SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 3, No. 46, May 30, 2005
assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form
with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
Addressing a luncheon organised by the Consulate General
of India and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII)
at New York on May 17, 2005, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister
Raman Singh said: "We are India's youngest, smartest State
without any liability from the past. We intend to become
the country's hottest investment destination." Heading a
team of senior officials, Raman Singh was pitching for foreign
investment for his State, which sits on some of India's
richest mineral reserves of coal, iron ore, dolomite, bauxite
and limestone. Returning home after the trip, on May 27,
Singh declared that foreign investors would invest close
to INR 56 billion in the coming months in the State. The
Chief Minister's boast may, however, seem somewhat incredible,
considering the security environment prevalent in Chhattisgarh.
On May 7,
2005, left wing extremists (popularly known as Naxalites)
of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)
attacked the Samri Aluminum unit of Asia's largest primary
producer of aluminum, the Hindalco Industries Limited (a
flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group) at Saridih in
the Surguja District, destroying the company's buildings
and documents. Following the attack, the Balrampur Superintendent
of Police, Sitaram Kaluri, stated that security forces involved
in combing operations in the region had earlier stayed in
the company's residential premises, which may have prompted
the attack. However, this was not the first attack on the
Hindalco group by the Naxalites. On April 25, 2002, they
had attacked Hindalco's Kutku Bauxite mines in the Balrampur
area, damaging machinery and equipment worth INR 20 million.
The latest assault did not end immediately. On May 8, in
an attack reminiscent of the Koraput incident of February
6, 2004, in Orissa, CPI-Maoist cadres attacked the Kanker
District Headquarters, setting afire buildings belonging
to the revenue and forest departments, as well as a branch
of the State Bank of India. The offensive was meticulous
and according to Kanker Superintendent of Police, Pradeep
Gupta, "the attack was unexpected. The armed guerrillas
blocked all the roads leading to the incident site by felling
trees on roads." An interesting aspect in both the attacks
- at the Hindalco unit and in Kanker - was the reported
involvement of more than 200 cadres in a methodical operation,
in both cases taking the security, corporate and bureaucratic
machinery by surprise.
With 43.7 per cent of the State under forest cover, and
a 31.75 per cent tribal population, Chhattisgarh has provided
fertile ground for the Naxalites to operate in and dominate.
According to a recent State Government intelligence report,
the Naxalites have become a "dominant force in nine of the
16 districts and have partial but fast growing impact in
four districts". Among the worst
affected districts include Kanker, Dantewada,
Bastar, Surguja, Rajnandgaon, Koriya, Kawardha and Jashpur.
The report has also predicted that the Naxalites could capture
nearly 60 percent of the State's land by 2010, if decisive
operations are not carried out by the Union Government to
dismantle their bases.
to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Annual Report 2004-2005,
"In Chhattisgarh, Naxal violence led by the CPML-PW (Communist
Party of India Marxist-Leninist - People's War) sharply
increased during 2004. The increase was primarily on account
of coordinated Naxal attacks on police as a part of the
CPML-PW/ MCCI (Maoist Communist Centre of India)-led poll
boycott campaign." The MHA report further stated that, there
were 37 fatalities in Naxalite violence in 2001; 55 in 2002;
74 in 2003; and 83 in 2004. In 2005, according to the Institute
for Conflict Management database, till May 28, 16 security
forces (SF) personnel, 11 civilians, and 3 Naxalites have
been killed in different incidents. The preponderance of
SF fatalities in 2005 has been alarming and has been attributed
by official sources to increasing combing operations carried
out in the districts of Kanker, Dantewada and Bastar, in
an apparent effort by the Government to enter the 'liberated
zone' (areas where Maoist influence and activities are dominant).
In May 2005, a senior CPI-Maoist leader, Ayatu, speaking
to the media in the Bastar forest area had said, "Who said
we are running parallel administration? We have liberated
some of our areas through our sustained people's war in
the Abujhmad (Abujhmar) area of Dandakaranya zone (of Bastar
region) where we have established people's governance."
The local media has often substantiated this claim with
reports of the Naxalites administering a 'taxation' system
in these areas; of police not venturing into the villages
after dark; and of Government officials traveling in vehicles
that bear a 'Press' sticker to avoid Naxalite attacks. Way
back in 2000, (Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh
in November 2000) the Madhya Pradesh's Commissioner (Land
Records) and Chief Conservator of Forests (Land Management)
had admitted in a report that the Naxalites had forcibly
occupied 20,000 hectares of forest area in the Bastar division
and were running a parallel government there by appointing
their own 'rangers' and 'deputy rangers'.
Similarly, in other districts like Surguja, there have been
recent reports of sales tax officials leaving their inter-state
check gates on the borders of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand
well before sunset for fear of the Naxalites. In the Bastar
region, the Indian Army's Border Road Organisation's (BRO)
attempt to construct the 200 kilometer long national highway
between Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh has hit bottlenecks
due to Naxalite attacks.
Acknowledging the difficulties faced by the police in entering
this 'liberated zone', the State Government had approached
the Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA)
in January 2005, to conduct a survey of the Abujhmar Hills,
in order to provide them with the geographical locations
of the Naxalite camps.
The Abujhmar Hills are located in the western part of Bastar
District. The terrain varies from 450 meters to 750 meters
above sea level, is densely forested, and comprises many
high ridges and deep valleys created by numerous streams,
which provide an effective natural barrier from all sides,
isolating it from the rest of the region. The Hills are
inhabited by the Maria tribes.
The task of recovering control and restoring governance
in the Naxalite affected areas of Chhattisgarh appears far
from easy, as evidenced by the May 19, 2005, incident, when
senior police officials, supervising operations to enter
the Abujmarh Hills, came under heavy Naxalite attack at
Narayanpur in the Bastar District. Military helicopters
were used to evacuate them.
The capacity to mount affective anti-Naxalite operations
in the State is undermined by low police strength. According
to the Crime in India, 2003, report published by the National
Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), for an estimated mid-year population
of 21,721,000 in Chhattisgarh, the police strength (civil
and armed) was 20,472; this yields a police-population ratio
of 1:1,061. The all-India ratio is 1:814, but in Delhi it
goes up to 1:269; and in Mizoram: 1:129. [The worst ratio
in the country obtains in Bihar - 1:1,652]. In an attempt
to replenish this deficit, the Chhattisgarh Government requested
the Gujarat Government to send police personnel to help
man police stations when the local police was sent out for
combing operations. This request has apparently been accepted,
with Gujarat Director General of Police, A.K. Bhargava stating
on May 4, that a battalion comprising six companies of the
Special Armed Force would be sent to Naxalite-affected areas
in Chhattisgarh. A similar request has reportedly been made
to the Nagaland Government. Whether this will result in
any dramatic improvement in operational capacities remains
to be seen. The presence of outside troops often adds to
disenchantment among the locals, and tends to yield unreliable
Nevertheless, as the State Government fires up its efforts
to penetrate Naxalite dominated areas in Chhattisgarh, the
coming months may well see body counts rising. For the Government,
the success of these operations is paramount if the promised
foreign investment is actually to materialize; investor
confidence can hardly be expected to improve as long as
the Naxalites continue to function as 'a state within the
Guest Writer: Mohammad Shehzad
Islamabad-based freelance journalist and writer
The Pakistani military establishment's fondness for Islamist
fundamentalists, jihadists and rightwing groups remains
as strong as ever, and the May 15 Convocation of Deeni Madaris
(religious seminaries), as well as the May 18 edict against
suicide attacks provide the latest evidence to this effect.
On May 15,
Wafaqul Medaris Al Arabia (a coalition of more than 9,000
Deobandi seminaries that claims to be the original patron
and creator of the Taliban) organized a grand convocation
in the immediate vicinity of the Parliament, Presidency
and the Prime Minister's House at the state-owned Convention
Center, with the full patronage of the present regime. Venomous
speeches against the US were made on the occasion; jihad
was glorified; Government policies in Afghanistan, Iraq
and Kashmir were condemned.
The May 15 Convocation was both unusual and, in many respects,
incredible. The state owns and runs the majestic Convention
Center that is used for high-profile activities like South
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Conventions.
It is the most elite venue in Islamabad. Securing access
for a programme is no easy matter, and it is not the kind
of place that has often lent itself to extremist political
or religious outburst. This is the first time that this
facility was extended to such an organization, and to give
vent to their fury against the US.
It is clear that two powerful players continue to dominate
Pakistani politics - the Army and the mullahs (clerics).
The convention creates doubts about Musharraf's 'enlightened
moderation' and his claims of liberalism. There is mounting
evidence that the regime is strengthening a miniscule but
violent minority instead of encouraging the silent and peace-loving
majority. The mullahs, it appears, are Army's 'B' team,
and are bound to become stronger in future with the establishment's
patronage. With the state's patronage, they will eventually
come to dominate the entire political space in Pakistan,
with the jehadi element becoming an increasing threat, both
internally and externally.
The May 15 Convocation brought together thousands of Deobandi
clerics from all over the country including the self-proclaimed
'spiritual leaders' of the Taliban
- Maulana Samiul Haq, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, former Inter
Services Intelligence Chief (ISI) Hamid Gul, and Qazi Hussain
Ahmad. Former Prime Minister Shujaat Hussain, Information
Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Minister for Religious
Affairs Ejaz ul Haq represented the Government. The Convocation,
ostensibly intended to award outstanding clerics, sent out
a strong message, emphasized particularly in speeches by
Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Fazl ur Rehman and Samiul Haq: politics
and religion are intrinsically linked and cannot be analysed
in isolation; and the mullahs are the greatest custodians
As Fazl-ur-Rehman declaimed: "Politics is the governance
of a society the rules of which were set by Koran and propounded
by the holy Prophet. Therefore, the Prophet was the greatest
politician and statesman. Muslims are bound to follow him
in all respects of life. Since the mullahs are the
true disciples of the Prophet, politics is their religious
right. And by doing politics, the mullahs are carrying
forward the Prophet's mission. Politics is surely not the
business of the Army."
Rehman also held General Musharraf responsible for the desecration
of Quran in Guantanamo, and for The Washington Time's
derogatory cartoon depicting Pakistan as a dog. He accused
Musharraf of imposing the so-called modernism/liberalism
on the nation at the West's behest.
In his prepared speech, Rehman recalled the days when the
clerics would go door-to-door and collect food as alms.
"The beggars of yesterday have now become a threat to global
powers," he said, "Today, they are ruling the country. This
shows clerics are successful politicians!"
Rehman accused the powerful nations of exploiting the resources
of the weak nations through international treaties and argued
that Pakistan should not adhere to such treaties. "The international
treaties have imposed extremely unfair conditions on us
completely nullifying our constitution."
Insisting that it was not the seminaries that were extremist
or terrorists, he declared, "What the US has done in Afghanistan
and Iraq sufficiently proves the fact that there is no terrorist/extremist
bigger than America. The inhuman policies of the US are
pushing the Muslims to extremism."
In his highly charged speech, Samiul Haq claimed that the
big powers were working on a single-point agenda - the annihilation
of the seminaries. "The international community is against
only one thing, the seminaries. Its target is not the Islamic
Army, the Muslim rulers, generals or the politicians. It
is not concerned with our natural resources. Its target
is only one - to label our seminaries as hub of terrorism
The convocation passed a 14-point resolution, which included:
- The five wafaq
(coalitions) of religious seminaries should be given
the status of a board and their degrees/certificates
should be recognized at the national level.
- The Seminaries Reforms
Board should be immediately abolished. It is a violation
of the agreement that the Government had entered into
with the five wafaq.
- Seminaries are not involved
in any act of terror. Such propaganda is a Jewish conspiracy.
- We condemn the Agha
Khan Board (AKB) and demand that it should be immediately
- The proceedings of all
the Government and private events should start with
the recitation of Koran and it should be made part of
- The ban on the foreign
students who want to come to Pakistan for religious
education should be lifted and they should be granted
- The Government should
stop patronizing the Hindu and European culture in the
country and ban such NGOs that are involved in this
- The state-media should
stop promoting nudity.
The May 15
Convocation was extraordinarily well-organised. A media
cell, equipped with computers, internet connectivity and
photocopiers had been established at Lal Masjid; security
was tight, and nobody was allowed entry without invitation.
The proceedings of the Convocation were transmitted live
through the internet at www.defendersofislam.com.
Some clerics who could not make it to the Convention Center
participated online. Several observers were inclined to
some skepticism regarding the administrative skills of the
clerics, and suspicions were voiced that the 'ISI has sponsored
Arif Jamal - a prolific writer on jihad and rightwing
politics - observed: "The Convocation marks a new beginning
of relations between the Musharraf Government and the Deobandi
ulema. The conflict between the Musharraf Government
and the Pakistani Deobandi ulema that started with
the fall of the Taliban Government in Afghanistan and reached
its climax with the attempts on the life of General Musharraf
appears to be over. The Musharraf Government's reconciliatory
efforts towards the ulema in general and friendly
acts towards the Deobandi ulema in particular have
finally convinced them that the Government is not hostile
Musharraf has also back-paddled on the issue of seminaries
registration and reforms in their curriculum. Jamal notes,
further, "The Government has been going slow on its reform
agenda for the madaris for the last one year. It
has considerably reduced its interference in the affairs
of the madaris. It has also stopped issuing any hostile
statements against the ulema and madaris.
It has also exempted them from mandatory registration under
the Deeni Madaris (Voluntary Registration and Regulation)
Ordinance, 2002, which was an important demand of the madaris.
It withdrew cases against some of the leading Deobandi ulema
as a part of its reconciliation efforts…"
The regime's efforts to secure support from the Islamist
right were also at least partially visible in the fatwa
(edict) of May 18, issued by a group of 58 ulema,
against suicide attacks in the country. Significantly, the
fatwa exempted the masterminding of suicide attacks against
'foreign occupation', including such attacks in Palestine,
Iraq, Afghanistan and Kashmir. The impact of the fatwa,
however, is expected to be negligible, since it has little
backing from scholars of repute. As the Daily Jasarat
columnist, Shahnawaz Farooqi, noted, out of the 58 ulema
who issued the fatwa, 57 had no standing. "We
have heard their name for the first time in our life. There
is only one familiar name - Mufti Muneebur Rehman."
Farooqi went on to urge Mufti Muneebur Rehman to issue an
edict against the Army. "Pakistani generals subjugate the
country whenever they wish to do so. National, international
and Islamic law does not allow such subjugation. Therefore,
Mufti Muneeb and his clique of other so-called 57 scholars
should issue another edict that should declare Army's dictatorship
as un-Islamic." He added, further, that violent resistance
against an oppressive ruler was also jihad, giving
the example of Hazrat Ali's jihad against Yazeed.
"Yazeed was a Muslim and Hazrat Ali had waged jihad against
him. In the light of Muneeb's edict, Hazrat Ali's resistance
against Yazeed becomes an act of terrorism."
The fatwa has been outrightly rejected by the dominant
rightwing formations. Fazlur Rehman declared: "The edict
has been issued under political compulsions. It is not based
on Shariat but on politics. The Government has bribed ulema
to obtain the edict at the US behest. The US is responsible
for introducing the trend of suicide attacks."
Interestingly, Mufti Muneeb's colleague Sarfraz Naeemi also
disagreed with his fatwa: "The edict will benefit
unbelief. The entire world knows the motives behind the
edict. The greatest benefit will reach to the murderers
of the Muslims - India, Israel and the US. At the moment,
the Muslims are being massacred all over the world. Instead
of issuing the edict of jihad against the
butchers of the Muslims, Musharraf has bribed the ulema
to get an edict against suicide attacks. The suicide attacks
are not haram [forbidden in Islam] but are the supreme
form of jihad. There should have been an edict against
Bush - that whoever will kill him will go to the heaven."
The outcome of the fatwa came exactly after 10 days,
on May 28, when the Shia shrine, the Hazrat Bari Imam, in
the vicinity of the heavily guarded Diplomatic Enclave,
witnessed a powerful suicide explosion that killed 25 people
and injured more than a 100. The message to the Government
was loud and clear: the fatwa meant nothing. Extremist
elements would continue to do whatever they deemed necessary.
Assam: Truce before
Associate Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management, New
Delhi; Consulting Editor, The Sentinel, Guwahati
Government in Northeast India's Assam State is euphoric.
Mainstream political and student leaders, besides former
rebel chieftains, in the Bodo tribal heartland - spread
over western and northern Assam - have managed a smile.
After some uncertainty, the predictable has happened: the
outlawed insurgent National Democratic Front of Bodoland
fighting for a sovereign Bodo homeland since its formation
on October 3, 1986, has signed a ceasefire agreement with
the Government. But events that could follow from this point
on, promise to be highly unpredictable, if not dangerous.
inked in New Delhi on May 25, 2005, between the NDFB, the
Union Government and the State Government of Assam, is for
a year to begin with, with effect from June 1, 2005. The
outfit, headed by Ranjan Daimari, alias D.R. Nabla, its
'president', has an estimated 500 trained fighters, according
to intelligence sources in the Assam Police, although its
overall cadre strength is said to be around 2,000. These
cadres will now have to stay put in designated camps set
up by the authorities, and cannot move about with weapons.
Besides, the group will have to furnish the Government with
a detailed list of cadres and the weapons in their possession.
Having accomplished step one in its peace efforts, both
the Assam Government and New Delhi appear happy. Assam Chief
Minister Tarun Gogoi is particularly elated in an election
year, because the NDFB had responded favourably to his September
30, 2004, offer of truce to all rebel groups in this State
of 26 million people. The other frontline insurgent group
in Assam, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)
had rejected the call, but later indicated its desire for
entering into peace negotiations with the Government of
India. New Delhi, on May 26, 2005, addressed a letter to
ULFA 'Chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, inviting his group for
unconditional peace talks - the immediate response was the
assassination of a Congress party leader, Amrit Dutta, president
of the North-west Jorhat Anchalik Panchayat and the executive
president of the Dergaon Block Congress, who was shot dead
in Jorhat, the Chief Minister's home constituency, by two
ULFA gunmen, on the same day.
The stage is now obviously set for the beginning of a process
of negotiations for a permanent peace between the Government
and the NDFB leadership. What is absolutely unpredictable
at this stage is the possible shape of the deal with the
NDFB and its fallout on Bodo politics, which has always
been murky, to say the least. What can the NDFB bargain
for? A Union Territory for the Bodos? Or a brand new autonomy
package? Will that mean New Delhi can or will scrap the
agreement that it signed in 2003 with the Bodo Liberation
to end that group's armed campaign for autonomy? Can there
be a new Bodo accord without disturbing the one already
in place, according to which the Bodoland Territorial Council
came into existence? No player in the tortuous Bodo political
arena has a clue, nor, indeed, does it seem that the Union
or State Governments have a game plan either.
As things stand today, a new turf war is bound to emerge
the moment an agreement between the Government and the NDFB
takes shape. The war that has bloodied Assam's Bodo inhabited
areas from the time the BLT emerged on the scene in 1996
could re-surface in various forms once again. The NDFB and
the BLT have been bitter foes, the former fighting for an
independent homeland and the latter, from the beginning,
pushing for maximum autonomy for the Bodo ethnic group within
the ambit of the Indian Constitution.
There is actually very little political space now vacant
in the Bodo heartland, particularly since the BLT bid adieu
to arms and joined the political and social mainstream after
the agreement with New Delhi in 2003. The BTC, a 40-member
elective politico-administrative structure, has been created
under the terms of the agreement, three new districts were
carved out, an allocation of Rs. One billion a year has
been earmarked for the new Council, and most of the former
BLT cadres have been absorbed in the paramilitary forces
as part of a rehabilitation package.
Significantly, while the major mainstream Bodo forces, including
erstwhile BLT members, the All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU)
and others, had wholeheartedly backed the BLT-led autonomy
campaign, they turned political rivals the moment the first
elections to the BTC was announced. The BTC polls, held
on May 13, 2003, witnessed former BLT 'chief', Hagrama Mahilary,
openly campaigning against official candidates nominated
by the newly floated Bodo People's Progressive Front (BPPF),
despite the fact that the BPPF had the backing of the ABSU,
and the former BLT, at least officially.
Indications of trouble have already emerged. Former BLT
boss Hagrama Mahilary, while welcoming the NDFB-Government
truce, has made it clear that New Delhi must look for a
solution without disturbing the existing BTC. On his part,
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said in no uncertain
terms that there is no question of conceding to any demand
for a separate Bodo State. If that remains the Government's
position, the rebel group will have to be satisfied with
another 'autonomy package'. Whatever that may be, it will
certainly have the potential to disturb the prevailing Bodo
power equations. And the former BLT rebels could well be
poised for a new turf war with the NDFB. There will, of
course, also be other major political realignments, making
the scene in Assam's Bodo heartland even more volatile.
For sometime now, however, at least until the talks reach
a decisive stage, a relative calm can be expected in the
Bodo dominated areas, with all insurgent groups joining
the peace bandwagon.
Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts
in South Asia
data compiled from English language media sources.
Six Indian insurgents
killed during security force crackdown in Moulavibazaar
district: According to Daily Star, six suspected
Indian insurgents were killed on May 27, 2005, during
a gunfight with a joint raiding party of Bangladesh Rifles
and Rapid Action Battalion at Kamalganj in the northeastern
district of Moulvibazaar. Another operation was launched
in the border areas of Jhenaigati in the Sherpur district
targeting hideouts of Indian insurgents in Bangladesh
territory. Official sources, however, said that the crackdown
was aimed at "suspected gunrunners, who supply illegal
arms and ammunition to local hoodlums." The
Daily Star, May 28, 2005.
Geelani rejects Pakistan invitation
to board Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus: Syed Ali Shah Geelani,
leader of the breakaway faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference
on May 29, 2005, rejected Pakistan's invitation to visit that
country and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad
bus on June 2, in protest against Islamabad's "flexible stand"
on the Kashmir issue. "We have decided against going to Pakistan
and PoK in the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus on June 2. We are showing
our resentment to the present policies of the Pakistan Government
vis-à-vis Kashmir issue," Geelani told a press conference in
Excelsior, May 30, 2005.
Hurriyat Conference faction of Umar Farooq decides to visit
PoK on June 2: The secessionist All Parties Hurriyat Conference
faction headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on May 25, 2005, decided
to travel on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus scheduled for June
2. During a meeting at the Hurriyat's headquarters in Srinagar,
the Mirwaiz faction deliberated over the single agenda of whether
or not to visit Pakistan. Farooq had called a joint meeting
of the Hurriyat Executive Council, Working Committee and General
Council to discuss a communication of the Government of Pakistan
inviting him and other Hurriyat constituents for a visit to
Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Pakistan on June 2. Meanwhile,
the Union Government said on May 26 that the travel of Hurriyat
leaders' beyond PoK would be contrary to the understanding between
the two countries. Daily
Excelsior, May 27, 2005.
National Democratic Front of Bodoland signs tripartite cease-fire
agreement: On May 25, 2005, a tripartite cease-fire agreement
was signed between the National Democratic Front of Bodoland
the Union Government and the Government of Assam at New Delhi.
The agreement will be valid for a year beginning June 1, 2005.
As per its provisions, security force personnel will suspend
operations against the outfit and the NDFB cadres will neither
carry arms nor move about in uniform. The outfit is also barred
from providing assistance to any other militant group. The NDFB
cadres are expected to move into designated camps after the
group submits a list of its cadres and of weapons in its possession
to the Assam Police. Sentinel
Assam, May 26, 2005.
Maoists kill five police personnel in Chhattisgarh: Five
police personnel were reportedly killed during a landmine explosion
triggered by left-wing extremists (also known as Naxalites)
of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)
near Jhangla village in the Dantewada district of Chhatisgarh
on May 23, 2005. An Army helicopter was pressed into service
to evacuate the nine injured police personnel from the blast
site. Earlier, the Naxalites had detonated a landmine at Errabor
in the same district and reports indicated that the five police
personnel who were killed near Jhangla were on patrol following
the blast in Errabor. Daily
Pioneer, May 24, 2005.
25 people killed
and 100 injured during suicide bombing at shrine in Islamabad:
At least 25 people, including a suspected suicide bomber, were
killed and approximately 100 others sustained injuries during
a powerful explosion at the Bari Imam shrine located in vicinity
of the diplomatic enclave in capital Islamabad on May 27, 2005.
Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 devotees were reportedly attending
the annual gathering of the Shia sect when a bearded man of medium
height and dark complexion walked up to the stage and blew himself
up. The Shia sect claims Bari Imam as their religious leader and
holds a special Majlis-e-Aza (religious gathering) the
day after the conclusion of the four-day annual Urs of Bari Imam.
May 28, 2005.
Any pact on Kashmir will need international guarantees, says
President Musharraf: During an interview to Daily Times,
President Pervez Musharraf said he would prefer some kind of "international
guarantees" for the implementation of any pact reached with India
on the Kashmir issue, which he wants to be settled in a year's
time. ''I don't know, I haven't thought of this point, but may
be the peace process should be guaranteed by the international
community. I think if we reach an agreement there should be something
other than just bilateral guarantees. I think the international
community should play a role in the guarantees. And this is a
new thing that I am saying,'' he said. Daily
Times, May 25, 2005.
Attack on LTTE
air assets could restart war, says SLMM chief: The Sri Lanka
Monitoring Mission (SLMM) chief, Hagrup Haukland, speaking to
the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Sri Lanka in Colombo
on May 27, 2005, stated that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
possess an airstrip in the island's north, but warned that any
move by Government forces to bomb it could lead to the resumption
of war. "We have seen the air strip from the air while flying
in a Sri Lankan military helicopter," Haukland disclosed. The
SLMM had been denied access by the outfit to verify Government
charges that they possess at least two light aircraft and warned
that "it not only destabilises Sri Lanka's security, but India's
security as well." "If the Tigers fly, it will be a violation
of Sri Lankan airspace and also of international law because the
air space is a matter only for the Sri Lankan Government… If the
(Government) air force bombs the air strip, then it will be war.
If bombs fall, we pull out," he said. The
Hindu, May 28, 2005.
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
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Asia Terrorism Portal.
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