FATA: Unrelenting Terror,Manipur: Silver Lining :: South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR),Vol. No. 9.23
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 9, No. 23, Decemeber 13, 2010

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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FATA: Unrelenting Terror
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

In just the latest incident in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), on December 6, 2010, at least 45 persons, including tribal elders, Security Force (SF) personnel and journalists, were killed and another 70 were injured, in a suicide attack on a jirga (tribal council) being held outside the office of the Assistant Political Agent, Roshan Khan Mehsud, of the Mohmand Agency at Ghalanai, the Agency headquarters. [The Political Agent is the head of each Tribal Agency, representing the President of Pakistan in FATA, as the tribal agencies are notionally autonomous.] Among the dead were 12 Government officials and eminent journalists Pervez Khan Mohmand, a correspondent of Nawa-i-Waqt and the Waqt News, as well as another journalist, Abdul Wahab, of Express News. Tehsildar (revenue officer), Zabit Khan, is among the injured.

According to Shamsul Islam, the Mohmand Political Agent, a jirga of the peace committee of the Alizai and Safi tribes was in progress at the office to devise a strategy against terrorism in the tribal region, when the two suicide bombers tried to enter into the premises, but blew themselves up when stopped by SF personnel.

Meanwhile, ‘chief’ of the Mohmand chapter of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Umer Khalid, claiming responsibility for the attack declared, "Our two suicide bombers targeted people who were working against the Taliban [TTP]. Those who will work against us and make lashkars [tribal Army] or peace committees will be targeted. Our war is to enforce Sharia [the sacred law of Islam] and anyone who hinders our way or sides with America will meet the same fate."

Described as the "most dangerous place on the earth" Pakistan’s tribal areas have witnessed ever increasing carnage. According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 5,023 persons, including of 4,296 militants, 490 civilians and 237 SF personnel, were killed in 672 incidents of killing in 2010 (all data till December 12), as compared to 5,238 persons, including 4,252 militants, 636 civilians and 350 SFs killed in 835 incidents of killing in 2009. This indicates is a decline of 23 and 32.3 percent respectively in the number of civilians and SFs killed in 2010, as compared to 2009. Militants’ fatalities, on the other hand, have risen marginally. The number of major incidents (involving three or more killings) has decreased from 383 in 2009 to 369 in 2010.

Fatalities in FATA: 2009- 2010
















Source: SATP Database
* Data: Till December 12, 2010

A detailed scrutiny of the data suggests that the decline in fatalities does not reflect any dramatic trend towards improvement. For instance, there were six suicide attacks in 2009, in which 116 persons were killed and more than 169 were injured; 2010 has already recorded 12 suicide attacks, with 266 fatalities and over 361 injured. Such a trend can only indicate rising radicalization and the raising and training of the most extreme of fanatical cadres.

Prominent among the suicide attacks in FATA in 2010 were:

August 23: 26 persons, including a former member of the National Assembly (NA), were killed and 40 were injured, when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque in Wana town of South Waziristan Agency (SWA).

July 9: At least 106 persons, including women and children, were killed and 69 were injured, as two suicide bombers blew themselves up at political offices, just seconds apart from each other, in the Yakka Ghund tehsil (revenue unit) of Mohmand Agency.

February 18: At least 30 persons, including a Lashkar-e-Islam 'commander', were killed and 110 persons were injured in a suicide attack near a mosque in the Akakhel area of Tirah Valley in the Khyber Agency.

Moreover, the number of bomb explosions has also increased, with 112 incidents recorded in 2009, resulting in 266 fatalities and 393 injured, while there were 174 attacks in 2010, resulting in 353 fatalities and 529 injured.

This clearly reflects a shifting militant strategy, rather than any loss of will or change in intent, even as the TTP has been brought under pressure by sustained US drone attacks as well as widespread and often indiscriminate bombing campaigns by the Pakistani Forces. Reports indicate that missile attacks by US drones in the FATA have more than tripled since January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama took over the Presidency in the US. According to a BBC Urdu Service report published on July 24, 2010, there were 25 drone strikes between January 2008 and January 2009, in which slightly fewer than 200 people were killed. In year 2010, drone attacks in FATA have risen substantially, with partial SATP data recording at least 82 such attacks, resulting in at least 719 fatalities in 2010. SATP data recorded 46 such attacks in 2009, leaving 536 dead, indicating an increase of 34 percent in fatalities due to drone attacks in 2010. The most significant drone attacks in 2010 include:

November 16: 20 alleged militants were killed when US drone missiles hit a house and a speeding vehicle in Bangi Dar village in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of FATA.

September 26: A US drone attacks killed at least 30 persons inside Pakistan in areas near Miranshah in NWA.

September 21: At least 28 persons were killed in three US led drone strikes in the remote areas of SWA and NWA.

September 15: At least 21 alleged militants, including 14 foreign nationals, were killed when US drones carried out two attacks on al Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network hideouts in NWA.

May 11: US drones killed 21 alleged TTP militants in two separate strikes in the NWA.

January 17: A US drone strike killed at least 20 alleged TTP militants, including foreign terrorists (Uzbeks), in the SWA.

The US has succeeded in eliminating some leadership elements in the target terrorist groups through drone attacks. According to a report in The Long War Journal, drone strikes have killed 15 senior and an equal number of mid-level al Qaeda leaders, and four senior and five mid-level Taliban/TTP leaders since 2004. Some of the most significant kills include Baitullah Mehsud (former TTP ‘commander’); Osama al Kini alias Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam (al Qaeda's operations chief for Pakistan); Mustafa Abu Yazid alias Sheikh Saeed al Masri (an al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan and top financial controller); Mohammed Haqqani (a mid-level Haqqani Network ‘military commander’ and brother of the outfit’s leader Sirajuddin Haqqani); Abdul Basit Usman (the US had a USD one million bounty on his head); and Abu Jihad al Masri (the leader of the Egyptian Islamic Group and the chief of al Qaeda's intelligence branch). Stung by these losses, the TTP, on April 5, 2010, threatened more terrorist and suicide strikes unless the US ended its drone attacks in FATA.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Forces, which have failed consistently to take any concrete action against groups such as al Qaeda, (Afghan) Taliban and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), among others, has focused its entire attention on the TTP in FATA, as Islamabad realizes that any failure to rein in this group will destabilize widening areas within the country. FATA has emerged as a principal sanctuary for TTP terrorists and the SFs have, consequently, launched major operations in the region through 2009-10.

Notable among these was Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation), launched in the SWA area on June 19, 2009. After a three-month blockade of the Agency and intermittent skirmishes with militants, the Pakistani military announced, on October 2, 2009, that it would begin a large-scale operation to ‘wipe out’ TTP and al Qaeda militants in the area. By December 12, 2009, the operation, according to the Army, was ‘over’, as the Forces had ‘taken control’ of the whole of SWA. However, none of the top TTP leaders had been killed or captured. The Governments' next objective was to ‘recover’ the Orakzai region, where most of the TTP forces relocated. 619 militants and 80 soldiers of the Pakistan Army were killed during this offensive. 243 soldiers were injured and 83 militants were arrested. On December 7, 2010, the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani asserted that the entire SWA had been virtually ‘cleared’ of militants.

Nevertheless, the skirmishes continued, forcing the SFs to launch Operation Khwakh Ba De Sham (I will See You) in Orakzai and Kurram Agencies on March 23, 2010. This was originally planned as a two-week end-stage operation, but the Army evidently miscalculated the militants’ strength, and the Operation dragged on beyond four months, with higher-than-expected casualties. The Army, of course, announced the successful conclusion of the operation in Orakzai Agency on June 1. As with previous claims, however, this proved hollow, and, on June 2, various local and official sources claimed that more than half the Orakzai Agency was yet to be ‘cleared’ of the TTP. Data on fatalities subsequently bore out these claims: in the 70 days between the commencement of the Operation on March 24 and its supposed ‘successful termination’ on June 1, the SATP database recorded a total of 1,705 fatalities, including 1,669 militants and 36 SF personnel. In the 51 days, between June 2, and July 21, after the Operations had purportedly ‘ended’, 522 persons, including 505 militants and 17 SFs were killed.

Indeed, operations in Orakzai Agency are still far from over. A total of 844 persons, including 807 militants, 33 SF personnel and four civilians have been killed in the Agency after July 22 (till December 12). Frontier Corps Inspector General Nadir Zeb nevertheless claimed, on October 26, 2010, that the SFs had ‘cleared’ almost 90 per cent of Orakzai Agency , but conceded that a ‘limited operation’ was still underway against the militants in the Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency.

There is still confusion regarding the number of IDPs from Orakzai. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the number of uprooted persons from Orakzai and the neighbouring Kurram Agencies had reached 197,667 as on April 4. However, by November 29, according to Relief Web, this number had touched 328,054. Of these, the uprooted people from Orakzai constituted 71 per cent of the total. A UN report on April 9 had indicated that more than 200,000 civilians had fled a military offensive and violence in the tribal Districts near the Afghanistan border. "More than 35,000 families or approximately 210,000 individuals from Orakzai and Kurram Agencies have been registered as IDPs since November last year," UN refugee agency spokeswoman Ariane Rummery disclosed. On December 3, 2010, the Political Agent of Orakzai Agency Riaz Khan Mahsud claimed that a total of 2,770 families, comprising over 15,000 individuals, had returned home over the preceding five days in the third phase of repatriation of the IDPs to Orakzai Agency. He added that a total of 15,000 families were likely to return home in the third phase. Only 9,600 families had returned to their homes in the preceding two phases.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani unveiled a ‘relief package’ for militancy-affected areas of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as North West Frontier Province, NWFP) on June 1, 2010, announcing tax concessions, rebates in duties and relief in utility bills – in addition to allocating an additional one per cent share to the province from the Federal divisible pool. Under the relief package, areas in the province would be divided into three categories: ‘the worst affected’, ‘affected’ and ‘least affected’. The Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, South and North Waziristan Agencies were categorised as the worst affected. The Federal Government announced an exemption for withholding income tax for areas falling in ‘the worst affected’ and ‘affected’ categories until June 30, 2011. However, no subsequent details have been made available regarding the implementation of this package.

The TTP has extended critical support to al Qaeda and Taliban leaders and operatives in FATA. According to leaked US diplomatic documents exposed by Wikileaks, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had told the US that remnants of al Qaeda were hiding in the mountainous border region of his country.

AS the operations in the South Waziristan and Orakzai Agencies gathered force, the militants have fled into the neighbouring NWA. Despite pressure from the United States and the NATO to conduct an operation against terrorists holed up in NWA, along the Afghanistan border, Pakistan has made it clear that a decision on "when, how and what [should be done]" would be made by Islamabad. "While we understand the ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] concerns, any question relating to when, how and what is to be done in North Waziristan is based on judgment, keeping in mind our capacities, priorities and overall national interest. This in no way should be interpreted as lack of Pakistani resolve," the Foreign Office declared in a statement issued on October 15, 2010.

The gains of extended operations in the South Waziristan and Orakzai Agencies have, at best, been cosmetic, and even the limited pressure exerted against the terrorists will quickly dissipate unless operations are taken forward into the NWA. Crucially, moreover, with lines between various terrorist formations blurring progressively, every attempt to target the TTP, even while the state continues to patronize and protect other Islamist terrorist formations, will only create the grounds for further consolidation of all terrorist groups. The blowback of Islamabad’s long sponsorship of terrorism can hardly be terminated by selective and fitful action against particular terrorist formations, even as the general environment in the country remains benign towards a range of other Islamist terrorist groupings.

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Manipur: Silver Lining
Fakir Mohan Pradhan
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

With a dramatic fall in insurgency-related fatalities from 416 in 2009 to 134 so far in 2010 (all data till December 12, 2010), Manipur is likely to shed the dubious distinction of being the most violent among the troubled States of India’s Northeast. According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database, the 134 fatalities in 2010 included 103 militants, 24 civilians and 7 Security Force (SF) personnel, in 1,086 recorded incidents, as against 416 persons, including 321militants, 77 civilians and 18 SF personnel, killed in 950 incidents in 2009.

After years of stagnation or deterioration, there have been evident gains for the counter-insurgency (CI) grid in Manipur, with SFs inflicting rising costs on State’s multiple insurgent groups, neutralizing significant numbers of their cadres and contracting their areas of dominance.

Insurgency related Fatalities in Manipur: 2001-2010

*2001-07: Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India
**2008-09: SATP
***2010: SATP (Till December 12)

The State witnessed just seven major incidents (involving three or more killings) in 2010 as against 29 such incidents in 2009. Significantly, in all these incidents in 2010, it was the militants who were at the receiving end. The major incidents of 2010 were:

October 5: At least four cadres of the Mobile Task Force of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) were killed by the Bishnupur District Police during an encounter at Mutum Yangpi.

July 21: 18 militants were killed and four were injured in a clash between the combined cadres of the Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) and Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), on the one hand, and the Prithvi faction of the Kuki National Front (KNF), on the other, in the Seijang Hill area on the border between the Imphal East and Senapati Districts.

May 14: Five suspected Pakan Revolutionary Army (PRA) militants were shot dead by SFs in the Reserve Forest area, northeast of Khambathel, in the Chandel District.

March 22: Assam Rifles (AR) personnel shot dead four cadres of the United Tribal Liberation Army (UTLA), including the outfit's top leader James Singson, during a counter-insurgency operation in Leikot area of Tamenglong District.

March 2: Three suspected cadres of the Military Defence Force faction of the Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) were shot dead by a rival faction in the Kamuching Hills under the Yairipok Police Station in Thoubal District.

February 17: At least five People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) militants were shot dead by Assam Rifles (AR) personnel during an encounter in Chandel District.

February 11: Three suspected Valley-based militants were shot dead by the AR during an encounter at Nambasi village under the Kasom Khullen sub-division in Ukhrul District.

Security Forces were able to keep militant outfits in the State under continuous pressure, with as many as 990 arrests in 2010, including some key figures. In a major boost to the SFs, the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) ‘chairman’, Rajkumar Meghen, who went missing after being reportedly arrested in Bangladesh about two months ago, was arrested at Motihari in Bihar on November 30, 2010. A joint Police team from Manipur and Bihar arrested Meghen from near Chhatauni Chowk, as Manipur Police Additional Inspector General (AIG) C.P. Mina identified the militant leader. Meghen had taken shelter near the India-Nepal border to avoid Police action. UNLF is one of the oldest militant groups in the Northeast, and continues to refuse to engage in talks with the Union or State Government. Similarly, Ningthoujam Tomba alias Koireng, the military chief of KYKL, was arrested from Matigara of Darjeeling District in West Bengal on March 14, 2010. Further, Gopeshwar aka Athouba, the ‘chief' of the Military Defense Faction of KYKL was arrested on April 2, 2010, from Shillong in Meghalaya. Two chief operatives belonging to the Lamyanba Khuman group of the Military Council faction of the KCP were also arrested by a combined team of Manipur Police and Mizoram Police from Aizawl town in the night of March 15, 2010.

Sustained SF pressure helped persuade a number of militants to surrender. 120 cadres belonging to the Samuel faction of the KNF laid down arms at their camp in Gilgal before the AR and Churachandpur District Police on September 21, 2010. Further, the KNF, which signed a Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement with the Government in August 2005, with a strength of some 370 armed cadres, deposited its arms and ammunition at a designated camp at Natheljang in Sadar Hills of Senapati District on September 15, 2010. Earlier, 12 cadres of the Pakan Reunification Army (PRA), including its ‘secretary’ Nungchin (53), surrendered before the Manipur Police and AR along with arms and ammunition in a formal surrender ceremony at Mantripukhri in Imphal West District on September 28, 2010. Similarly, 13 cadres of the Zou Peoples Army (ZPA), including its founder 'president' T. Liankhan Khup Zou, surrendered before the Manipur Director-General of Police Yumnam Joykumar Singh and Assam Rifles Inspector-General (South), Major General C.A. Krishnan, at a formal function on the outskirts of Imphal on June 1, 2010. Meanwhile, leaders of the Lallumba group of the Military Council faction of the KCP, who are engaged in tripartite talks with representatives of the Union Government and the State Government of Manipur, had agreed on January 8, 2010, to surrender en masse. 109 cadres of the outfit were verified on August 7, 2010, for the surrender, though a formal surrender ceremony is yet to take place. According to the SATP database, a total of at least 221 militants have surrendered in the State in 2010.

Complementing the policy of applying pressure on the militants, there have been attempts to initiate or renew talks with various militant outfits. The SoO agreement between the Kuki armed groups and the Union Government that was signed in August 2005, was extended for another year following tripartite talks held in New Delhi on September 29, 2010. Unsurprisingly, in the context of assessing the fallout of the arrest of its chairman R.K. Meghen, the UNLF admitted that it would face a "gathering clamour for peace talks with India amongst our fraternal revolutionary organisations in Manipur and the Region." However, on April 8, 2010, the Union Government made it clear that it would not enter into any kind of dialogue with splinter militant groups operating in the Northeast, nor accept their laying down of arms in a public function. Security Forces have been directed to take ‘concerted action’ against such splinter groups.

Despite dramatic gains, however, there are residual risks that can cloud over the widening sliver of hope in Manipur at any point of time. Expressing deep concern over the rising trend of setting up armed groups by taking on the name of an already existing one, the Military Council faction of the KCP stated, on November 10, 2010, that such trends ‘besmirched’ movements to restore the ‘sovereignty’ of the land. On the occasion of the 46th anniversary of its formation, on November 24, 2010, moreover, the UNLF vowed to continue its ‘liberation struggle’, despite the setbacks it had received.

Despite the SoO agreement between the Kuki armed groups and the Union Government, further, various Kuki groups were involved in at least 41 incidents of violence in 2010, in which two civilians and 23 militants were killed. The United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF), on July 15, 2010, stated that new militant outfits had emerged within the Kuki National Organsation (KNO) under the SoO with the Government. Moreover, KNA, a signatory to the SoO agreement, had declared, in January 2010, its objective of creating an autonomous Kuki State under the relevant articles and provisions of the Indian Constitution. Similarly, the KNF, another signatory to the SoO agreement, raised the demand for a separate State for the Kukis within the Constitution of India, during discussions with the Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai, during the latter’s visit to Manipur on February 26, 2010.

Beneath the falling graph of violence in the State, however, huge campaigns of extortion persist. Militant networks target Government offices and officials, local self-Government and educational institutions, health centres, commercial establishments and the wider civilian population alike. Almost all the armed groups extract ‘levies’ and ransoms from residents and transients in their areas of operation. The SATP database, in its partial estimate (a preponderance of such cases go unreported) records at least 118 extortion incidents in 2010 (till December 12). On September 4, 2010, the Council of Teachers’ Association (COTA) demonstrated in all nine Districts of the State, protesting against the persistent extortion notices by different militant groups. The Imphal West District Police arrested a cadre of the ‘Vice Chairman faction’ of PREPAK at the Regional Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) gate on December 8, 2010, after he had extorted an unspecified amount of money from RIMS Doctors, Government employees and the general public, purportedly for ‘party funds’. The arrested cadre was serving as a peon at the Manipur Secretariat. On August 6, 2010, the Handicapped Development Foundation (HDF), Manipur, criticized the monetary demands being made by a militant group in Imphal West District. The KCP, as a ‘concession’, subsequently decided, during a ‘cabinet meeting’ some time in first week of November, to suspend monetary demands from private individuals.

Violence against ‘outsiders’ in Manipur represents another dimension of persisting trouble in Manipur. Meitei insurgent groups in particular have been spearheading xenophobic excesses. According to SATP database, nine persons have been killed and three persons have been injured, in 13 incidents of violence against non-locals, in 2010 (till December 12).

Ethnic rivalry between Nagas, Kukis and Meiteis remains another aspect of continuing violence in Manipur. Thus, Naga groups imposed a blockade on NH-39 with effect from April 24, 2010, in protest against the holding of elections to the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Manipur after two decades. Again, on May 5, 2010, there was a stand-off between the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) and the Government of Manipur on the issue of the outfit’s general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah’s visit to his ancestral village, Somdal in Manipur’s Ukhrul District. The Tamenglong, Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel Districts of Manipur figure in the projected territory of Nagalim (Greater Nagaland) conceived of by the NSCN-IM. The apex community group of the Kuki tribe, the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), sent an open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declaring that the Kuki people were opposed to Muivah’s visit. Eventually, on June 5, 2010, the Central Government persuaded Muivah to leave Vishwema village (near the border of Nagaland and Manipur) where he had been camping since May 5, 2010. The Central Government also deployed para-military forces to assist the Government of Manipur to hold elections to the ADCs. Through patient negotiations with different Naga groups, the blockade of NH-39 was lifted on June 18, 2010.

The ADC elections were held in two phases on May 26 and June 2, 2010, amid violent protests by Naga groups. The elections had a mixed response, with an uneven voter turnout, varying between zero to 90 per cent polling in various places.

The Nagas demand an ‘alternative arrangement’ for their community. Mass public rallies were held in four hill Districts of the State – Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong, demanding severing of political tie with the Government of Manipur and in support and reaffirmation of the declaration of the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) of July 1, 2010 seeking such an "alternative arrangement". The Manipur Police Department received intelligence inputs that the NSCN-IM had decided, at the ‘highest level’, to selectively target and eliminate elected members of the ADC belonging to the Naga community, who failed to ‘honour’ its diktat for the boycott of the ADC elections and, after getting elected, refused to resign from their posts, despite ‘specific directions’. However, Secular Progressive Front spokesperson N. Biren categorically said that the question of ‘alternative arrangement’ was not on the agenda of the first round of the tripartite talk held at Senapati on December 3, 2010, involving officials of both State and Central Governments and representatives of the United Naga Council.

Another disturbing trend that has emerged recently is the nexus between the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and militant groups active in the Northeast. In Manipur, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and PREPAK have established links with the CPI-Maoist. Kanchan, the West Bengal State ‘secretary’ of the CPI-Maoist, who was arrested on December 3, 2010, revealed during interrogation that the Maoists in West Bengal had received a huge cache of arms and ammunition from PREPAK. These weapons had also been distributed in Jharkhand and Orissa. Earlier on October 21, 2008, the Maoists had inked a three-point pact with the PLA, which assured the Maoists of initial logistics support they needed in the Northeast. Subsequent indications suggest that this has been well exploited by the Maoists to secure wider alliances and a deeper presence in the region.

Significantly, the strength of the bloated Manipur Police has declined from 627 to 613 Policemen per 100,000 population, though this is still much higher than the national average, at 128. However, the State Police has set up a Subsidiary Multi Agency Centre (SMAC) to bolster its intelligence gathering and sharing mechanism. Director General of Assam Rifles Lieutenant General K.S. Yadava, on March 24, 2010, stated that, after the Centre had approved deployment of 26 additional Assam Rifles battalions along the India-Myanmar border, at least three of these battalions would be used on the border to check movement of militants and smuggling.

The decline in violence in Manipur, and the reverses that have been inflicted on various militant groups, open up avenues for a more enduring stability. Unfortunately, the political space in Manipur continues to be occupied by an incompetent kleptocracy. In the absence of greater political probity and administrative maturity, the gains of the recent past may yet again be frittered away, as were the opportunities of declining strife in 2002-2003. Unless the gains of 2010 are consolidated and translated into political initiatives providing economic and administrative relief to the people of Manipur, the contracting spaces for violence may once again begin to expand.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
December 6- December 12, 2010



Security Force Personnel





Jammu &      Kashmir






Uttar Pradesh


Left-wing Extremism








West Bengal


Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa



Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Toddler killed in bomb blast in Varanasi: A bomb blast in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on December 7 killed a toddler and injured 35 others. The explosion took place at around 7pm (IST) at the Shitla Ghat (steps on the sides of the river Ganges) when ‘Ganga Aarti' (an evening religious ritual on the river side) was under way. Among the injured were some foreigners. Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in-charge, Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Brij Lal, said the explosives were kept inside a milk van that was placed under the main staircase of the ghat. The Indian Mujahideen (IM) reportedly claimed responsibility for the explosion in an e-mail sent from close to Link Road in West Malad in Mumbai. The outfit said the attack was to "avenge" the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. PTI News, December 8, 2010.

LeT militants had planned to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, reveals WikiLeaks: According to a recent secret diplomatic cable of the United States State Department released by WikiLeaks, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had made elaborate plans in June 2009 to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The cable, created on June 19, 2009, was sent from the office of the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to the "Security Officer, Collective Priority," and to the US embassies in Tripoli, Casablanca and Johannesburg. The cable identified a Pakistani LeT member, Shafiq, as the mastermind of the plot that was to be executed by a module led by an Indian operative, identified as Hussein. The hit job was to be carried out by one Sameer, an India-based LeT cadre. Providing some geographic information for the operations, the cable further said that Shafiq had been seeking out information on possible training sites for the operations in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. PTI News, December 6, 2010.

Union Government is apprehensive of revival of militancy in Punjab: The Union Government on December 8 said that militant groups, especially those based abroad, were trying to revive militancy in Punjab. "Available reports suggest that militant groups, especially those based abroad, continue to persist with their efforts to revive militancy in Punjab," Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken said in a written reply. The Minister, however, added that there were no specific inputs indicating the development of any nexus between Khalistani outfits like Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) or Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and militant Islamist organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). PTI News, December 9, 2010.

LWE groups not getting assistance from abroad, says Minister of State for Home: According to a December 7 press release by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ajay Maken, the Minister of State for Home Affairs , giving a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) informed that are no inputs to indicate that Left Wing Extremist (LWE) groups are getting assistance in terms of weapons and finance from foreign countries. Further, there are no inputs to indicate that LWE groups have established nexus with terrorist and separatist outfits abroad. However, CPI-Maoists maintain links with certain like-minded parties of some neighbouring countries. Press Information Bureau, December 8, 2010.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram suggests two-pronged approach to tackle Naxal problem: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on December 6 said suggested a two-pronged approach to solve the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) problem. He said development and Police action together - is the answer to Left wing Extremism. Hindustan Times, December 7, 2010.

French President compares 26/11 with 9/11 and urges Pakistan to curb terrorism: Comparing the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terrorists attacks (also known as 26/11) with the terrorist attacks in New York in US (September 11, 2001, also known as 9/11) French President Nicolas Sarkozy on December 7 criticized Pakistan and asked the Pakistani authorities to show resolve in fighting terrorism emanating from its territory. "It is unacceptable for the world that terror attacks originate or are masterminded in Pakistan and terrorists are trained there," he said. Times of India, December 8, 2010.

Pakistani-Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana will be tried in Chicago in February: Pakistani-Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-accused with the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks (also known as 26/11), will be tried in a federal court in Chicago on February 14. Hindustan Times, December 7, 2010.

Union Government sends interlocutors' proposals to Jammu and Kashmir for necessary action: The Union Government has sent some of the recommendations of the three-member group of interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir to the State for necessary action. "Action has been initiated on the recommendations. Some recommendations have been sent to the State Government for necessary action. Some are under implementation," the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement on December 7. In its report submitted to the Union Government, the group recommended expediting cases of under trials, permitting peaceful protests, releasing militants and protestors against whom there are no serious charges among others.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9 said that the first and second reports of the group of interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir dealt with confidence-building measures and added that he had now asked the group to focus on finding the contours of a political solution. "Contours of a political solution to the Kashmir problem are likely to emerge in the next few months," an official statement quoted him as saying. Daily Excelsior, December 8-10, 2010.

Union Government seeks withdrawal of 60 companies of CPMFs from Jammu and Kashmir: The Central Government has sought withdrawal of 60 companies (nearly 6000 personnel) of Central Para Military Forces (CPMFs) from Jammu and Kashmir following improvement in the situation in the State. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reported to have asked the State Government to utilize Jammu and Kashmir Police in the area from where the CPMFs are withdrawn. Daily Excelsior, December 6, 2010.


Prachanda calls on students to turn into 'militias': Chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda on December 10 said that it is high time for all universities and colleges of the country to turn into "barracks" and students to become "militias" to fight conspiracies against change. "It is necessary for the universities and campuses of the country to start preparing to turn into barracks for hundreds of thousands of students who turn into militias to deal a final blow," Prachanda said after inaugurating the 18th National Convention of All Nepal National Independent Students' Union–Revolutionary (ANNISU-R), the student wing of the UCPN-M. Nepal News, December 11, 2010.


48 civilians and 31 militants among 79 persons killed during the week in FATA: Three children were killed and seven others received injuries when militants fired mortar shells at an Imambargah (Shia place of worship) in the Talozan Tangi area of Kurram Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on December 12.

Security Forces (SFs) killed four militants in the Saagi area of the Safi tehsil (revenue unit) in the Mohmand Agency on December 11.

At least 13 militants, including a ‘commander’, were killed in different clashes with SFs in South Waziristan Agency on December 10. In addition, four militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles in Khadar Khel town, about 40 kilometres of Miranshah, in North Waziristan Agency.

At least 40 persons, including tribal elders, SF personnel and journalists were killed and another 70 injured on November 6 when two suicide bombers attacked a jirga (Tribal council) being held outside the office of the Assistant Political Agent of Mohmand Agency at  Ghalanai, the headquarters of Mohmand Agency. Five of the injured persons died later. Also, eight suspected militants were killed when two missiles fired from US drone hit a car and in the Mir Ali tehsil of North Waziristan Agency on November 6. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, December 7-13, 2009.

36 civilians and 13 militants among 52 persons killed during the week in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Security Forces (SFs) killed five militants in the Shah Faisal area of Swat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on December 11. The SFs retaliated after the militants opened fire on a foot patrolling party.

At least 17 persons were killed and over 20 others were injured in a suspected sectarian attack when a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into an under-construction hospital in the in Pas Kalay area of Hangu District on December 10.

At least 18 persons were killed and 32 others were injured when a suicide bomber blew up a passenger van at a bus stand in Tirah bazaar (market) of Kohat on December 8. In addition, three militants were killed in an encounter with SFs in the Shakar Dara area of Swat District on December 8.

Three militants were killed in an encounter with the SFs in the Shakardara area of Mingora in Swat District on December 7. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, December 7-13, 2009.

China blocked efforts to put sanctions on JuD and Hafiz Saeed, reveals WikiLeaks: China, at Islamabad's behest, blocked efforts in the UN Security Council to put sanctions against Jama'at-ud-Da'awa (JuD) and its leader Hafiz Saeed which was operating against India from Pakistan, reported Times of India on December 6 quoting WikiLeaks revelation of American diplomatic cable. A State Department cable signed off by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also suggests that the JuD continues to operate and raise funds and it was unclear what steps the Pakistan Government has taken to freeze its assets to implement UN sanctions. According to the cable dated August 10, 2009, originating from Clinton, a US request to list Hafiz Saeed on a sanctions list was put on hold before the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks (also known as 26/11) that India blames on the JuD founder. "Prior to the (Mumbai terrorist attacks) attacks, our request to list (Jamaat-ud-Dawa) JUD and (Hafiz Muhammed) Saeed were placed on hold by China at the behest of Pakistan," the cable marked secret and addressed to the US Embassy in Islamabad and the Permanent Mission of the US to the UN, said. Times of India, December 7, 2010.

Crushing terrorists responsibility of US and NATO, says Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain on December 8 said that terrorists had their roots in Afghanistan for the past 30 years and now it was the responsibility of the US and the NATO to crush them. Iftikhar said that the Pakistani Security Forces (SFs) had been chasing terrorists across the country including Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to finish them off. He informed the media that warring factions in Afghanistan were being contacted to restore peace in that country. "Peace will return and soon there will be no terrorist hideouts in Afghanistan," added Hussain. Daily Times, December 9, 2010.


Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne accuses LTTE of executing prisoners of war: The Sri Lankan Government on December 8 said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had executed Sri Lankan Security Forces personnel imprisoned by them during the final stages of the war in 2009. Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne told the Parliament that several hardcore LTTE cadres who were arrested from the Vavuniya welfare camps had revealed that 60 soldiers who were in LTTE custody were executed by them during the finals stages of the war. Colombo Page, December 9, 2010.

Sri Lanka scraps Tamil version of its national anthem: Sri Lanka has scrapped the Tamil version of its national anthem at official and state functions, a move likely to further alienate the ethnic Tamils in the country. Now the national anthem--'Sri Lanka matha....' can only be rendered in the majority Sinhala language at official functions, the Sri Lankan cabinet decided. The move will mean that the current Tamil version will no longer be played at any official or state functions. The decision was taken at the last cabinet meeting headed by the President Mahinda Rajapakse, who pointed out that no country in the world uses the national anthem in other than one language, Sunday Times reported on December 12. Times of India, December 12, 2010.

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.

South Asia Intelligence Review [SAIR]

K. P. S. Gill

Dr. Ajai Sahni

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