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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 3, No. 4, August 9, 2004

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



Balochistan: A Rising Insurgency
Kanchan Lakshman
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management; Assistant Editor, Faultlines: Writings on Conflict & Resolution

"We are certainly winning, that's my assessment."

President Pervez Musharraf voiced his confidence during a panel interview with Dawn at his Rawalpindi camp office on August 4, 2004, declaring that Pakistan was winning its war on terrorism, which, he said, the military regime was 'confronting frontally'.

But within the current churning process within Pakistan and the rising portents of trouble, such optimism may just be the mirage that the military regime chooses to project. Among others, events of the past week in the Balochistan province, the site of a revitalized insurgency - three previous guerrilla wars have been fought in Balochistan since the creation of Pakistan, the last of these in 1973-77 - suggest that such sanguinity may well be incompatible with the realities of the ground.

Amidst a series of rocket attacks on vital installations in the recent past, Balochistan witnessed two major acts of violence in just the last week. On August 1, 2004, five soldiers and a civilian were killed when three unidentified gunmen attacked their vehicle near Zinda Pir road at Khuzdar, a military cantonment. Mir Azad Baloch, representing the little known Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), has claimed that the Khuzdar attack was a reaction to the ongoing military operations in Turbat and the construction of a new military cantonment.

On August 2, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yousaf escaped unhurt when his cavalcade was attacked by unidentified terrorists near Surab, about 180 kilometers south west of Quetta, the provincial capital. A police constable and one of the attackers were reportedly killed during the incident.

Located in western Pakistan, Balochistan is bordered by Afghanistan on the northwest and Iran on the west, with the Arabian Sea to its south. With a geographical spread of approximately 347,641 square kilometres, Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan covering almost 43 per cent of the country's total area, but accounts for just six per cent of the country's population.

The contours of insurgency in Balochistan envelop the familiar loop of underdevelopment, discrimination by the Federal Government, and political grievances - real or perceived. There is a concurrent and intense resentment towards the presence of the Army in the province, as well as vivid public memories of the brutal repression of the military campaigns in the region in 1973-77. The underdevelopment matrix includes the absence of infrastructure and basic facilities like clean drinking water, health and educational facilities. The province has the largest proportion - 55 per cent - of the population living below the poverty line, and the lowest literacy rates in the country (Men: 34 per cent; Women - 14.1 per cent). The prevailing circumstances have long led the Balochis to protest against the 'hegemony' of the Punjab province. For instance, Balochistan has some of the largest gas reservoirs in Pakistan at Sui, Pir Koh, and Marri, and while the province accounts for approximately 40 per cent of the country's total gas production, it exports 80 per cent of its output to Punjab. Utilization within Balochistan is a mere17 per cent of its output. The province is also rich in iron ore and copper, among an extended range of other minerals of great economic value, but this wealth is exclusively 'managed' by the Federal Government.

Protests against the Federal Government's acquisition of vast tracts of land for mega military ventures, such as the Gwadar Port and City project, are snowballing, and feed the insurgency. The strategically located port, scheduled to be operational by 2005, is intended to handle transit trade with Central Asia, Afghanistan and western China. However, a relatively large section of the Balochis believe that the benefits will overwhelmingly be cornered by the Pakistani Army and non-Balochis, while Balochis will emerge the principal losers, as is in part the already the case as large tracts of land are acquired by outsiders, primarily from Punjab.

While Islamabad debates the best course of action in Balochistan, recent reportage from the province indicates a broad acceptance and justification of anti-state violence. Voicing popular discontent, Nawab Akber Khan Bugti, chief of the Jamhoori Watan Party, in his August 1 interview to the BBC said, "They force you to take up arms, and you are compelled to put up resistance. After all nobody quarrels or dies eagerly."

The current outbreak of violence has also generated a critique of the continuing dualism in the military regime's understanding of terrorism and sub-conventional conflict. Habib Jalib, Secretary General of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and a former Senator, states, "They are terming it [the August 1 attack at Khuzdar] as a terrorist incident but I do not agree... I think the Pakistan Government does not recognise national political and economic sovereignty of the people. It demands (the) right of self-determination of Kashmir but is not granting it to Balochistan…" He added, further, "Military operations are underway at the moment in Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Gwadar and Turbat district."

While outfits like the BLA seek to demonstrate their capacity for violence in areas like Khuzdar, there are also reports of a broad understanding emerging between the disparate Baloch political groups. While a four-party Baloch alliance, led by the Bugti and Mengal tribes in Balochistan, has protested in Turbat, Gwadar, Kalat, Dera Bugti, Kohlu and Nushki, the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (PONM) has accused the Musharraf regime of launching an 'unannounced military operation' in Balochistan.

Gas pipelines in Sui have been under constant attack from the local tribes over the past years. In May 2004 alone, approximately 140 rockets were fired in Sui, while at least 120 rocket attacks were reported in June. Attacks have also targeted the Gwadar project, with the most recent among significant attacks on May 3, 2004, when three Chinese engineers were killed and 11 persons, including nine Chinese nationals, sustained injuries in a car bomb attack. Other notable incidents of violence in 2004 were:

July 18: Islamist leader and Member of National Assembly, Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani, survives an attempt on his life at Chena Baratkhel in the Qilla Saifullah district.

July 2: Seven Frontier Constabulary personnel are wounded during a landmine blast at Dera Murad Jamali in the Sui area.

June 27: At least two police personnel and three tribesmen are killed during an encounter at Maiwand.

June 19: Terminal of the Sui airport was destroyed after a bomb blast.

June 6: Two persons are killed and two others sustained injuries during a landmine explosion in Kohlu district.

As a result of the escalating violence, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees decided to limit its operations on June 7, 2004, while other foreign non-governmental organisations have closed their offices in Quetta, despite assurances from the Home Department regarding the provision of security to them.

Increasing violence at sensitive locations has been used by the Federal Government to justify its decision to establish new military cantonments inside Balochistan, including three at Gwadar, Dera Bugti and Kohlu, adding to the existing cantonments at Quetta and Khuzdar.

The fact that Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who hails from Balochistan was recently forced to resign as Prime Minister, has evidently not had a positive impact on the insurgency dynamic. Jamali was at least partly responsible for the delayed decision to send in troops to the province, and his 'removal' has reportedly been received very unfavourably in Balochistan.

While Pakistan's economic capital, Karachi, and the borders with Afghanistan are already under siege, renewed violence encompassing the protracted insurgency in Balochistan can only cause further apprehension in military circles. The provincial capital, Quetta, has long been wracked by sectarian bloodshed, and any immediate expansion of the sphere of violence across the rest of the province can be expected to provoke larger military commitments of the kind currently being witnessed in South and North Waziristan along the Afghan border. But military operations to quell dissidence, insurgency and terrorism, irrespective of the nature of grievances, have been riddled with complexities in Pakistan.

Musharraf may seek to portray the operations in Balochistan as targeting 'terrorists' affiliated to Al Qaeda. However, the Baloch groups have insisted on their identity as 'Baloch nationalists' and have rejected the label of Islamist extremists. There is evidence, moreover, that the Islamists have, till now chosen not to get involved in the ongoing insurgency. However, given the recent trajectory of terrorism in the region, it is likely that the Islamists will eventually try to appropriate the 'Baloch cause', and to exploit the discontent in the province in order to further undermine the beleaguered Musharraf regime. Balochistan could, in such a scenario, emerge as a new staging post for Islamist extremists.

The linkages, in this context, are already crystallizing. The Islamist alliance, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, deeply sympathetic to the Taliban, is a coalition partner in the Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid-e-Azam (PML-QA) led Government in Balochistan. A substantial number of Al Qaeda operatives have been arrested from the province since 9/11, and Pushtun nationalism has created significant spaces for the Taliban presence in the province.

However, a deep divide between the Pashtun-dominated northern areas, and the Baloch south, remains a barrier to a unification of Islamist Pashtun elements and nationalist Baloch factions in the immediate future.

Nevertheless, US intelligence is reportedly concerned that, after earlier Pakistani Army operations in South Waziristan, some Al Qaeda operatives relocated to the Balochistan ranges. Islamabad-based writer Mohammad Shehzad told South Asia Intelligence Review on August 7 that there are a substantial number of jehadis present in the province, waiting to harness the operational possibilities that may be created by an escalating Baloch insurgency, and the current violent situation has the potential to worsen rapidly. Sections of Balochis have also accused Islamabad of masterminding terrorist acts in the province to justify plans to build Army cantonments and increase troop deployment.

With the arc of instability widening in Pakistan, there are grave dangers that what is currently a low-level conflict in Balochistan, may be transformed into a full-scale conflagration.


J&K: The Hawks Strike Back
Guest Writer: Praveen Swami
New Delhi Chief of Bureau, Frontline magazine, and also writes for its sister publication, The Hindu

Tragedy, drama, farce: it is almost as if the peace process in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is being authored by someone who has a day job scripting television soap opera.

On August 1, the Jamaat-e-Islami readmitted hardline Islamist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to its ranks, and announced its intention to revive its Political Affairs Committee, a body it had shut down last year as part of a long-running moderate initiative to extricate the organisation from secessionist politics in J&K. The decision was announced at the end of a two-day meeting of the Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora [Central Consultative Council], the Jamaat's 25-member executive. A Jamaat spokesperson announced that Geelani would be free both to hold membership of the organisation as well as his newly-launched party, the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. Most important of all, the Jamaat decisively broke ranks with the centrist All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) faction, until recently led by the Shia cleric, Maulvi Abbas Ansari.

Geelani's return to the Jamaat marked a humiliating defeat for the centrists. Days earlier, Geelani had announced that he planned to hold a meeting of the Arakeen Ijtimaa, or convention of empanelled members, at the Jamaat's offices on August 8. Nasir Ahmad Kashani, the Amir or chief of the Jamaat, had claimed the move violated the Jamaat constitution, arguing that, as the Amir, calling such a convention was his exclusive prerogative. An electoral college of about 2,000 empanelled members had elected Kashani as Amir for a three-year term in 2003, along with the 25 delegates to the Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora. Kashani had, at the time, beaten off a tough challenge from Geelani's political protégé, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai. He then refused to help Geelani's campaign against the centrists in the Hurriyat, and secured the hardliner's removal from the frontlines of the Jamaat - braving direct threats to his life from the Hizb-ul-Mujaheddin (HM) leadership.

What explains the turn-around in the Jamaat? Kashani isn't talking, but one explanation is that the Jamaat Amir feared a vertical split in the organisation. Five of the six district presidents of the Jamaat in the Kashmir Valley threw their weight behind Geelani, support perhaps linked to none-to-discreet lobbying by the Pakistan-based leadership of the HM. Although Geelani did not have the backing of the bulk of the Jamaat's basic membership, he did appear to command a majority in the district of Baramulla, and a solid following in Srinagar and Kupwara. By contrast, the moderates in the Jamaat were unable to carry the fight to their rank-and-file, afraid of terrorist attacks. Kashani was unable to safely travel even in the moderate strongholds of Pulwama and Kulgam. He could also have been concerned about the chaos among the Hurriyat moderates, and fearful of being caught, so to speak, on the wrong end of a rotting bough.

Outside J&K, the full import of these events has been little understood - most notably the enormous significance of the reversal within the Jamaat. In 1997, G.M. Bhat, the then-Amir of the Jamaat, came out of jail, gave an interview calling for an end to the "gun culture", and set about distancing the organisation from the HM. Geelani was incensed, but the tide was against him. In the spring of 1999, former Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat called for a dialogue between mainstream political parties and secessionists, a marked departure from the organisation's demand for a three-way dialogue between itself, India and Pakistan. Both the leaders' initiatives laid the ground for dissident HM commander Abdul Majid Dar declaring a unilateral ceasefire in July 2000 - which the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee promptly reciprocated.

Vajpayee's ceasefire fell apart six months later: Islamist groups simply had no interest in participating in a dialogue that would lead to their marginalisation, and Pakistan was, predictably, uninterested in a peace process whose structure it did not have a role in shaping. Terror, then as now, was the instrument chosen to silence the doves. Bhat's enthusiasm for dialogue dulled considerably after a near-successful February 22, 2001, attempt on his life. The General Council of the Hurriyat, in turn, rejected the Centrists' calls for direct dialogue after a grenade went off during the meeting called to discuss the issue. Dar, too, was shot dead by his one-time Hizb comrades on March 23, 2003. At a 2001 remembrance of the assassination of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's father, Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, armed men gathered around the rostrum and shouted Bhat down. Exactly a year later to the day, key moderate leader Abdul Gani Lone was assassinated, making clear the costs of pursuing peace.

Lone's assassination - for which his son and political heir Sajjad Lone publicly held Geelani responsible - constituted a setback, but did not put an end to the peace process. Behind the scenes, the Jamaat Amir, Bhat, also worked quietly to strengthen the HM dissidents. Shortly before his arrest in the build-up to the 2002 Assembly elections, Geelani found himself increasingly forced to turn to fringe extreme-right organisations outside the Jamaat-e-Islami, like Nayeem Khan's Kashmir Front and Shakeel Bakshi's Islamic Students' League. Matters came to a head soon after, with Geelani refusing to attend Hurriyat executive meetings unless Sajjad Lone was expelled for having put up proxy candidates in the Assembly elections. In May last year, the Jamaat moderates hit back, 'retiring' Geelani as their political representative in the Hurriyat and refusing to back his Islamist faction of the secessionist coalition.

From early this year, the Islamists began to retaliate. They clearly understood the central problem: no Government in New Delhi could make the kind of concessions that Pakistan would find acceptable, or that the moderates could sell - and the moderates, in turn, could not deliver the de-escalation in hostilities New Delhi desperately needed. A string of terror attacks on individuals close to Mirwaiz Farooq were used to drive home to the moderates the consequences of bucking the Islamist fiat. Mirwaiz Farooq's efforts to buy peace with a section of the Islamists, by attending the last rites of slain terrorist Rafiq Ahmad Dar, provoked Sajjad Lone to leave the ranks of the moderates. Ansari finally responded to the deteriorating security situation with panic, and abandoned his post at the bridge of the moderate APHC.

Where might events go from here? It seems unlikely that Mirwaiz Farooq, the most visible moderate Hurriyat leader, will be willing to assume a vanguard role in the near future. Apart from his political and security concerns, sources indicate, personal considerations have imposed considerable pressures on the religious leader. Command of his religious organisation, the Anjuman-e-Nusrat-ul-Islam, passes from father to son, and Farooq, who married three years ago, is yet to sire an heir. The family is deeply concerned about the risk of assassination, and wishes him to stay distant from controversy until an heir is born. Mirwaiz Farooq has bucked this pressure in the past, but is now likely to focus his attentions on bringing about some kind of rapprochement within the Hurriyat factions. As such, further dialogue between the moderates and New Delhi seems a distant prospect.

Kashani and his fellow moderates will closely watch the course of events in Geelani's new party. If Geelani is unable to attract a significant number of Jamaat rukuns, or rank-and-file members, the moderates could once again move to contain his authority. Yet, the ongoing chaos could not have come at a worse time for New Delhi. On the edge of talks with Pakistan on the future of J&K, Indian strategists have found their ace - direct negotiations with moderate secessionists - has been stolen from the pack. It is hard to say, of course, whether the peace process is actually dead - it might just be comatose, or even just lying there with its eyes closed, waiting for an opportunity to spring to life and surprise the villain - but signs are, the next few episodes will be filled with bloodshed.


Manipur: Impending Collapse of Governance
Wasbir Hussain
Associate Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi; Consulting Editor, The Sentinel, Guwahati

On April 19, 2004, the Army's 44 Mountain Brigade, under the command of Brigadier V.P.P.S. Gusain, moved into the militant infested Sajek Tampak mountains in Northeast India's Manipur State. Soldiers of the 7 Sikh Light Infantry, 27 Madras Regiment and 9 Rajput, arrived in the inaccessible frontier district of Chandel, right on the border with Myanmar, 100 kilometres northwest of the capital, Imphal, ostensibly to carry out 'area domination' exercises ahead of the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) elections, although their actual mission was to neutralize and flush out an estimated 3,000 rebels from their hub.

Militants of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) - who jointly operate under the banner of the Manipur People's Liberation Front (MPLF) - obviously saw the troops coming. They mined their bases and laid ambushes. Top security sources in Imphal told this writer that, on the day the soldiers moved in (April 19), suspected PLA rebels ambushed and killed four Army troopers, including a Lieutenant.

The Army is yet to launch a frontal attack, but appears to be cutting off the rebels' lines of communication. The Army is also working at bringing the impoverished villagers inhabiting the approaches to the hills to its side. Considering the vantage points in which the rebels are located, with a rear that gives them free access to Myanmar, and armed with sophisticated military hardware, securing the support of the civilians is an important exercise, and explains why the Army is carrying out health and veterinary camps, setting up water points and building roads.

If an entire Brigade is thought to be necessary to confine and neutralize a band of militants in a single location, the overall insurgency situation in the whole of Manipur can well be imagined. According to the State's Director General of Police, A.K. Parashar, 30 rebel groups, including different factions of a single group, operate in Manipur. The rebels are well armed - the rebels in Sajek Tampak, for instance, have in their arsenal, rocket propelled grenades, 2 inch mortars, universal and light machine guns, Chinese M-16 rifles, land mines, AK series rifles, and possibly a few anti-aircraft guns.

Statistics indicate that the situation in the State has, indeed, been bad. Official sources note that, between January 6, 2004 and July 28, 2004, there were 22 fatal attacks on security forces alone, across the State, in which 39 men and officers have lost their lives. In the last incident on July 28, 2004, three soldiers of the 19 Assam Rifles were killed by suspected UNLF rebels, who decamped with 3 weapons, 9 magazines and more than 200 rounds of ammunition. In 2003, as many as 196 people were killed in insurgency-related violence, and between January and June 2004, another 114 persons were killed. Between 1992 and 2000, at least 1,335 civilians have fallen victim to militants' bullets across Manipur.

In view of the situation, the application of a tough anti-terror law is, perhaps, unavoidable. Despite the month-long mass uprising, which has paralyzed normal life in Imphal and elsewhere in Manipur, over the arrest and subsequent death of a 32 year old woman, Thangjam Manorama, New Delhi is in no mood to lift the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA). Both Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Shivraj Patil made it clear on August 7, 2004, that the Act was needed in Manipur, where militant activities remain high.

Both the Army and the State Police insist Manorama was a hardcore PLA cadre, involved in planting improvised explosive devices (IED). A section of the intelligence community have even claimed that she had been in Punjab for a month in 2003, where she may have been in touch with operatives of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). But these claims beg the question: the real issue at present relates to the murky circumstances under which her death occurred while she was in the custody of the 17 Assam Rifles. The soldiers had picked her up from her home before dawn on July 11, 2004, handing the family an 'arrest memo' signed by Havaldar (Sergeant) Suresh Kumar. The Army leadership's subsequent and questionable defense of the action, and the incremental exposure of actual details of the incident, have done a great deal of harm to the state's case, and have fed public anger against a backdrop of orchestrated and escalating protests.

The aberrant action of a few Army troopers engaged in operations in sensitive theatres of insurgency, and the failure of the military leadership to contain the obvious fallout of probable deviance, has contributed to the neutralization of immense tactical gains secured by the security agencies over months and years. Clearly, a system of effective checks and balances is necessary if troops operating with the aid of stringent anti-terror laws are to be held to account in cases of the abuse of such powers. While the use of force by the state's agencies is obviously a necessity in the insurgency-wracked State, not all use of force can be deemed proportionate or justifiable. For instance, according to records with the Manipur Police, thirty-three people have been killed by security forces between January 1, 2004, and July 11, 2004. Significantly, as many as 17 of them, according to the police records, have no listed linkages with insurgent groups. While it is possible that these were, in fact, insurgents with no previous police records, a stronger case needs to be built to establish such claims, beyond the contention of the security agencies themselves.

Within the chaotic circumstances that have been created through protests over the Thangjam Manorama case, an argument has gained ground that, since militants in Manipur continue to have a field day despite the fact that the AFSPA has been in use since September 1980, it was time to look for alternatives. One of the alternatives being voiced is for the duly elected State Government to be more 'pro-active' and improve governance in all spheres. But this is, at best, theory, and the possibilities of good governance in Manipur are remote, a fact admitted by none other than some ruling Congress leaders. As N. Biren, a ruling Congress Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), expresses it, "The people have lost trust in politicians and the political system. Unless we take drastic measures and regain the people's confidence, we cannot help restore order in the State".

The role and effectiveness of Manipur's 14,000 strong Police force is also in question. The Police has long been marginalized in anti-insurgency operations, and demoralisation is endemic. In the past, the State Police has also mutinied over salaries. Manipur is in a financial mess, and on August 2, 2004, the policemen, along with other Government employees, received their salaries for the months of May, June and July 2004, after three months without pay.

The lack of coherent political perspectives and leadership on the insurgency issue is another major problem. In April 2004, the Manipur Cabinet deliberated on whether the State should establish a 'unified command' for the Army, Police and Paramilitary Forces on the lines of the system in Assam, where it has worked quite well. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh is believed to have rejected the idea, possibly because of the fear that his position as head of such a unified command could have a dramatic and adverse fallout on his political career.

In any case, Ibobi Singh's tenure as Manipur's Chief Minister may not last long. If the AFSPA is lifted or toned down, he stays. If not, President's rule is imminent.

In the meanwhile, the mass agitation shows no signs of dying down. From Monday, August 9, 2004, the protagonists of the protest movement (it is being jointly spearheaded by 32 organizations) have threatened to shut down State and Central Government offices. Transporters and bus operators have announced the suspension of inter-state services, and a section of the leaders of the agitation have issued a 'ban' on public transport, traffic on the highways, and the arrival and departure of flights, with the intention to 'cut off' Manipur from the 'mainland' till the Centre agrees to the withdrawal of the AFSPA. The self-imposed deadline of August 15, 2004, set separately by the agitators and Chief Minister Singh, to have the AFSPA lifted, is fast approaching. All said and done, Manipur's insurgents may have the last laugh, seeing thousands marching in the streets and clashing with the men in uniform, demanding the repeal of a legislation that is tough on the extremists.



Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
August 2-8, 2004

Security Force Personnel






     Jammu &








     West Bengal


Total (INDIA)





 Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Geelani announces formation of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir: On August 7, 2004, senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani floated his own party, the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir. With support from his parent organisation, Jamaat-e-Islami, Geelani announced that he would function as chairman of the new party as well as his faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). While addressing a news conference in Srinagar, Geelani said that "un-Islamic ideologies like secularism, socialism, nationalism and even Communism" had become the "source of inspiration" for the Hurriyat faction led by Maulvi Abbas Ansari and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Daily Excelsior, August 8, 2004.

Nine police personnel killed during terrorist attack on CRPF camp in Srinagar: Nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, including a company commander, and one terrorist were killed and nine people sustained injuries during an encounter after two terrorists stormed a CRPF camp in the Rajbagh locality of capital Srinagar on August 4-night. The encounter ended after a final assault was launched by security forces to flush out the terrorists holed up inside the camp in the early hours of August 5. Unconfirmed reports said the second terrorist had managed to escape. Earlier, two terrorists had stormed a camp in the Dal Lake area on July 27-28 and killed five CRPF personnel. Daily Excelsior, August 6, 2004


India urges Nepal to probe Dawood Ibrahim link with media firm: Indian underworld fugitive, Dawood Ibrahim, has reportedly invested huge sums of money in a cable network in Nepal, and uses it to support his business interests and also to influence public opinion, especially against India. The Indian embassy, in a letter to the Nepalese Foreign Ministry, asked Kathmandu to enquire into the ownership and financing of Space Time Network, which runs, among others, a Nepali daily and a television channel, and to take immediate action against the company in case the charges are proved. Dawood is reported to be currently based in Pakistan. Hindustan Times, August 9, 2004.


Banned outfit chief arrested for suicide attack on President Musharraf released: Maulana Abdul Jabbar, chief of the proscribed Khudam-ul-Furqan (a breakaway faction of the Jaish-e-Mohammed), has reportedly been released by security agencies after a long detention for the December 2003-suicide attack on President Pervez Musharraf. "The security agencies after the completion of investigations released Mr Jabbar last week but restricted his movements throughout the country," unnamed sources told Daily Times on August 6, 2004. Jabbar was detained because the suicide bomber, namely Mohammad Jamil, had worked under his command when he was in the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). Daily Times, August 7, 2004.

19 persons killed during clashes in South Waziristan: At least 11 persons were reportedly killed and 12 others sustained injuries in an exchange of fire between troops and terrorists in different parts of South Waziristan on August 5, 2004. Separately, an unconfirmed report said that terrorists ambushed an Army convoy at Khomrang, close to the Shakai valley in South Waziristan, killing at least eight soldiers. Jang, August 6, 2004.

Balochistan Chief Minister escapes assassination attempt: The Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yousaf escaped unhurt when his cavalcade was attacked by unidentified terrorists on August 2, 2004 near Surab, about 180 kilometers south west of Quetta. A constable and one of the attackers were reportedly killed and three persons sustained injuries during the incident. Daily Times, August 3, 2004.


The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs 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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