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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 13, No. 3, July 21, 2014

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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Deepening Crisis
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

While the rest of the world has focused its attention towards bloodbath in the Arab World, where the Islamic State of Syria and al Sham (ISIS), now rechristened as Islamic State, has created havoc, Afghanistan is plunging deeper into chaos. The political upheaval arising out of the power struggle following the disputed presidential elections has added to the people's misery, as the security scenario deteriorates rapidly.

In a daring attack, on July 17, 2014, heavily armed Taliban terrorists gained access to a building under-construction near Kabul International Airport and launched an attack on the Airport with grenades and automatic weapons. Though the Afghan Interior Ministry claimed that "not a single rocket" had landed inside the Airport, the attack, which lasted for nearly five hours, led to the closure of the Airport. The attack eventually ended with all the six terrorists killed. While five of the attackers were shot dead by Policemen, Deputy Interior Minister for Security, Mohammad Ayub Salangi, disclosed that the area was "completely cleared", adding, "The last insurgent has just blown himself up, because he knew [Afghan Forces] were on the way to capture him." One trooper also sustained injuries.

On the same day, armed Taliban cadres attacked a convoy carrying a presidential security team in the Zurmat District in Paktia Province. Four guards were wounded in the ensuing gun battle. The security team was travelling to Urgun District (in neighbouring Paktika Province) to prepare for the President's visit there. The convoy pushed ahead despite facing another two ambushes by the insurgents, and reached its destination without sustaining any further casualties. Four vehicles of the President's security convoy were damaged by rocket fire.

President Hamid Karzai was to visit Urgun District to sympathize with the families of 89 people who had been killed in a suicide attack on July 15, 2014. The suicide bomber, driving a truck packed with explosives, had blown himself up when he was stopped by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in a busy market area.

Despite ‘repeated assurances’, the Taliban continued to target civilians through the first half of 2014. Indeed, according to a United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) report of July 2014, out of the 147 attacks claimed by the Taliban in which UNAMA recorded civilian casualties, 75 attacks appeared to have been directed at military targets, while 72 attacks deliberately targeted civilian objectives, including tribal elders, civilian Government and justice sector employees, and civilians in public places. Out of the 4,853 civilian casualties (1,564 civilian deaths and 3,289 injuries) in the first half of 2014, the Taliban publicly claimed responsibility for 553 civilian casualties (234 killed and 319 injured). During the same period in 2013, out of 3,919 civilian casualties (1,342 civilian deaths and 2,577 injured), the Taliban claimed responsibility for 571 civilian casualties (166 civilians killed and 405 injured) in a total of 52 attacks. Significantly, there is an increase of 17 per cent in civilian deaths and 28 per cent in civilian injuries (24 per cent overall increases in civilian casualties) in 2014, as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. 

More worryingly, for the first time since 2009 when UNAMA began systematically documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan, more civilians were found to have been killed and injured in ground engagements and crossfire between terrorists and SFs than any other tactic. Between January 1 and June 30, 2014, UNAMA documented 1,901 civilian casualties (474 civilian deaths and 1427 injuries) from ground engagements, as against 1,004 civilian casualties (219 civilian deaths and 785 injuries) in the corresponding period of 2013, an 89 per cent increase. Ground engagements include kinetic ground operations, crossfire, stand-off attacks and armed clashes between parties to the conflict that encompass attacks or operations in which small arms, heavy weapons and/or area weapon systems such as mortars and rockets are fired. Earlier, improvised explosive device (IED) explosions were the most preferred tactic.

The gigantic increase in ground engagements between the terrorists and SFs is, according to UNAMA,  directly related to, the closure and transfer of more than 86 International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) bases in the last half of 2013. Obviously, the ANSF, which now controls almost 93 per cent of Afghan territory and leads 97 per cent of all security operations across the country, has failed to stem the spread of the Taliban, who are increasing their physical presence across wider areas. Despite ANSF demonstrating their capabilities in a number of successful operations, tremendous vulnerabilities are increasingly visible. Indeed, varying media sources estimate that the Taliban has regrouped and now dominates an estimated 40 to 60 per cent of Afghanistan.

With about just 51,000 ISAF troops, including 33,000 US troops currently in Afghanistan, as against a high of 131,000 in 2010, the crisis is bound to worsen with the premature drawdown inching closer. The 337,000 strong ANSF is still in a process of learning the traits of an enemy that includes an estimated 25,000 hardened fighters, supported by jihadists from all across the globe. Crucially, Pakistan's notorious external intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), continues to provide both safe haven and material support to Taliban groupings, in its sustained efforts to secure 'strategic depth' by installing a puppet regime in Kabul. On numerous occasions in the past the Afghanistan Government has accused the ISI of carrying out attacks inside Afghanistan, using its proxies, the Haqqani Network and Lashkar-e-Toiba, both against Afghan and Indian targets. Most recently, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqi, asserted that the July 17, 2014, attack on Kabul International Airport was either plotted by the ISI or the Haqqani Network, adding that the attack was apparently plotted to avenge the coordinated attack on Karachi Airport, as Pakistan believes Afghanistan was involved in the attack. Sediqi argued that ISI is keen to stop international flights to Afghanistan after similar flights were halted in Karachi following the June 8-9, 2014, attack. Indeed, the Afghan Interior Ministry officials had earlier claimed that the terrorist assailants were of Pakistani origin, as they were speaking Urdu. Significantly, the Haqqani Network was, on September 21, 2011, described by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, as a “veritable arm” of the ISI.

At a juncture where Afghanistan urgently needs a strong and decisive Government to manage the transition and block the resurgence of the Taliban and its associates, the just-concluded Presidential Elections have vitiated the political environment.

The first round of the Presidential Elections, held on April 5, 2014, failed to throw up a clear winner, but were fortunately devoid of controversy. Abdullah Abdullah, the former Foreign Minister, garnered 45 per cent of the total votes, followed by former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, with 31.56 per cent votes. According to the demands of the Afghan Constitution, at least one of the candidates had to secure 50 per cent or more of the votes to be declared the winner. Consequently, second round of polls took place on June 14, 2014. Preliminary results on July 7, 2014, showed that Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the runner up in the first round, got 56.44 per cent votes as against 43.56 per cent for Abdullah. While Ghani welcomed the results, Abdullah, who had urged postponement of the declaration of the preliminary results claiming that there were “unclean votes”, declared, "I will accept the result when the clean votes are separated from unclean votes." Sayed Fazel Sancharaki, Abdullah's spokesperson, alleging widespread voting fraud, argued, "The level of participation in the second round was far lower than the first round, so how can the [election] commission announce that more than 7 million people participated? We have documents showing participation [in the second round] could not have exceeded 5.2 million. In some areas, there are more votes than people." Significantly, the number of votes cast in June exceeds the April vote by over 1.3 million. European Union chief election observer Thijs Berman on July 3, 2014, thus noted, "I have serious concerns about a significant number of polling stations. I have no conclusions on possible fraud because this you can only do when you have done an in-depth audit, but the indications are very worrying.”

With Ghani displaying some reluctance, Abdullah’s supporters, who felt that he had been cheated for the second time, as he was the runner up to Karzai during the first round of polls in 2009 as well, and did not contest the run-off elections, asked Abdullah to form a “parallel Government.” Indeed, Abdullah even threatened to declare his own Government, though he urged his frenzied supporters to give him time to negotiate. On July 8, 2014, he thus stated, “The people of Afghanistan have been asking us to announce our government today, and we can’t disregard this right. I am not going to betray you — just give me time to defend justice, freedom, the rule of law and the people’s right. Give me time.”

For the time being, however, better sense appears to have prevailed, as the two candidates have agreed to an audit of votes. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who rushed to Afghanistan at the height of the political squabble, announced on July 12, 2014, "Both candidates have committed to participate in and stand by the results of the largest most possible audit. Every single ballot that was cast will be audited."

Meanwhile, on July 17, 2014, the Afghan Election Commission begun the audit of 7.9 million votes cast in the June 14 run-off elections. The process is expected to take at least three weeks, thus delaying the final results which were originally scheduled to be announced on July 22.

Both the candidates have agreed to abide by a 100 per cent internationally supervised audit and have also vowed to form a National Unity Government, presumably one that includes members of each side, once the results are announced. A smooth transfer of power is imperative to contain the country's accelerating hurtle into chaos. It will also provide the US the much needed legal mandate to leave behind some troops even after 2014, as both these candidates support the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). Any persisting controversy over election results, and the consequent mistrust and potential ill-will between the two presidential candidates and their substantial base of supporters, however, could prolong the present crisis and lead to greater instability.

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Odisha: Signal Success
Mrinal Kanta Das
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Providing dramatic relief to the Odisha Government and Security Forces (SFs) engaged in anti-Naxal [Left-Wing Extremist (LWE)] operations in the State, Sabyasachi Panda alias Sunil alias Sarat, the ‘general secretary’ of the newly floated Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (CPI-MLM), was arrested from the house of an aide in the Mangalavarampeta locality, a crowded and narrow street in the Bada Bazaar area of Berhampur town in the Ganjam District of Odisha on July 17, 2014. Panda carried a bounty of INR 2 million on his head. After his arrest he was produced before a lower court to secure an extended period of custody. Giving details on the arrest, Odisha Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Mark disclosed, “During the raid we have recovered an automatic pistol, some ammunitions, Rs 2 lakh cash [INR 200,000], gold of half kilogram, a laptop, ten cell phones, four computer hard disks and five pen drives from Panda’s possession.”

The Police disclosed that, despite the pistol in his possession, Panda did not resist arrest. A 13-member Police party was involved in the operation.

Significantly, on February 15, 2014, Panda had escaped a Police operation in the Merikote Reserve Forest area in Ganjam District. The exchange of fire, which took place when Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP) cadres opened fire at the SF personnel, who had reached close to their camp, continued for 45 minutes. Though around 250 rounds were fired by the SFs, no casualty was reported. The subsequent arrest of three OMP female cadres, on February 27, 2014, however, revealed that Panda had received a bullet injury on his right thigh during the encounter.

At one time, Panda was the leading Force in the Central leadership of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), assigned to oversee the movement in Odisha. After the death of CPI-Maoist Politburo member Mallojula Koteswar Rao aka Kishanji in an encounter with the SFs in the Kushaboni Forest area in Jhargram on the West Bengal-Jharkhand border in West Midnapore District, on November 24, 2011, Panda was reportedly given the added responsibility of reorganising the Maoists in the Jangalmahal area of West Bengal, comprising the West Midnapore, Bankura, and Purulia Districts. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting on December 5 and 6, 2011, in the Gotshila Forests in Jharkhand, .attended by West Bengal ‘state secretary’ Asim Mandal aka Akash, Kishenji's brother Venugopal, who had been working in Jangalmahal since July 2011, and Prasanta Bose aka Kishanda. The meeting was also attended by some key Maoist leaders from West Bengal.

Panda’s meteoric rise in the CPI-Maoist could be attributed to his successful orchestration of some of the worst incidents of Naxalite violence in Odisha, the most significant of which was the February 15, 2008, Nayagarh Armory raid, in which 14 Police personnel and two civilians were killed, and some 1,100 weapons and a massive cache of ammunition, were looted. He is also a suspect in the June 28, 2008, Chitrakonda Reservoir tragedy  in which 38 troopers, including 36 from the elite Greyhounds Force from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, were killed in an attack on a boat. However, his unilateral decision to kill a Hindu religious leader, Swamy Laxmananda Saraswati, in Kandhamal District, on August 23, 2008, without ‘prior approval’ from the central leadership, created deep, and eventually irreconcilable, differences. With the passage of time, Panda also developed serious personal differences with Modem Balakrishna, a CPI-Maoist Central Committee (CC) member, and was unhappy about the ‘hegemony’ of Telegu (Andhra) cadres over Odia cadres. Interestingly, Kishanji, a Telugu himself, apparently supported Panda, and a thaw was witnessed for some time. After Kishanji's killing, however, Panda’s alienation from the party increased, and his communication with the top leadership progressively deteriorated. The relationship was pushed to crisis point when Panda took two Italian nationals hostage in March 2012, without ‘consulting’ central leadership. Italians Bosusco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo were abducted from the Ganjam-Kandhamal border on March 14, 2012.  While Claudio Colangelo was released on March 25, Bosusco Paolo was released on April 12, 2012.

Panda’s relations with the CPI-Maoist eventually collapsed when he wrote a 60 page letter criticizing the cental leadership, accusing it of several strategic and ideological blunders and deviations. The Maoist leadership responded to Panda's letter with an expulsion order on August 10, 2012.

Panda then formed the OMP on August 15, 2012, with a relative small group of defecting cadres from his areas of principal influence in the Gajapati, Ganjam, Kandhamal, and Rayagada Districts. However, the incipient party was never able to create a ‘credible alternative’ to the CPI-Maoist, despite Panda's efforts to expand his area of operation into Koraput and Malkangiri.

Though very little is known about his outfit’s cadre strength, one of the Italian hostages Bosusco Paolo told reporters after his release that Panda barely had 20 cadres with him at that point of time. The actual numbers may have been marginally larger, since the number of OMP cadres killed/arrested/surrendered, according to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) stands at six,14 and eight, respectively.

Panda's tiny support base was rapidly decimated after the formation of OMP. The biggest blow came on November 14, 2012, when SFs killed five of his cadres in an encounter in the Bhaliagada Forest area in Gobindpur Panchayat (village level local self government institution) under the Mohana Police Station limits in Gajapati District. In the most recent incident of an encounter between SFs and OMP cadres, the 'military head' of OMP, Pradip Majhi alias Govind (27), was killed in an exchange of fire with the Police in Gajapati District on March 11, 2013.

The 14 OMP cadres arrested have included one of Panda's close associates, Kabuli Sobhasundar (41), who was picked up from a marketplace at Baliguda in Kandhamal District on July 27, 2013, inflicting a big blow on the organisation. During the Merikote Reserve Forest area encounter on February 15, 2014, moreover, two OMP cadres belonging to the Keonjhar District of Odisha were arrested.

The mounting pressure on the group led to at least eight surrenders, the most important of which was that of Sishu Mallick, a close associate of Panda, who had surrendered before the Kandhamal SP, J.N. Pankaj, at Phulbani on February 5, 2013. Further on August 5, 2013, an OMP 'area committee member', identified as Pratap aka Nasib Nayak (22), surrendered at Paralakhemundi in Gajapati District.

One of OMP's arms dumps was also discovered by the SFs on March 17, 2014, from a border area of Kandhamal and Ganjam Districts. The consequent seizures included one Self Loading Rifle (SLR), one .303 rifle, one hand-made Single Barrel Muzzle Loading (SBML) gun, 162 rounds of ammunition, a tiffin bomb, a walky talky, a video camera, 14 pen drives, and Maoist literature.

Inevitably, the OMP weakened considerably. In fact, since its very inception, OMP has failed to demonstrate its operational strength. There has been no reported exchange of fire between OMP and the SFs, other than the two encounters mentioned above. However, the outfit was involved in the abduction of two brothers, from the Mohana Block area of Gajapati District on February 4. After their escape on March 8, 2013, the brothers accused OMP of abducting them and claimed that they were asked by Panda to work for the party. The group also called for State bandhs (shutdowns) on two occasions. On March 12, 2013, a bandh was called in protest against the killing Pradip Majhi, the OMP ‘military head’. Similarly, a bandh had been called on November 20, 2012, in protest against the killing of five of OMP cadres in an encounter on November 14, 2012. The two bandhs, however, passed peacefully and failed to affect normal life.

Unsurprisingly, Panda had been exploring options to surrender and join mainstream politics, following his wife Subhashree alias Mili Panda's footsteps. Indeed, Mili Panda, who was arrested on January 14, 2010, on charges of being a Maoist, after her release on April 5, 2012, subsequent to a court in Gunupur acquitting her in a Maoist-related case, started functioning as a political activist. She unsuccessfully contested the April 2014 State Assembly elections from the Ranpur Assembly Constituency in Nayagarh District. Interestingly, within five months of his separation from CPI-Maoist, Panda, for the first time, issued an audio tape, on January 24, 2013, indicating his interest to come to the negotiation table.

However, following his wife’s defeat in the Assembly Elections, Panda appeared to wish to revive his depleted organisation and consequently formed the CPI-MLM, merging his outfit with the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist-Janashakti (CPI-ML-Janashakti) and other Maoist splinters based in West Bengal, on May 19, 2014. This was a desperate attempt to regain some lost ground, but it came far too late.

Naxalite violence in Odisha, after peaking in 2010, has gradually declined due to a number of factors, including SF operational successes on the ground, a trend that has been visible in other Naxal-affected States as well. The situation, nevertheless, remains fraught with the risk of escalation. Though Panda's capture has virtually decimated his faction, the surviving strength of the parent CPI-Maoist remains significant along the State's border areas, and the potential for revival of violence cannot be ignored. 

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Disruptive Alliances
S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On June 28, 2014, five main Maoist parties of Nepal, including the Pushpa Kama Dahal aka Prachanda-led Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), the Mohan Baidya aka Kiran-led Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist-Baidya), the Matriya Yadav-led CPN-Maoist (CPN--Maoist-Matriya), the Mani Thapa-led Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and Pari Thapa-led CPN-Unified (CPN-U), at a special function at Buddha Nagar in the national capital, Kathmandu ,signed an agreement to constitute an alliance. Addressing the function, Prachanda observed that the alliance was formed “with an aim of unification among the communist parties”.

Addressing the same function, Mohan Baidya, however, qualified that unification with the UCPN-M would be possible only after it agreed to the six-point proposal floated by CPN-Maoist-Baidya's politburo on June 14, 2012. The proposal included accepting Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the key ideology; accepting Peoples' Revolution as the party's working procedure; rejecting the parliamentary system; use of force for transformation of the revolution; correcting past political aberrations; and an organization based on the central principle of the peoples' revolution.

Indeed, on February 2, 2014, the CPN-Maoist-Baidya at its politburo meeting had concluded that unity with the UCPN-M was still possible if the latter showed willingness to “correct” its political line of peace and the statute adopted through the Hetauda Convention of February 2013, which incorporated theoretical principles that mandated the governance of the party with a focus on participatory democracy, shunning the military structure that the party had earlier embraced. Baidya had asserted, “We are ready to bring a proposal for party unification if they [UCPN-M] stand ready to correct their present political line. They must think over this critical situation. If they show readiness to correct themselves, unification is possible any time.”  Since the split, which took place on June 19, 2012, the Baidya-led CPN-Maoist-Baidya has mostly remained outside the political mainstream and had boycotted elections for the second  Constituent Assembly (CA), held on November 19, 2013. Despite the stridency of is political positions, it had, more or less, been pushed into political oblivion.

The Prachanda-led UCPN-M, however, has also suffered a humiliating defeat in the CA elections, winning just 80 seats in the 601-member Assembly, and was relegated to third position in the CA. Significantly, it was the largest party in the first CA, winning 229 out of the 601 seats in the elections held on April 10, 2008. Recognizing that factionalism and a progressive splintering of the party was part of the cause of the electoral reverses, Dahal had, on many occasions in the past, called for reunification with the Baidya group.

Significantly, commemorating the 19th ‘People’s War’ Day on February 13, 2014, Dahal, recalled the party's humiliating loss in the CA elections and observed, “We won when we were united and lost after the split. This shows the necessity of unification between revolutionary forces, wherever they are. It’s time to listen to the heartbeat of the people who are repeatedly urging party unification”. Speaking at a separate function, on the same day, Baidya, reiterated that the “party was moving ahead successfully towards its aims when it was united”.

On March 13, 2014, a joint statement signed by Dahal and Baidya, observed that the Government was arresting their leaders and cadres in connection with war-era cases. Both the parties urged that all war-era cases should be dealt through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as the present sequence of arrests was against the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Such cases were not to be dealt with in a piecemeal manner, through regular court proceedings, the joint statement observed.

It was against this backdrop that the five parties agreed, on June 26, 2014, to form a Working Alliance Committee (WAC), comprising of the chiefs of the parties, to work together on a common agenda, though the unification of the parties led by Prachanda and Baidya remained elusive. The June 28, 2014, agreement to constitute an alliance was the outcome of this process.

As expected, soon after the alliance was formed, these parties started talking of agitational politics. In a meeting of the WAC held in Kathmandu on June 30, 2014, during an extensive interaction on the subject of federalism, the constituent parties expressed their readiness to hit the streets to press the Government to incorporate their agenda in the constitution being drafted.

Compounding the issue further, on July 11, 2014, UCPN-M and six Madhesi parties - including the Madhesi Peoples’ Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D), Madhesi People's Rights Forum-Nepal (MPRF-Nepal), Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), Federal Socialist Party-Nepal (FSP-Nepal), Sadbhavana Party (SP) and Tarai Madhesh Sadbhavana Party (TMSP) - formed an alliance, the Federal Republican Front (FRF), to push for their demand of identity-based federalism. The purpose of the alliance was purportedly to press the big parties - Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) - to embrace 'the people’s aspirations for change'. 

Conspicuously, after forging two separate alliances - one with the Maoist factions and another with the Madhesh-based political parties - the UCPN-M is now mulling an interventionist role in national politics. A standing committee meeting of the party held on June 29, 2014, discussed possible protest programmes to be launched inside and outside Parliament. Party Secretary Giriraj Mani Pokharel thus observed, "We have realized that we need to play interventionary role in national politics, so we are working out our future course of action."

The newly formed alliances, however, remain edgy. For instance, though the UCPN-M and the CPN-Maoist-Baidya have formed the WAC along with three other parties, unification remains elusive, despite overtures. On fundamentals, the two parties remain irreconcilable, and, expressing doubts whether the UCPN-M was serious about party unification, CPN-Maoist-Baidya Secretary Dev Gurung, on June 19, 2014, noted, “Though they are talking about party unification, it just looks like propaganda, as they have not done any homework with regards to our six-point condition.”

The FRF is also far from a settled alliance. On July 3, 2014, the Madhes-based parties expressed dissatisfaction with the changing stance of UCPN-M leaders regarding the number of federal states to be carved out in the country. Expressing their ire over the statement of UCPN-M leader Baburam Bhattarai who had reportedly said the 11 states model could be the starting point for federalism, Rajendra Shrestha, General Secretary of FSP-Nepal declared, “Madhes-based parties had rejected the 11-state model since long and were for the 10 or 14 states model. If Maoists support NC and CPN-UML’s agenda later, why should we join hands now?”

The conflict within the UCPN-M is, further, far from over. Leaders of the Dahal faction and the Baburam Bhattarai faction, during a five-hour discussion on July 7, 2014, talked about patching up existing differences on ideology, 'scientific organizational setting' and the focus on drafting a progressive constitution. Bhattarai, however, remained reluctant and urged Dahal to come up with a model of the party’s 'revolution for socialism' and ways to manage the organisation in accordance with the party line.

CPN-UML, moreover, has expressed the apprehension that the new alliances could drag the UCPN-M, the third largest party in the CA, out of the constitution drafting process. CPN-UML Chief of Publicity Department, Pradeep Gywali, on June 29, 2014, commented, “Before forging an alliance, the UCPN-M should have sought commitment from the four parties on the promulgation of a new constitution. As a signatory of CPA, Dahal should assure publicly that he is committed to the peace and constitution drafting process. Otherwise, there will always be skepticism about his commitment to the constitution.” Earlier, on June 17, 2014, NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel blamed Maoist and 'totalitarian forces' for creating problems in the country and asserted that all types of political dead locks were created by these elements.

Significantly, NC and CPN-UML are the ruling alliance and are in the process of resolving all outstanding issues in drafting of the Constitution. On June 30, 2014, CA Speaker Subash Nembang, also the chairman of the CA, disclosed that the task of writing the draft of a new constitution had begun, and a new Constitution would be produced by January 22, 2015. Indeed, the Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee of the CA, on July 15, 2014, began discussions on issues of state restructuring, one of the most contentious problems. 

So far, the second CA has sought to project the idea that a consensus among major political parties is now within reach, and that the Legislature-Parliament is moving in the right direction on the constitution-drafting process. The new opportunistic alliances forged by the UCPN-M, though far from creating cohesive unit, do put this process at some risk in their influence the process. Their attempt to bypass the people’s representatives, set up through a popular vote, to take their fractious politics back into the streets. This has the potential, once again, to jeopardize the constitution-making process and push the country into a protracted and avoidable deadlock.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
July 14-20, 2014



Security Force Personnel





Left-wing Extremism






Jammu and Kashmir




Left-wing Extremism




Total (INDIA)















Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Aim of holding the trial of the 1971 crimes against humanity is to free the nation from stigma and to establish the rule of law, says Law Minister Anisul Huq": Law Minister Anisul Huq on July 17 said that the aim of holding the trial of the 1971 crimes against humanity is to free the nation from stigma and to establish the rule of law. He further told that the trial will also end the culture of giving impunity to the heinous offenders." The Daily Star, July 18, 2014.


Al Qaeda plans 'final jihad' for India, according to intelligence report: Intelligence agencies say al Qaeda is making inroads into India, sowing the seeds of a 'final war' across the country. Information gathered on al-Qaeda's India plans points to a mobilisation of its resources for jihad. The ideological goal of the group, as detailed in the report, is Ghazwa-e-Hind or the final battle in India. "Not only Kashmiri groups but Taliban and al-Qaeda affiliates have stakes in the larger scheme of Ghazwa-e-Hind where India is regarded as next battleground in the 'End of Times' battle. This ideology is likely to be used to drive Taliban and al-Qaeda affiliates into Kashmir," says an intelligence report. Mail Online, July 17, 2014.

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed working on plan to 'unleash terror' in Kashmir Valley, according to intelligence sources: Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) 'founder' and JuD 'chief' Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, is working on a lethal plan to unleash a fresh reign of terror in the Kashmir Valley. Intelligence sources claimed that for this purpose Saeed has now set up a special Kashmir Cell drawing the best and most motivated militants from LeT and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). These militants are being given advance training in use of sophisticated weapons and fighting Indian Security Forces (SFs) at a special camp, set up in South Afghanistan, by foreign mercenaries, especially from Chechnya. Asian Age, July 19, 2014.

43 attempts of infiltration along the Indo-Pakistan border have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir till May 2014, says Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply in Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) that a total of 43 attempts of infiltration along the Indo-Pakistan border have taken place till May in 2014. He added that 277 such attempts were made during 2013 while in 2012, they were 264. He also said that till July 11, 2014, a total of 42 incidents of ceasefire violation have taken place along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Zee News, July 16, 2014.

Naxals getting foreign fund, says Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju: Replying to a question in Parliament about foreign funding to Naxal-[Left-Wing Extremist (LWE)] groups in India, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on July 15 said that some cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) received training from the Communist Party of Philippines in 2005 and 2011. He further said there was no specific intelligence input to indicate that Naxals were getting external or foreign assistance. Financial Express, July 16, 2014.

'9,174 Indian websites hacked by groups spread across the world', states Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad: On July 14, Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) that the government body reported that 9,174 Indian websites were hacked by groups spread across the world. Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) reported 62,189 cyber security incidents in the first five months of the current calendar year (2014), Parliament was also informed. Outlook, July 15, 2014.

Odisha Maobadi party leader Sabyasachi Panda arrested in Odisha: Sabyasachi Panda, leader of Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), was arrested during a Police raid at a hideout in Ganjam District on July 17. Panda had recently floated Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (CPI-MLM), and was the 'general secretary' of the new outfit. HindustanTimes, July 18, 2014.

Indian Government scans data on youths missing abroad, says report: The intelligence agencies are scanning immigration data and missing persons reports in Police Stations across India to cull out suspicious disappearance of Muslim youths in strife-torn regions across the globe. The data are being analyzed on the basis of available information and visits of youths to destinations where their presence is not justified for either religious reasons or employment purposes. Those having gone on haj but have not returned and those having lost contact with family are also being looked at closely. Times of India, July 18, 2014.


109 militants and 15 SFs among 125 persons killed during the week in FATA: 28 local and foreign militants were killed in air strikes when fighter aircraft hit hideouts in the Shawal Valley of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on July 20.

A US drone strike targeting a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) compound on July 19 killed 11 militants in Mada Khel suburb of Dattakhel town in NWA.

At least eight paramilitary soldiers were killed and three others were injured as militants mounted an assault on a Frontier Corps (FC) check-post at Ghundi area of Jamrud tehsil (revenue unit) in Khyber Agency on July 18.

Security Force killed 35 militants who were trying to escape from the remote mountainous Shawal Valley in NWA in the morning of July 16.

At least 20 suspected militants were killed when United States drone fired missiles on a compound in Saidgai area of Dattakhel in NWA on July 16.

11 militants and five soldiers were killed and eight others were injured in two separate encounters with the militants in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb in NWA on July 15. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 15-21, 2014.

30 civilians and nine militants among 40 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least six persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, on July 20.

At least six persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on July 18.

At least seven persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on July 17.

At least six persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi on July 16.

At least five suspected militants were shot dead by Law Enforcement Agencies in an encounter in Gulshan-i-Buner area of Malir Town in Karachi on July 15.

At least nine persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in Karachi on July 14. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, July 15-21, 2014.

91 Police officials and nine Rangers killed in 2014 in Karachi, says report: At least 91 Police officials and nine Rangers personnel have been killed so far in 2014. The report stated that 25 Police officials were killed in January, 19 in February, four in March, seven in April, nine in May, 19 in June and eight in the first half of July. Most of the Police officials were targeted in the West Zone. According to sources, members of a banned outfit target Police officials in the area. Tribune, July 15, 2014.

550 suspected terrorists held across country, says report: Security Forces (SFs) arrested more than 550 suspected terrorists belonging to banned outfits from across the country, including the Federal capital Islamabad. According to an official of the Federal Ministry of Interior, more than 300 suspects were arrested from Punjab while more than 100 were arrested from Karachi, provincial capital of Sindh, and around 150 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. The official said the detainees would be treated under the newly introduced Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) 2014. The arrests have been made against the backdrop of the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) to curb the likely backlash from the militants. The News, July 17, 2014.


TNA agrees to accept a unitary state in Sri Lanka: Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on July 15 agreed to denounce separatism and accept a united Sri Lanka for all communities. The TNA agreed to submit an affidavit to the Supreme Court, stating that Sri Lanka is a unitary State. Lawyers appearing for the Secretary of TNA and its main constituent Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), Parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah and leader of TNA R. Sampanthan agreed to submit the affidavit to the Supreme Court that Sri Lanka is a unitary state when six petitions filed by representatives of Sinhala majority nationalist organizations were taken for hearing. Colombo Page, July 18, 2014.

President appoints international expert panel to advise Missing Persons Commission: President Mahinda Rajapaksa has broadened the scope of the mandate of the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons and appointed a three-member international panel of experts to advise the Commission. A Government press statement said that the enhanced mandate of the Commission, issued by a Presidential Proclamation and published under Gazette Notification 1871/18 dated July 15, seeks to, inter alia, inquire into and report on several matters contained under paragraph 4.359 of the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which the Commission has deemed as requiring further inquiry. Colombo Page, July 18, 2014.

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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