SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 9, No. 23, Decemeber 13, 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
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
the latest incident in the Federally Administered Tribal
on December 6, 2010, at least 45 persons, including
tribal elders, Security Force (SF) personnel and journalists,
were killed and another 70 were injured, in a suicide
attack on a jirga (tribal council) being held
outside the office of the Assistant Political Agent,
Roshan Khan Mehsud, of the Mohmand Agency at Ghalanai,
the Agency headquarters. [The Political Agent is the
head of each Tribal Agency, representing the President
of Pakistan in FATA, as the tribal agencies are notionally
autonomous.] Among the dead were 12 Government officials
and eminent journalists Pervez Khan Mohmand, a correspondent
of Nawa-i-Waqt and the Waqt News, as well
as another journalist, Abdul Wahab, of Express
News. Tehsildar (revenue officer), Zabit
Khan, is among the injured.
to Shamsul Islam, the Mohmand Political Agent, a jirga
of the peace committee of the Alizai and Safi tribes
was in progress at the office to devise a strategy against
terrorism in the tribal region, when the two suicide
bombers tried to enter into the premises, but blew themselves
up when stopped by SF personnel.
‘chief’ of the Mohmand chapter of the Tehreek-e-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP), Umer Khalid, claiming responsibility
for the attack declared, "Our two suicide bombers
targeted people who were working against the Taliban
[TTP]. Those who will work against us and make lashkars
[tribal Army] or peace committees will be targeted.
Our war is to enforce Sharia [the sacred law
of Islam] and anyone who hinders our way or sides with
America will meet the same fate."
as the "most dangerous place on the earth"
Pakistan’s tribal areas have witnessed ever increasing
carnage. According to partial data compiled by the South
Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 5,023 persons,
including of 4,296 militants, 490 civilians and
237 SF personnel, were killed in 672 incidents
of killing in 2010 (all data till December 12), as compared
to 5,238 persons, including 4,252 militants, 636 civilians
and 350 SFs killed in 835 incidents of killing in 2009.
This indicates is a decline of 23 and 32.3 percent respectively
in the number of civilians and SFs killed in 2010, as
compared to 2009. Militants’ fatalities, on the other
hand, have risen marginally. The number of major incidents
(involving three or more killings) has decreased from
383 in 2009 to 369 in 2010.
in FATA: 2009- 2010
* Data: Till December 12, 2010
scrutiny of the data suggests that the decline in fatalities
does not reflect any dramatic trend towards improvement.
For instance, there were six suicide attacks in 2009,
in which 116 persons were killed and more than 169 were
injured; 2010 has already recorded 12 suicide attacks,
with 266 fatalities and over 361 injured. Such a trend
can only indicate rising radicalization and the raising
and training of the most extreme of fanatical cadres.
among the suicide attacks in FATA in 2010 were:
23: 26 persons, including a former member of the National
Assembly (NA), were killed and 40 were injured, when
a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque in
Wana town of South Waziristan Agency (SWA).
9: At least 106 persons, including women and children,
were killed and 69 were injured, as two suicide bombers
blew themselves up at political offices, just seconds
apart from each other, in the Yakka Ghund tehsil
(revenue unit) of Mohmand Agency.
18: At least 30 persons, including a Lashkar-e-Islam
'commander', were killed and 110 persons were injured
in a suicide attack near a mosque in the Akakhel area
of Tirah Valley in the Khyber Agency.
the number of bomb explosions has also increased, with
112 incidents recorded in 2009, resulting in 266 fatalities
and 393 injured, while there were 174 attacks in 2010,
resulting in 353 fatalities and 529 injured.
clearly reflects a shifting militant strategy, rather
than any loss of will or change in intent, even as the
TTP has been brought under pressure by sustained US
drone attacks as well as widespread and often indiscriminate
bombing campaigns by the Pakistani Forces. Reports indicate
that missile attacks by US drones in the FATA have more
than tripled since January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama
took over the Presidency in the US. According to a BBC
Urdu Service report published on July 24, 2010,
there were 25 drone strikes between January 2008 and
January 2009, in which slightly fewer than 200 people
were killed. In year 2010, drone attacks in FATA have
risen substantially, with partial SATP data recording
at least 82 such attacks, resulting in at least 719
fatalities in 2010. SATP data recorded 46 such attacks
in 2009, leaving 536 dead, indicating an increase of
34 percent in fatalities due to drone attacks in 2010.
The most significant drone attacks in 2010 include:
16: 20 alleged militants were killed when US drone missiles
hit a house and a speeding vehicle in Bangi Dar village
in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of FATA.
26: A US drone attacks killed at least 30 persons inside
Pakistan in areas near Miranshah in NWA.
21: At least 28 persons were killed in three US led
drone strikes in the remote areas of SWA and NWA.
15: At least 21 alleged militants, including 14 foreign
nationals, were killed when US drones carried out two
attacks on al
Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network
hideouts in NWA.
US drones killed 21 alleged TTP militants in two separate
strikes in the NWA.
17: A US drone strike killed at least 20 alleged TTP
militants, including foreign terrorists (Uzbeks), in
has succeeded in eliminating some leadership elements
in the target terrorist groups through drone attacks.
According to a report in The Long War Journal,
drone strikes have killed 15 senior and an equal number
of mid-level al Qaeda leaders, and four senior and five
mid-level Taliban/TTP leaders since 2004. Some of the
most significant kills include Baitullah Mehsud (former
TTP ‘commander’); Osama al Kini alias Fahid Mohammed
Ally Msalam (al Qaeda's operations chief for Pakistan);
Mustafa Abu Yazid alias Sheikh Saeed al Masri
(an al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan and top financial
controller); Mohammed Haqqani (a mid-level Haqqani Network
‘military commander’ and brother of the outfit’s leader
Sirajuddin Haqqani); Abdul Basit Usman (the US had a
USD one million bounty on his head); and Abu Jihad al
Masri (the leader of the Egyptian Islamic Group and
the chief of al Qaeda's intelligence branch). Stung
by these losses, the TTP, on April 5, 2010, threatened
more terrorist and suicide strikes unless the US ended
its drone attacks in FATA.
Pakistani Forces, which have failed consistently to
take any concrete action against groups such as al Qaeda,
and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT),
among others, has focused its entire attention on the
TTP in FATA, as Islamabad realizes that any failure
to rein in this group will destabilize widening areas
within the country. FATA has emerged as a principal
sanctuary for TTP terrorists and the SFs have, consequently,
launched major operations in the region through 2009-10.
among these was Operation Rah-e-Nijat
(Path to Salvation), launched in the SWA area on June
19, 2009. After a three-month blockade of the Agency
and intermittent skirmishes with militants, the Pakistani
military announced, on October 2, 2009, that it would
begin a large-scale operation to ‘wipe out’ TTP and
al Qaeda militants in the area. By December 12, 2009,
the operation, according to the Army, was ‘over’, as
the Forces had ‘taken control’ of the whole of SWA.
However, none of the top TTP leaders had been killed
or captured. The Governments' next objective was to
‘recover’ the Orakzai region, where most of the TTP
forces relocated. 619 militants and 80 soldiers of the
Pakistan Army were killed during this offensive. 243
soldiers were injured and 83 militants were arrested.
On December 7, 2010, the Chief of Army Staff General
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani asserted that the entire SWA had
been virtually ‘cleared’ of militants.
the skirmishes continued, forcing the SFs to launch
Operation Khwakh Ba De Sham (I will See You)
in Orakzai and Kurram Agencies on March 23, 2010. This
was originally planned as a two-week end-stage operation,
but the Army evidently miscalculated the militants’
strength, and the Operation dragged on beyond
four months, with higher-than-expected casualties. The
Army, of course, announced the successful conclusion
of the operation in Orakzai Agency on June 1. As with
previous claims, however, this proved hollow, and, on
June 2, various local and official sources claimed that
more than half the Orakzai Agency was yet to be ‘cleared’
of the TTP. Data on fatalities subsequently bore out
these claims: in the 70 days between the commencement
of the Operation on March 24 and its supposed ‘successful
termination’ on June 1, the SATP database recorded a
total of 1,705 fatalities, including 1,669 militants
and 36 SF personnel. In the 51 days, between June 2,
and July 21, after the Operations had purportedly ‘ended’,
522 persons, including 505 militants and 17 SFs were
operations in Orakzai Agency are still far from over.
A total of 844 persons, including 807 militants, 33
SF personnel and four civilians have been killed in
the Agency after July 22 (till December 12). Frontier
Corps Inspector General Nadir Zeb nevertheless claimed,
on October 26, 2010, that the SFs had ‘cleared’ almost
90 per cent of Orakzai Agency , but conceded that a
‘limited operation’ was still underway against the militants
in the Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency.
is still confusion regarding the number of IDPs from
Orakzai. According to the United Nations Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the
number of uprooted persons from Orakzai and the neighbouring
Kurram Agencies had reached 197,667 as on April 4. However,
by November 29, according to Relief Web, this
number had touched 328,054. Of these, the uprooted people
from Orakzai constituted 71 per cent of the total. A
UN report on April 9 had indicated that more than 200,000
civilians had fled a military offensive and violence
in the tribal Districts near the Afghanistan border.
"More than 35,000 families or approximately 210,000
individuals from Orakzai and Kurram Agencies have been
registered as IDPs since November last year," UN
refugee agency spokeswoman Ariane Rummery disclosed.
On December 3, 2010, the Political Agent of Orakzai
Agency Riaz Khan Mahsud claimed that a total of 2,770
families, comprising over 15,000 individuals, had returned
home over the preceding five days in the third phase
of repatriation of the IDPs to Orakzai Agency. He added
that a total of 15,000 families were likely to return
home in the third phase. Only 9,600 families had returned
to their homes in the preceding two phases.
Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani unveiled a ‘relief package’
for militancy-affected areas of FATA and Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as North
West Frontier Province, NWFP) on June 1, 2010, announcing
tax concessions, rebates in duties and relief in utility
bills – in addition to allocating an additional one
per cent share to the province from the Federal divisible
pool. Under the relief package, areas in the province
would be divided into three categories: ‘the worst affected’,
‘affected’ and ‘least affected’. The Bajaur, Mohmand,
Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, South and North Waziristan
Agencies were categorised as the worst affected. The
Federal Government announced an exemption for withholding
income tax for areas falling in ‘the worst affected’
and ‘affected’ categories until June 30, 2011. However,
no subsequent details have been made available regarding
the implementation of this package.
has extended critical support to al Qaeda and Taliban
leaders and operatives in FATA. According to leaked
US diplomatic documents exposed by Wikileaks,
former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had told
the US that remnants of al Qaeda were hiding in the
mountainous border region of his country.
operations in the South Waziristan and Orakzai Agencies
gathered force, the militants have fled into the neighbouring
NWA. Despite pressure from the United States and the
NATO to conduct an operation against terrorists holed
up in NWA, along the Afghanistan border, Pakistan has
made it clear that a decision on "when, how and
what [should be done]" would be made by Islamabad.
"While we understand the ISAF [International Security
Assistance Force] concerns, any question relating to
when, how and what is to be done in North Waziristan
is based on judgment, keeping in mind our capacities,
priorities and overall national interest. This in no
way should be interpreted as lack of Pakistani resolve,"
the Foreign Office declared in a statement issued on
October 15, 2010.
of extended operations in the South Waziristan and Orakzai
Agencies have, at best, been cosmetic, and even the
limited pressure exerted against the terrorists will
quickly dissipate unless operations are taken forward
into the NWA. Crucially, moreover, with lines between
various terrorist formations blurring progressively,
every attempt to target the TTP, even while the state
continues to patronize and protect other Islamist terrorist
formations, will only create the grounds for further
consolidation of all terrorist groups. The blowback
of Islamabad’s long sponsorship of terrorism can hardly
be terminated by selective and fitful action against
particular terrorist formations, even as the general
environment in the country remains benign towards a
range of other Islamist terrorist groupings.
Fakir Mohan Pradhan
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
dramatic fall in insurgency-related fatalities from 416
in 2009 to 134 so far in 2010 (all data till December
12, 2010), Manipur is likely to shed the dubious distinction
of being the most violent among the troubled States of
India’s Northeast. According to the South Asia Terrorism
Portal (SATP) database, the 134 fatalities
in 2010 included 103 militants, 24 civilians and 7 Security
Force (SF) personnel, in 1,086 recorded incidents, as
against 416 persons, including 321militants, 77 civilians
and 18 SF personnel, killed in 950 incidents in 2009.
of stagnation or deterioration, there have been evident
gains for the counter-insurgency (CI) grid in Manipur,
with SFs inflicting rising costs on State’s multiple insurgent
groups, neutralizing significant numbers of their cadres
and contracting their areas of dominance.
related Fatalities in Manipur: 2001-2010
*2001-07: Union Ministry
of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India
***2010: SATP (Till December 12)
witnessed just seven major incidents (involving three
or more killings) in 2010 as against 29 such incidents
in 2009. Significantly, in all these incidents in 2010,
it was the militants who were at the receiving end. The
major incidents of 2010 were:
5: At least four cadres of the Mobile Task Force of the
Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)
were killed by the Bishnupur District Police during an
encounter at Mutum Yangpi.
18 militants were killed and four were injured in a clash
between the combined cadres of the Kuki Liberation Army
and Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA),
on the one hand, and the Prithvi faction of the Kuki National
on the other, in the Seijang Hill area on the border between
the Imphal East and Senapati Districts.
Five suspected Pakan Revolutionary Army (PRA) militants
were shot dead by SFs in the Reserve Forest area, northeast
of Khambathel, in the Chandel District.
Assam Rifles (AR) personnel shot dead four cadres of the
United Tribal Liberation Army (UTLA), including the outfit's
top leader James Singson, during a counter-insurgency
operation in Leikot area of Tamenglong District.
Three suspected cadres of the Military Defence Force faction
of the Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)
were shot dead by a rival faction in the Kamuching Hills
under the Yairipok Police Station in Thoubal District.
17: At least five People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak
militants were shot dead by Assam Rifles (AR) personnel
during an encounter in Chandel District.
11: Three suspected Valley-based militants were shot dead
by the AR during an encounter at Nambasi village under
the Kasom Khullen sub-division in Ukhrul District.
Forces were able to keep militant outfits in the State
under continuous pressure, with as many as 990 arrests
in 2010, including some key figures. In a major boost
to the SFs, the United National Liberation Front (UNLF)
‘chairman’, Rajkumar Meghen, who went missing after being
reportedly arrested in Bangladesh about two months ago,
was arrested at Motihari in Bihar on November 30, 2010.
A joint Police team from Manipur and Bihar arrested Meghen
from near Chhatauni Chowk, as Manipur Police Additional
Inspector General (AIG) C.P. Mina identified the militant
leader. Meghen had taken shelter near the India-Nepal
border to avoid Police action. UNLF is one of the oldest
militant groups in the Northeast, and continues to refuse
to engage in talks with the Union or State Government.
Similarly, Ningthoujam Tomba alias Koireng, the
military chief of KYKL, was arrested from Matigara of
Darjeeling District in West Bengal on March 14, 2010.
Further, Gopeshwar aka Athouba, the ‘chief' of
the Military Defense Faction of KYKL was arrested on April
2, 2010, from Shillong in Meghalaya. Two chief operatives
belonging to the Lamyanba Khuman group of the Military
Council faction of the KCP were also arrested by a combined
team of Manipur Police and Mizoram Police from Aizawl
town in the night of March 15, 2010.
SF pressure helped persuade a number of militants to surrender.
120 cadres belonging to the Samuel faction of the KNF
laid down arms at their camp in Gilgal before the AR and
Churachandpur District Police on September 21, 2010. Further,
the KNF, which signed a Suspension of Operations (SoO)
agreement with the Government in August 2005, with a strength
of some 370 armed cadres, deposited its arms and ammunition
at a designated camp at Natheljang in Sadar Hills of Senapati
District on September 15, 2010. Earlier, 12 cadres of
the Pakan Reunification Army (PRA), including its ‘secretary’
Nungchin (53), surrendered before the Manipur Police and
AR along with arms and ammunition in a formal surrender
ceremony at Mantripukhri in Imphal West District on September
28, 2010. Similarly, 13 cadres of the Zou Peoples Army
(ZPA), including its founder 'president' T. Liankhan Khup
Zou, surrendered before the Manipur Director-General of
Police Yumnam Joykumar Singh and Assam Rifles Inspector-General
(South), Major General C.A. Krishnan, at a formal function
on the outskirts of Imphal on June 1, 2010. Meanwhile,
leaders of the Lallumba group of the Military Council
faction of the KCP, who are engaged in tripartite talks
with representatives of the Union Government and the State
Government of Manipur, had agreed on January 8, 2010,
to surrender en masse. 109 cadres of the outfit
were verified on August 7, 2010, for the surrender, though
a formal surrender ceremony is yet to take place. According
to the SATP database, a total of at least 221 militants
have surrendered in the State in 2010.
the policy of applying pressure on the militants, there
have been attempts to initiate or renew talks with various
militant outfits. The SoO agreement between the Kuki armed
groups and the Union Government that was signed in August
2005, was extended for another year following tripartite
talks held in New Delhi on September 29, 2010. Unsurprisingly,
in the context of assessing the fallout of the arrest
of its chairman R.K. Meghen, the UNLF admitted that it
would face a "gathering clamour for peace talks with
India amongst our fraternal revolutionary organisations
in Manipur and the Region." However, on April 8,
2010, the Union Government made it clear that it would
not enter into any kind of dialogue with splinter militant
groups operating in the Northeast, nor accept their laying
down of arms in a public function. Security Forces have
been directed to take ‘concerted action’ against such
dramatic gains, however, there are residual risks that
can cloud over the widening sliver of hope in Manipur
at any point of time. Expressing
deep concern over the rising trend of setting up armed
groups by taking on the name of an already existing one,
the Military Council faction of the KCP stated, on November
10, 2010, that such trends ‘besmirched’ movements to restore
the ‘sovereignty’ of the land. On the occasion of the
46th anniversary of its formation, on November
24, 2010, moreover, the UNLF vowed to continue its ‘liberation
struggle’, despite the setbacks it had received.
the SoO agreement
between the Kuki armed groups and the Union Government,
further, various Kuki groups were involved in at least
41 incidents of violence in 2010, in which two civilians
and 23 militants were killed. The United Kuki Liberation
Front (UKLF), on July 15, 2010, stated that new militant
outfits had emerged within the Kuki National Organsation
(KNO) under the SoO with the Government. Moreover, KNA,
a signatory to the SoO agreement, had declared, in January
2010, its objective of creating an autonomous Kuki State
under the relevant articles and provisions of the Indian
Constitution. Similarly, the KNF, another signatory to
the SoO agreement, raised the demand for a separate State
for the Kukis within the Constitution of India, during
discussions with the Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai,
during the latter’s visit to Manipur on February 26, 2010.
the falling graph of violence in the State, however, huge
campaigns of extortion
persist. Militant networks target
Government offices and officials, local self-Government
and educational institutions, health centres, commercial
establishments and the wider civilian population alike.
Almost all the armed groups extract ‘levies’ and ransoms
from residents and transients in their areas of operation.
The SATP database, in its partial estimate (a preponderance
of such cases go unreported) records at least 118 extortion
incidents in 2010 (till December 12). On September 4,
2010, the Council of Teachers’ Association (COTA) demonstrated
in all nine Districts of the State, protesting against
the persistent extortion notices by different militant
groups. The Imphal West District Police arrested a cadre
of the ‘Vice Chairman faction’ of PREPAK at the Regional
Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) gate on December 8,
2010, after he had extorted an unspecified amount of money
from RIMS Doctors, Government employees and the general
public, purportedly for ‘party funds’. The arrested cadre
was serving as a peon at the Manipur Secretariat. On August
6, 2010, the Handicapped Development Foundation (HDF),
Manipur, criticized the monetary demands being made by
a militant group in Imphal West District. The KCP, as
a ‘concession’, subsequently decided, during a ‘cabinet
meeting’ some time in first week of November, to suspend
monetary demands from private individuals.
against ‘outsiders’ in Manipur represents another dimension
of persisting trouble in Manipur. Meitei insurgent groups
in particular have been spearheading xenophobic excesses.
According to SATP database, nine persons have been killed
and three persons have been injured, in 13 incidents of
violence against non-locals, in 2010 (till December 12).
rivalry between Nagas, Kukis and Meiteis remains another
aspect of continuing violence in Manipur. Thus, Naga groups
imposed a blockade on NH-39 with effect from April 24,
2010, in protest against the holding of elections to the
Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Manipur after two
decades. Again, on May 5, 2010, there was a stand-off
between the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah
and the Government of Manipur on the issue of the outfit’s
general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah’s visit to his ancestral
village, Somdal in Manipur’s Ukhrul District. The Tamenglong,
Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel Districts of Manipur figure
in the projected territory of Nagalim (Greater Nagaland)
conceived of by the NSCN-IM. The apex community group
of the Kuki tribe, the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), sent an
open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declaring
that the Kuki people were opposed to Muivah’s visit. Eventually,
on June 5, 2010, the Central Government persuaded Muivah
to leave Vishwema village (near the border of Nagaland
and Manipur) where he had been camping since May 5, 2010.
The Central Government also deployed para-military forces
to assist the Government of Manipur to hold elections
to the ADCs. Through patient negotiations with different
Naga groups, the blockade of NH-39 was lifted on June
elections were held in two phases on May 26 and June 2,
2010, amid violent protests by Naga groups. The elections
had a mixed response, with an uneven voter turnout, varying
between zero to 90 per cent polling in various places.
demand an ‘alternative arrangement’ for their community.
Mass public rallies were held in four hill Districts of
the State – Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong,
demanding severing of political tie with the Government
of Manipur and in support and reaffirmation of the declaration
of the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) of July 1, 2010
seeking such an "alternative arrangement". The
Manipur Police Department received intelligence inputs
that the NSCN-IM had decided, at the ‘highest level’,
to selectively target and eliminate elected members of
the ADC belonging to the Naga community, who failed to
‘honour’ its diktat for the boycott of the ADC
elections and, after getting elected, refused to resign
from their posts, despite ‘specific directions’. However,
Secular Progressive Front spokesperson N. Biren categorically
said that the question of ‘alternative arrangement’ was
not on the agenda of the first round of the tripartite
talk held at Senapati on December 3, 2010, involving officials
of both State and Central Governments and representatives
of the United Naga Council.
disturbing trend that has emerged recently is the nexus
between the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)
and militant groups active in the Northeast.
In Manipur, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
and PREPAK have established links with the CPI-Maoist.
Kanchan, the West Bengal State ‘secretary’ of the CPI-Maoist,
who was arrested on December 3, 2010, revealed during
interrogation that the Maoists in West Bengal had received
a huge cache of arms and ammunition from PREPAK. These
weapons had also been distributed in Jharkhand and Orissa.
Earlier on October 21, 2008, the Maoists had inked a three-point
pact with the PLA, which assured the Maoists of initial
logistics support they needed in the Northeast. Subsequent
indications suggest that this has been well exploited
by the Maoists to secure wider alliances and a deeper
presence in the region.
the strength of the bloated Manipur Police has declined
from 627 to 613 Policemen per 100,000 population, though
this is still much higher than the national average, at
128. However, the State Police has set up a Subsidiary
Multi Agency Centre (SMAC) to bolster its intelligence
gathering and sharing mechanism. Director General of Assam
Rifles Lieutenant General K.S. Yadava, on March 24, 2010,
stated that, after the Centre had approved deployment
of 26 additional Assam Rifles battalions along the India-Myanmar
border, at least three of these battalions would be used
on the border to check movement of militants and smuggling.
in violence in Manipur, and the reverses that have been
inflicted on various militant groups, open up avenues
for a more enduring stability. Unfortunately, the political
space in Manipur continues to be occupied by an incompetent
kleptocracy. In the absence of greater political probity
and administrative maturity, the gains of the recent past
may yet again be frittered away, as were the opportunities
of declining strife in 2002-2003. Unless the gains of
2010 are consolidated and translated into political initiatives
providing economic and administrative relief to the people
of Manipur, the contracting spaces for violence may once
again begin to expand.
Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
December 6- December
data compiled from English language media sources.
killed in bomb blast in Varanasi: A bomb blast
in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on December 7 killed
a toddler and injured 35 others. The explosion took
place at around 7pm (IST) at the Shitla Ghat (steps
on the sides of the river Ganges) when ‘Ganga Aarti'
(an evening religious ritual on the river side)
was under way. Among the injured were some foreigners.
Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in-charge, Additional Director
General of Police (ADG), Brij Lal, said the explosives
were kept inside a milk van that was placed under
the main staircase of the ghat. The Indian Mujahideen
(IM) reportedly claimed responsibility for the explosion
in an e-mail sent from close to Link Road in West
Malad in Mumbai. The outfit said the attack was
to "avenge" the demolition of the Babri Mosque in
Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
News, December 8, 2010.
militants had planned to assassinate Gujarat Chief
Minister Narendra Modi, reveals WikiLeaks:
According to a recent secret diplomatic cable
of the United States State Department released by
WikiLeaks, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had made
elaborate plans in June 2009 to assassinate Gujarat
Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The cable, created
on June 19, 2009, was sent from the office of the
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to the "Security
Officer, Collective Priority," and to the US
embassies in Tripoli, Casablanca and Johannesburg.
The cable identified a Pakistani LeT member, Shafiq,
as the mastermind of the plot that was to be executed
by a module led by an Indian operative, identified
as Hussein. The hit job was to be carried out by
one Sameer, an India-based LeT cadre. Providing
some geographic information for the operations,
the cable further said that Shafiq had been seeking
out information on possible training sites for the
operations in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala.
News, December 6, 2010.
Government is apprehensive of revival of militancy
in Punjab: The Union Government on December
8 said that militant groups, especially those based
abroad, were trying to revive militancy in Punjab.
"Available reports suggest that militant groups,
especially those based abroad, continue to persist
with their efforts to revive militancy in Punjab,"
Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken said
in a written reply. The Minister, however, added
that there were no specific inputs indicating the
development of any nexus between Khalistani outfits
like Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) or Khalistan
Zindabad Force (KZF) and militant Islamist organisations
like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
News, December 9, 2010.
groups not getting assistance from abroad, says
Minister of State for Home: According to a
December 7 press release by the Ministry of Home
Affairs, Ajay Maken, the Minister of State for Home
Affairs , giving a written reply to a question in
the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) informed
that are no inputs to indicate that Left Wing Extremist
(LWE) groups are getting assistance in terms of
weapons and finance from foreign countries. Further,
there are no inputs to indicate that LWE groups
have established nexus with terrorist and separatist
outfits abroad. However, CPI-Maoists maintain links
with certain like-minded parties of some neighbouring
Information Bureau, December
Home Minister P. Chidambaram suggests two-pronged
approach to tackle Naxal problem: Union Home
Minister P. Chidambaram on December 6 said suggested
a two-pronged approach to solve the Communist Party
of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) problem. He said development
and Police action together - is the answer to Left
Hindustan Times, December
President compares 26/11 with 9/11 and urges Pakistan
to curb terrorism: Comparing the November 26,
2008 Mumbai terrorists attacks (also known as 26/11)
with the terrorist attacks in New York in US (September
11, 2001, also known as 9/11) French President Nicolas
Sarkozy on December 7 criticized Pakistan and asked
the Pakistani authorities to show resolve in fighting
terrorism emanating from its territory. "It
is unacceptable for the world that terror attacks
originate or are masterminded in Pakistan and terrorists
are trained there," he said.
of India, December 8, 2010.
terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana will be tried
in Chicago in February: Pakistani-Canadian
terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-accused
with the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)
operative David Coleman Headley in the November
26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks (also known as
26/11), will be tried in a federal court in Chicago
on February 14.
Hindustan Times, December
Government sends interlocutors' proposals to Jammu
and Kashmir for necessary action: The
Union Government has sent some of the recommendations
of the three-member group of interlocutors on Jammu
and Kashmir to the State for necessary action. "Action
has been initiated on the recommendations. Some
recommendations have been sent to the State Government
for necessary action. Some are under implementation,"
the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement
on December 7. In its report submitted to the Union
Government, the group recommended expediting cases
of under trials, permitting peaceful protests, releasing
militants and protestors against whom there are
no serious charges among others.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9
said that the first and second reports of the group
of interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir dealt with
confidence-building measures and added that he had
now asked the group to focus on finding the contours
of a political solution. "Contours of a political
solution to the Kashmir problem are likely to emerge
in the next few months," an official statement quoted
him as saying. Daily
Excelsior, December 8-10,
Government seeks withdrawal of 60 companies of CPMFs
from Jammu and Kashmir: The Central Government
has sought withdrawal of 60 companies (nearly 6000
personnel) of Central Para Military Forces (CPMFs)
from Jammu and Kashmir following improvement in
the situation in the State. The Ministry of Home
Affairs (MHA) is reported to have asked the State
Government to utilize Jammu and Kashmir Police in
the area from where the CPMFs are withdrawn.
Excelsior, December 6, 2010.
calls on students to turn into 'militias':
Chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist
(UCPN-M) Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda
on December 10 said that it is high time for all
universities and colleges of the country to turn
into "barracks" and students to become "militias"
to fight conspiracies against change. "It is necessary
for the universities and campuses of the country
to start preparing to turn into barracks for hundreds
of thousands of students who turn into militias
to deal a final blow," Prachanda said after inaugurating
the 18th National Convention of All
Nepal National Independent Students' Union–Revolutionary
(ANNISU-R), the student wing of the UCPN-M.
Nepal News, December
civilians and 31 militants among 79 persons killed
during the week in FATA: Three
children were killed and seven others received injuries
when militants fired mortar shells at an Imambargah
(Shia place of worship) in the Talozan Tangi area
of Kurram Agency of Federally Administered Tribal
Areas (FATA) on December 12.
Forces (SFs) killed four militants in the Saagi
area of the Safi tehsil (revenue unit) in
the Mohmand Agency on December 11.
least 13 militants, including a ‘commander’, were
killed in different clashes with SFs in South Waziristan
Agency on December 10. In addition, four militants
were killed when a US drone fired two missiles in
Khadar Khel town, about 40 kilometres of Miranshah,
in North Waziristan Agency.
least 40 persons, including tribal elders, SF personnel
and journalists were killed and another 70 injured
on November 6 when two suicide bombers attacked
a jirga (Tribal council) being
held outside the office of the Assistant Political
Agent of Mohmand Agency at Ghalanai,
the headquarters of Mohmand Agency. Five of the
injured persons died later. Also, eight suspected
militants were killed when two missiles fired from US drone
hit a car and in the Mir Ali tehsil of
North Waziristan Agency on November 6. Dawn;
News, December 7-13, 2009.
civilians and 13 militants among 52 persons killed
during the week in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Security
Forces (SFs) killed five militants in the Shah Faisal
area of Swat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on December
11. The SFs retaliated after the militants opened
fire on a foot patrolling party.
least 17 persons were killed and over 20 others
were injured in a suspected sectarian attack when
a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle
into an under-construction hospital in the in Pas
Kalay area of Hangu District on December 10.
least 18 persons were killed and 32 others were
injured when a suicide bomber blew up a passenger
van at a bus stand in Tirah bazaar (market)
of Kohat on December 8. In addition, three militants
were killed in an encounter with SFs in the Shakar
Dara area of Swat District on December 8.
militants were killed in an encounter with the SFs
in the Shakardara area of Mingora in Swat
District on December 7. Dawn;
News, December 7-13, 2009.
blocked efforts to put sanctions on JuD and Hafiz
Saeed, reveals WikiLeaks: China,
at Islamabad's behest, blocked efforts in the UN
Security Council to put sanctions against Jama'at-ud-Da'awa
(JuD) and its leader Hafiz Saeed which was operating
against India from Pakistan, reported Times of
India on December 6 quoting WikiLeaks
revelation of American diplomatic cable. A State
Department cable signed off by Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton also suggests that the JuD continues
to operate and raise funds and it was unclear what
steps the Pakistan Government has taken to freeze
its assets to implement UN sanctions. According
to the cable dated August 10, 2009, originating
from Clinton, a US request to list Hafiz Saeed on
a sanctions list was put on hold before the November
26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks (also known as
26/11) that India blames on the JuD founder. "Prior
to the (Mumbai terrorist attacks) attacks, our request
to list (Jamaat-ud-Dawa) JUD and (Hafiz Muhammed)
Saeed were placed on hold by China at the behest
of Pakistan," the cable marked secret and addressed
to the US Embassy in Islamabad and the Permanent
Mission of the US to the UN, said.
Times of India, December
terrorists responsibility of US and NATO, says Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar
Hussain: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information
Mian Iftikhar Hussain on December 8 said that terrorists
had their roots in Afghanistan for the past 30 years
and now it was the responsibility of the US and
the NATO to crush them. Iftikhar said that the Pakistani
Security Forces (SFs) had been chasing terrorists
across the country including Federally Administered
Tribal Areas (FATA) to finish them off. He informed
the media that warring factions in Afghanistan were
being contacted to restore peace in that country.
"Peace will return and soon there will be no
terrorist hideouts in Afghanistan," added Hussain.
Times, December 9, 2010.
Minister D.M. Jayaratne accuses LTTE of executing
prisoners of war: The Sri Lankan Government
on December 8 said that the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had executed Sri Lankan Security
Forces personnel imprisoned by them during the final
stages of the war in 2009. Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne
told the Parliament that several hardcore LTTE cadres
who were arrested from the Vavuniya welfare camps
had revealed that 60 soldiers who were in LTTE custody
were executed by them during the finals stages of
Page, December 9, 2010.
Lanka scraps Tamil version of its national anthem:
Sri Lanka has scrapped the Tamil version of
its national anthem at official and state functions,
a move likely to further alienate the ethnic Tamils
in the country. Now the national anthem--'Sri Lanka
matha....' can only be rendered in the majority
Sinhala language at official functions, the Sri
Lankan cabinet decided. The move will mean that
the current Tamil version will no longer be played
at any official or state functions. The decision
was taken at the last cabinet meeting headed by
the President Mahinda Rajapakse, who pointed out
that no country in the world uses the national anthem
in other than one language, Sunday Times
reported on December 12. Times
of India, December 12, 2010.
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