avoiding any showdown, recently opted to present a ‘one-third budget’, though it had earlier insisted on a full budget. Opposition parties – UML and NC – have not resorted to disruption and violence in voicing their opposition to the Government. The pro-ethnicity-based federalism demonstrations during the last days of the CA almost ended with the demise of the CA.

These signs are being misread by some commentators as evidence of growing maturity in Nepali Politics, though they are, more likely, a process of realignment with new realities. Neither the UML nor the NC can match the Maoists in street violence, and both these parties remain unsure about their electoral prospects, given their opposition to ethnicity-based federalism and the growing enthusiasm among janajatis, dalits and Madhesis for such a structure.

But the problem with this model of federalism is not simply the difficulty of creating 10, 11 or 14 ethnicity-based federal states; the greater problem is that, beyond the number or names of the proposed states, no further details regarding the distribution of powers and functions have even been debated. In the absence of any clarity, enthusiasts are articulating their own divergent and imaginary provisions, raising expectations that are unlikely to be fulfilled, and setting the stage for disappointment and escalating friction. On June 12, 2012, the Nepal Army disposed of an improvised explosive device (IED) placed in Dhangadhi (Kailali District) where a pamphlet issued by little known “Seti-Mahakali Khaptad Tahalka Jamamukti Killer Party (Seti-Mahakali Khaptad Tahalka People’s Liberation Killer Party)” was discovered. In the pamphlet, the group claimed to have launched a campaign against those attempting to re-instate the monarchy and so-called ‘anti-federalism groups’ that contributed to the dissolution of CA by supporting an Undivided Far West or Undivided Mid West.

The clamour for political consensus is, indeed, progressively exposing the hollowness of Nepali politics. The demand for political consensus appears to be limited to the formation of a ‘Unity Government’ till the next election. Difficult issues, including the contours of the proposed federal structure are not getting the due attention. The most likely beneficiary of this political incoherence, the UCPN-M, is itself busy taming factionalism within the party, which came out in the open at the Seventh Plenum. The two other parties NC and UML, are finding it difficult to even ask janajati workers of their parties to toe the party line. On July 18, 2012, the CPN-UML relieved around a dozen janajati leaders of their responsibilities on grounds of their “non-compliance with the party’s official position on federalism” and for remaining absent from party meetings for an extended period. The leaders facing action include Vice-chairperson Ashok Rai, Politburo members Prithivi Subba Gurung, Bijay Subba Gurung, Kiran Gurung, Rakam Chemjong and Central Committee member Jeevan Ram Shrestha.

While the Maoists are sitting pretty in the Government, approaching the next election – whenever it is conducted – from a position of clear advantage, the NC and UML, are increasingly looking like the defenders of numerically weak but otherwise powerful Bahuns and Chhetris [Brahmins and Kshatriyas], a perception that will lose them further ground, as the Maoists are seen as champions of the ethnicity cause. While partisan equations shift, identity politics is taking deep roots in Nepal, raising the spectre of future conflicts along ethnic lines.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
July 17-23, 2012



Security Force Personnel







Jammu and Kashmir




Left-wing Extremism








Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa





Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Pakistan generals plotted 26/11 along with JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, reveals Abu Jundal: The handler of the November 26, 2008 (26/11) Mumbai terrorist attacks and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal has disclosed that LeT founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed used to often meet top Pakistan Army corps commanders in Pakistan to plan major terror strikes in India, including 26/11. In fact Jundal claims that at one such meeting, top Army officers categorically instructed Saeed that the Mumbai case (26/11) should be a fidayeen (suicide) attack, and that no one should be caught alive.

He also told his interrogators that the planning for 26/11 started long back but a final team to monitor the attack, with different tasks, was formed one year before the strike. Jundal, source said, was kept out of some meetings in which Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi were present and he was given the task of teaching Hindi to the 10 terrorists and explaining the locations in Mumbai to them. Asian Age, July 19, 2012; Times of India, July 20, 2012.

''Enough evidence for Pak to prosecute 26/11 masterminds'', asserts Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur: Insisting that there is enough evidence to prosecute November 26, 2008 (26/11) Mumbai attacks perpetrators, India on July 18, said that Pakistan must take action on the proof provided to it. Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur commented, "We certainly press on all the time to Pakistan that they must bring the perpetrators to book. We feel that there was enough evidence and that they should take that into account to bring them to book". PTI, July 19, 2012.

'Won't allow al Qaeda foothold in Jammu and Kashmir', says GOC 15 Corps: Lieutenant General Om Prakash, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Army's Srinagar based 15 Corps, maintaining that situation in Kashmir is stable and peaceful, said on July 19 that Army will not allow international terror group al Qaeda to establish its foothold in the Valley. "No al Qaeda will come here, we assure you that. Until our security forces are here, we will not allow them to be here," the GOC asserted. Daily Excelsior, July 20, 2012.

Nagaland Chief Minister proposes NSCN interim Government in Nagaland, says report: The Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is believed to have proposed to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to form an interim Government in Nagaland taking representatives from all factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) outfits and hold the State Assembly elections after a gap of at least a year or two to restore permanent peace and stability in the State. During his close door meeting with the Prime Minister on June 27, Rio is reported to have readily offered to resign at any point of time for the interest of peace and stability in Nagaland. Kangla Online, July 19, 2012.

Naxals have set up weapons testing laboratories in the Abujmaad forests of Chhattisgarh, says report: National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Central intelligence agencies have information that Naxals [Left-Wing Extremists] have set up weapons testing laboratories in the Abujmaad forests of Chhattisgarh. "We did get some leads during Techie Anna's [RK] interrogation but then more intelligence was developed following which we got concrete information that Naxals were developing dangerous weapons through R&D at these laboratories. Now we trying to trace their exact location," a senior investigating official said.. Deccan Chronicle, July 17, 2012.


CPN-UML Janajati leaders relieved of responsibilities: The Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) relieved around a dozen Janajati (indigenous people) leaders of their responsibilities for what it termed their "non-compliance with the party's official position on federalism" and for remaining absent in party meetings for a long time. However, the leaders will continue to hold their party posts until another decision is taken, according to party leaders. ekantipur, July 20, 2012.


47 civilians and three SFs among 51 persons killed during the week in Karachi: At least seven people were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on July 21.

At least six people, including a World Health Organisation (WHO) doctor, were killed in Karachi on July 20.

At least 11 persons, including two Policemen, Jama'at Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader and a State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) employee, were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on July 19.

11 persons, including a Policeman and a former Sunni Tehreek (ST) cadre, were killed in separate incidents of target killing in Karachi on July 18.

At least seven persons, including a criminal, an activist of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Awami National Party (ANP) and Jama'at-e-Islami (JeI), were killed in separate acts of target killing in Karachi on July 17.

Six people were killed in separate violent incidents that took place in Karachi on July 16. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 17-23, 2012.

25 civilians and 16 militants among 42 persons killed during the week in FATA: Fighter jets bombed suspected militant hideouts in Dabori area of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on July 22, killing 15 militants and injuring eight others.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive laden vehicle near the house of a pro-Government militant 'commander' Maulvi Nabi, killing at least nine persons, including four children, three of them being girls, and injuring 13 others, in a war of attrition between two militant outfits in Speen Tall area of Orakzai Agency on July 21.

Three bullet-riddled dead bodies were found in different areas of Bajaur Agency on July 19.

At least 12 Shiite Muslims were killed when a roadside bomb hit their minibus at Spai village in the Orakzai Agency on July 18. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer , July 17-23, 2012.

15 militants and nine civilians among 24 persons killed during the week in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Four people, including three members of the same family, died and eight others suffered injuries when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was detonated using a remote-controlled device near a pick-up truck in Doog Darra area of Upper Dir District on July 21.

At least three unidentified dead bodies, including that of a young girl, were found in different parts of Peshawar on July 19.

At least six militants were killed when Security Forces (SFs) retaliated to a militants' attack on the Gambhir and Arandu security checkposts in Chitral District on July 18.

At least five militants were killed in a clash with SFs when they attacked a Frontier Constabulary (FC) checkpost in Dhand area of Thall tehsil (revenue unit) of Hangu District on July 17.

Four militants were killed in July 16 militants' attack on a Police Station in Bannu city. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 17-23, 2012

Balochistan, though foreign abetted, is an internal issue for the State and people of Pakistan to resolve, says PM Raja Parvez Ashraf: Prime Minister (PM) Raja Parvez Ashraf on July 17 said that the turbulence in Balochistan, though foreign abetted, is an internal issue for the State and people of Pakistan to resolve. The Prime Minister said all our friends interested to bring about peace in this region are expected to respect the sovereignty of Pakistan and the aspirations of more than 95% people of Balochistan, who are as patriotic Pakistanis as in any other part of the country. Pakistan Observer July 18, 2012.

ISI's political cell is illegal, rules Supreme Court: The Government may not have been willing to produce evidence of the existence of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)'s notorious political cell, but the Supreme Court still declared on July 16 that the cell, if it did, or does, exist, was illegal. The Supreme Court adjudged the political cell 'void ab initio' - that is, null and void from the start. The decision was taken in a petition dealing with the ISI's direct manipulation of the 1990 general elections - a petition commonly referred to as the Asghar Khan petition. Tribune, July 17, 2012.

JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed makes informal entry into Pakistan politics: Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder and Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who has a USD 10 million bounty on his head and is an accused in November 26, 2008 (26/11) Mumbai terror attacks, has made his informal entry in the political arena by moving the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the Pakistan's corruption-riddled and profligate ruling elite through his first ever ''political-focused'' petition. Sources claimed that JuD leadership has made up its mind to get involved in political-oriented issues step-by-step and the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) forum was one part of the well-devised strategic chain of political agenda. Indian Express, July 17, 2012.

US House of Representatives wants Haqqani Network branded as terrorists: The US House of Representatives on July 17 urged the US State Department to designate the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist group. On a voice vote, US lawmakers approved a bill that referred to the Haqqani network as "the most dangerous of Afghan insurgent groups battling US-led forces in eastern Afghanistan". Daily Times, July 19, 2012.

US House of Representatives cut USD 650 million from its military aid to Pakistan: The US House of Representatives on July 19 cut USD 650 million from its military aid to Pakistan amid warnings that the move will send a wrong message to the Pakistani people. Senior Republican lawmakers claimed that they were trying to tamp down demands for still deeper reductions because of conservative anger at Pakistan's policies. Dawn, July 20, 2012.


Recent unrest in Vavuniya Prison was a conspiracy with links to the LTTE, says Police: Police have gathered information that the recent unrest in the Vavuniya Prison was a conspiracy with links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) international network and it was the same evil forces that tried to mask the particular incident by Vavuniya prison inmates, as a humanitarian act, Police Media spokesman SP Ajith Rohana in a special press release announced on July 17. As reported earlier, the incident occurred when three prison officials were held hostage for 19 hours by inmates during a protest by prisoners at the Vavuniya remand prison against the transfer of a suspected LTTE prisoner to another location. Daily News, July 18, 2012.

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.

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