SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 1, No. 12, October 7, 2002
assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form
with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
J&K Elections 2002 - Phase III:
October 1, 2002
Voter turnout (in %)
precentage in the third phase
Provisional figures, subject to final verification by
the Election Commission of India.
Commission of India
Democracy in Flight
Yubaraj Ghimire in Kathmandu
and growing unemployment invite radical politics, with violence
as its means. Perceptions of incompetence, apathy and irresponsive
attitudes of the government among the people add further fuel
to the fire of radicalism. That is what Nepal has been witness
An armed struggle, which began some seven years ago with a
declared objective to replace the Constitutional Monarchy
and Multi-party democracy with a 'communist republic', attracted
many youth, mainly from pockets of poverty, backwardness and
growing unemployment. A group of ultra-left leaders, already
well known in Nepal's political sphere and intelligentsia,
led a campaign of violence under the banner of the Communist
Party of Nepal (Maoist), woven around a thread of Maoist revolutionary
ideology. Today, however, the ideology is predominantly dictated
by guns acquired from quarters, both known and unknown. The
Maoist movement has not only caused more than five thousand
deaths in continued clash with the state - nearly half of
these during the past ten months alone - but has also raised
a fundamental question: is the present Constitution sufficiently
effective to deal with the situation?
rebels in Nepal now have a new reason to smile
as the country entered a new crisis on Friday, October 4,
when King Gyanendra removed prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba,
in effect dismissing his council of ministers, and assumed
executive powers himself. The move has pushed the king and
most of the political parties to the outer margins of the
present Constitution, in some sense making the leftist guerrillas'
task of 'divide and destroy' much easier.
"The King does not have the power to remove an elected Prime
Minister", says the deposed Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Other Political parties also believe that the King's action
was unconstitutional, but do not appear to be quite sure about
the appropriate mode of protest against the Palace, which
commands enormous respect and support within the traditional
society that Nepal still is.
The Maoist Supremo, Pushpa Kamal Dahal @ Prachanda, who leads
the movement to destroy both the King and the parliamentary
system, jumped into the game by issuing a statement from his
hide-out, apparently shedding a tear for Deuba. Referring
to the troubled history of the movement for democracy in Nepal,
he said "This is a last blow to the outcome of the 1990-people's
movement." Constitutional Monarchy and parliamentary democracy
- the twin targets of the Maoists - are described as 'irreversible'
features of the Constitution that came into effect after the
people's movement. The Maoists calculate that an increase
in the rift between the political parties - vehicles of parliamentary
democracy - and the constitutional monarchy will bring their
own goals closer to realization. This is also the consideration
that has held the national political parties back from going
into the streets to protest against the Royal move, which
they have unanimously rejected as 'unconstitutional'.
Maoist violence is, in fact, the root and genesis of the present
crisis. Deuba, the Prime Minister who was fired on October
4, was once among the strongest advocates of dialogue with
the Maoists. The first ever peace initiative, that sought
a negotiated a settlement with the Maoist leaders, began in
July 2001 shortly after Deuba took over as the Prime Minsiter,
but was aborted on a bitter note in November, when the Maoists
unilaterally abandoned the peace table and attacked Army barracks
at Dang, in western Nepal, killing more than a dozen officers
and men, and capturing a large quantity of sophisticated arms.
This feat was, thereafter repeated in some other locations,
and Deuba reacted furiously declaring, a state of Emergency
throughout the country and listing the Maoists as 'terrorists'.
The move, coming as it did within less than two months after
the 9/11 attacks in USA, received vehement international endorsement
with the United States and its EU allies, besides neighbouring
India and China, pledging full support to action against 'terrorism'.
As a result of the military campaign against them, most Maoist
leaders are believed to have crossed over to India to join
the ideologically proximate company of groups such as the
People's War Group (PWG),
the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC)
and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA),
and now direct their cadres to execute guerrilla attacks in
Nepal from their safe havens there.
It was the fear of attacks by Maoists and the disruption of
the proposed mid-term elections to Parliament in November
that forced the Deuba Cabinet to recommend to the King that
the elections be deferred by a year, allowing Deuba to continue
at his post in a caretaker capacity, though there was no constitutional
provision for such an extension. The king, however, declined,
gave Deuba marching orders, and instead assumed executive
The current situation has set the stage for a direct confrontation
between the king and the country's political parties. However,
the apathy of these political parties over the past 12 years
of multi-party democracy and their growing corruption has
created widespread disenchantment among the people, and this
will undermine their ability to go against the King's will
in any organized and coordinated manner. This is what has
capped off the immediate political response to what they declare
to be the King's 'unconstitutional' action.
The King has promised to put a new all-party government in
place by Wednesday, October 9, and has called on all political
parties to send in the names of the leaders who would represent
them in the new government. How this new government will tackle
the Maoist problem, however, is a question that continues
to trouble this country, long known for peace, tranquility
and its natural beauty.
A mandate or at least word of political support for the continuing
initiatives against the Maoists, if necessary, and dialogue,
if possible, will be vital for the legitimacy of the King's
present moves, as well as for the life of the new government.
Besides, the new government is also committed to conduct mid-term
elections in the country 'as early as possible'.
After two days of furious reactions, the representatives of
national political parties, including former Prime Minister
G.P. Koirala and main opposition leader Madhav Kumar Nepal,
were among many who met the king on Sunday, October 6. But
grave challenges lie ahead. The participation of the political
parties may confer a degree of legitimacy on the proposed
caretaker set-up, but it will eventually be its effectiveness
in tackling the problem of the Maoists that will determine
the post facto assessment of the King's abrupt dismissal of
the Deuba government, and the initiatives that follow.
& the US War on Terrorism: The Need to Square the Circle
Peter Chalk [Senior Political Analyst, RAND Corporation]
& Chris Fair [Associate Political Scientist, RAND Corporation]
9/11 attacks on the US, Pakistan has figured prominently
in Washington's Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Responding
to a series of threats and inducements, President Musharraf
terminated support for the fundamentalist Taleban regime
it had helped create and foster in Kabul, allowed Pakistani
territory and airspace to be used for Operation Enduring
Freedom and provided important intelligence data to coalition
forces targeting terrorist training camps on Afghan soil.
Pakistan is expected to play a continuing role in Bush's
plans to tackle remaining Taleban
Qaeda elements, both on account of its
geo-strategic position in Southwest Asia and the fact that
the best information on these entities currently lies with
Islamabad's own Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate.
In his recent trip to the United States (September 2002),
President Musharraf reiterated his commitment to the war
on terrorism and preparedness to cooperate with the international
community in rooting out and destroying extremist Islamist
elements. One area, however, where the President remained
noticeably quiet - and where the US has been conspicuously
reticent in terms of pressuring his regime - is the issue
of jihadist terrorism connected to the disputed province
of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
In two widely hailed speeches delivered on January 12 and
May 27 2002, President Musharraf variously pledged that
all militant infiltration across the Line of Control (LOC)
would end and that there would be no tolerance of organizations
that openly espouse and propagate extremist sentiments.
In addition, he announced the banning of Lashkar-e-Toiba
and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM)
- the three jihadist outfits at the forefront of terrorist
activity in J&K - and moved to arrest several hundred militants
scattered across the country.
Despite these commitments, infiltration across the LOC is
presently close to levels seen this time last year; the
leaders of both LeT and JeM remain essentially free to conduct
their activities in an unhindered fashion in Pakistan; asset
seizures of proscribed groups have so far netted no more
than a few hundred dollars in most cases; and the bulk of
the militants arrested during the first six months of 2002
have since been released.
Violence levels in J&K also continue to rise, with both
the LeT and JeM moving to disrupt state elections in September-October
by systematically targeting candidates (two candidates -
Sheikh Abdul Rahman from the Handwara constituency of northern
Kupwara district and Law Minister and National Conference
(NC) candidate from Lolab constituency Mushtaq Ahmed Lone
have been killed thus far), political workers (84 had already
been killed by October 4]) and party rallies. State government
officials have also been attacked, with a particularly serious
incident occurring on September 11 when the Jammu and Kashmir
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mustaq Ahmed Lone,
In short, extremist Islamist activity and terrorism in J&K
is as prominent as ever - the inspirational and organizational
source of which clearly remains rooted in Pakistan.
To date, the United States has chosen not to forcibly pressure
Islamabad on demonstrably curbing militancy connected to
the Kashmir dispute. Although officials in Washington note
that Musharraf is being privately encouraged to abandon
its strategy, they concede there has been no move to strongly
demarche him over the issue since September 2001, when the
GWOT was first instituted. Indeed, American strategy in
the region increasingly appears to be following a two-tier
tract, giving precedence to operations against Al Qaeda
and the Taleban, while conspicuously delaying firm action
to permanently neutralize Kashmiri militant activity in
and from Pakistan. Given Bush's post 9/11 affirmation that
'you are either with us or against us' in the war on terrorism,
and that there will be no tolerance for those that willingly
eschew the effort against international extremism, Washington's
reticence is deserving of some explanation.
Undoubtedly the key consideration underlying US policy is
the belief that Kashmir is simply not an issue that Musharraf
can move decisively on. Not only does the liberation of
the State from 'repressive' Indian rule constitute the essential
raison d'etre for the Army (not to mention the crucial
justification for the inordinately large percentage of the
country's GDP that the military consumes), it is also something
that many Pakistanis have been brought up to believe constitutes
the 'marrow' of national patriotism. Add to this the existence
of several thousand armed jihadists who could just
as easily direct their energies against Islamabad as Delhi,
and an understanding of Washington's perspective begins
to emerge: pushing Musharraf too forcibly on Kashmir risks
fatally undermining a key ally in the war on terrorism and
possibly setting up a chain of events that leads to the
institution of a more divided, if not extreme regime in
How viable and wise, however, is the US position? Ignoring
the Kashmir dispute certainly risks undercutting Washington's
relations with India - the key hegemonic power on the sub-continent
and a state that already views Bush's war on terrorism as
one specifically geared toward narrow American strategic
and national interests. As several intelligence analysts
remarked to these two authors: "Why does the U.S. continually
ask us about Pakistan's involvement with terrorism and yet
never do anything about it?"
Arguably of more importance is the danger of allowing the
emergence of a new 'hotbed' of pan-Islamic extremism for
the sake of short term expediencies. It should be remembered
that the groups at the apex of the conflict in Kashmir -
LeT and JeM - have always articulated their objectives in
a wider transnational context, with the rhetorical enemy
defined as any state that is perceived to be at odds with
their own idiosyncratic Wahabbist-based ideological interpretation
of the world. More to the point, both of these organizations
are known to have forged tactical and personal linkages
with Al Qaeda and may now be moving to facilitate the logistical
relocation of Bin Laden's forces, post-Taleban. Securing
a stable, moderate and functional state in Pakistan will
be key not only to stabilizing Afghanistan, India and the
general Southwest Asian region but, more intrinsically,
to mitigating the export of the type of unrestrained extremism
that culminated in the September 11 tragedy.
There are also ethical reasons as to why the United States
should make every effort to rehabilitate and 'de-jihadize'
Pakistan. It is often forgotten that many of the country's
current internal security problems and seeming dependence
on Islamist manpower stem from America's own policy of exhorting
and propagating the international anti-Soviet mujahideen
campaign in Afghanistan. When Washington departed from the
region in 1989, it left a vast underground network for the
trafficking of drugs and arms - which have created huge
law and order problems for successive governments in Islamabad
- as well as an extremely sophisticated militant training
infrastructure that has been effectively mobilized for the
proxy war in Kashmir. Rehabilitating Pakistan is, thus,
not only a question of national security, it is also morally
incumbent given the US' close association with fostering
instability in this part of Asia. Perhaps the most viable
ally the Bush administration has in furthering this effort
is the Pakistani population itself, which overwhelmingly
supports a return to the moderate path envisioned by the
Republic's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
It is essential that the US take these considerations into
account in the current formulation of its policy toward
Musharraf. Not doing so is to risk the emergence of a terrorist
operational environment in Pakistan's remote northern regions
that could prove every bit as threatening as the Afghan
conduit that preceded it.
The Political Space Widens Amidst Violence
Writer: Praveen Swami in Kashmir
Chief of Bureau, Mumbai, Frontline
children at Kocheypora had pulled down the first poster
that appeared on the wall of the village mosque, and
turned it into an improvised kite. Two nights before
the third phase of voting in Jammu & Kashmir's (J&K)
Assembly elections, the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM)
helpfully put up another copy. "Muslims Awake!" it proclaimed.
"Do not barter away your honour and the Kashmir cause
by voting. Do not forget the sacrifices of your brothers
and sons". In case the villagers weren't persuaded,
its authors ended with a clinching argument. "All those
who vote will be shot", the last line on the poster
read, "the choice is yours".
Punctuated by at least 26 terrorist attacks, which claimed
the lives of twenty-one soldiers and civilians, the
third phase of polling on October 1 in J&K was, without
dispute, the most violent so far. But bullets couldn't
stop ballots, a fact which will have enormous political
consequence in months and years to come.
Terrorist violence did, of course, have a demonstrable
impact on voter turnout in some areas. Tral, which had
seen the elimination of two potential National Conference
(NC) candidates before the elections, is a case in point.
Late-night fire directed at polling stations and grenade
explosions outside polling stations ensured single-digit
turnout in the constituency. Like other voters, not
even the NC candidate Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, who had lost
his father and two brothers in earlier terrorist attacks,
nor the Congress (I) candidate Surinder Singh, exercised
their franchise. But adjoining Rajpora, which like Tral
is part of the district of Pulwama, had seen no serious
pre-election violence, and registered high turnout.
Similar patterns were evident in Anantnag, the second
Kashmir-valley district to vote on October 1.
Little attention, sadly, has been paid to the specific
political uses of armed terror in southern Kashmir.
At several places, local elements of the HM appeared
to have arrived at an alliance with the opposition People's
Democratic Party (PDP). The leading organiser for the
PDP candidate from Homeshalibugh, Ghaffar Sofi, was
Mansoor Malik, father of the local HM battalion commander,
Tauseef Malik. Few local people could have missed the
message. In some areas, even minimal effort was not
needed to decode such signs. Kullar PDP polling agent
Ghulam Mohiuddin Nengroo persuaded his fellow villagers
to ignore an anti-election poster. "This is not a genuine
poster", he said, "it has been put up by the National
Conference to scare us away. The real Hizb-ul-Mujaheddin
poster tells people not to vote for the National Conference
or the Congress (I)."
Most terrorist attacks on candidates and political workers,
too, focussed on non-PDP formations. Of 35 political
workers killed in campaigning during September, only
4 were from the PDP. 43 political workers have been
killed since elections were notified on August 22 to
the end of September, taking the figure for this year
up to a record level of 84. Another half a dozen senior
NC politicians have faced assassination attempts; one,
Sakina Itoo, survived four.
It is possible that the sharp escalation in terrorist
violence preceding October 1 had not a little to do
with the unexpectedly high turnout in the previous phase
of elections, in the districts of Srinagar and Budgam.
While Srinagar district as a whole recorded low turnout,
the National Conference-dominated rural segments of
Ganderbal and Kangan bucked the trend. Similarly, the
Shia belt of Budgam defied terrorist threats and came
out to vote en masse. Since formations like the HM share
an interest with the mainstream opposition in marginalizing
the NC, their actions in south Kashmir may have been
intended to ensure that the experience of the second
phase was not repeated.
The terrorists' actions to undermine the political process,
however, are also driven by larger structural concerns
about the impact of democracy. Stories illustrating
the point aren't hard to come by. On September 21, Abdul
Ahad Dar was marched out of his house in Wakai, near
Kulgam, by two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)
terrorists, tied to his party colleague Zahoor Ahmad
Bhat, and shot dead at point-blank range. "My brother's
crime", says his younger sister Mehmooda Dar, clutching
his election identity card, "was to have tried to do
something for our village. He lobbied for funds to build
public baths and latrines in the village. For you urban
people it means little; for us, it means better health
for our children. The people who rule our villages through
fear don't want that."
Such stories abound in areas where politicians have
attempted to use the political system to secure gains
for rural communities. On the day elections were notified,
Kocheypora sarpanch [village head] Ali Mohammad Dar
was shot dead in the courtyard of his village home.
Like the Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M)
activists in Wakai, this long-standing National Conference
activist had started using village development funds
to bring tangible benefits to his community - in this
case a road. "I don't know why anyone would kill a man
for building a road", said Abdul Hamid Dar, Ali Mohammad
The reason isn't, in fact, all that hard to see. The
rebirth of political institutions after 1996 had started
to erode the long-standing control terrorists have had
over civil society. If, as most observers believe, the
next government will be built on an alliance of political
parties, the processes of coalition building will accelerate.
The fact that the numbers of candidates has increased
in most seats, despite serious and credible terrorist
threats, indicates that the democratic space is widening.
One immediate post-election impact will be on the National
Conference, which many expect to retain power, albeit
with a sharply reduced majority. A powerful opposition
should be able to limit the party's reputation, deserved
or otherwise, for corruption and inefficiency. But secessionist
formations will also come under intense pressure to
review their anti-election position, notably centrists
within the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC),
like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The HM's ambiguous posture
on the PDP also shows that its ground-level cadre anticipate
some forward political movement, which could again lead
the militant group into confrontation with mainly Pakistani
organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed
Much, of course, will depend on the conduct of another
major party, which isn't fighting elections - Pakistan.
United States ambassador Robert Blackwill's recent endorsement
of the elections as fair, and the decision of a United
Kingdom parliamentary delegation not to meet secessionist
leaders during a visit to Srinagar last week, has done
a great deal to bring pressure to bear on the APHC.
International diplomats have also decided not to directly
monitor the last phase of voting on October 8 in six
constituencies in Doda and one in Kupwara, further underlining
the legitimacy of the election process itself.
Democratic political systems cannot, however, function
at gunpoint. An effort still needs to be made to pressure
Pakistan to terminate its support for cross-border terrorism;
without this, voters in J&K may find life under the
new government depressingly similar to life - and death
- under the old one.
Anti-terror Law Agitates an Indian Frontier
Associate Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management,
New Delhi; Consulting Editor, The Sentinel, Guwahati
many outside the region would have heard of the new
anti-terror law in Arunachal Pradesh, the remote and
sprawling northeast Indian State of 1.09 million people,
that stretches across 83,743 square kilometres on the
frontier with China, Myanmar and Bhutan. The Congress
(I) party, the leading Opposition Party at the Centre,
rules Arunachal, and has pushed through what is called
the Arunachal Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Ordinance,
2002 with a visible sense of urgency: since the State
Legislature was not in session at the time, the Governor
passed an Ordinance on April 3, 2002. Subsequently,
on August 23, the State Assembly passed the Arunachal
Pradesh Control of Organised Crime (APCOC) Bill, 2002,
and it became law after receiving the Governor's assent
on October 3, 2002.
Inhabited by tribes' people, apart from a sprinkling
of plainsmen and Tibetan and Buddhist Chakma refugees,
Arunachal Pradesh was not in the troubled region's insurgency
map until a few years ago. Even today, the State is
not among the major theatres of insurgency in the area,
unlike adjoining Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland.
With its strategic location, inaccessible interiors
and dense jungles, however, Arunachal Pradesh has emerged
as a safe hideout for Naga rebels, who are outsiders
to the State, besides turning into a temporary parking
area for separatist militants belonging to the outlawed
United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)
and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)
- groups that are fighting for separate 'homelands'
to be carved out of Assam.
In an extended telephonic interview, Arunachal Pradesh
Chief Minister Mukut Mithi confirmed on September 29,
2002, that rebels of both the Isak-Muivah and Khaplang
factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim
have set up bases in the Tirap and Changlang districts
that share borders with the States of Nagaland and Assam,
besides a porous international border with Myanmar.
Mithi asserted, "These rebels are not only indulging
in kidnapping, extortion, murder and intimidation, they
are also encouraging and motivating bands of local Arunachali
youth. If we don't tackle the situation now, things
will go out of hand later."
The Chief Minister also disclosed that as many as 14
rag-tag bands of militants or 'organised terror groups'
have sprung up in Arunachal Pradesh in recent months,
backed by the 'outside insurgent groups.' Intelligence
officials have listed, among others, the following groups
in the State: the East India Liberation Front (EILF),
Liberation Tigers of Arunachal Pradesh (LTA), United
Liberation Tigers of Arunachal (ULTA), National Liberation
Army of Arunachal (NLAA), and the Revolution Army of
Arunachal Pradesh (RAAP).
State authorities argue that the new law was necessary
to clamp down on 'organised crime' in Arunachal Pradesh,
because the national anti terrorism law, the Prevention
of Terrorism Act (POTA)
2002, does not include in its schedule rebel outfits
such as the NSCN, whose cadres are 'creating a reign
of terror' in the area. Rights activists, however, are
quick to point out that other 'draconian laws' are already
in force in militant-infested areas, including the Armed
Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas
Act, both of which provide sweeping powers to the security
forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations.
This debate aside, the Arunachal Pradesh Control of
Organised Crime Ordinance does contain some stringent
clauses: there is no provision for anticipatory bail;
punishments include three years in jail to life imprisonment,
and fines ranging from Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000. But,
by far the most controversial provision is the modification
of Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC),
which empowers the police to keep an accused in police
remand for up to 30 days under the new law, as against
14 days as provided in the CrPC; and judicial remand
for 90 days, extendable to 180 days if ordered by a
Special Court set up by the State government with approval
from the High Court, as against 60 days under the CrPC.
The law also empowers the police to intercept telephone
and other modes of communication of a person suspected
to be involved in 'organized crime' or aiding or abetting
A unique problem has been created by the new law in
Arunachal Pradesh, where a peculiar administrative arrangement
prevails as a result of which the executive doubles
up as the judiciary. The result is not only that justice
is administered by magistrates, many of whom are not
professionally qualified in law, but worse, are officers
under the full control of the State Government. To cap
it all, there is not a single jail in the whole state,
leading to uncomfortable questions as to where the authorities
intend lodging an under-trial prisoner if he or she
is to be in judicial remand for as many as 90 to 180
This has become a delicate case of counter-insurgency
versus human rights. Organisations like the All Arunachal
Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU), the State's apex students'
body, Arunachal Pradesh Women Welfare Society, Tirap
Human Rights Organisation, and political parties like
the Bharatiya Janata Party, Arunachal Congress and the
Nationalist Congress Party have already joined hands
to demand a repeal of the new law. On September 18,
AAPSU enforced a statewide general strike. Before that,
on August 21, the day the Bill was introduced in the
State Assembly, the student group staged a sit-in demonstration
in front of the legislature; and on August 23, the day
the Bill was passed by the Assembly, the AAPSU called
a general strike in Itanagar, the State capital. Local
rights groups have also moved Amnesty International
and the People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL).
Chief Minister Mithi has confirmed that 10 people, including
two NSCN-IM activists, had been booked under this law
till September 29. He claimed that documents recovered
from the possession of the two NSCN-IM cadres revealed
that the rebel group had planned to prevent legislators
from reaching the State Assembly on the day the Bill
was to be passed, besides exposing the militant group's
links with a "broad spectrum of the State's political
leaders." Evidently, the threat posed by rising terrorist
activities in the State is significant, as indeed, are
the collusive arrangements between militant groups and
various overground organisations, including 'human rights'
fronts and political parties.
The difficulty, however, is that, with no independent
judiciary, events in Arunachal Pradesh would need to
be closely watched. The situation is curious, with the
CrPC followed in the State only name. A 1993 judgement
by Chief Justice U.L. Bhat and Justice Manisana in a
case at the Guwahati High Court makes the following
observation on the executive-judiciary issue: "...administration
of justice (in tribal areas) is mainly in the hands
of deputy commissioners and their assistants who are
executive officers: the position does not alter even
if these officers are described as deputy commissioner
(Judicial). Whatever be the description, they are essentially
executive officers under the full control of the state
government. Appointments are made without reference
to the High Court. It is not even certain that all the
officers are law graduates or have experience in the
practice of law."
The judgement goes on to bluntly declare: "We have observed
in many cases that the quality of justice rendered to
the seekers of justice in these areas is of inferior
Under the circumstances, the passage of the APCOC Bill
may well be the forerunner of deepening troubles for
the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.
Major conflicts in South Asia
September 30-October 6, 2002
Provisional data compiled
from English language media sources.
infiltrators killed in Poonch, J&K: Security Force (SF) personnel
killed eight Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists, including an 'area
commander', when they crossed over to the Indian side of the Line
of Control (LoC) from Patri area of Balakot, Mendhar sector of
Poonch district, on October 3, 2002. Two SF personnel were also
killed during the encounter. According to official sources, the
slain terrorists hailed from Hafizabad in Pakistan. Daily
Excelsior, October 4, 2002.
FBI approaches Portugal for interrogating Mumbai Mafia don
Abu Salem: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the
United States has reportedly approached authorities in Portugal
for permission to interrogate Mumbai Mafia don Abu Salem for his
possible links with the Al Qaeda. Portuguese police in Lisbon
arrested Salem on September 18, 2002, following a Red Corner notice
issued by the Interpol. A two-member team of India's Central Bureau
of Investigation (CBI) is already in Lisbon seeking deportation
or extradition, as Salem is an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial
bomb blasts case. The
Hindu, October 2, 2002.
Epicenter of terror has moved to Pakistan, says Deputy Premier
Advani: Addressing a public function in New Delhi on October
1, 2002, to observe 'Anti-Terrorism Day', Deputy Prime Minister,
L K Advani said the world should realise that the epicenter of
international terrorism has now shifted from Afghanistan to Pakistan.
While indicating global efforts should be made to fight this,
he added that India would wage its own war against terrorism.
According to him, "we do not have to wait for any other country
to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. .... We are already waging
a war ... the war is on. We do not have to depend on others in
Trust of India, October 2, 2002.
Police conference proposes new strategies to fight terrorism:
The three-day conference of top police and intelligence officers
from all over the country, which ended on October 1, 2002, in
New Delhi, has decided to set up a mechanism to bring about coordination
among the various police forces to tackle terrorism. It also suggested
the establishment of a lead intelligence agency (LIA) to bring
about coordination among various security agencies guarding the
country's borders. The three-day meeting, which was addressed
by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister
L.K. Advani, suggested the enactment of a new legislation to replace
the Police Act, 1860, as it was unsuitable to modern policing.
of India, October 2, 2002.
Deuba government dismissed;
King assumes executive powers: King Gyanendra, on October
4, 2002, dismissed caretaker Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's
government and assumed executive powers of the country, exercising
powers vested in him by Article 27 (3) of the Constitution.
The impending November 13-mid-term polls have been indefinitely
deferred. Political parties have been asked to send names of
their representatives who, the King said, would be appointed
to a proposed all-party government. In a televised address to
the nation, he said the deteriorating law and order situation
in Nepal and the inefficiency of the Premier had compelled him
to take such a step. Meanwhile, Deuba, on the same day, said
the dismissal of his government was unconstitutional. Nepal
News, October 4, 2002.
PoK group seeks
UN intervention on Taliban presence in Gilgit-Baltistan: Balawaristan
National Front (BNF), an organisation based in Pakistan occupied
Kashmir (PoK), has accused the Pakistani military regime of sheltering
Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists in the Gilgit and Baltistan areas.
In a memorandum submitted to the United Nations Secretary General
Kofi Annan, Abdul Hamid Khan, chairman of BNF, claimed that he
had confirmed information that 30 Taliban activists had entered
the Dahrkoot Valley of Yasen district in PoK and were being provided
all facilities by a Pakistani government official. He said Taliban
cadres were shifting from one district to another in the region
disguised as preachers of Islam and were being provided complete
hospitality by the Pakistani administration. Daily
Excelsior, October 7, 2002.
Seminaries providing training to terrorists, says US Commission
on Religious Freedom: Stating that madrassas (seminaries)
in Pakistan continued to provide training and motivation to terrorists
active in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and Afghanistan
and persecuted religious minorities, the US Commission on Religious
Freedom has recommended that Pakistan be listed among the Countries
of Particular Concern (CPCs). In its recommendation, the Commission
said, despite the proposed law to reform madrassas, "too many
of Pakistan's Islamic religious schools continue to provide ideological
training and motivation to those who go on to fight in Afghanistan
and Kashmir, and who take part in violence targeting religious
minorities in Pakistan". Press
Trust of India,
October 4, 2002.
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