Maoists: Filling the Void | Khyber Agency: Operation Futility | South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Vol. No. 10.17
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 17, October 31, 2011

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Maoists: Filling the Void
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

Maoist ambitions in India now extend to the farthest reaches of the country, and this is not just a fantasy or an aspiration, but a strategy, a projection, a plan and a programme under implementation.
"What Maoists Want", February 12, 2007

At a time when the conflict profile in the North East (NE) is improving gradually, with fatalities recording steep declines, and the insurgent groups being progressively marginalised, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has made determined moves to fill the void, raising grave concerns within the security establishments. If recent reports are any indicator, the Maoists, who have, for long, been forging connections with the insurgents in this troubled region, have now created strong presence, and are in the process of further consolidating their base.  

Indeed, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recently asked the Police and Security Forces (SFs) across the NE to remain vigilant, as the entire region, of late, has been facing a public upsurge on different issues, and the Maoists are known to capitalize on mass movements to establish their roots. The Maoists are known to have specifically targeted victims of ethnic riots, floods and erosion, besides alienated sections in tribal communities, for recruitment and to expand their ‘ideological support bases’. In one such development, largely peaceful Arunachal Pradesh has emerged as a hot bed of Maoists activity, with people in the Dibang Valley region of the State protesting against the 3000 MW Dibang Multipurpose Project at New Anaya. 

Reports indicate that the Eastern Region Bureau of the CPI-Maoist, under Koteswara Rao alias Kishenji, national chief of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) and CPI-Maoist politburo member, has been entrusted with the task of establishing a foothold in the NE. Trends indicate that the rebels are engaged in a bid to set up a corridor through North Bengal, particularly Siliguri, linking up their primary ‘Red Corridor’ strongholds with the Northeast, to access the predominant route for weapons’ smuggling into the country. With the Maoists regaining some of their lost footholds in the Jungalmahal area of West Bengal after the elevation of Mamta Banerjee to Chief Ministership in May 2011, it has become easier for them to penetrate deeper into the NE.

Further, a February 20, 2011, report had indicated that the Maoists, in addition to their arrangements with some insurgent formations in the NE, had also taken a decision to set up their own units in the region, particularly in Assam. Some ‘modules’ of the Maoist groups are already believed to have started work. A media report citing an unidentified source noted,

There are specific intelligence reports indicating that youths from Assam are veering towards the Naxal philosophy. We have been exchanging information with all intelligence agencies and it seems that Maoists are trying to establish their base in Assam.

The arrests of the President of the Assam Students’ Youth Organization (ASYO), Aditya Bora; general secretary of Assam Chah Janajati Suraksha Samiti (ACJSS), Tingrai Orang and another NE militant at a Maoist camp in the Saranda Forest bordering Odisha and Jharkhand, on February 12, 2011, had exposed the fact that a Maoists Upper Assam Leading Committee (UALC) was already active in Assam. The UALC, floated by the CPI-Maoist, has received INR 300,000 in 2011 and INR 500,000 in 2010 from the Maoists towards “organisational expenses”.  

Meanwhile, media reports indicate that at least 18 Maoists have been arrested in Assam’s Tinsukia and Sivsagar Districts just during September-October 2011. An unnamed senior Police officer in Tinsukia District stated, “What is worrying is that most of these arrested persons are ethnic Assamese youths. A few of them have received training in Jharkhand and Manipur.” Earlier, on January 29, 2011, Police had arrested six Brihat Nadibandh Pratirudh Mancha (Mega Dam Protest Forum, BNPM) activists, including two women, from various locations in Dhemaji District of Assam. All six admitted to their Maoist links.

Reports also indicate Maoists efforts to extend their base into the Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Kamrup, Sonitpur and Darrang Districts of Assam. According to the disclosures by Tarjan Majhi, the Sonitpur District ‘commander’ of the Adivasi People’s Army (APA), who was arrested along with five others on November 3, 2010, at Bhairabguri under Dhekiajuli Police Station of Sonitpur District, a United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) ‘sergeant major’, Das, had provided arms training to APA cadre in the Majbat area of the Udalguri District and helped them establish contact with the Maoists.  

The Maoists are known to have forged links with ULFA, APA, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) in Assam. State Chief Minister (CM) Tarun Gogoi, on September 2, 2011, observed, “Maoists have infiltrated into the State. ULFA is helping them to grow. Some youths from the State took trainings in Maoist camps outside the State.” The CM disclosed that Maoists had two ‘over ground’ or cover organizations in Assam – ASYO and ACJSS. On February 24, 2011, Gogoi had stressed that several organisations in Assam had links with Maoist groups. He particularly mentioned two organisations – KMSS and AANLA, and asserted, “I am speaking on the basis of intelligence inputs and evidence. There are several organisations which have links with Maoists. I don’t want to name all. The KMSS and AANLA have links with the Maoists. Their members have gone to take training.” Significantly, way back on July 30, 2008, two ANLA cadres, Mikhail Bina and Raju Gaur, were arrested at Golaghat. They had confessed that a large number of the outfit’s cadres were being trained by the Maoists in Jharkhand. 

The links with ULFA have a long history, and were once again admitted by CPI-Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao in a media interview published in January 2010:

We unconditionally support ULFA’s struggle for self-determination in Assam. We only want them to stop attacking the Indian proletariat. We will continue to engage with ULFA on this issue… ULFA cannot ignore the revolutionary struggle of Indians and our enormous goodwill for their struggle… They have to trust us…  I sincerely want ULFA, the PLA and other such groups fighting for separate homelands or for self-determination to fight the exploitative Indian state alongside us. 

The NDFB has also declared its support to the CPI-Maoist. NDFB 'chairman' D. R. Nabla, in a statement emailed to the media on November 16, 2009, noted, "I would like to greet and congratulate the Maoists who are fighting for their legitimate rights and also extend all help to them in their fight against the ruling cliques". Notably, a June 21, 2011, report stated that militants of the anti-talks faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-ATF) had taken refuge in the northern areas of West Bengal. 

Similarly, in Manipur the Maoists have already signed an agreement with the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The PLA signed three ‘joint resolutions’ with the CPI-Maoist to carry on their respective ‘struggles’, in a two day long meeting held at the ‘council headquarters’ of the PLA on October 21-22, 2008. The ‘resolutions’ were signed by Alok, ‘political bureau member’ of the CPI-Maoist, and S. Gunen, ‘secretary general’ of the PLA. The two sides declared that, "The so called Merger Agreement of Manipur with the Dominion of India was indeed illegal and unconstitutional." These links once again came to the fore during the month-long Operation Monsoon in the Saranda Forest in the West Singhbhum District of Jharkhand, which started on July 31, 2011. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Kolhan Range) Naveen Kumar Singh disclosed, “We have recovered as many as eight boxes of papers during the operation and verification of some has confirmed the link between Maoists and RPF. The Manipur organisation is training rebels in the jungles of Jharkhand.” Inspector General (operations) R. K. Mallick confirmed that the literature seized during the raids have revealed that the Revolutionary People's Front (RPF), the political wing of PLA, was supporting the training and technical upgrade of Maoists in Saranda. “It is possible that the guerrilla wing of PLA is imparting training, but the documents name RPF,” he clarified.  

The Maoists also have close links with another Manipur-based outfit, the People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK). Rajiv Kumar, chief of Kolkata Police's Special Task Force (STF), stated, on December 5, 2010, "The Maoists are also in contact with other organisations in Manipur, but with PREPAK these links are not limited to ideological sympathies but have reached a practical level. Maoists started procuring arms and ammunition from PREPAK, which has agreed to send its men to train the new recruits of the CPI-Maoist. Dense forests in Orissa and Jharkhand have been selected for such training camps.” An STF source added, further, “The Maoists struck deals with PREPAK as they are short of arms and ammunition after their suppliers were caught by police. The rebel group has enough funds that they squeeze out of mining companies.” These revelations were made following the arrest of the Maoists’ Bengal chief, Sudip Chongdar alias Kanchan, on December 3, 2010.

Maoist links with the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), the oldest Meitei insurgent group in Manipur, were exposed much earlier. On November 24, 2009, the UNLF, at its 45th ‘raising day’ in Imphal, declared, "The UNLF believes that there is a common interest in the fight against the Indian state by the CPI-Maoist and the liberation struggles of Manipur and the (Northeastern) region. The UNLF shall actively pursue a policy of mutual help and support with the Indian revolution through the CPI-Maoist." UNLF ‘chairman’, R. K. Meghen, during his interrogation, confessed that the UNLF had links with the Maoists, but that he had not met any Maoist leaders personally. Meghen, arrested on December 1, 2010, however, revealed that one of his cadres, ‘Major’ Yoiheba, “had contacted Indian Maoist leaders through front organisations in Nepal.” Earlier, in a June 18, 2010, letter written to the head of another Manipur outfit Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) Meghen had said, “As part of a revolutionary struggle for Kashmir and us (sic), it is necessary to help in strengthening the Indian Maoist structure. This concept seems to be very new to them. I sat with them many times.” In the letter, he also wrote about a series of meetings in 2009, where Kashmiri separatists and Maoists had assured him of cooperation and support. On April 24, 2010, the KYKL, in a statement, extended support to the CPI-Maoist and declared that, if like-minded people of the Northeast were united, they and the Maoists could extend support to one another.

The Maoists have also established links with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland- Isaac Muviah (NSCN-IM). On May 9, 2010, then Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai stated that the Union Government was aware that the CPI-Maoist had been in touch with NSCN-IM. He contended, further, that IM leader Thuingaleng Muivah had confirmed, “a few years ago, the CPI-Maoist had approached his outfit, apparently to help them with arms”. The meeting had taken place at the NSCN-IM’s camp in Hebron near Dimapur (on the Assam-Nagaland border). Reports also indicated that IM leaders attended a Maoist meeting in the Dandakaryana area in Chhattisgarh. It is also suspected that NSCN-IM might be training Maoist cadres.

Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh has emerged as the latest hotbed of Maoists activity in the NE. On August 17, 2011, SFs arrested four Maoists from the Mahadevpur area under the Namsai Circle of the Lohit District in the State. A .32 pistol, nine rounds of ammunition, two magazines and various documents were recovered from their possession. Two writing pads with Maoist and UALC letterheads were also recovered from them. Further, a September 28, 2011, report noted that the Arunachal Pradesh Police had found evidence of a Maoist presence in the State after the arrest of nine youth from different parts of Lohit District, in connection with a case of arms robbery. The arrested youth, who hailed from Sadiya in neighbouring Assam, confessed to be influenced by the Maoists. They claimed they had been entrusted with the task of mobilising locals against the construction of mega dams in the Dibang Valley. Nang Sati Mein, member of the State Legislative Assembly from Namsai in Lohit District, urged in the State Assembly that her constituency be declared a ‘disturbed area’ in view of the growing threat from the Maoists. She alleged a Maoist hand in the September 21, 2011, killing of a contractor in the Lohit District.  

The Maoists have made no secret of their objective of extending their “people’s war throughout the country”, and plans to fill up the emerging vacuum in the NE have long been afoot. These efforts have gained greater momentum because of the Maoists search for a reliable source of weaponry, with the NE rebel groupings offering access to the smuggling routes through Myanmar and Bangladesh, and a new flood of Chinese small arms that appears to have been released into the region. An unnamed intelligence source, cited in a September 4, 2011, report thus noted, “ULFA’s Paresh Barua faction recently received a huge cache of arms from China and there were serious apprehensions in the intelligence and security establishments that the outfit may sell these weapons to the Maoist… as ULFA has struck an alliance and has assured them of a steady supply of arms and ammunition.”

If the transfer of weapons actually takes place, it would have serious repercussion on the fight against the Maoists elsewhere in the country.  

Further, an official source cited in one media report, stated, "ISI and PLA are in touch and supplying Maoists with arms. They are supposedly using China as the alternative route." These revelations were made by two top PLA leaders – N. Dilip Singh and Arun Kumar Singh Salam – who were arrested in New Delhi on October 1, 2011. Reports indicate that PLA is trying to forge a ‘Strong United Front’ along with CPI-Maoist and Kashmiri militants, backed by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and China.  

The Maoist foray into the NE is fraught with grave security risks. While insurgent violence by local groupings is on a clear decline, bad governance, fractious tribal politics, and a poor developmental profile combine with the rudderless remnants of failing insurgencies, provide an ideologically focused group like the Maoists an extraordinary opportunity to harness the abiding grievances of the region to their wider disruptive venture.


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Khyber Agency: Operation Futility
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

A ‘targeted operation’ was launched in Malikdinkhel area of Bara tehsil (revenue unit) in the Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on October 20, 2011, leaving 34 terrorists and three paramilitary soldiers dead, as tanks moved in to quell a surge of militancy.  

The ‘targeted operation’ was launched four days after Security Forces (SFs) suffered nine fatalities in a Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) attack on their convoy in the Akakhel area of Bara tehsil on October 17, 2011. 14 terrorists were killed in retaliatory fire by the SFs.  

The Khyber Agency, which borders Afghanistan to the east, the Orakzai Agency to the south, Mohmand Agency to the North and Peshawar District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province to the East, has emerged in recent times as a centre of growing extremist activities as a result of the infiltration of runaway militants from the adjacent Agencies, where military operations were ongoing. Operation Koh-i-Sufaid (White Mountain) was conducted in Kurram Agency between May 2, 2011, and August 17, 2011, while Operation Brekhna (Thunder) has been in progress in the Mohmand Agency since April 6, 2011. The remote Tirah Valley in the Bara Sub-district is important for the extremists because of its difficult terrain, which makes SF operations complicated.  

According to the SATP data, a total of 1,812 fatalities, including 400 civilians, 152 SFs and 1,260 militants have been recorded in the Khyber Agency since 2008 (data till October 30, 2011). The overall fatalities in FATA during this period stand at 15,690 comprising of 2,663 civilians, 993 SFs and 12,034 militants.

Fatalities in Khyber Agency: 2008-2011












Source: SATP, *Data till October 30, 2011 .

In addition to the October 17 attack, the most significant incidents in the Khyber Agency in 2011 include:  

September 18, 2011: Four Pashtun tribesmen and an FC solider were killed when Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists attacked a check post manned by pro-Government tribesman and SFs in the Akakhel area of Bara tehsil. The tribesmen and SFs retaliated, killing 10 extremists.  

August 23, 2011: 10 LI militants were killed when landmines planted in a bunker by militants of the Tariq Afridi group of TTP exploded in the Tirah Valley.  

August 21, 2011: Six LI militants were killed in clashes with TTP rivals in Dwa Thoe and Mehraban Kali areas of the Tirah Valley.  

August 19, 2011: A TTP suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid Madina in the Ghundai area of Jamrud tehsil of the Khyber Agency, killing at least 56 persons and injuring another 123. 

August 17, 2011: At least 10 suspected TTP militants were killed as two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded in Tarkhokas area of Bara tehsil. 

August 11, 2011: Five persons, including three women and two children, were killed and one minor was injured as a result of a landmine explosion in the house of a lashkar (tribal militia) ‘commander’ Shah Jee, in Zaka Khel village in Tirah Valley. 

August 4, 2011: Five militants and a passer-by were killed when the cadres of LI and Ansar-ul-Islam (AI) clashed in a market in Mehraban Kali area of Kukikhel.

July 24, 2011: At least nine militants were killed and eight others sustained injuries in clashes between the LI and AI in Sandapal area in Tirah Valley.  

May 3: Seven LI militants were killed and another two were injured in aerial firing by the SFs in the remote Bazaar Zakha Khel area near Khar Ghot in Landikotal town of Khyber Agency. 

April 3: SFs killed seven LI militants in helicopter gunship shelling in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. 

March 28: At least 14 paramilitary troops, among them two senior officers, were killed in a militant ambush on their convoy in the Akakhel area of Bara tehsil.

Khyber’s tryst with militancy began in 2003 when a Taliban-style organization, Amar Bil Maroof Wa Nahianalmunkir (Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice), was set up by Amir Haji Namdar Khan, a local from the area, who had just returned from Saudi Arabia. The code banned and inflicted dress codes, which included head coverings for women and beards for men, through harsh reprisals, shocking many residents who had previously enjoyed a relatively relaxed religious lifestyle. Namdar established illegal FM radio stations and used the Tirah Valley area for attacks into Afghanistan, paving the way for other extremist forces to enter into the area. Namdar Khan was killed in an August 12, 2008, missile attack. TTP leader Hakeemullah Mehsud claimed responsibility for the attack.   

Three major militant Islamist terrorist groups currently operate in the Khyber Agency - LI, AI and TTP. LI is the most active among these, and is presently led by warlord Mangal Bagh. It has loose ideological ties with the Afghan Taliban, but operates independently. Malikdinkhel, Sipah, Akakhel and Qambarkhel areas are regarded as strongholds of LI. LI was founded by the Deobandi Sunni preacher Mufti Munir Shakir, in a violent rivalry with his Barelvi adversary, Pir Saif-ur-Rahman, who went on to create the AI in the Bara Subdivision of the Khyber Agency, in 2004. Violent clashes between the two groups resulted in a large number of civilian casualties and inflicted tremendous suffering on innocents. Eventually, tribal elders expelled both Rehman and Shakir from the Khyber. AI is now led by Maulana Gazi Mehboob ul-Haq. Tariq Afridi is the head of TTP’s Khyber Agency chapter. There are several local militias also present in the region.  

Regular clashes occur between these terrorist groups, each of which seeks to dominate the region. Clashes are also reported between the terrorists and armed militias that resist the movement of these groups into the area. The August 23, 2011, incident which killed 10 LI militants illustrates the pattern of turf wars in the region. The fatalities occurred when landmines planted in a bunker by militants of the Tariq Afridi group of TTP exploded. LI militants had been laying siege to the bunker for a week, cutting all supplies to more than a dozen TTP cadres holed up at the hilltop. Sources indicated the LI militants entered the bunker after receiving information that the TTP had fled the area.  

Civilians have faced the brunt of these clashes for supremacy. The August 19, 2011 attack at the Jamia Masjid Madina that killed 56 persons was one the worst incidents targeting civilians.  A TTP suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayers at the mosque in the Ghundai area of Jamrud tehsil of the Khyber Agency. The targeted mosque was located in an area inhabited by Kukikhel tribesmen, who are opposed to TTP activities, and had raised a lashkar (armed militia) in June 2010 to force the extremists out of the area. The Kukikhel tribe had earlier warned TTP, asking the group to leave the area, and had also set ablaze houses of a number of terrorist sympathisers.  

To counter the surge of violence in the Khyber Agency, SFs have launched four operations in the past. On June 28, 2008, Operation Sirat Mustaqeem (Righteous Path) was launched in the Bara tehsil, following the abduction of 14 Christians from Academy Town in Peshawar by LI terrorists. The operation was halted on July 9, 2008. A second operation, codenamed Daraghlam (Here I Come), was launched in December 2008, followed by Bia Daraghlam (Here I Come Again) on September 1, 2009. The most recent, Operation Khwakh Ba de Sham (I Will Teach You a Lesson), was conducted on November 24, 2009, and had ended only on June 1, 2011. Bara Bazaar, the Agency’s business hub, has been under curfew since the beginning of the last operation.  

Despite a near continuous succession of ‘operations’, the extremists continue to thrive in the Khyber Agency – as in much of the wider FATA – Khybe Pakhtunkhwa region. At best, past operations have temporarily ‘squeezed out’ the extremists into other neighbouring territories, but they quickly recover the vacated spaces as soon as military operations begin to falter. The operational capacities of the terrorist groups, despite the significant fatalities inflicted on them (these are unverified, and the Pakistan Army tends to categorize virtually all persons killed by it as ‘terrorists’ or “miscreants’), appear to remain intact. The operations also create panic among civilian populations, with at least 18,000 people having already fled their homes in the Agency in the wake of the fresh onslaught of fighting between the Army and militants. Despite the bloodshed, it remains likely that like all the preceding ‘operations’, the present ‘targeted operation’ will end up in another fiasco, with extremists moving into some other adjoining area, only to return at a later stage. As long as the establishment ambivalence to the wider enterprise of Islamist extremism and terrorism in, and sourced from, Pakistan persists, it is unlikely that any enduring gains will result from the fitful and directionless bloodshed that the Army engages in.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
October 24-30, 2011



Security Force Personnel







Jammu & Kashmir




Left-wing Extremism


Andhra Pradesh




Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa





Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Khaleda Zia is trying to bring back terrorism, says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina: Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina has alleged that the opposition chief and former PM Khaleda Zia is trying to bring back terrorism and militancy to the country, reports She commented on October 23 at Berlin (Germany), "Her true face has come out. Our opposition has asked us to free war criminals". Daily Star, October 25, 2011.


Peace talks in West Bengal come to an end as Maoists call them "misleading and senseless": The peace talks between the West Bengal Government and the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) have come to an end with the Maoists calling them "misleading and senseless". A letter from CPI-Maoist state secretary Akash to Sujato Bhadra, the leader of the six-member team of interlocutors, says the "peace talks" referred to by Mamata Banerjee Government frequently did not make any sense. Indian Express, October 29, 2011.

Tripartite meet on ULFA's charter of Demand: A tripartite meet involving the Union Government, the Assam Government and United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was held on October 25 to discuss the outfit's charter of demands that it had submitted to the Government in August. The ULFA team was led by its Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa. Telegraph, October 27, 2011.


32 militants and three civilians among 35 persons killed during the week in FATA: Six militants were killed when United States (US) drone fired six missiles at a vehicle near the Afghan border in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on October 30.

At least 13 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants were killed in US drone attack in Mir Ali area of South Waziristan Agency on October 28.

Two consecutive drone attacks within a span of one hour killed 11 militants, including the brother of Mullah Nazir, in Waziristan Agencies on October 27.

A volunteer of a local peace committee and two cadres of Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) were killed in exchange of fire in Meeran Talab area of Akkakhel in Bara sub-division of Khyber Agency on October 26. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, October 25-31, 2011.

ISI spied on Germans in Afghanistan, says report: Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spied on German Security Forces in Afghanistan, raising fears sensitive information could end up in the hands of the Taliban. Without citing its sources, Bild am Sonntag reported that Germany's foreign intelligence agency BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) warned its Interior Ministry that Pakistan had spied on 180 German Police officers deployed in Afghanistan to train locals. The Interior Ministry told Reuters the BND suspected a German email had been intercepted but could not give confirmation. Daily Times, October 31, 2011.

Afghan Taliban say ISI is helping them, claims BBC: Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) provides weapons and training to the Afghan Taliban fighting US and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, a BBC documentary quotes some people it claims to be Afghan Taliban 'commanders'. A number of middle-ranking Afghan Taliban 'commanders', it said, revealed the extent of alleged Pakistani support in interviews for the BBC two part documentary series, 'Secret Pakistan'. Dawn, October 27, 2011.

Terrorists' safe havens in Pakistan a big threat, says Pentagon: Insurgent safe havens in Pakistan are now the biggest threat to NATO forces in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on October 28. Overall, enemy attacks in Afghanistan in recent months were 5 percent lower than the same period a year ago, the Pentagon said. Daily Times, October 29, 2011.

Pakistan militant groups oppose MFN status for India: Several banned militant groups, including the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), opposed Pakistan's move to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. Leaders of the groups, including United Jihad Council chairman Syed Salahuddin opposed the move. Hindustan Times, October 28, 2011.

Pakistan Army admits of not having capacity to take action against Haqqani, says NATO official: The Pakistan Army told the Pentagon that it does not have the capacity to take action against the Haqqani network, US Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti, Deputy Commander of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan said on October 27. "The Pakistanis have said to me that they simply don't have the capacity at this time to take on that insurgent network at this point within their borders," Scaparrotti told Pentagon. Times of India, October 28, 2011.

ATC Judge who convicted former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer's assassin seeks refuge in Saudi Arabia: The Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) Judge, Pervez Ali Shah, who awarded the death sentence to former Governor Salman Taseer's self-confessed assassin, Malik Mumtaz Qadri on October 1, 2011, has sought refuge in Saudi Arabia with his family after receiving death threats from religious extremists. In his verdict against Qadri, Shah had said, "No one can be given the license to kill anyone in any condition therefore, the killer cannot be pardoned as he has committed a heinous crime." Indian Express, October 27, 2011.


War crimes charges filed against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Australia: A Sri Lankan man, who had migrated to Australia, filed war crimes charges against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Perth (Australia) city court in Melbourne. The complainant has been identified as Jegan Waran, a retired engineer who migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa will be arriving in Australia to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held at Perth. Indian Express, October 25, 2011.

Government denies charges of ethnic cleansing in the North and East: Ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian Thilanga Sumathipala on October 25 said that there was no ethnic cleansing in the country. Sumathipala made this statement in response to the issues raised by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) about the problems in the North and East. Colombo Page, October 25, 2011.

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