SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 9, No. 18, November 8, 2010
assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form
with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
their assault on religious places across Pakistan, Islamist
terrorists killed at least 98 people, including 18 children,
and injured another 87, in two separate attacks on November
5, 2010. In the first incident, a 16-year-old suicide
bomber attacked a Friday congregation at the Sunni Wali
Mohammad Mosque in the Darra Adamkhel area of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (KP, formerly known as North
West Frontier Province), immediately killing 65 people
and injuring 70. The death toll increased to 95, after
27 of the injured died on November 6. The mosque is
located about one kilometre from the main Security Forces’
(SFs) camp set up in a degree college.
second incident, at least three persons were killed
and 17 were injured in a grenade attack on a Sunni mosque
in Sulemankhel area of Badbher near Peshawar, the Provincial
capital of KP. The assailants attacked the mosque with
two grenades when isha (evening) prayers were
being offered there. Earlier, on October 25, a bomb
explosion at the eastern gate of the Baba Farid Shrine
(a Sufi shrine) in Pakpattan District of Punjab killed
at least six persons, including three women, and injured
to partial data compiled by the Institute for Conflict
Management, a total of 929 persons have been killed,
and at least 1,930 have been injured in 61 such incidents since 2002. These
include 37 major incidents, each accounting for three
or more than three fatalities. While KP has recorded
the maximum number (21) of such attacks, it is followed
by Punjab (13), FATA (11), Sindh (11), Balochistan (4)
and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (1).
fatalities and the number of incidents have witnessed
an year by year rise since 2007, when Islamist terrorism
gained momentum within Pakistan, in the aftermath of
the Lal Masjid Operation. While
85 persons were killed in six such incidents in
2007, 2008 witnessed 100 killings in 12 incidents. In
2009, the number of fatalities spiked to 277 in 17 attacks
at places of worship. 2010 has, so far (till
November 7), already seen 278 fatalities in 10 incidents.
Some of the most prominent attacks since 2002, involving
20 or more killings, include:
23, 2010: 26 persons, including a former member of the
National Assembly (NA) were killed and 40 others injured
when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Sunni
mosque in Wana town of South Waziristan Agency in FATA.
2010: At least 100 worshippers were killed and 92 others
injured as seven assailants, including three suicide
bombers, attacked Ahmadiyya places of worship in the
Model Town and Garhi Shahu areas of Lahore in Punjab.
18, 2010: At least 30 persons, including a Lashkar-e-Islam
'commander', were killed and 110 others injured in a
suicide attack near a Sunni mosque in Akakhel area of
Tirah valley in the Khyber Agency of FATA.
4, 2009: 40 persons, including 17 children, besides
serving and retired Army officers and personnel, were
killed and over 86 injured, when a Friday congregation
at the Parade Lanes (Sunni) mosque in Rawalpindi in
Punjab was attacked by a group of terrorists.
5, 2009: A suicide bomber killed 49 worshippers, including
12 children, at a Sunni mosque in a remote village of
the Upper Dir District of KP.
5, 2009: A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance
of an Imambargah (Shia place of worship) at Chakwal
in Punjab province, killing 24 people, including three
children, and injuring 140 others.
27, 2009: 83 persons, including 16 Security Force (SF)
personnel, were killed and over 100 were injured in
a suicide attack on a Sunni mosque at Peshawar-Torkham
Highway in the Jamrud sub-division of Khyber Agency
5, 2009: 32 persons were killed and 48 others wounded
when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself amidst
a crowd of Shia worshippers outside a mosque in Dera
Ghazi Khan in the Punjab Province.
5, 2008: A car bomb explosion outside an Imambargah
near the Qisakhwani Bazaar in Peshawar killed at least
34 persons and injured more than 150.
21, 2007: At least 50 persons were killed and 80 others
injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the
midst of worshippers offering Eid al-Adha (the
Festival of Sacrifice) prayers at the Markazi Jamia
Masjid Sherpao, a Shia mosque, in Charsadda, 20-kilometres
2005: At least 25 people, including a suspected suicide
bomber, were killed and approximately 100 sustained
injuries by a powerful explosion at the Bari Imam shrine
of the Shia sect located in vicinity of the diplomatic
enclave in Islamabad.
1, 2004: At least 31 people were killed and 75 sustained
injuries in a suspected suicide bombing during the Friday
prayers at a Shia mosque at Sialkot in Punjab.
2004: At least 24 worshippers were killed and 34 sustained
injuries when a high-intensity bomb exploded during
the evening prayers at a Shia mosque situated on the
MA Jinnah Road in Karachi in Sindh.
4, 2003: At least 53 persons were killed and 57 were
injured as three armed terrorists, including a suspected
suicide bomber, attacked the Friday prayers at a Shia
mosque in Quetta, capital of Balochistan Province.
of these attacks have been sectarian in nature, and
have been carried out by Sunni terrorist groups such
as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
(LeJ) though their motivation
varies. The suicide bombing in Darra Adamkhel, for instance,
is believed to be the outcome of rivalry between two
militant groups struggling for establishing their influence
in the area. Darra Adamkhel is a major arms manufacturing
hub. Security officials in Peshawar said they suspected
that the Tariq Afridi Group led by the chief of the
TTP in the Khyber Agency, Tariq Afridi, carried out
the attack. Their target, the officials claimed, was
the Government backed Momin Afridi group led by Momin
Khan Afridi, which had raised a lashkar (army)
and supported SF actions against militants loyal to
Tariq Afridi. The TTP, however, denied having any hand
in the attack and, instead, blamed ‘foreign agents’
fighting SFs in tribal areas.
other hand, claiming the May 28, 2010, attack at Lahore,
the TTP Punjab Chapter had declared, "Congratulations
to the whole nation on what the brave mujahedeen
(holy warriors) did yesterday in Garhi Shahu and Model
Town, Lahore. On the whole, we do like to encourage
the nation for increasing such activities, like targeted
killings of Qadianis, Shias, the political parties that
support them, as well as law enforcement agencies, the
Pakistan Army and other racist parties." TTP spokesman
Muhammad Omar, on May 29, had also warned the Muttahida
Qaumi Movement [MQM] of attacks, calling it a "terrorist
wing of Qadianis and Jews" and adding, "They are responsible
for destruction of the country and the nation. We are
encouraging assassination attacks on everyone who is
with the MQM."
amidst reports of expected military operation in the
North Waziristan Agency, the wrath of the terrorists
against civilians allegedly supporting Government Forces
is bound to grow and, consequently, so will the attacks.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government, for instance, on
November 5, warned that the terrorists could carry out
‘more sabotage activities’ in parts of the Province
and FATA. Religious places, being soft targets, are
most at risks.
on places of worship reflect the virulence of Islamist
and sectarian terrorism in Pakistan, as well as the
utter failure of the state to protect its populations,
and particularly its vulnerable minorities.
the Season of Falling Flowers
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
writhes through an interminable political crisis, the
Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), former armed rebels
and now the main Opposition party, has also plunged into
a deep internal dispute. The ongoing prime ministerial
elections, which have so far witnessed 16 rounds, are
the most significant provocation for the rising internal
dissension, with some Maoist leaders demanding a change
in the party’s prime ministerial candidate – currently
party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda
– while other continue to back him unconditionally.
in June 2010 disclosed that Vice Chairman (VC)
Baburam Bhattarai was preparing grounds inside and outside
the party to garner support for his candidature as PM.
Standing Committee (SC) members Barsa Man Pun, Top Bahadur
Rayamajhi and Giriraj Mani Pokhrel had publicly spoke
in Bhattarai’s favor, arguing that Prachanda had already
been tested. However, the faction led by another VC, Mohan
Baidhya and Post Bahadur Bogati, were trying to sabotage
differences among the leaders, and directly between Prachanda
and Bhattarai, came into the open when Baburam Bhattarai
separately addressed cadres of the UCPN-M at Biratnagar
on October 31, 2010, declaring, "I was ready to be
Prime Minister if the people wanted him to find a solution
to the problems confronting the country." He, however,
conceded that the purpose of the meeting was not to promote
‘groupism’ inside the party, but that, "There is
nothing unusual in meeting cadres of an open party like
the UCPN-M. It will be too hasty to start counting the
number of the cadres present in the meeting at the moment."
by this, Prachanda and another VC, Kiran Baidhya, demanded
that Bhattarai clear his stance within the party. Bhattarai
responded by clarifying that, "The meeting was aimed
not only to clarify his political stance and documents
but also to meet and discuss with the party cadres."
However, in one meeting at Kathmandu, on October 5, Bhattarai
had claimed that the party would never split and urged
the public not to believe rumors.
among Maoist leaders had emerged when, in March 2010,
the UCPN-M was planning to topple the Government headed
by Madhav Kumar Nepal of the Communist Party of Nepal-United
Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML). In the Standing Committee
(SC) meeting of the UCPN-M on March 15, 2010, the party
split into two groups – one, headed by Prachanda, supporting
the no-confidence motion against the Madhav Kumar Nepal
Government and the other, headed by Bhattarai and Baidhya,
opposing the move. At the same meeting, however, it was
decided that the party would opt for a signature campaign
on filing the no-confidence motion. Bhattarai, however,
refused to sign and urged the party to secure the support
of other parties before filing the motion. On March 17,
2010, Prachanda declared at a meeting in the Nepalgunj
District, "We have not decided yet whether we would
register the no-confidence motion". On the same day,
Bhattarai chose to emphasize "a national unity Government",
arguing, "We are for the Constitution, not the Government."
then declared a programme of nationwide protests against
the Government, to commence from May 1, 2010. However,
some 208 cadres and combatants of the party, including
44 commanders from the cantonments of Kailali, Surkhet
and Rolpa Districts, defected to the Sanghiye Rashtriya
Loktantrik Manch on April 28, 2010, insisting that the
protests would lead to anarchy and provoke violence. This
development deepened the internal crisis within the UCPN-M
even further. Nevertheless, the subsequent nationwide
protests by the Maoists succeeded in pressurizing the
CPN-UML to write to the PM on May 5, to resign from his
post. Subsequently, Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned on June
30, 2010. However, some 75 national level Maoist leaders
tendered their resignation in the Dhanusha District on
August 6, 2010, demonstrating their disappointment over
what they said was a ‘one-sided decision’ by ‘party headquarters’.
instances reelecting differences and discontentment within
the UCPN-M include:
4, 2010: Prachanda made a statement accusing India of
proposing Baburam Bhattarai as the next PM.
6, 2010: SC meeting reiterated that Prachanda would continue
to lead the party.
2010: An SC meeting decided to keep options open on an
alternative to Prachanda’s candidature..
2010: Prachanda claimed that the Nepali Congress (NC)
demanded his leadership in the new Government.
15, 2010, the party was polarized during a politburo members’
meeting to discuss party’s future strategy, formation
of a national Unity Government and the alternative to
Prachanda’s leadership. During the meeting, Prachanda
stated that hopes of a Maoist-led national Unity Government
were failing, hinting that the party might sit in the
Opposition. Bhattarai, however, expressed his reservations
on the ‘Prachanda document’, arguing that a Maoist-led
Government remained possible, and a simultaneous struggle
from the streets and Parliament should be initiated to
achieve the goal. He stressed, further, that "the
party should be open to find Prachanda’s alternative".
Here, Mohan Baidhya had opposed Bhattarai, declaring that
the party was not open to a search for an alternative
to Prachanda’s leadership.
of opinion on party leadership resurfaced during the first
round of PM elections, held on July 21, 2010. Significantly,
Prachanda had filed his nomination despite the headquarters’
- a seven member committee – indifference to the nomination
process. According to media reports, an unnamed politburo
member close to Prachanda had stated, "Bhattarai’s
opposition is irrelevant and absurd. The party will interrogate
Bhattarai." On the other hand, the Bhattarai faction
believed that the party could have formed a Government
under its leadership if Bhattarai had filed candidacy.
failing to secure the majority necessary to form the Government,
the Bhattarai faction has secured the space to prove its
point. On August 4, 2010, in a meeting of office bearers’,
Bhattarai floated the idea of a ‘new course’ to end the
electoral process and amend parliamentary regulations.
Unsurprisingly, the idea was turned down by the Prachanda
faction on the grounds that, "CPN-UML wants us to
withdraw to pave the way for a consensus Government, but
it is irrelevant at this point." In this meeting,
two points of view crystallized. The Prachanda faction
reasoned that, due to the NC’s opposition, a consensus
Government was impossible even if the ‘new course’ was
adopted. The Bhattarai faction, on the other hand, reiterated
the position that a Unity Government was possible with
Bhattarai as candidate: "NC, CPN-UML and foreign
forces have said they do not trust chairman Prachanda
due to his performance when he was PM. They would support
the Central Committee (CC) meeting of the UCPN-M kicked
off on August 25, 2010, with significant dissatisfaction
being voiced on Prachanda’s report, which emphasized the
need to intensify the struggle in the streets, Parliament
and Government, to push the ‘peace process’ to a ‘logical
conclusion’, draft a people-oriented Constitution and
safeguard national independence. The critique insisted
that the Prachanda document did not define any clear roadmap
to secure these objectives. Prachanda was criticized by
Party Headquarters for his working style mainly his monopoly
in decision making. "Dahal is taking important decisions
without consulting anyone in the party", a CC Member
disclosed on condition of anonymity. Here again, Bhattarai
and Mohan Baidhya presented two separate reports on the
future strategy of the party. In his report, Baidhya stressed
the need to focus on the people’s struggle and safeguarding
national independence. Bhattarai emphasized that the ongoing
peace process needed to be concluded in the spirit of
the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
and that the party had to focus on drafting the new Constitution
to bring about socio-economic transformation in the country.
At a time
when the party leadership is under fire for being ‘revisionist’
and polarized into two (principal) blocs, Baidhya’s ideas
have been endorsed by SC members such as Krishna Bahdur
Mahara and Dev Gurung and politburo member Pampha Bhusal,
suggesting the emergence of a third bloc within the UCPN-M.
a group of politburo members including Pampha Bhusal,
Hitman Shakya, Agni Sapkota and Haibol Gajurel, has voiced
the demand for a "centralized leadership based on
in the communist movement in Nepal in general, and the
Maoist movement in particular, are nothing new. The UCPN-M
has already been divided into several factions after the
abolition of the monarchy on April 24, 2006. The Madheshi
Janatantrik Forum (MJF), Janatantrik Terai
Mukti Morcha- Jwala Singh faction (JTMM-J), JTMM-G and the Matrika Yadav-led
Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, all, defected from the
parent UCPN-M. With disagreements among Maoist leaders
deepening at a time when the country is straining for
political stability, the war within the UCPN-M may well
bring the most fractious elements within the party to
the fore, leading to a power struggle that may well push
the country towards another disaster.
Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
Jammu and Kashmir
data compiled from English language media sources.
surrender policy for PoK returnees: As
part of its outreach in Jammu and Kashmir, the Ministry
of Home Affairs (MHA) has finalized the surrender policy for
those who have crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)
and now want to return even though the initiative will not
offer an unqualified general amnesty. Times of India, November
may take over control of tribal areas: The
Union Government is exploring ways for taking over the administration
in tribal-dominated regions, with Attorney General G. E. Vahanvati holding
that Governors have the power to act independently of the
State Governments in the matter. Times of India, November
LTTE is still
active, says Additional Solicitor-General A.S. Chandhikok:
on November 1 maintained that there is enough material on
record for extending the ban on the militant outfit Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for another two years from May
14, 2010 under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention)
Act. Additional Solicitor-General A.S. Chandhikok made this
submission before Justice Vikramajit Sen of the Delhi High
Court, who constitutes the one-man tribunal hearing arguments
on the validity of the notification extending the ban.
Hindu, November 2, 2010.
Progress by Pakistan
in tackling terror not quick as we like, says US President
Barack Obama: US
President Barack Obama on November 7 said the progress by
Pakistan in fighting terrorism is not quick as "we would like"
and asserted that they were working with Islamabad to eradicate
extremism which is a "cancer". Noting that there are going
to be some elements in Pakistan that are affiliated with Taliban,
al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), he said they are "irreconcilable"
and there needs to be a military response to those who perpetrate
violence like they did in Mumbai ]26/11] and New York [9/11]
in a "significant, ongoing" way. He, however, stressed that
a stable Pakistan and peaceful Pakistan would be in India's
interest. Times of India, November
and eight militants among 111 persons killed during the week
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Three
militants were killed in an encounter with Security Forcers
(SFs) in Jawaki area of Frontier Region of Kohat District
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on November 6.
on two mosques, one at Juma congregation in Darra Adamkhel
and the other at Isha (evening) prayers in Badbher near Peshawar,
left at least 68 persons dead and another 87 injured on November
5. The death toll in the suicide attack on mosque in Darra
Adam Khel reached 95 on November 6, as 27 injured persons
succumbed to injuries. Dawn; Daily Times; The
News, November 2-8, 2010.
and five civilians among 75 persons killed during the week
in FATA: 12 suspected
militants were killed in two US drone attacks within an hour
in the Dandi Sedgai and Dattakhel areas of North Waziristan
Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
on November 7. Separately, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP) publicly executed three tribesmen at an open area on
a road near a gas station in Miranshah of NWA after accusing
them of spying for the US.
were killed and five others injured when helicopter gunships
pounded their hideouts in Andar Mella, Malokhel and Saidkhel
villages of Orakzai Agency on November 6.
militants were killed and seven others injured when helicopter
gunships pounded militant hideouts in Dabori area of Orakzai
Agency on November 4.
Three US drones
fired missiles into militant hideouts in different areas of
NWA on November 3, killing 13 militants and injuring several
At least 17
suspected militants were killed and 10 others injured when
helicopters attacked the Dwezai area in Mohmand Agency on
1, at least 12 suspected militants were killed while nine
others were injured during shelling by the SFs gunship helicopters
in Gowak, Haindara and Atam Ankhel areas of Orakzai Agency.
Also, six suspected militants were killed and 10 others injured
when US drones fired two missiles on their hideout in Haider
Khel village in Mir Ali tehsil (revenue unit) of NWA.
Dawn; Daily Times; The
News, November 2-8, 2010.
Al Qaeda vows
to take revenge on the US: Al Qaeda, in
a message released on November 4, vowed revenge on the United
States for awarding an 86-year jail sentence to a Pakistani
woman, Aafia Siddiqui, on September 23. Siddiqui
was convicted of attacking her American interrogators in Ghazni
Province of Afghanistan on July 17, 2008.
Daily Times, November
US impose sanctions
on Pakistan-based militant outfits: The United
States on November 4 imposed sanctions on two Pakistan-based
militant outfits and a key militant leader for November 26,
2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks (also known as 26/11). The Treasury
Department said it targeted the financial and support networks
of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). It also
designated Azam Cheema, one of LeT’s leading ‘commanders’
who was involved in 26/11 and 2006 Mumbai attacks.
Daily Times, November
No NATO aircraft
violated Pakistan’s airspace, says United States embassy:
about the news reports claiming that a NATO aircraft "violated"
Pakistan’s airspace in the Burqi and Kharlaci areas of Khurram
Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas on November
2, the United States Embassy in Islamabad on November 3 said
that the accusation is entirely false. Daily Times, November
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