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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 1, No. 12, October 7, 2002

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal


J&K Elections 2002 - Phase III: October 1, 2002
Voter turnout (in %)

Assembly Constituency
No. of Electors
Voter Turnour
Gool Arnas
Average Poll precentage in the third phase

* Provisional figures, subject to final verification by the Election Commission of India.
Election Commission of India



Democracy in Flight
Guest Writer: Yubaraj Ghimire in Kathmandu
Editor, Kantipur

Poverty, illiteracy 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 to.

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?

The Maoist 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 powers himself.

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.




Pakistan, Kashmir & the US War on Terrorism: The Need to Square the Circle
Guest Writers: Peter Chalk [Senior Political Analyst, RAND Corporation] & Chris Fair [Associate Political Scientist, RAND Corporation]

Since the 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 and Al 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 (LeT), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) 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, was assassinated.

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 Pakistan.

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.




J&K Elections: The Political Space Widens Amidst Violence
Guest Writer: Praveen Swami in Kashmir
Chief of Bureau, Mumbai, Frontline

The 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 Dar's son-in-law.

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 (JeM).

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.




Arunachal Pradesh: Anti-terror Law Agitates an Indian Frontier
Wasbir Hussain
Associate Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi; Consulting Editor, The Sentinel, Guwahati

Not 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 (NSCN-IM and NSCN-K) 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 such crime.

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 days.

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 kind."

Under the circumstances, the passage of the APCOC Bill may well be the forerunner of deepening troubles for the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.


Weekly Fatalities: Major conflicts in South Asia
September 30-October 6, 2002

Security Force Personnel
Jammu & Kashmir
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Eight Lashkar 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 this". Press 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. Times 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.


The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that will bring you regular data, assessments and news brief on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

SAIR is a project of the Institute for Conflict Management and the South Asia Terrorism Portal.


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