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SAIR Archive            SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW          LATEST ON SATP
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 15, No. 50, June 12, 2017

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


INDIA
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NSCN-K: Decisive Moment, Uncertain Outcomes
Nijeesh N.
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang widely known as S.S. Khaplang, the ‘chairman’ of the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) died in the evening of June 9, 2017, after a prolonged illness in a hospital at Taga in the Sagaing Division of Myanmar. Confirming his death, Indian intelligence sources disclosed that Khaplang, who belonged to the Hemi Naga tribe, had lately moved to Taga, the NSCN-K’s headquarters, from his native village Waktham, east of the Pangsau Pass on the Arunachal Pradesh-Myanmar border. According to reports, Khaplang is likely to be buried near the ‘NSCN-K Council Headquarters' in Taga in Myanmar on June 12, 2017. Athong Makury from the 'Council of Naga Affairs (CNA), the apex body of Naga people in Myanmar, announced on June 11 that the funeral would take place in the presence of “revolutionary parties of WESEA Region and civil representatives from all the Naga inhabited areas.”

Media reports citing ‘sources within’ NSCN-K meanwhile stated that the ‘vice-chairman’ of the outfit, Khango Konyak, would replace Khaplang as the new ‘chairman’. Khango Konyak was elected as ‘vice-chairman’ of the outfit on May 20, 2011 and Khaplang had earlier issued a statement declaring, “Konyak stood steadfast for the rights of the Naga people through thick and thin.” Nevertheless, a power struggle remains a possibility, with reports also indicating that ‘brigadier’ Peyong Konyak, and senior leader Akhio Konyak were also contenders for the next NSCN-K ‘chairman’.

Unlike Khaplang who was a Hemi Naga from Myanmar, Khango Konyak is a Konyak Naga from the Mon District of Nagaland. As one of the senior cadres in the outfit, Khango Konyak was known as Khaplang’s ‘most trusted man’. Khaplang, who has not been keeping well for some time had entrusted all administration and public affairs of the outfit to Khango Konyak. Most visiting delegations to NSCN­K’s base camp at Taga had been meeting with Khango Konyak. Though the Indian nationality of Khango Konyak is an advantage for New Delhi to reach out to him in order to get NSCN-K back into ceasefire mode, his defiant stand in the past will be a major hurdle, as he has expressed reservations on the ceasefire process with India.

Khaplang’s death will certainly hamper the ‘peace talks’ between the Government and NSCN-K, which began recently. Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu disclosed, in his condolence message, that the State Government had recently sent delegations to meet the NSCN-K leadership in Myanmar to convince the group to re-enter into the peace process with the Government of India to find an early solution to the Naga political problem: "And it was encouraging to learn that Mr Khaplang had, a few months back, conveyed his willingness to have dialogue with the Government provided ‘issues of substance’ were discussed.”

Khaplang is believed to have exercised huge influence over the Myanmarese authorities. On April 9, 2012, NSCN-K signed a ceasefire agreement with the Myanmar Government, as a result of which NSCN-K members were given freedom to move 'unarmed' across the country. Khaplang exercised near untrammelled authority over vast ungoverned spaces along the Indo-Myanmar border, and a tacit agreement that preserved this influence had been in place with Myanmar’s military junta at least since 2001. Not only had Khaplang established long-standing military bases in the Sagaing region, he was able to provide safe haven and camps to a number of other militant formations operating in India’s Northeast. On January 10, 2017, Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP), Assam, L.R. Bishnoi observed, "Taking into account at least ten North-eastern rebel groups having their bases and hideouts in Myanmar, there should be close to 2,500 militants from the region in that country. Of them NSCN-K alone has a little over 1,000 men, followed by around 260 of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), 230 of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and a little over 200 of the Independent faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I).” Significantly, on July 16, 2016, during the first India-Myanmar Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) Meeting held in New Delhi, India reportedly asked Myanmar to hand over four top NSCN-K leaders, including S.S. Khaplang, ‘military commander’, ‘military advisor’ Niki Sumi, ‘brigadier’ Kurichu Pochury, and ‘kilonser’ Y. Asang.

The top leadership of the NSCN-K remains inside Myanmar. It is to be seen what impact Khaplang’s death will have on their relationship with the Myanmar Government. NSCN-K’s operational capabilities in India’s Northeast depend heavily on their presence and safe havens in Myanmar. 

NSCN-K, along with the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), was formed on April 30, 1988, when the principal split within the parent National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) took place. Clannish divisions among the Nagas (Konyak and Tangkhul) were the primary reason for the fracture. The Konyak and Pangmei (Naga tribes largely found in Myanmar) dominated NSCN-K under the leadership of Khole Konyak and ‘Chairman’ S.S. Khaplang. NSCN-IM constituted the mainly Tangkhul faction, and was led by ‘president’ Isak Chisi Swu and T. Muivah. Other prominent leaders of the undivided NSCN-K were ‘general secretary’ N. Kitovi Zhimomi and ‘publicity secretary’ Akaho Asumi. On November 23, 2007, several NSCN-IM cadres led by its one-time ‘home minister’ Azheto Chopey broke away from the group and formed a new outfit called the NSCN – Unification (NSCN-U) also known as Neokpao–Khitovi faction of NSCN (NSCN-NK). The NSCN-K split further in 2011 when two senior founding leaders of the outfit N. Kitovi Zhimoni, the Ato Kilonser (Prime Minister) and Khole Konyak, broke away to form a new group called Khole-Kitovi faction of NSCN (NSCN-KK).

On April 28, 2001, NSCN-K signed a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India (GoI). The splinter NSCN-KK signed a ceasefire agreement with GoI on April 27, 2012, and these were extended annually. Meanwhile, NSCN-IM signed a ceasefire agreement for an indefinite period as well as an historic “framework agreement” with GoI on August 3, 2015.

Crucially, however, on March 27, 2015, NSCN-K unilaterally exited the ceasefire, declaring that “any ‘meaningful peace and political interaction’ between the two entities (NSCN-K and GoI) should be premised on the concept that Nagas were sovereign people”. Soon after, the Reformation faction of NSCN (NSCN-R) was formed on April 6, 2015, by two senior 'kilonsers' (ministers), Wangtin Konyak, also known as Y. Wangtin Naga, and T. Tikhak. The duo had attended the ceasefire supervisory board (CFSB) meeting at Chumukedima (Dimapur) on March 27, 2015, defying S.S. Khaplang’s diktat and were consequently ‘expelled’. A ceasefire agreement with NSCN-R was signed on April 27, 2015. The GoI recently renewed the ceasefire agreement with NSCN-R and NSCN-U, for a further period of one year with effect from April 28, 2017.

After the unilateral withdrawal from ceasefire agreement and a series of attacks on Security Forces (SFs), including the killing of 18 Army persons at Chandel in Manipur on June 4, 2015, by NSCN-K, GoI banned NSCN-K for five years, on September 16, 2015, under the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act (UAPA), 1967. Subsequently, on November 16, 2015, the Central Government declared NSCN-K a terrorist organization.

The ceasefire with NSCN-K, which was only enforceable within Nagaland, had hardly been peaceful. According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), the outfit was involved in at least 282 fatalities (25 civilian, eight SF personnel and 249 militants) between April 28, 2001, (the date of signing of the ceasefire agreement) and March 27, 2015, (the date of abrogation of the ceasefire) in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh. The large number of militant fatalities are at least partially an index of the turf wars between extremist formations, particularly including various factions of NSCN. After the abrogation of the ceasefire, NSCN-K has been found involved in several militant attacks in three Northeastern States – Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. According to partial data compiled by SATP, NSCN-K was linked to a total of 79 fatalities (seven civilians and 32 SFs personnel, and 40 NSCN-K militants) in the three States since March 27, 2015 (all data till June 10, 2017). During the same period, these three States had recorded a total of 208 fatalities (53 civilians and 56 SF personnel and 99 militants). NSCN-K was linked to 37.98 per cent of fatalities (12.5 per cent of civilian fatalities, 57 per cent of the SF fatalities and 40.4 per cent of the militant fatalities) among the at least 19 currently active groups in these three States.

Unsurprisingly, SFs had intensified their offensive against NSCN-K soon after the June 4, 2015, Chandel attack. At least 40 NSCN-K militants have since been killed. Among those neutralized were ‘captain’ Wangchuk and ‘2nd lieutenant’ Tokihe Yepthomi. SFs also arrested 128 NSCN-K militants, including 'health minister-cum-political advisor' Ngamsinlung Panmei and ‘captain’ Atoka aka Kughahoto Sema.

SFs have, indeed, succeeded in minimizing the immediate threat originating from NSCN-K. Khaplang’s death is likely to provide them further relief, at least till the leadership issue is clearly settled. Khaplang’s death will also open up leadership issues in the United National Liberation Front of West East South Asia (UNLFWESA) . Significantly, after suffering losses at the hands of the SFs in the region, various northeast militants groups, including ULFA-I, the IK Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-IKS); and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), had joined hands to work under the banner of the umbrella UNLFWESA, which was formed on April 17, 2015, in Myanmar, and mostly concentrated its increasing terror activities in the Indo-Myanmar border Districts. The Front, headed by S.S. Khaplang, was formed with the aim to set up a ‘northeast government-in-exile’, reportedly to be based in Myanmar.

Despite speculative assessments of a diminution of capabilities – even if transient – the NSCN-K capacities and threat remain formidable. Since the organisation’s principal infrastructure and cadre base lies in safe havens in Myanmar and is under no urgent threat – notwithstanding the showcasing of the June 9, 2015, operation ‘inside Myanmar’, a few kilometers beyond a notional border – the incentive to intensify the spiral of violence certainly remains.

Indeed, in the Northeast Security Review meeting, chaired by Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh, held at New Delhi on May 16, 2017 it was emphasized that five contiguous Districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland along the Indo-Myanmar border (Tirap, Changlang and Longding Districts of Arunachal; and Mon and Tuensang Districts of Nagaland) had emerged as the hub of the ‘last remaining militants’ in the Northeast. Significantly, on June 6, 2017, Major David Manlun of the Army's 1st Naga Regiment, who was on deputation to the 164th Territorial Army, a civilian and three militants were killed during an encounter in an area between Lapa Lempong and Oting villages near the Tizit Subdivision of Mon District in Nagaland, along the India-Myanmar border. Three troopers were also critically injured in the encounter. Following information about the presence of militants belonging to the ULFA-I and NSCN-K in the area, SFs launched an operation, during which they were targeted. Army sources disclosed that the militants had sneaked in from Myanmar into Mon District to carry out attacks against Army personnel. Two AK-56 rifles, an AK-47 rifle, nine magazines, 277 rounds of ammunition, two hand grenades, four mobile handsets, medicines, blankets, sharp weapons and other warlike stores were recovered from the encounter site. 

More worryingly, activities like extortion and illegal 'tax collection', which provide the oxygen for the survival for these militant formations remain widespread. On April 26, 2017, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested three senior officials of the Nagaland Government for their alleged role in large-scale extortion and illegal 'tax collection' on behalf of the NSCN-K from various Government Departments. On August 1, 2016, NIA registered a case following the arrest of an NSCN-K militant, S. Khetoshe Sumi, from Dimapur on July 31, 2016. The subsequent probe revealed that at least 12 Government departments in the State regularly paid huge amounts of money to members of NSCN-K and other militant organizations, including NSCN-IM, NSCN-R, Naga National Council (NNC), among others. Subsequently, on May 4, 2017, in a statement issued to the media, NSCN-K declared that it would not tolerate any departmental authorities collaborating with NIA and threatened ‘punitive actions’ against those ‘conniving’ with the agency. NSCN-K also asserted that it would continue to levy ‘reasonable and affordable taxes’ on the people for the sustenance of their ‘national struggle’.

There can be no ambiguity in the Government’s strategy to deal with NSCN-K. Any attempt to enter into formal talks with the outfit must be preceded by an unequivocal assurance from the group that it will not engage in armed violence, and any agreement to this effect would need to be implemented in toto on the ground. 

AFGHANISTAN
PAKISTAN
USA
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What Pakistan Wants
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

In a scathing commentary on Pakistan’s direct role in Afghanistan’s continuing misery, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani declared that Afghanistan could not “figure out” Pakistan’s intention. Delivering a speech at the first meeting of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation on June 6, 2017, Ghani stated,
… We want to be able to trust Pakistan. And we want the chance for friendly, cooperative relationships that will reduce poverty and promote growth on both sides of the Durand line. Our problem, our challenge, is that we cannot figure out what is it that Pakistan wants. What will it take to convince Pakistan that a stable Afghanistan helps them and helps our region? We continue to make an unconstrained offer for a state-to-state peace dialogue. But we cannot – nor can any signatory to the UN Counter-Terrorism Convention – accept that the global consensus against terrorism is not acted upon. So we again call on the Government of Pakistan to propose its agenda and a mechanism for that dialogue which can lead to peace and prosperity…

The meeting was attended by representatives of 24 countries and three international entities, the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations (UN). Explaining the Kabul Process, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website says “while multiple fora have been held to help with peace and security in Afghanistan and the region over the past few years… the purpose of the Kabul conference is to place the Afghan Government as the key driving force for achieving peace, with the earnest support of regional and international partners.”

Meanwhile, in the most recent assertion of Pakistan’s direct role in terror activities inside Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security in a statement released on May 31, 2017, noted, “The plan for today's [Wednesday's] attack was drawn up by the Haqqani network with direct coordination and cooperation from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)." The statement referred to the May 31, 2017, suicide attack in Kabul, referred to as one of the deadliest attacks in Kabul since 2001, in which at least 150 people were killed and over 400 other injured. Most of the victims were civilians. The explosion went off near Zanbaq Square in the Wazir Akbar Khan area, where most of the foreign embassies located. Though no fatalities among the foreign embassy people were reported, there were reports of damages to the buildings of some foreign embassies, including that of Germany, India, and Turkey. Reiterating Pakistan’s direct role in the attack, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), declared,
By killing innocent and destitute people today, the enemies of Afghanistan's peace and stability showed that they are not worthy of friendship and will not change their stance against Afghans. In light of findings of security services and calls by the Afghan people, the ACB hereby cancels all kinds of cricket matches and mutual relationship agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). No agreement of friendly matches and mutual relationship agreement is valid with a country where terrorists are housed and provided safe havens.

Indeed, the surge in violence against civilians across Afghanistan remains unabated. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in its latest quarterly report released on April 25, 2017, disclosed that, in the first quarter of 2017 (January 1 – March 31), it documented 2,181 civilian casualties (715 dead and 1,466 injured). During the corresponding period of 2016, according to the report released on April 17, 2016, UNAMA had documented 1,943 civilian casualties (600 deaths and 1,343 injured). UNAMA reports which categorize civilian casualties by “party to the conflict”, i.e., civilian fatalities by Anti-Government Elements (AGEs), Pro-Government Forces (PGFs), jointly by the AGEs and PGFs, and Unattributed Explosive Remnants of War, states that while AGEs were responsible for 60 per cent of the total casualties in the first quarter of 2016, their involvement increased to 62 per cent in 2017.  According to partial data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), at least another 240 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan since April 1, 2017 (data till June 9).    

Fatalities among Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) also continue to remain alarmingly high. According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s (SIGAR) quarterly report released on April 30, 2017, from January 1, 2017, through February 24, 2017, at least 807 ANDSF personnel were killed and 1,328 were wounded. SIGAR’s quarterly report released on April 30, 2016, had stated that in the first two months of 2016, at least 820 ANDSF personnel were killed in action and 1,389 were wounded.

Worryingly casualties among civilians and SF personnel have been constantly rising. According to UNAMA, civilian fatalities have increased, on year on year basis, since January 1, 2009, when UNAMA began systematically documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan, with an exception of 2012 when they declined marginally from 7,842 in 2011 to 7,590 in 2012. Also, according to the SIGAR report, at least 6,637 ANDSF personnel were killed and 12,471 wounded in 2015. The number of ANDSF personnel fatalities increased to 6,785 the period between January 1, 2016, and November 12, 2016. At least 11,777 personnel were wounded.

Though there is no authoritative data on the number of terrorists/insurgents killed in Afghanistan, according to partial data compiled by the ICM, this figure is also increasing, on year on year basis, since 2015. At least 6,030 militants were killed in 2014, rising to 10, 628 in 2015, and further to 11,469 in 2016. The current year has already seen at least 4,318 insurgent fatalities. Most of the militants killed belonged to the Taliban though, according to President Ghani, there are at least 20 international terrorist groups operating inside the country.

The emergence of Islamic State and the resultant turf war between the Taliban and the Islamic State has further worsened the security situation. According to the SIGAR quarterly report, as of February 20, 2017, insurgents controlled or influenced around 11 per cent of Afghanistan’s total territory. Significantly, insurgents were controlling or had influence over just six per cent of total territory in January 2016. Moreover, the Afghan Government, which controlled or had influence over 71 per cent of territory in January 2016, now controls or has influence over just 60 per cent of the territory. The ‘contested areas’ increased from 23 per cent in January 2016 to 29 per cent in February 2017.

Pakistan for long has been held responsible for Afghanistan’s prolonged torments by almost all who are in the know of developments in the region. Most recently, on April 17, 2017, US National Security Advisor Gen H.R. McMaster, stated,
As all of us have hoped for many, many years, we have hoped that Pakistani leaders will understand that it is in their interest to go after (militant) groups less selectively than they have in the past and the best way to pursue their interest in Afghanistan and elsewhere is through diplomacy and not through the use of proxies that engage in violence.

Thus far, however, Pakistan has evaded any meaningful penalty for sustaining its reprehensible strategies to rule Afghanistan through its proxies (Taliban). Indeed, Islamabad continues to receive funds for purportedly ‘waging war against terror’ and is also ceded a pivotal role in the Afghan peace process.

There are, nevertheless, some early signs of changes. The Kabul Process seeks to confer on Afghanistan the pivotal role in peace talks. Almost all the earlier initiatives, including the Qatar Process and the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) process had provided prominence to Pakistan. This was done primarily because Pakistan had deceived a willfully gullible international community into believing that peace could only be achieved by making the Taliban the principal stake holder in the talks process.  

Ironically, and despite the significant losses US and coalition Forces have suffered as a result of proxies operating from Pakistani soil, Washington has remained one of Pakistan’s principal backers, and forged  its Af-Pak policy on the assumption of centrality of Islamabad’s role and of bringing Taliban to the negotiating table. However, as SAIR has noted earlier, a US revaluation of its Af-Pak policy has been under consideration since Donald Trump assumed the Presidency. Indeed, during a press conference in Canberra, Australia, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis stated on June 5, 2017,
As far as Afghanistan goes, as Secretary Tillerson [US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson] said, the policy is under review, but at the same time we’re up against an enemy that knows that they cannot win at the ballot box, and you think – we have to sometimes remind ourselves of that reality. That’s why they use bombs, because ballots would ensure they never had a role to play, and based upon that foundation, that they cannot win the support, the affection, the respect of the Afghan people... But the bottom line is we’re not going to surrender civilization to people who cannot win at the ballot box..

Tillersons’s statement originally noted,
As to the Afghanistan policy which is still under development and review, so there is no conclusion… I think clearly, though, what we do understand is we can never allow Afghanistan to become a platform for terrorism to operate from. And so our commitment to Afghanistan is to ensure that it never becomes a safe haven for terrorists to launch attacks against the civilized world or against any other part of the world or any of their neighbors. And so this is really a question of what is the end state and how do we reach that end state, and that’s part of the policy review that is still under development so I don’t want to go further than I would say the thinking currently in the administration is, but other than to say we are committed to ensuring Afghanistan does not become that platform from which terrorist activities can be launched… [sic]

While the persisting incoherence of US policy is apparent in this statement, there are indications that the US may deny Taliban and Islamabad centrality in any process to secure a ‘political solution’ in Afghanistan. This would constitute a major shift in US policy, and a sustained commitment to such a posture would help Afghanistan emerge stronger. It would also help isolate Pakistan further. The critical question would then no longer be “What does Pakistan want?” Rather, Afghanistan would be helped to secure progressive control over its own destiny.


NEWS BRIEFS

Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
June 5-11, 2017

 

Civilians

Security Force Personnel

Terrorists/Insurgents

Total

BANGLADEH

 

Left-wing Extremism

0
0
2
2

BANGLADESH (Total)

0
0
2
2

INDIA

 

Jammu and Kashmir

0
1
13
14

Manipur

0
0
2
2

Meghalaya

0
0
2
2

Nagaland

1
1
3
5

Left-Wing Extremism

 

Jharkhand

2
0
1
3

Total (INDIA)

3
2
21
26

PAKISTAN

 

Balochistan

2
3
0
5

KP

1
0
0
1

Total (PAKISTAN)

3
3
0
6
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


INDIA

Pakistan is "preaching, practising, encouraging and nurturing terrorism", says India's counsellor at the Indian mission in Geneva: India has stated that Pakistan is preaching and nurturing terrorism. India’s counsellor at the Indian mission in Geneva Alok Jha said, "We would like to reiterate that India is not the only victim of Pakistan's preaching, practising, encouraging and nurturing terrorism. The deleterious impact of Pakistan's irresponsible and short-sighted approach of terrorism as state policy has started showing in other countries of South Asia and beyond. Internationally proscribed terrorist entities and their leaders continue to thrive in Pakistan with state support, even raising funds openly in flagrant violation of Pakistan's international obligations. Times of India, June 9, 2017.

ISI using shrine donations to fund terrorism in India, according to intelligence report: Intelligence agencies of Rajasthan Police have found that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) handlers allegedly set up donation boxes at places of worship, and use the money donated by devotees to fund terrorist activities in the border villages of the state. The sleuths unearthed the funding network while interrogating ISI spy Deena Khan, who was arrested last week from a remote village in Barmer District. Times of India, June 8, 2017.

Chinese agencies planning proxy war using Northeastern militants, says Police officials: Chinese agencies are trying to launch a proxy war with India by using the militant groups of the North East region and some of these plans came to light after a militant leader of Independent faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I), named Ron Asom, surrendered recently. Police sources further said that the inputs available with the security agencies indicate that the major militant groups of the region came into a common platform only after pressure from the Chinese agencies and now they have started operating together. Assam Tribune, June 8, 2017.

Former Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) 'commander' Zakir Musa slams Indian Muslims for not joining jihad, calls them 'world's most shameless': Former Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) ‘commander’ Zakir Musa, in his first message as an al-Qaeda operative, released an audio recording on June 5 slamming Indian Muslims for not joining Islamic jihad for 'Ghazwa-e-Hind' (the final and last battle for the conquest of India). Two senior Jammu and Kashmir Police officers confirmed it was Musa's voice. Invoking the recent "atrocities" against Muslims in India, Musa reiterated that the war was not just limited to Kashmir. "It's a war between Islam and the infidel," he declared in his first direct address to Indian Muslims in an audio clip shared via Telegram and WhatsApp groups. Times of India, June 6, 2017.


NEPAL

Adjudication of post-conflict justice delayed as related Acts of TRC and CIEDP await amendment from Parliament, say TRC and CIEDP Chairpersons: The Chairpersons of the two transitional justice mechanisms – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) –on said that the adjudication of post-conflict justice has been delayed as the related Acts of the two bodies await amendment from Parliament. Chairman of the TRC, Surya Kiran Gurung said although it was difficult to carry out work due to the lack of Act and resources, the Commission has started works by setting up its offices in all the seven provinces. My Republica, June 8, 2017.

NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba elected 40th Prime Minister: Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba was elected 40th Prime Minister of Nepal on June 6. In the Prime Ministerial election held in the Parliament, Deuba secured 388 votes, eight short of two-third majority in the 593-member Parliament. Only 558 lawmakers took part in the election. Lawmakers from Deuba’s NC, CPN-Maoist Centre, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Nepal Democratic Forum, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, CPN-United,   Samajbadi Janata Dal  and Akhanda Nepal Party were among those who voted for  Deuba, who was the sole candidate contesting the post. The Himalayan Times, June 7, 2017.


PAKISTAN

China likely to build overseas military base in Pakistan, says US Congress report: A Pentagon report released on June 6 singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base, as it forecast that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas after establishing a facility in the African nation of Djibouti. The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that saw advances throughout the Chinese military in 2016, funded by robust defense spending that the Pentagon estimated exceeded