Karachi: De-weaponisation Dramas:Historical Crossroads::South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Vol. No. 10.8
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 8, August 29, 2011

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Karachi: De-weaponisation Dramas
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

On August 23, 2011, the Government of Pakistan decided to launch a ‘surgical operation’ immediately and without discrimination, in all areas of Karachi which had become ‘combat zones’ because of political turf wars, sectarian strife, extremist terrorism, as well as ‘target killings’, extortion, and other patterns of criminal violence. The decision came in response to a relentless succession of killings that escalated after the assassination of a former Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Ahmed Karimdad alias Waja Karimdad of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), on August 17, 2011. Islamabad has now directed the Rangers, Police and other civil Law Enforcement Agencies to ‘restore peace’ in Karachi.

Earlier, on August 21, 2011, Prime Minister (PM) Yousuf Raza Gilani had categorically denied that a military operation was to be launched in Karachi. At least 135 persons have been killed in Karachi between August 17 and August 28.

In the intervening night of August 23-24, contingents of the paramilitary Rangers were deployed in Lyari, Orangi Town, Malir, Saddar and other parts of the city. Karachi accounts for 7,000 of the 11,000 Rangers deployed in the Sindh Province. The paramilitary force will buttress the current strength of the Karachi Police, at 30,000.

According to the Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon a total of 160 raids were conducted in different ‘sensitive areas’ of the city, and 75 suspects were arrested on the first day, August 23, and another 90 on August 24. 40 persons were arrested during a night search operation on August 25. On the first day, 79 automatic weapons, along with 606 rounds were recovered, while 18 weapons including Kalashnikovs, TT pistols and 182 rounds were recovered on the second day.

Escalating violence in Karachi has so far claimed 895 lives, including 806 civilians, in a total of 899 fatalities in Sindh (according to South Asia Terrorism Portal data) in 2011 (till August 28). On August 17, 2011, the Federal Minister of the Interior, Rehman Malik, had announced that the Government had decided to offer amnesty to those who voluntarily surrendered illegal arms in a phased campaign to ‘de-weaponise’ the country. Earlier, on August 8, Malik had claimed that Karachi would be ‘de-weaponised’ in phases, and that all arms licences issued by the Ministry of Interior would stand cancelled with effect from September 1. He added that no arms licences, except those issued by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), a Federal Department of the Government of Pakistan which has now been authorised to issue arms license, would be valid. NADRA is to start issuing arms license from September 1.

Malik also stressed that criminals carrying illegal arms would be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, and the Arms Ordinance, 1969. Possession of illegal weapons will be a non-bailable offence with a minimum punishment of seven years, going up to life imprisonment. A reward scheme was also announced for informers, with PKR 20,000 on offer for the recovery of automatic weapons and PKR 50,000 for heavy weapons. Malik also disclosed that a large-scale campaign would be launched for recovery of illegal arms after August 31.

The demand for the ‘de-weaponisation’ of Karachi has been voiced with increasing stridency by different quarters of society as well as political parties. The two main political parties, who have allegedly been party to political target killing in Karachi – the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – have also endorsed the de-weaponisation demand. On June 22, 2010, the Sindh Chapter of ANP had called for de-weaponisation of Karachi on an ‘urgent basis’ to end target killings and lawlessness. The MQM, which is a coalition partner of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the National Assembly, had submitted a draft ‘Deweaponisation of Pakistan Bill of 2011’, on January 17, 2011. Making a mockery of its own Bill, however, MQM leader Zahid Mehmood, just three days later, declared, “We have obtained hundreds of arms licences for our leaders and workers for self-defence. We got the arms licences. Our enemies have illegal weapons and surely we can have legal ones.” When asked about the contradiction inherent in procuring legal weapons for its members and moving a bill to de-weaponise society, he argued: “We would have no objection in depositing our weapons if all illegal arms are confiscated.” Unsurprisingly, the MQM, on April 6, withdrew the Bill from the Upper House to further negotiate with the Law Ministry and other legal experts, after Law Minister Babar Awan pointed out that the Bill overlapped with many other existing laws.

Neither the menace of illegal arms in Karachi, nor the idea of ‘de-weaponisation’, are new. Indeed, there is a long history of failure, as journalist Munazza Siddiqui notes in an article published in January 2002:

The first drive against illegal arms was launched in the mid-'80s, which targeted Sohrab Goth and Pathan-dominated areas of Karachi. In that operation, as well as in the subsequent ones by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, a sizable quantity of arms and ammunition was recovered which helped subdue anti-social activities. But they fizzled out without yielding any major breakthrough for lack of will. The only success that was achieved was by Naseerullah Babar, when, as Interior Minister during Benazir's second term (October 19, 1993 - November 5, 1996), he managed to break the weapons' supply line by using his connections in the NWFP (North West Frontier Province, now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). However, subsequent passiveness on the part of law enforcing agencies, no doubt influenced by political pressure, provided an opportunity to criminal elements to make good their losses. The post-9/11 events forced the Government to halt its de-weaponisation campaign midway, giving the anti-social elements a chance to recoup their losses. With the fall of the Taliban regime [in Afghanistan], Karachi again became a dumping ground of illegal arms.

In 2001, the Pakistan Government adopted the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and announced the launch of a campaign to counter the rampant ‘Kalashnikov culture’ in the country. A ‘de-weaponisation’ campaign was launched by the then General Pervez Musharraf regime, on June 1, 2001. The Interior Ministry de-licensed weapons for re-registration and announced amnesty for people who surrendered illegal weapons. At the end of the amnesty period, on June 20, 2001, the Surrender of Illicit Arms Act, 1991, was enforced and a ‘crackdown’ commenced the following day. Within two months, about 25,000 illegal weapons were recovered and 9,663 people were arrested.

Similar campaigns followed in 2005 and 2007, but the ban on the possession and display of weapons was never fully implemented, nor did successive Governments take any serious steps to monitor or halt the issuance of arms licences – a process dominated by gross irregularities and corruption. The state and various political parties in Pakistan have always maintained a high degree of ambivalence with regard to arms possession by a number of covertly sponsored extremist formations, and this has created the spaces for a vast underground trade and network of illegal weapons’ possession.

Unsurprisingly, the danger and the consequent violence appear to be spreading. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in a statement on August 5, 2011, noted that the violence in Karachi this year has been the deadliest since 1995, when more than 900 killings were reported in the first half of the year.

According to the Sindh Government report submitted to the Supreme Court on August 26, 2011, 300 people were murdered in incidents of target killings, and 232 cases had been registered in the preceding one month. The report stated that 117 target killers had been arrested and the challans of 179 accused had been submitted in the court. The Sindh Attorney General, however, contended that the judiciary could not resolve the issue, citing the example of one target killer, who was involved over 100 cases of murder, who had been acquitted by the court. Earlier, during the proceedings, Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heading a five-member bench, observed that, in the preceding month, the situation in Karachi had been out of control, with a complete breakdown of the Government’s machinery. Chaudhry noted, “People are being abducted for ransom; beheaded dead bodies of innocents with tied arms and legs, wrapped in sacks, are being recovered in large numbers daily and street crime is rampant.”

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah disclosed, on August 9, 2011, that, on an average, 20 illegal arms were recovered daily in Karachi, during the current year and that 4,000 illegal arms had already been seized in 2011. Shah also stated that 191,780 licences had been issued in the Sindh Province, of which 150,000 were issued just between 2001 and 2008. During a debate in the Senate on January 18, 2011, it was revealed that there were no less than an estimated two million weapons in Karachi alone. In a November 30, 2010, report, Interior Minister Rehman Malik acknowledged that over 30,000 arms licenses had been acquired fraudulently through corrupt officials in Karachi – and that individuals often held up to 10 weapons against each such license.  On August 1, 2010, Malik had said that “some people in Karachi are keeping around 50 weapons on a single licence”. In addition, thousands of illegal weapons are smuggled into the city each year by a range of non-state actors, including terrorist groups; armed, ethnic, sectarian and political formations; organized crime groups; as well as significant numbers of individuals.

According to one Karachi Police report of March 6, 2011, the number of 9-mm pistols sold in the city stood at 125,000 in 2010 alone. The report also said that 3,000 out of a total of 35,000 people had been targeted by 30 bore or 9-mm pistols in the preceding three years in Karachi. 9-mm pistols are available in market at a price ranging between PKR 12,000 to 35,000 per unit, and a 30 bore pistol costs between from PKR 4,000 and 11,000.

It is not only Karachi that has seen rampant weaponisation in Pakistan. With Pakistan’s sustained covert involvement in the export of insurgency and terrorism across borders, into Afghanistan and India, the state and establishment’s have sought to harness criminal and extremist elements in society to further what are perceived as the country’s ‘strategic interests’, resulting in the widespread and state tolerated proliferation of small arms. With rising domestic terrorism, the state has also sought to pitch armed civilian groups against terrorist formations, resulting in a further growth of weapons’ possession across society. The consequent proliferation of SALW in the country has been overwhelming. Anti-gun campaigners claim that Pakistan has one of the highest per capita rates of gun ownership in the world. Ismat Ullah Khan, Project Officer of Sustainable Peace and Development Organization (SPADO), a non-government organization (NGO) supporting implementation of the UN programme of action on de-weaponisation, disclosed, on June 10, 2011, that the rate of private gun ownership in Pakistan is 11.6 firearms per 100 people and that the total number of illegal arms in Pakistan was estimated at about 20 million.

On April 20, 2011, the Sub-committee of the Senate’s Standing Committee on the Interior had asked the Government to provide details of the 140,000 arms licences issued by it over the preceding three years, and to explain why arms licences were being issued despite a ban since January 1, 2010. Worryingly, it was noted that some 32,000 of the 140,000 arms licences issued between 2007 and 2009 were ‘illegal’, based on forged documents or to unauthorised individuals or on unsanctioned grounds. The Sub-committee was informed that some 9,000 licences had been issued on the Prime Minister’s directions alone, despite the ban.

The much publicised de-weaponisation program in Karachi appears, once again, to be bound to fail, with a manifest lack of will in the Government to apply existing laws uniformly, and to withdraw the umbrella of protection to violent state supported groupings in the country in general. The gun culture has now become entrenched, as a result of Islamabad’s continuous efforts to exploit radicalised elements within society to further strategic and partisan political objectives. Unless the broader enterprise of radicalized violence in Pakistan is abandoned, the possibility of effective de-weaponisation in Karachi and across Pakistan, will remain remote.

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Historical Crossroads
Sanchita Bhattacharya
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Despite India’s extraordinary support to the cause of Bangladeshi independence in 1971, relations between the two countries quickly soured after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s assassination in August 1975. Indeed, Indian assessments of successive regimes in Bangladesh grew steadily more pessimistic, with some commentators (inaccurately) characterizing the country as the “next Afghanistan”, as trends in radicalization and terrorism escalated, and Bangladeshi state institutions became more and more embroiled in the wider enterprise of Islamist extremism, even as relationships with Pakistan’s disruptive external intelligence and military establishment deepened.

All this has, however, changed dramatically, and vastly beyond most expectations, since Sheikh Hasina Wajed’s sweeping electoral victory and the establishment of a majority Awami League (AL) regime at Dhaka in January 2009. With remarkable transformations in the domestic scenario, Dhaka has also sought to repair relations with Delhi, and the two countries have launched a number of initiatives that may herald a new era of mutual cooperation to address a wide range of outstanding issues, including terrorism, illegal immigration, border disputes, water sharing, transit and energy resources. There have been numerous exchanges, negotiations and meetings of high officials between the two countries since early 2010, now culminating in the official visit of Indian Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh, scheduled for September 6-7, 2011. Significantly, Manmohan Singh will be the first Indian PM to visit Bangladesh in 12 years, after then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Dhaka in 1999.

Terrorism has been a point of major friction in Indo-Bangladesh relations over the past years. Since 2010, however, Bangladesh has recognized that Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist outfits had formed a strong nexus with extremists operating in Bangladesh, and were acting across the border in India, even as they came to constitute a major threat to internal security in Bangladesh as well. Moreover, a large number of indigenous militant organizations operating in India’s troubled Northeast had long secured safe haven on Bangladeshi (and, even earlier, East Pakistani) soil, keeping a number of insurgencies artificially alive in this troubled region. In combination, these linkages had contributed to a large measure of extremist violence in India, traces of which still persist. For instance, the emergence of Abdullah Khan and Jalaluddin Mullah alias Babu Bhai of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), as key suspects in the Mumbai serial blasts of July 13, 2011 (13/7), underlines the threat of extremism that abides within the two countries.

Nevertheless, things have changed tremendously for the better since the AL-led Government took charge on January 6, 2009. Prime Minister Wajed’s commitment to wipe out all patterns of terrorism and militancy in Bangladesh has resulted in the decimation of the Islamist extremist terrorist leadership within the country , even as a majority of top militant leaders of the outfits operating in India’s Northeast have been arrested and handed over to Indian authorities. On January 11, 2010, Prime Minister Wajed, during a visit to India, had discussed ways in which the two countries could cooperate to check the menace of terrorism, and an Agreement on Combating International Terrorism was signed by Prime Ministers Wajed and Manmohan Singh. It was noted that security remained a priority for both countries, as terrorists, insurgents and criminals respected no boundaries, and both leaders reiterated the assurance that the territory of either country would not be allowed for activities inimical to the other, and that their respective territory would not be used for training, sanctuary and other operations by domestic or foreign terrorist, militant and insurgent organizations and their operatives.

More recently, in the run-up to Manmohan Singh’s proposed Dhaka visit, Hasina Wajed declared, on August 10, 2011: “My Government is always against terrorism. We won't allow any space to the terrorists, we won't allow an inch of land of the country to be used for terrorism. Terrorists have no borders they are the problems of the whole world. We all have to fight against terrorism in a united form as it is not possible to eradicate this problem by solo effort.” On July 30, 2011, Indian Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, acknowledging Bangladeshi cooperation in combating terrorism, declared, during his visit to Dhaka, "I have on record on numerous occasions appreciated the splendid cooperation of Bangladesh to combat terrorism.”

While the effort to combat terrorism has secured much attention, Indo-Bangladesh cooperation on a wide range of other outstanding issues has also quietly expanded. With regard to border management, P. Chidambaram laid the foundation of a INR 1.72 Billion integrated check post along the border (in West Bengal) on August 27, 2011,  which would boost trade between India and Bangladesh. Chidambaram and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sahara Khatun had earlier signed a Comprehensive Border Management deal on July 30. The deal constitutes a major initiative in the transformation of the India-Bangladesh border from a 4,156 kilometer long zone of conflict, terrorism, crime, smuggling and human trafficking, into a peaceful barrier punctuated by numerous trade corridors.

Dhaka and New Delhi have also initialized the process of demarcation of enclaves. According to official records, there are 111 Indian enclaves, covering some 17,000 acres, inside Bangladesh; while Bangladesh has 51 enclaves, covering about 7,000 acres in India. With regard to the ‘adverse possession’ of these enclaves, the big call that will have to be taken by politicians on both sides of the border is the future of the 30,000-40,000 inhabitants of these territories. Significantly, it is expected that a series of border-related agreements will be finalized during PM Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka visit in September.

The fractious security interface between India and Bangladesh was also historically worsened by a wide range of other contentious issues. Among the most urgent of these, particularly from the Bangladesh perspective, has been water sharing. The unevenness of economic, political, and military power, and the lack of economic incentives, have allowed India to neglect the issue of water sharing, even while the problem of water resources has remained sensitive and politically charged in Bangladesh. The crisis in Bangladesh has been compounded by a frequent recurrence of drought years, causing environmental and socio-economic problems, as well as a growing sense of helplessness and anger, all of which have hardened public opinion in Bangladesh. The plan to sign a treaty on the sharing of Teesta River waters during PM Manmohan Singh’s scheduled visit to Dhaka will be a concrete step forward, even as the sharing of waters of a number of other rivers comes under active and accelerated discussion.

On the other hand, India’s desire for the economic development of its insurgency-afflicted Northeast region is inextricably linked with the issue of transit through Bangladesh. Previous regimes in Bangladesh have blocked India’s requests for transit facilities on the grounds that India may abuse these for military purposes, in case of a war with China, dragging Bangladesh into such future hostilities; that transit was the only ‘leverage’ Dhaka had against its gigantic neighbor, and this should be exploited as a bargaining chip; and, further, that Bangladesh should seek to hold India’s Northeast as a captive market for its own goods, rather than providing the Indian mainland’s producers access to this region. While these arguments have had significant resonance in Dhaka in the past, they have little grounds in rational policy or Bangladeshi interests of state. Thus, Indian External Affairs Minister S .M. Krishna, on July 8, 2011, clarified, “There is nothing to be feared by giving this transit. Transit is only for peaceful purposes”. Moreover, far from damaging the Bangladesh economy, transit arrangements would enormously augment the country’s infrastructure, even as they opened out possibilities of trade on both sides of the Bangladesh border, both with the Indian Northeast and the mainland. Accepting the enormous mutual potential benefits of a transit agreement, Dhaka, on July 7, 2011, agreed in principle to the idea of a wider Asian Highway, after signing the Business and Investment Promotion Agreement with India.

Another area of potential cooperation that will go a long way towards smoothening and deepening relations between the two countries is the energy sector. Bangladesh’s demand for natural gas and electricity has already outstripped available supplies. Agreements with India can open up energy trade and facilitate new investments in the energy sector for Bangladesh. On July 26, 2010, for instance, the two countries signed a 35-year landmark Electricity Transmission Deal under which India will eventually export up to 250 MW of power to Bangladesh from the end of 2012. In addition, a proposed 1320 MW power plant will transfer back the excess power generated to India through transmission links to be set up by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited. Ongoing bilateral talks indicate the willingness of the two countries to secure enduring relations in the energy sector. However, effective implementation and sustained cooperation at the regional level is also required to ensure long term energy security.

A much wider range of cooperative agreements is currently under discussion, and these have the potential of cementing relations between Dhaka and New Delhi, with inevitable and positive impact on the internal security in both countries. For Prime Minister Wajed and her Government, however, the related decisions have not been easy, and will remain fraught with political risk, with strident criticism from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led Opposition. There have been repeated accusations of a ‘sell out’ to the ‘regional hegemon’. The BNP Chairman and opposition leader Khaleda Zia, on October 26, 2010, hinted at the growing and allegedly deleterious Indian role in the country, stating, “Frequency of movement by vultures has increased in Bangladesh and this movement must be stopped and vultures must be resisted unitedly.” Zia also claimed that Bangladesh had received no benefits from various agreements with India, and that the present Government was compromising national interests: “Our lands are taken away, innocent people are killed along the borders, but the present Government is afraid to protest.”  On August 14, 2011, she demanded that the Government must make public all deals to be signed with India during Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh, asserting, further, that her alliance would back the deals only “if they go in favour of Bangladesh. Otherwise, we will wage a tough movement to protest…. taking people with us."

Developments since 2009 have brought Bangladesh-India relations to a historical crossroads, and much of the bitterness of the past could easily be removed through a measure of generosity, flexibility and pragmatism on both sides. It remains to be seen if Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Dhaka will fulfill the broadening promise and expectations of the past two years.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
August 22-28, 2011



Security Force Personnel





Jammu & Kashmir


Left-wing Extremism








Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa







Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


JKLF Chief Yasin Malik was the next target for assassination in Kashmir after Wahhabi cleric Maulana Showkat Shah, says LeT: Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik was the next target for assassination in Kashmir, said Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in its report that unveils the elaborate conspiracy behind the April 8, 2011 killing of the Wahhabi cleric Maulana Showkat Shah. The outfit revealed that it learnt this from one of its militants who had spent time in jail with Javed Munshi, the alleged killer of Shah, before being recently released. Lashkar identifies the militant as Muhammad Imran alias Abu Qatal. Tehelka, August 27, 2011.

Reconciled Naga militant groups agree to form one "Naga National Government": On August 26, a series of meetings took place between six top leaders of three Naga militant outfits - Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah of National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), 'General' Khole Konyak and N. Kitovi Zhimomi of NSCN-Khole-Kitovi and 'Brigadier' S. Singnya and Zhopra Vero of Naga National Council (NNC). It was resolved "in principle" to work towards the formation of one "Naga National Government". Nagaland Post, August 27, 2011.

Somali pirates' Pakistan link confirmed: Material evidence hinting at a Pakistani link to Somali pirates has been recently recovered with the arrest of nine foreign nationals from a hijacked Iranian vessel - MV Nafis-1, by the Indian Navy 170 nautical miles off Mumbai on August 14. The vessel was brought to Porbandar in Gujarat on August 15 and those arrested - five Yemenis, two Tanzanians, one Kenyan and one Somali national - were handed over to Porbandar Police for interrogation. Times of India, August 27, 2011.

Coastal cities under threat from pan-Islamic terror groups, says Government: The Union Government on August 23 said that terror threats to coastal cities still existed and it was reviewing security arrangements to face emerging challenges. "Inputs received by security agencies show threat to coastal cities from pan-Islamic terrorist outfits," the Home Ministry told Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament) in reply to a written question. Times of India, August 24, 2011.

LeT continues to plan anti-India activities, says Government: Government said there are reports that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) continued to plan anti-India activities and reminded Pakistan to honour its anti-terror pledge. "There are reports that LeT continues to plan and carry out anti-India activities," Union Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur told the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament). PTI, August 25, 2011.

19 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in 2011: Pakistan has resorted to unprovoked firing at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir 19 times in 2011, violating the ceasefire that has been continuing between the two countries since 2003. "During 2011 up to July, 19 ceasefire violations have been reported along the LoC," a home ministry official said. Times of India, August 23, 2011.

2,500 militants ready to infiltrate into J&K, says Government: The Government on August 24 said that around 2,500 "fully trained" militants were ready to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) from across the border. Stating this in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament), the Home Ministry said the Centre in tandem with the State Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to contain cross-border infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir. Times of India, August 25, 2011.

Monitor networking sites in Kashmir Valley, urges MHA:The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked telecom operators in the Kashmir valley to ensure that all communications on the internet and social networking sites are monitored on real-time basis. MHA sources have said that all the service operators in the Valley have been asked to ensure that communications taking place over their networks either through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or on social networking sites should be available for monitoring by the security agencies. Daily Excelsior, August 27, 2011.

79 militant groups active in North East: The Union Government may have opened dialogue with some militant outfits, but according to an estimate of the Union Home Ministry, there are 79 militant groups including splinter factions, which are active across six North Eastern States. Manipur has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of 50 active militant outfits in the region including 22 valley-based and 27 hill-based outfits. Assam Tribune, August 24, 2011.

Militancy in North-East on decline, says Director General of Assam Rifles: Director General of Assam Rifles (DGAR) Lieutenant General Rameswar Roy on August 26 said that insurgency in North-Eastern India is on decline due to domination of Security Forces, split amongst militant groups, disenchantment of the people and growing economic activities but extortion remains a point of concern. He also said that the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) factions have not been adhering to the ceasefire agreement. He said compared to the killing of 69 undergrounds in 2010, this year just five have been killed by the Assam Rifles. Sentinel, August 27, 2011.

West Bengal gives go-ahead on talks with Maoists: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on August 26 gave the go-ahead for talks with the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), to the group of interlocutors whom she had appointed for holding discussion. Bringing the "main stakeholders to the discussion-table with the government, is the main objective" civil rights activist Sujato Bhadra, who leads the group of interlocutors, said. The Hindu, August 27, 2011.

Probe all valley killings in past 21 years, says Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on August 22 reiterated his idea of setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to probe all the killings in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 21-years. "Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be assigned the task to probe all the killings in the state. Whether the killings were carried out by militants or security forces, it needs to be probed," he said. Rediff, August 23, 2011.


Baburam Bhattarai elected new Prime Minister: The Parliament on August 28 elected Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai as the 35th Prime Minister of Nepal. He got elected after defeating his rival, Nepali Congress (NC) parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Poudel in the election. Bhattarai received 340 votes while Poudel received 235 votes. Altogether 575 lawmakers participated in the voting. Nepal News, August 29, 2011.


36 SFs and 21 militants among 68 persons killed during the week in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 32 soldiers and 20 militants were killed when some 200 to 300 "terrorists" based in Afghanistan attacked seven paramilitary FC check posts in Chitral District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 27.

At least 12 persons, including some Army and Air Force personnel, were killed and 17 injured when a powerful explosion hit a hotel in Risalpur cantonment area of Nowshera on August 25. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, August 23-29, 2011.

28 militants and seven civilians among 35 persons killed during the week in FATA: 11 militants were killed and four others sustained injuries after the Security Forces (SFs) shelled their hideouts in Barlas and Akhun Kot in Mamozai areas of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on August 25.

10 Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants were killed when landmines planted in a bunker by militants of Tariq Afridi group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) exploded in the Tirah valley of Khyber Agency on August 23.

Three militants and four tribesmen from a same family were killed and three others injured when a US drone targeted a house and a vehicle in Mirkhunkhel area near Mir Ali in North Waziristan Agency on August 22. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, August 23-29, 2011.

25 persons killed in Sindh during the week: A total of 25 persons were killed in Sindh. 12 persons were killed on August 22; seven on August 23; one on August 25; two on August 26 and three on August 28. Dawn; Daily Times; The News; Tribune, August 23-29, 2011.

135 suspected terrorists arrested since March 2009, claims Islamabad Police: During the last two years, Islamabad Police arrested around 135 terrorists and more than dozen would be suicide bombers. Unremitting ingenuous efforts bore fruit and more than 135 terrorists have been arrested by Islamabad Police since March 2009. More than 41 officials sacrificed their lives in the line of duty and several got injuries. Daily Times, August 25, 2011.

Intelligence agencies claim banned militant outfits on recruitment drive in Punjab: Amid reports that militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has resumed full-scale public activity, intelligence agencies have said that other militant groups have also begun recruiting young men from Punjab to fight, particularly in Kashmir. These recruitments, agencies say, have begun following visits from Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC) leader Syed Salahuddin who also heads Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM). Tribune, August 25, 2011.

JuD collecting donations: Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) has been holding gatherings at pre-dawn prayers in Lahore District of Punjab during the month of Ramzan to collect donations despite Government orders of August 2, 2011 barring it from such activities. The JuD has been organising speeches by its chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed at various places and advertising them through posters, pamphlets and mass text messages. Tribune, August 23, 2011.

Government machinery has collapsed in Karachi, says SC: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heading a five-member bench, on August 26 observed that for the last one month situation in Karachi had been out of control and there was a complete breakdown of the government's machinery. "People are being abducted for ransom beheaded dead bodies of innocents with tied arms and legs, wrapped in sacks, are being recovered in large numbers daily and street crime is rampant," the CJ observed during proceedings in Supreme Court (SC). Daily Times, August 27, 2011.

Pakistan must curb flow of explosives material to Afghanistan, says US: US senator Robert Casey, visiting Islamabad, said on August 26 that he was pressing Pakistan to reduce the flow of explosives material used in roadside bombs that wound and kill hundreds of US soldiers in Afghanistan. He asked Pakistan to implement its strategy to cut shipments of ammonium nitrate or fertiliser. Daily Times, August 28, 2011.

No enforced disappearances in Balochistan, claims Balochistan FC chief IG Major General Ubaidullah Khan: Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General (IG) Major General Ubaidullah Khan on August 24 categorically rejected the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report regarding the enforced disappearances in Balochistan. He said it was an attempt to encourage terrorists and at the same time discourage law enforcement agencies. Daily Times, August 25, 2011.


Emergency imposed in 2005 lifted: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse on August 25 declared an end to strict wartime emergency regulations imposed in 2005, noting there were no terror attacks since the end of war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009. "To carry forward the day-to-day activities in a democratic way, I propose there is no need of any emergency regulations anymore," Rajapakse told the Parliament. Emergency was imposed in the country on August 13, 2005 shortly after the killing of then Foreign Affairs Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, by a suspected LTTE sniper near his private residence on Bullers Lane in the heart of the capital Colombo. Times of India, August 26, 2011.

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

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

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