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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 42, April 23, 2012

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


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Sectarianism: Savage Campaign
Ambreen Agha
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

...Now jihad against the Shia-Hazara has become our duty. We will rest only after hoisting the flag of true Islam on the land of the pure – Pakistan.”
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) warning letter to the Shia-Hazaras (June 2011)

Violence against the Shi’ite minority has long been endemic in Pakistan, with a progressive increase in scale and geographical distribution over time. Living in absolute fear, the Shia community, variously estimated at between five and 20 per cent of Pakistan’s 187 million population, is currently being targeted in an escalating and vicious cycle of sectarian attacks that have enveloped the entire country.

The idea of Shias as a ‘heretical’ sect has become an entrenched dogma of mainstream Sunni politics in Pakistan. On April 18, 2012, National Assembly Standing Committee (NSC) during a meeting told the National Assembly Human Rights Committee (NAHRC) that more than 650 Shias in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, and 450 in the Dera Ismail Khan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were targeted and killed ‘recently’ (no date was specified) though the statement was issued in the context of the Shia-Hazara killings between March 29 and April 17, 2012.)

According to partial data compiled by South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) there have been at least 772 incidents of sectarian violence in Pakistan from January 1, 2005, to April 22, 2012, which have claimed at least 2,175 lives [these are likely to be underestimates, as information flows from many of the conflict-ridden regions of Pakistan are severely restricted].

Source: SATP, *Data till April 22, 2012

SATP has recorded a total of 41 incidents of sectarian attacks, resulting in at least 165 fatalities since the beginning of 2012 (till April 22). The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) experienced the highest number of such killings, while Balochistan accounted for highest number of such incidents. FATA recorded 43 killings in two incidents, followed by Balochistan, with 37 killings in 15 incidents; KP, 23 killing in five incidents; Punjab, 21 fatalities in two incidents; Gilgit-Baltistan, 24 fatalities in three different incidents on a single day; and Sindh, nine killings in six incidents.

All six regions of Pakistan have witnessed Shia killings, but the pattern and trend of such attacks varies. In KP, Punjab, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan, attacks have ordinarily targeted large Shia gatherings. In Sindh – particularly in its provincial capital Karachi – and in Balochistan, ‘target killings’ ordinarily use small arms to execute individual or small group assassinations. In Karachi, moreover, eminent Shias, often drawn from educated and professional classes, have been particularly targeted. Prominent among such incidents in 2012 were:

April 17: The Vice Principal of Jinnah Polytechnic Institute, Imran Zaidi (55), was shot dead near the Matric Board Office in the Nazimabad area.

March 24: Former President of Malir Bar Association Salahuddin Jaffery (64), and his son, identified as Ali Raza Jaffery (35), were shot dead within the jurisdiction of Malir City Police Station.

January 31: Doctor Ashfaq Ahmed Qazi was shot dead near Malir railway crossing within the precinct of Saudabad Police Station.

Hazara-Shias, a Dari-speaking ethnic tribe dispersed across Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, believed to be of Turk-Mongol descent, have been particularly targeted in Balochistan in a recent series of indiscriminate killings at tea shops or bus stops, by two separate and virulently anti-Shia militant outfits, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Jandullah, between March 26 and April 15, 2012, which claimed at least 28 Hazara-Shia lives. A spokesman for the LeJ, Ali Sher Haidri, claimed responsibility for these attacks. Major incidents (involving more than three fatalities) this year, targeting ethnic Hazara-Shias in Balochistan, include:

April 14: Unidentified armed assailants killed eight Hazara Shias in two separate incidents of sectarian attack in Quetta.

April 12: Three people belonging to the Hazara community were shot dead and another was wounded in separate incidents of target killings in Quetta. The same day, armed assailants attacked another shop on Archer Road killing two people belonging to the Hazara community on the spot.

April 9: Six people belonging to the Hazara community were killed and three were injured when armed militants opened fire at a cobbler's shop on Prince Road in Quetta.

March 29: At least five Hazaras were killed and another seven were injured, when unidentified militants opened fire on their car on Spiny Road in Quetta. Jandullah claimed responsibility for the attack.

Apart from attacks on the ‘ethnic’ Hazara-Shia in Balochistan, the Shia community has, in general, been a target of violent sectarian reprisals in other provinces of Pakistan. Prominent anti-Shia attacks in 2012 in other regions include:

April 3: 24 people were killed and another 55 were injured in a fresh wave of sectarian violence across Gilgit-Baltistan, which erupted after clashes between members of the Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jama’at (ASWJ) and the Police, in which five persons were killed in Gilgit city of Gilgit-Baltistan.

February 28: Armed militants dressed in military uniforms killed at least 18 Shias, all men, from Gilgit-Baltistan, on the Karakoram Highway in the Kohistan District of KP, while they were returning in a convoy from a pilgrimage in Iran.

February 17: At least 40 Shias were reportedly killed and another 24 were injured, after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives just near a Shia mosque in the Kurmi Bazaar in Parachinar, the main town of the Kurram Agency in FATA.

January 15: At least 18 Shias were killed in Khanpur city of Rahim Yar Khan District in Punjab during a chehlum (40th day of Imam Hussein’s martyrdom) procession.

An April 11, 2012, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report on sectarian violence in Pakistan observed that the continuing blood-letting in sectarian killings in Quetta and Gilgit Baltistan manifested a total failure on the part of the state to address religious intolerance in society, which constitutes one of the biggest threats to the country. The Commission noted:
HRCP is alarmed by the continuing sectarian bloodshed in Pakistan, particularly in Quetta and Gilgit Baltistan. The killings demonstrate a disturbing pattern and appear to be part of a well-planned sequence... The mindless bloodshed that we witness day in and day out is rooted in religious intolerance cultivated by the state. Politics in the name of religion has substantially worsened what was already an appalling situation. It is alarming that no one responsible for these killings has been nabbed in years...

Neither Federal nor the State Governments have, thus far, mounted any effective resistance to the proliferation of sectarian jihadi-militant groups, and extremist formations that openly preach hatred and engage in extreme acts of violence. State inaction in the face of the targeted killing of Shias has sent out the alarming message that the Federal and Provincial Governments won’t act to protect their religious and sectarian minorities, particularly the Shias.

Amidst rapid radicalisation, on July 14, 2011, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the release of Malik Ishaq – the former operational chief of LeJ, who was involved in 44 cases involving the killing of at least 70 people, mostly belonging to the Shia sect – on bail from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail, because of the prosecution’s failure to produce sufficient evidence to support its charges. Since Ishaq’s release, attacks on Shias have increased across Pakistan, and particularly in Quetta. According to media reports, an official of the Interior Ministry disclosed, on condition of anonymity, that the Ministry had received some intelligence reports that the organisation had stepped up its anti-Shia campaign after Ishaq’s release and the February 10, 2012, release of Ghulam Rasool Shah, another co-accused in various cases of sectarian strife and terrorism.

Anti-Shia extremist groups and Sunni terrorist formations such as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) share their larger goals of making “Pakistan a graveyard for the Shias” and “exterminating the community from Pakistan by 2012,” in the words of a June 2011 LeJ pamphlet. LeJ, the breakaway faction of the Sipah--e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), in June 2011, distributed pamphlets calling Shias “wajib-ul-qatl” (obligatory to be killed), and also issued an open letter against the Hazara-Shia community in Quetta. The letter of the Balochistan Unit of the outfit read,
All Shias are wajib-ul-qatl. We will rid Pakistan of the unclean race. The real meaning of Pakistan is pure land and Shias have no right to live here. We have the fatwa (religious edict) and signatures of the ulama (religious scholar) in which the Shias have been declared kaafir [infidel]. Just as our fighters have waged a successful jihad against the Shia-Hazaras in Afghanistan, our mission [in Pakistan] is the abolition of this impure sect, the Shias and the Shia-Hazaras, from every city, every village, every nook and corner of Pakistan...

Based in the Punjab province, LeJ operates in the restive region of Balochistan in close alliance with other Sunni militant groups such as TTP, SSP, al Qaeda and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM). SSP summarised a fatwa allegedly issued by various ulama from Pakistan and Bangladesh in May 2011, which was found in a Wahhabi madrassa (religious seminary) Darul Uloom Imdadia, in Mariabad sub-valley of Quetta. The fatwa titled, ‘Shias are Kaafir (Infidel); Treat them like non-Muslims’ and issued by a Deobandi Maulana, Hazrat Maulana Wali Hasan, ‘Mufti-e-Azam, Pakistan’, from Karachi, further fuelled the flames of the boiling cauldron of sectarian hatred. It iterates:
Shia Ithna Ashari (Twelver Shias, who believe in that twelve Imams are divinely ordained) are rafzi (deviant) kafirs (infidels). Their sect is deviated and burying them in Muslim graveyards is haram. Hence, they should be treated as non-Muslims..

Exploiting the old faultlines of Shia-Sunni rivalry and the anti-Shia sentiment in Pakistani society since the 1980’s, the orthodox Sunni ulama and their religious organisations have legitimised anti-Shia rhetoric and violence with the state’s support.

In addition to SSP-LeJ nexus, both these outfits have close links with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in their common agenda of targeting Shias. The SSP-LeJ liaison also has links with sectarian- terrorist groupings such as Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Harkat-ul-Jihad-ul-Islami (HuJI), which work in close collaboration with TTP and al Qaeda.  There is a distinct overlap in the membership of these groups, and a dovetailing of Sunni Islamist extremist and sectarian ideologies. 

Adding to this nucleus of extremist-terrorist outfits is the close connectedness between Sunni extremist groups and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). According to a December 2011 statement by Human Rights Watch (HRW),
Some Sunni extremist groups are known to have links to the Pakistani military and its intelligence agencies. Groups such as the banned Lashkar-e Jhangvi operate with impunity even in areas where state authority is well established, such as Punjab province and the port city of Karachi. In Balochistan, where local militants challenge Government authority and elsewhere across Pakistan, law enforcement officials have failed to intervene or prevent attacks on Shia and other vulnerable groups.

Pakistan is being wrecked by the enduring catastrophe of jihadi and sectarian extremism, certainly under the benign neglect or tolerance, and in many cases, the active encouragement, collusion and support, of state agencies. Unless the substructure of institutionally encouraged, and now widely-shared, ideologies of hatred is dismantled, there is little hope that the relentless and savage campaigns against religious and sectarian minorities in the country will ease.

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Consolidating the Peace
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

The peace accord signed on November 21, 2006, appears to be approaching a logical culmination, with the Nepal Army (NA) taking final control over the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), the armed wing of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), on April 10, 2012. The dismantling of the PLA has brought the process of Army integration, the major stumbling block to the implementation of the 2006 Agreement, to its final phase.

Prime Minister (PM) Baburam Bhattarai, who also heads the constitutionally mandated Army Integration Special Committee (AISC), told the Committee on April 10, 2012, that the NA was going to move into all 15 PLA cantonments, take full control, and seize more than 3,000 weapons locked in containers lying there. He added that the process would be completed by the evening of April 12. However, following reports of clashes in the cantonments, the PM met the NA chief, Chhattra Man Singh Gurung, in the evening of April 10, and directed him to implement the decisions of the AISC. NA troops took charge of the cantonments and the weapons’ containers the same day.

Significantly, the second phase of the regrouping process, which had begun on April 8, 2012, had vitiated the environment in the cantonments. Consequently, the process was halted on April 10 at the request of the Maoist leadership. It was, however, restarted on April 13, and, as of April 19, 2012, when it was finally concluded, there were only 3,129 former PLA combatants left for integration into the NA. A total of 6,576 combatants chose the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), and will be provided with cheques in the range of NPR 500,000 to NPR 800,000, depending on their ranks. On April 10, 2012, moreover, the AISC reiterated that the VRS option would be kept open for combatants as long as the integration process was not concluded.

In the first phase (November 18 to December 1, 2011) of regrouping, 9,705 former combatants had chosen integration into the NA. In a landmark achievement, the AISC had initiated the process of integration following a November 1, 2011, seven-point deal signed by three major political parties – UCPN-M, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and Nepali Congress (NC) – and the umbrella formation of several Madheshi groups, the United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF). The deal provided three options to former PLA combatants – integration, voluntary retirement and rehabilitation. A total of 16,997 PLA combatants were subsequently ‘regrouped’. While 9,705 combatants opted for integration, 7,286 chose voluntary discharge, and six combatants registered their names for rehabilitation packages. The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) had registered 19,602 combatants in the second verification conducted on May 26, 2007.

The PLA was founded in 2002 in the midst of the Civil War initiated by the Maoists in 1996, and was led by UCPN-M chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda. In September 2008, Nanda Kishor Pun was appointed new ‘chief commander’ of the PLA, after Prachanda became Nepal's Prime Minister.

The two phases of regrouping exposed Maoist attempts to inflate the number of PLA combatants, and also deflated the Maoist demand for the integration of more than the stipulated 6,500 combatants in the Army. Worried by their weakening political control and by intra-party feuds, the Maoists had sought to increase their barraging power in negotiations by inflating the size of their combat forces.

Apprehensions of violence by restive combatants held in the cantonments for well over five years, forced the Maoist leadership to a resolution that was marked by some recent haste. Prachanda, for instance, on April 11, termed the move to hand over Maoist combatants, their arms, and the cantonments to the NA, a “bold decision” and observed, “Yesterday’s decision [to hand over combatants and weapons] was made after activities aimed at disrupting integration were intensified.” Reacting on Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya’s opposition to the decision and simultaneous protests, he added, “The protests by the faction of Kiran ji [Baidya] was part of their responsibility. This [protest] is like their regular job. But, now petty issues should not be bickered over… Peace process has almost concluded, only certain technical issues remain. Now, we need to move forward on the Constitution writing process.” Earlier, opposing the integration process, Baidya, who according to Maoist assessments, controlled 30 per cent of the Maoist combatants, had termed the integration deal a “sell-out” and had reportedly encouraged dissent within the camps. Clashes had erupted at several Maoist camps after combatants accused party leaders and commanders of ‘corruption’ and bias in the integration process.

An April 14, 2012, AISC decision laid down that the ranks of the integrated combatants would be determined according to the NA’s, and not the PLA’s, standards. A Selection Committee would be headed by the Chairman of Nepal’s Public Service Commission (PSC) or by a member appointed by him, and a General Directorate would be created under the NA, headed by a Lieutenant General, to absorb the integrated combatants. The combatants will have to undergo between three and nine months of training, depending on their ranks. The Directorate would only be deployed for disaster relief, industrial security, development, and forest and environment conservation. On April 17, moreover, the NA stated that it could not start the recruitment process of former Maoist combatants until the structure—leadership and size—of the General Directorate had been finalised at the political level.

Conspicuously, despite reports of strong opposition from some sections of former PLA combatants and resultant clashes, as well as a degree of ambiguity on the mode of integration, the integration process now appears to have become irreversible. An unnamed NC leader thus noted, “The trigger may have been negative, but with this step, the peace process is now irreversible. For its own interest, the Maoist leadership will push through the integration process.”

Ram Chandra Poudel, leader of the NC Parliamentary Party, observed, further, “It (PLA’s integration into the NA) is a very important step towards the transformation of the Maoist party into a civilian party.” The peace process is now expected to be expedited, as the main demand of the two major non-Maoist political formations – CPN-UML and NC – has now been met. Parties also believe that the Maoists, minus the combatants, will have to be more flexible about contentious issues that have blocked the drafting of the constitution.

Indeed, on April 19, 2012, the three major political parties agreed to merge two separate proposed commissions on Truth and Reconciliation, and on Disappearances, into one. Bills for the formation of both of the Commissions are still under consideration in Parliament. The appointment of such Commissions was one of the components of the peace process, and was also part of the Comprehensive Peace Accord. 

Earlier, on April 18, 2012, the Government inked a six-point agreement with Samyukta Krantikari Terai Madhesh Mukti Morcha (SKTMMM), an underground armed outfit active in Terai, bringing another armed group into the peace process. According to the agreement, the SKTMMM expressed commitment to embrace peaceful politics and to give up violence and armed activities; to work towards ensuring peace; and to hand over all arms to the Government. In return, the Government agreed to treat the outfit as a political group rather than as a terrorist organization; guarantee security to the Morcha Coordinator and Joint Coordinator during the talks; withdraw criminal cases lodged against the Morcha's cadres; and release those in the Government's custody, with due procedure.

On the draft Constitution, in an interview with The Hindu, published on April 16, 2012, Prachanda stated that an all-party taskforce had submitted a proposal that there should be a directly elected President, and a PM elected by the Parliament — with power sharing between the two. This, he clarified, was the meeting point between divergent perspectives articulated by the parties. He also stated that, in principle, there was agreement that identity and capability should be the basis for federalism. Meanwhile, the major political parties, on April 22, reached an understanding to adopt a mixed system of governance in which executive powers would be shared between a directly-elected President and a Parliament-elected Prime Minister. The leaders also agreed on a directly-elected Vice President. “The executive powers will be shared between the popularly-elected head of State and the Prime Minister elected by Parliament,” Minister for Physical Planning Hridayesh Tripathi stated.

There are, nevertheless, several issues, including federalism, the judiciary, the electoral system and investigation of human rights violations during the conflict years, on which consensus is yet to be reached. Further, the issue of returning of properties confiscated by the Maoists from individual citizens during the conflict remains unresolved. The political rift within the Maoist party has, moreover, translated into operational disunity within the group. Sources indicate that the Baidya faction commands the loyalty of some 80 of 240 Maoist Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Constituent Assembly, and has the support of some 50 of 147 members of the party’s Central Committee.

In another divisive development, the Bhattarai Government unilaterally withdrew cases of human rights violation, including those of murder and abductions, against party leaders and cadres. On April 1, 2012, the Supreme Court (SC) issued an interim order, ordering the Government not to implement this decision, in response to a petition filed by Rupaiya Devi Kairin of Rautahat District. A two-judge bench issued the order regarding the February 27, 2012, Government decision to withdraw murder cases against six persons. The case was filed at the District Court on September 30, 2009, on the charge of the murder of Dev Sharan Mahato.

Given the exigencies of the situation and rising popular pressure to wrap up the unending ‘transition’, the Government is now trying to intensify the peace process. On April 22, 2012, it registered a bill in the Parliament Secretariat to amend Article 70 of the Interim Constitution in order to shorten the procedure for the promulgation of the new Constitution, which, at present, is somewhat protracted, so that the stipulated deadline of May 27, 2012, can be met. The term of the Constituent Assembly (CA) has already been extended four times beyond its original two-year term, and will expire on this date according to a SC declaration that the current extension would be final. If the Constitution is not promulgated, another election or referendum would have to be held, an option none of the parties is eager to embrace.

Finally, the possibility of installing a Constitution and Constitutional Government in this fractious nation now appears to be within grasp.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
April 16-22, 2012



Security Force Personnel





Left-wing Extremism






Jammu and Kashmir






Left-wing Extremism


Andhra Pradesh






Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa





Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Maoists in Chhattisgarh abduct District Magistrate of Sukma District: The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres abducted the District Magistrate of Sukma District after killing two of his bodyguards on April 21. The collector, Alex Paul Menon, was meeting a group of villagers for a Government outreach programme. Times of India, April 22, 2012.

Maoists making inroads in North-East for arms, not to expand, observe security agencies: Security agencies believe that the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) is making inroads into the North-East to gain access to the arms market in the neighbouring Yunan province of China and not with the aim of expanding their base. The Centre has raised concern with China and Myanmar regarding smuggling of arms through their territories.

Meanwhile, Central intelligence agencies in a very specific report have said that the CPI-Maoist is now pressuring the contractors working in areas under their domination to supply them with arms and ammunition instead of protection money. The intelligence note adds that the problem is rampant particularly in States like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar. Times of India; Deccan Chronicle, April 18-20, 2012.

ULFA-ATF leader Paresh Baruah smuggling drugs into India with the help of ISI, say intelligence agencies: Credible information developed over the last few months by field operatives of Central intelligence agencies in the Northeast, Bangladesh and Burma has confirmed that the Anti-Talk Faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-ATF) top 'commander' Paresh Baruah is now using his terror network to smuggle narcotics into India. Baruah and his trusted aides, the report adds, are being helped by two important Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents, Khwaja Sultan Malik and Qalil Ahmed, who are operating out of Bangladesh. Deccan Chronicle, April 20, 2012.

India and US to share intelligence to bust FICN rackets: Increased cooperation between India and the US on detection and tracking of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) is likely with terror funding, cyber crime, intelligence sharing being discussed between Union Home Secretary R K Singh and US Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute in New Delhi on April 20. Sources said that the US and India were likely to share technical know-how and intelligence on the detection of bulk smuggling of FICN. Times of India, April 21, 2012.

Four more Districts of Odisha included in SRE scheme: The Centre has accepted Odisha's demand to include four more Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)-affected Districts under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, official sources said on April 15. The State Government had demanded inclusion of Nuapada, Bolangir, Bargarh and Kalahandi Districts under SRE scheme. With the latest inclusion, 19 out of 30 Districts in Odisha would benefit under the SRE scheme. Times of India, April 17, 2012.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram caution States against "a false sense of assurance" on Naxal issue: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on April 16 cautioned the State heads against letting the figures on Naxal [Left-Wing Extremism] violence give them "a false sense of assurance". "The decline in... casualties among civilians and security forces in Naxal-affected districts may give a false sense of assurance, but that is not the true picture," he said. Hindustan Times, April 17, 2012.


Only 3,129 former combatants opt for integration into Nepal Army: The second round of regrouping work conducted by the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) concluded in all the People's Liberation Army (PLA) cantonments on April 19 with only 3,129 former Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) combatants choosing integration into the Nepal Army (NA). However, there are 6,500 openings for former PLA fighters in NA. Nepal News, April 12, 2012.

Truce signed between Government and SKTMMM active in Terai: The Government on April 18 inked a six-point agreement with Samyukta Krantikari Terai Madhesh Mukti Morcha (SKTMMM), an underground armed outfit active in Terai. The SKTMMM expressed commitment to embrace peaceful politics by giving up violence and other armed activities, work towards ensuring peace and constitution and hand over all of its arms to the Government. Nepal News, April 19, 2012.


42 civilians and two militants among 44 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least 18 persons were killed and 10 others injured in ethnic violence in Orangi Town area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on April 20.

Three people, including a Senior Assistant Editor of Dawn and an activist of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), were killed and several others were injured in different parts of Orangi Town in Karachi on April 19.

At least eight people, including two women, were shot dead in a renewed wave of violence in Karachi on April 18.

Nine persons, including a Shia man, identified as the Vice Principal of Jinnah Polytechnic Institute, Imran Zaidi (55), were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on April 17.

At least five persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on April 16. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, April 17-23, 2012.

More than 650 Shias in Quetta and 450 in Dera Ismail Khan were targeted and killed recently, NAHRC told: The National Assembly Human Rights Committee (NAHRC) was told on April 18 that more than 650 Shias in Quetta (Balochistan) and 450 in Dera Ismail Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) were targeted and killed recently. Mohammad Amin Shahidi, Deputy General Secretary of Wahdatul Muslimeen, a Shia organisation, informed the committee that more than 650 Shias in Quetta and 450 in Dera Ismail Khan were targeted and killed recently. Daily Times, April 19, 2012.

Violence against journalists on the rise in Pakistan, claims Committee to Protect Journalists: The Committee to Protect Journalists said in its newly updated Impunity Index released on April 17 that deadly, unpunished violence against the press rose sharply in Pakistan and Mexico, continuing a dark, years-long trend in both nations. The global index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country's population, shows that Pakistani authorities routinely fail to bring prosecutions in journalist murders, including several with suspected Government links. Dawn, April 18, 2012.

Pakistan needs to act against Haqqani network, says US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker: The Haqqani network was responsible for a series of attacks in Afghanistan a few days ago, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said on April 19. "There is no question in our mind that the Haqqanis were responsible for these attacks. We know where their leadership lives and we know where these plans are made. They're not made in Afghanistan. They're made in Miranshah, which is in North Waziristan Agency, which is in Pakistan," Crocker said, adding, "We are pressing the Pakistanis very hard on this. They really need to take action." Dawn, April 20, 2012.

Islamabad has no right to use Kashmir issue to allow militant outfits like Haqqani Network to operate from its soil, says US Republican Senator John McCain: US Republican Senator John McCain on April 18 said that Pakistan has no right to use Kashmir issue as an excuse for not taking action against groups like Haqqani Network. He said, "Pakistan should not take refuge behind Kashmir conflict for not taking action against terrorist groups that operate almost openly in Pakistan. I have sympathy for Pakistani military leadership, but disappointed at Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) Agency's continued cooperation with the Haqqanis." The News, April 19, 2012.

US pledges USD 110 million aid amid talks over NATO supplies: US Ambassador Cameron Munter has pledged USD 110 million in aid to Pakistan for the reopening of NATO supplies. Notably, the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) in Pakistan is expected to review the policy guidelines recently passed by the parliament.

Meanwhile, the World Bank (WB) on April 20 allocated an unprecedented amount of USD1.8 billion for Pakistan's development projects, mainly in energy sector, in 2012, Finance Minister Doctor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said. Tribune; Daily Times, April 17-21, 2012.


Power devolution issue can only be solved through PSC, says Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena: Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena on April 19 reiterated Government stance that a clear solution to the power devolution issue could only be provided through a parliamentary select committee (PSC) and urged Tamil national Alliance (TNA) to join the process. The Minister stressed that it is compulsory to find a solution that can satisfy all stakeholders. Colombo Page, April 20, 2012.

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.

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