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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 14, No. 7, August 17, 2015

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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Punjab: Proxies Gone Wild
Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management & South Asia Terrorism Portal

The Home Minister of Punjab Province, Colonel Shuja Khanzada (Retd.) and 22 others, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Shaukat Shah, were killed, and another 23 were injured, in a suicide attack on August 15, 2015. According to reports, the attacks took place when between 50-100 people were attending a jirga at Khanzada’s political office in the Shadi Khan Village of Attock District. Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Sukhera subsequently disclosed, “There were two suicide bombers, one stood outside the boundary wall and the second one went inside and stood in front of the Minister. The blast by the bomber standing outside ripped the wall which caused the roof to fall flat on the Minister and people gathered there.” Sukhera added that Police were investigating whether the attacker inside the building detonated a bomb.

The last high profile political killing in Punjab was the killing of Salmaan Taseer, the then Governor of the Punjab Province, who was killed in Islamabad, the national capital, on January 4, 2011, by one of his own body guards, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. Qadri was reportedly incensed by the Governor’s efforts to seek a marginal dilution of the controversial blasphemy law [a punitive law against any critic or defamer of the Islamic religion, Prophet Mohammad or the holy Quran] as a result of which conviction under the law would not result in a mandatory death sentence; as also his advocacy for Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman sentenced to death on November 7, 2010, for alleged blasphemy.

Significantly, after assuming the post of Home Minister of the Province on October 13, 2014, Khanzada had reportedly been involved in major operations against domestically oriented terrorists in Punjab, though there was little evidence of any relative improvement of the security environment as a result. According to partial data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), Punjab recorded at least 186 terrorism-linked fatalities , including 129 civilians, 45 terrorists and 12 Security Force (SF) personnel in the 308 days under Home Minister Khanzada, as compared to 109 fatalities, including 69 civilians, 22 terrorists and 18 SF personnel in the corresponding period prior to his assuming office. Indeed, after registering a continuous decline in terrorism-related fatalities since 2011, Punjab had witnessed a sudden spurt in 2014, when at least 180 fatalities were registered, including 132 civilians, 20 SF personnel and 28 terrorists. In the current year, Punjab has already recorded 107 fatalities, including 62 civilians, 38 terrorists and seven SF personnel (data till August 16, 2015).

Khanzada’s Ministry recorded its biggest ‘success’ on July 29, 2015, with the killing of Malik Ishaq ‘chief’ of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a terror group which, along with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) remained one of the most lethal domestic extremist formations operating inside Pakistan, though, unlike TTP, LeJ operated essentially as a sectarian outfit, uniquely targeting the non-Sunni Muslim minorities in the country. Ishaq, his two sons Usman and Haq Nawaz, and 11 others, were killed in an alleged exchange of fire with the Police in the Shahwala area of Muzaffargarh District in Punjab. According to reports, Ishaq and his sons, who had been arrested by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel on July 25, 2015, were taken by the Police to the area to help them recover weapons and explosives. Police claimed that the exchange of fire took place when Ishaq’s supporters allegedly attacked the Police to free Ishaq. Though Ishaq was freed, he was allegedly killed in the subsequent exchange of fire along with the others. It is, however, widely believed that the entire operation was a staged killing. 

Meanwhile, a preliminary report submitted to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif by IGP Mushtaq Sukhera asserted that Home Minister Khanzada was killed in retaliation to the Malik Ishaq killing. The Ishaq led LeJ, as SAIR had noted earlier, was one of several terrorist formations that had enjoyed the support of the Pakistani establishment over an extended period of time. He was arrested in 1997 and was implicated in dozens of cases, but succeeded in obtaining bail in July 2011, after nearly 14 years in jail. While in jail, he was believed to have masterminded the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, which killed eight Pakistanis, though only seven players and an assistant coach of the targeted team suffered minor injuries. He was repeatedly placed under house arrest thereafter, and arrested, again, in 2013, over a series of sectarian attacks. The worst of these was the January 10, 2013, Quetta (Balochistan) bombing, targeting a snooker hall patronized by the Shia Hazara community, in which 92 persons were killed; and another bombing in Quetta on February 16, 2013, which killed 89. LeJ claimed the attacks. Nevertheless, Ishaq again secured bail on March 20, 2014, and was released. His killing in an apparently staged encounter suggests that he had ‘crossed the limits’ placed on his group by its handlers.

Two terrorist formations have claimed responsibility for the Khanzada killing: TTP-affiliated Lashkar-e-Islam (LI), which principally operates in tribal areas of Pakistan where the Pakistan military has been carrying out massive operation since June 2014, declared that Khanzada’s assassination was retaliation for military operations against them. Its ‘spokesperson’ Saluddin Ayubi added, "Such types of attacks will continue in the future." Further, Ehsanullah Ehsan, ‘spokesman’ for the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), a breakaway faction of TTP, claiming responsibility for the attack Tweeted, “The Attock attack is revenge for the martyrdom of Malik Ishaq shaheed (martyr) and other mujahideen brothers.”

Punjab has remained substantially insulated from the high intensities terrorism experienced in Pakistan’s other provinces, despite the fact that it is the principal recruiting ground and staging area for a number of state-backed terrorist groups, most prominently including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) – Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) combine, which has long and openly received state largesse to support its networks in the Province. The degree of freedom and Government support various terrorist formations continue to enjoy in Punjab remains alarming. For instance, the province continues to host massive JuD rallies led by its chief and mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, one of the globally most-wanted terrorists. In the latest of such a series, JuD held a rally in Lahore on August 14, 2015, which was also telephonically addressed by Asiya Andrabi, chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM), a separatist organization in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

According to SATP data compiled till March 2014, there has been a considerable and increasing presence of at least 57 extremist and terrorist groups in Pakistan’s Punjab Province. Significantly, on January 14, 2015, Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, during a briefing on the status of the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism and extremism, disclosed that the number of proscribed organisations actively engaged in terrorism and extremism in the Province had reached 95.

Indeed, out of 195 convicts hanged across Pakistan since December 17, 2014, when the moratorium on the death penalty was lifted, 135 were from Punjab alone, though only 15 of these were terrorists. In the latest of such hangings, on July 29, 2015, eight death row prisoners were executed in Punjab. While the spectacle of ‘strong action’ against terrorism is maintained, preferred groups continue to evade penal action, even as their leaders, such as 26/11 ‘masterminds’ Zia-ur-Rahman Lakhvi and Saeed roam free. Indeed, state apologetics for various ‘good terrorist’ formations continues, and Khanzada was part of this process of rationalization.  Most recently, when at least 15 persons were killed and another 70 were injured in two bomb blasts separately targeting two churches in the Youhanabad Town of Lahore, Khanzada claimed that the terrorists responsible “received Indian directives and funding”. Crucially, however, the Minister identified the Shahryar Mehsood Group, which operates for al-Qaeda, and TTP, as responsible for the church bombings, and the affiliations and connections of these groupings are widely known, and do not include any friendly relations with the Indian state or its agencies, to whose destruction they have repeatedly sworn.

Till the time Islamabad continues to differentiate between terror outfits, targeting those only who are domestically oriented while providing all tacit support to those which serves its ‘strategic interest', terrorism will thrive on Pakistani soil and terrorists will succeed in eliminating those who will challenge their supremacy. 

The Khanzada killing, like the Peshawar Army School massacre, which was also blamed by the Pakistani far right establishment on India, among an interminable succession of other terrorist atrocities, is essentially part of the continuing cycle of blowback and retaliation that has fed domestic terrorism in Pakistan. Ironically, its most prominent victims have been at least part of this cycle, if not as active supporters, certainly in their willingness to look the other way while ‘good terrorists’ did the state’s bidding in the past.

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Strategic Folly
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

Among a range of indicators of deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan came the announcement of the death, at least two years earlier, of Mullah Omar, the so-called Amir ul Momineen (Leader of the Faithful) and ‘supreme commander’ of the Taliban; a contested succession for leadership of the group; and the rising spectre of the Islamic State (IS, formerly Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, ISIS) in the Af-Pak region. These developments promise enduring troubles, even as they give signs of the unraveling of Pakistan’s strategy of orchestrated negotiations and proxy war against Afghanistan.

On August 8, 2015, terrorists carried out a suicide attack killing at least 21 people and injuring another 10 in the Khanabad District of Kunduz Province in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

On August 7, 2015, terrorists carried out a series of attacks across the national capital Kabul, killing at least 51 people. In the first attack, a suicide bomber dressed in Police uniform detonated his explosive vest in a crowd of trainees outside the Kabul Police Academy, killing at least 27 and injuring over 25. Later, militants detonated an explosives laden truck near an Army complex, killing 15 and injuring over 240. In the last of these series of attacks, terrorists attacked Camp Integrity, which houses US and coalition troops that help train Afghan forces, killing nine and injuring 20. The victims included eight civilian military contractors and a US serviceman. The Taliban claimed responsibility for two of the three attacks – on the Kabul Police Academy and Camp Integrity. Though the attack near the Army complex remained unclaimed, the Taliban is suspected to have been responsible. 

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a televised address stated, “We hoped for peace, but war is declared against us from Pakistani territory. I ask the government and people of Pakistan to imagine that a terrorist attack just like the one in Kabul ... took place in Islamabad and the groups behind it had sanctuaries in Afghanistan and ran offices and training centres in our big cities. What would have been your reaction?” He warned that these attacks would spell the end of his rapprochement if Islamabad did not respond strongly.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded at least 355 civilian casualties – 42 deaths and 313 injured – in the August 7 Kabul attacks. Though the number of deaths reported by UNAMA is significantly lower than the deaths reported in the media, UNAMA stressed the fact that the number of civilian casualties, at 355, was the highest in a single day since it began systematically recording such casualties in Afghanistan in 2009.

The security environment across Afghanistan remains alarming. UNAMA’s 2015 ‘Midyear Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict’ released on August 5, 2015, documented 4,921 civilian casualties (1,592 dead and 3,329 injured) in the first half of 2015, as compared to 4,894 (1,686 dead and 3,208 injured) during the corresponding period of 2014. In 2013, the number of civilian casualties during the same period had stood at 3,921 (1,344 deaths and 2,577 injured). Over the same period of 2009, these casualties stood at 2,491 (1,052 deaths and 1,439 injured).

The UNAMA report further noted that civilian casualties from suicide and complex attacks executed by Anti-Government Elements (AGEs) caused 1,022 civilian casualties (183 deaths and 839 injured) during the first six months of 2015, a 78 per cent increase compared to the first six months of 2014. Similarly, 699 civilian casualties (440 deaths and 259 injured) were reported in incidents of targeted killing in first six months of 2015, an increase of 57 per cent compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The number of civilian casualties caused by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), stood at 1,108 (385 deaths and 723 injured), a 21 per cent decrease. During the same period, ground engagements led to 1,577 civilian casualties (379 deaths and 1,198 injured), a 19 per cent decrease compared to the corresponding period of 2014. The remaining 515 civilian casualties in 2015 were the result of “explosive remnants of war” (four per cent), aerial operations (two percent), and “other” (five per cent).

More worryingly, in the first six months of 2015, UNAMA documented a 23 per cent increase in women casualties and a 13 per cent increase in child casualties. Emphasizing the adverse impact of this development, Danielle Bell, UNAMA Director of Human Rights, noted,
The rise in the numbers of women and children killed and maimed from conflict-related violence is particularly disturbing. This year, UNAMA recorded the highest number of children and women casualties compared to the same period in previous years. All parties to the conflict must undertake stronger measures to protect civilians from harm. When the conflict kills or maims a mother, child, sister or brother, the repercussions for families and communities are devastating and long-lasting.

Meanwhile, partial data collated by Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) shows that violence in all categories has increased, and also that there has been a visible decline in the overall security situation. After declines in the total number of terrorism-related fatalities since 2011, the numbers began to surge again in 2014, and have already crossed the five figure mark (10,379) in the current year, with well over four and half months left and ground conditions becoming more ‘favorable’ for militants.

Terrorism-related Fatalities in Afghanistan: 2007-2015






















Source: SATP, *Data till August 16, 2015
*ANA: 2007-2013: Source Brookings; 2014-15: Source Institute for Conflict Management
** ANP: 2007-2012: Source Brookings; 2013-15: Source Institute for Conflict Management
***ISAF: 2007-2015: Source ISAF website
**** Civilians: 2007 - 2015 (June): Source UNAMA; 2015 (July) onwards: Source Institute for Conflict Management
****** Militants: 2007-2015: Source Institute for Conflict Management

Significantly, in July 2015 reports of death of Taliban’s 'supreme commander' Mullah Omar started resurfacing. There had been continuous speculation on the subject since 2013, and, indeed, even earlier, but on July 29, 2015, Abdul Haseeb Sediqi, the spokesman for the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan spy agency, confirmed, “There’s no doubt. We confirm he is dead. He died in April 2013, two years back, in Karachi [Pakistan].” Later, on July 31, 2015, White House released a statement saying, "While the exact circumstances of his [Mullah Omar] death remain uncertain, it is clear that his demise, after decades of war and thousands of lives lost, represents a chance for yet more progress on the path to a stable, secure Afghanistan." On the same day, Taliban ‘spokesman’ Zabiullah Mujahid referring to Omar as "the late leader of the faithful" confirmed his death. In the same statement he disclosed that Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour would be Taliban's new leader. Alhaj Moulavi Jalalludin Haqqani, founder of the Haqqani Network, a hard-line wing of the Afghan Taliban, reconfirmed Omar’s death, “…we would like to state that the passing away of His Excellency the Amir-ul-Momineen is a huge loss for the Islamic Emirate, the whole Muslim world and particularly for the Islamic Jihadi movements”.  His son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is the present 'chief' of Haqqani Network, was announced as the 'deputy chief' of the Afghan Taliban.  

In the immediate aftermath of these announcements, reports emerged of increasing differences within the Taliban, and the rejection of Mansour as its ‘undisputed leader’. Powerful Taliban leaders, including Tayib Agha ('chief' of the Taliban’s Political Office in Qatar), Mullah Zakir (Taliban’s' military commander') and Omar’s own son Yaqoob, reportedly resigned in protest, rejecting Mansour as a Pakistani proxy, and the succession as lacking the endorsement of the jirga. There are strong and enduring ties between Taliban’s new chief and Islamabad. Mansour was the head of the Quetta Shura, which has long operated out of Pakistan's Balochistan Province with full support of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Indeed, his association with Pakistan goes much further, and reports indicate that he studied at a madrasa (Islamic Seminary) at Jalozai village in the Nowshera District of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan.

Acknowledging the rift, in a 33-minute audio message sent to journalists on August 1, 2015, by Taliban 'spokesman' Zabiullah Mujahid, Mansoor asserted that the group's jihad would continue until its goal to implement an Islamic system in Afghanistan was accomplished. "We should keep our unity, we must be united. Our enemy will be happy in our separation. This is a big responsibility on us. This is not the work of one, two or three people. This all our responsibility (sic) to carry on jihad until we establish the Islamic state."

Another ‘Islamic State’, IS, is however, looming on the horizon, threatening to capture spaces that have long been under Taliban’s influence, consolidating significant territorial gains by defeating Taliban units in Nangarhar Province. It is widely believed, moreover, that the growing differences within Taliban will help IS, and that the turf war between these two outfits will make Afghanistan more insecure in the near future. As splinters fall away from Taliban and various Pakistani formations, including the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the dreaded IS appears to be emerging as the more potent threat. Significantly, according to the US Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2014, out of the five perpetrator groups with the most attacks worldwide in 2014, IS tops the list with 1,083 attacks leading to 6,286 fatalities in five countries; as compared to Taliban’s involvement in 894 attacks resulting in 3,492 deaths in two countries. The ‘rising graph’ of IS – if it can be sustained – is likely to attract more recruits. Omar Samad, senior adviser to Afghan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah, notes, "Some dissatisfied elements (of the Taliban) have already pledged allegiance to (ISIS). With Omar out of the equation, more are likely to join."

These worrying developments have already resulted in the suspension of what Sushant Sareen has described as the “Pakistan led, Pakistan owned” ‘peace talks’ between the Taliban and Kabul, of which the first round was held in the resort town of Murree, adjacent to Islamabad, on July 7, 2015. The Afghan Government was represented by Hekmat Khalil Karzai, the Deputy Foreign Minister, and the Taliban delegation was led by Mullah Abbas Durrani. Karzai was accompanied by a delegation including representatives from all the major players in the government, including at least two officials representing the CEO, Abdullah Abdullah, and his deputies. The US and Chinese representatives were also present as a delegation of the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC). Though nothing significant emerged from this meeting, a second round of peace talks was scheduled to take place on July 31. The disarray around the Pakistan backed Taliban factions over Mansour’s appointment as Omar’s successor, however, quickly scuttled the ‘process’, and Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an statement on July 30, 2015, announced, "In view of the reports regarding the death of (Mullah) Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015, is being postponed."

The ‘peace process’ was, indeed, astonishing in its very fundamentals, with Pakistan running the show as ‘facilitator’ even as it continued to facilitate the mounting of attacks by its Taliban proxies across Afghanistan. Pakistan’s motivation and enduring role in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan, including continuous attacks against the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops led by USA for nearly a decade and a half, were widely known, and yet, the international community has continued to encourage Pakistan as a critical ‘stakeholder’ in Afghanistan. This is despite overwhelming cumulative evidence of Pakistani mischief, including the fact that that Osama bin Laden, the amir and ideological fountainhead of al Qaeda, its founder, and the architect of the 9/11 attacks in the US, was killed in May 2011, in a US operation in the garrison town of Abbottabad, less than 62 kilometres from Islamabad, and a stone’s throw from the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, the country’s top training established for officers, and the local Army Brigade Headquarters. Mullah Omar is now reported to have died in Karachi, and it is widely accepted that he was in the protection of ISI.

This has placed Kabul under tremendous pressure and forced Afghanistan to adopt an immensely damaging policy of seeking Islamabad’s ‘cooperation’ to deal with Pakistan’s own proxies. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has invested tremendous political capital in this misconceived approach, despite the active and vocal opposition of many in his own Government, including the country’s CEO Abdullah Abdullah. Indeed, the Afghans are demonstrating increasing impatience over the Pakistan policy adopted by President Ghani. In May 2015, when Ghani’s decision led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between ISI and the Afghan intelligence service, the NDS there were angry reactions across the political spectrum in Kabul. The MoU which includes “(intelligence) sharing, complimentary and coordinated (intelligence operations) on respective sides” was criticized by several Afghan Members of Parliament (MP). MP Rahman Rahmani declared in the House: "… you [Ghani] sign a shameful intelligence sharing agreement. By signing this agreement you have made yourself blind and dumb." The Deputy Head of Parliament's Internal Security Commission, Mohammad Faisal Sami, added: "The government should have endorsed its defeat to Pakistan before signing this agreement and announce it publicly."

Despite the substantial costs domestic terrorism is inflicting in Pakistan, there is little to indicate that Islamabad is willing to abandon its terrorist proxies, or to renounce terrorism as an instrument of state policy and strategic extension. President Ghani has sought to talk his way out of an intractable situation, under tremendous international pressure and despite tremendous domestic opposition, and the result has been a mounting wave of Taliban violence and growing evidence of Pakistani deceit. Continuing down the same policy path can only be disastrous for Afghanistan. It remains to be seen, however, whether the international community and the Afghan President will finally pull their heads out of the sand and adopt a strategy with a more rigorous basis in reality.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
August 10-16, 2015



Security Force Personnel







Jammu and Kashmir








Left-Wing Extremism




Total (INDIA)















Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


50,000 Rohingya people of Myanmar staying abroad with Bangladeshi passports, states, Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister, Nurul Islam: An estimated 50,000 Myanmar Rohingyas are staying in foreign countries using Bangladeshi passports, the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister, Nurul Islam stated on August 13. Islam blamed Bangladeshi officials for issuing passports to these Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. BD News24, August 14, 2015.

Government is mulling over plan to amend terrorism related laws, says Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque: Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque speaking at the inaugural session of a workshop in Dhaka city on August 12 said that the Government is mulling over a plan to amend terrorism related laws in a few weeks against the backdrop of growing menace of violent extremism and terrorism. Dhaka Tribune, August 13, 2015.

Ittehad-ul-Mujahideen issues death threats to 19 distinguished people: Ittehad-ul-Mujahideen, a sub-organization of Taliban that was never before heard of, in a letter sent to online news outlet on August 12 issued death threats to 19 distinguished people of the country. Daily Observer, August 13, 2015.


LeT plans to target Air India flights on Kabul-Delhi-Kabul sector, says intelligence input: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) plans to target Air India flights on Kabul-Delhi-Kabul sector as they are used by senior officers of Indian Government, according to an intelligence input ahead of India's Independence Day. Another recent intelligence input warns that Pakistan based terror groups are plotting to strike in Gujarat or Mumbai around September-October, 2015. An intelligence warning in April, 2015 said LeT plans attack by 8 to 10 Pakistan terrorists, who may come via sea route or Jammu and Kashmir, at a railway station or a hotel. Times of India, August 13, 2015.

NSCN-IM states that it had agreed to share sovereignty with India: Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) on August 12 stated that it had agreed to share sovereignty with Government of India (GoI). NSCN-IM 'general secretary' Muivah, upon arrival at Dimapur airport, said they have agreed in principle to resolve the decades-old Indo-Naga political issue based on shared sovereignty. He appealed to the neighbouring states to understand the issue of the Naga people, which had been prolonged for decades. He said the Naga people would have to co-exist with the Assamese, Arunachalese and the Manipuris. Telegraph, August 13, 2015.

Pakistan violated ceasefire 192 times along the IB in Jammu & Kashmir till July 26, 2015, says Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply to Lok Sabha (Lower House) on August 11 said that Pakistan violated ceasefire 192 times along the international Border (IB) in Jammu & Kashmir till July 26, 2015. In 2015, till July 26, there were 192 ceasefire violations along the international border in J&K, which resulted in death of three civilians and one BSF personnel, Minister said. Times of India, August 12, 2015.


No one could stop constitution from being promulgated, says UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal: Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda said that no one could stop the new Constitution from being promulgated at this point of time. Kantipur Online, August 14, 2015.


41 militants and three SFs among 44 persons killed during the week in FATA: More than 40 militants were killed and many others injured in ground and aerial offensives launched by Security Forces (SFs) in Shawal Valley area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on August 16.

At least three security personnel were killed when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off on August 12 in Sandana area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 11-17, 2015.

12 civilians and four SFs among 18 persons killed during the week in Balochistan: Three Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and two terrorists were killed in a clash between the Security Forces (SFs) and militants in Qilla Kurd area of Chaghi District in Balochistan on August 16.

A tribal elder, Ali Muhammad Hassani, was killed along with his son and two other colleagues when unidentified militants opened fire at his convoy in Jorri Cross area of Surab tehsil (revenue unit) in Kalat District on August 12.

At least four unidentified dead bodies, including two of men and as many women, were recovered from Killi Paind Khan area of provincial capital Quetta on August 11.

Levies personnel claimed to have recovered three unidentified dead bodies from the Pishin District on August 11. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today; Pakistan Observer, August 11-17, 2015.

Punjab Home Minister Colonel (retd) Shuja Khanzada, 22 others killed in suicide attack: Two suicide attackers on August 16 killed Punjab Home Minister Colonel (retd) Shuja Khanzada and at least 20 other people, after detonating a bomb at a meeting the Minister was attending in the village of Shadi Khan in Attock District of Punjab. 23 others persons were also injured. Lashkar-e-Islam, (LI) claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was retaliation for military operations against them in Khyber Agency. The News, August 17, 2015.

386 criminals eliminated this year in Karachi operation: Police have 'neutralised' more individuals and gangs allegedly involved in heinous offences in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, in the first seven months of the current year than the criminals they had eliminated last year. According to the performance report on the ongoing Karachi operation prepared by the Sindh Home Department, Police have already recorded 935 shootings against criminal gangs and individuals by the end of July, which are 66 more than the 869 encounters last year. A total of 596 gangs have been busted - 118 more than the 478 gangs eliminated last year, while 386 'criminals' have been 'neutralised' - 125 more than the alleged criminals gunned down in 2014. Dawn, August 17, 2015.

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri pledges allegiance to new Afghan Taliban 'chief' Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansoor: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in an online audio message, pledged allegiance to the new head of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansoor. "We pledge our allegiance ... (to the) commander of the faithful, Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansoor, May God protect him," said Ayman al-Zawahiri. The authenticity of the recording could not be immediately verified, but it had all the stamps of an al Qaeda video. Daily Times, August 14, 2015.

JuD still placed on suspect list, Government tells Senate: The Government told the Senate (Upper House) on August 12 that Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) was still placed on the suspect list of groups and that its ex-nomenclature was Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), as Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar said permitting banned outfits to work under different names undermined the state's credibility to fighting militancy. The News, August 13, 2015.

CSF may not be possible beyond 2015, says US: The United States (US) on August 11 indicated to Pakistan that further extension in the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) beyond 2015 may not be possible. The issue about the future of CSF, according to a defence source, was discussed at the 23rd Defence Consultative Group Meeting (DCG)-Interim Progress Review (IPR) held at the defence ministry on August 11. Principal Deputy Secretary of Defence Ms Kelly Magsamen led the US delegation comprising officials of the defence and state departments. Dawn, August 12, 2015.

Organisers of terrorist attacks still exist in Pakistan, says Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani: Following the recent wave of attacks in Kabul that killed at least 56 people, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani claimed on August 10 that the "organisers of terrorist attacks and terrorist centres still exist in Pakistan". "Pakistan still remains a breeding ground from where mercenaries send us messages of war," President Ghani said at a press conference. "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised me the enemies of Afghanistan would be the enemies of Pakistan. We want this commitment to be honoured". Tribune, August 11, 2015.


President Maithripala Sirisena reiterates that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be appointed as Prime Minister: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on August 13 reiterated that the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be appointed as the Prime Minister even if the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) wins a majority of seats at the upcoming parliamentary elections. Colombo Page, August 14, 2015.

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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