Jharkhand: War without Plan:Balochistan: Running out of Gas::South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Vol. No. 9.46
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 9, No. 46, May 23, 2011

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South Asia Terrorism Portal


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Jharkhand: War without Plan
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

In a daring attack, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed at least 11 Security Force (SF) personnel and injured 54 in the forested terrain of the Dhardharia Hills under Senha Police Station of Lohardaga District in Jharkhand, on May 3, 2011. Unconfirmed reports indicate that nearly 500 landmines, planted in a serial circuit over a stretch of nearly two kilometers, were exploded during the nearly two hours attack, in which the Maoists also sprayed gunfire at the bewildered SF contingent. No casualties were reported among the Maoists.

A 150-strong SF squad, comprising Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Jharkhand Jaguar, Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) and District Armed Police personnel, were returning to base after a combing operation in Senha at around 10:15 AM, when they were waylaid at Urusake Road. In a complete role reversal, the Maoists used a public address system to ask the SF personnel to lay down arms. When the SF men refused to accede to the demand, the Maoists opened fire and simultaneously exploded landmines. Sources in the Police disclosed that the Maoist contingent was as strong as the SF squad, and used advanced firearms, such as INSAS [Indian Small Arms System] rifles and AK-47s. More than a thousand rounds were fired from both sides.

In another ambush in the State the same morning, a CRPF patrol had a close shave in Jhumra, about 113 kilometres from Bokaro. More than 1,100 rounds were exchanged between the CRPF personnel and some 50 rebels for over three hours. However, no casualties were reported in the incident.

Earlier, during the night of May 2, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Anand Joseph Tigga, leading a 100-strong Special Operations Group (SOG), was injured during a 15-minute encounter with 10 Maoists at Kankatta, a tribal village 50 kilometers from the State capital Ranchi. The Maoists retreated when the SOG retaliated.

These are only the most recent incidents in a continuous chain of Maoist attacks on SF personnel in Jharkhand. According to data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, 351 SF personnel have been killed in Jharkhand since March 11, 2001, out of a total of 1269 fatalities related to Maoist violence. Of these, 245 were killed in 35 major attacks (involving killings of three or more SF personnel) directly targeting the SFs. The numbers are more alarming in view of the escalation since 2004, after the creation of the CPI-Maoist, with a total of . 234 SF fatalities between 2005 and 2011.

Some of the most significant attacks on SFs in the state include:

February 28, 2011: Three Policemen, including an Assistant Sub Inspector, a Head Constable and a Home Guard, were killed and four others injured in a landmine blast triggered by the CPI-Maoist cadres in Chatra District.

July 16, 2010: Five Police personnel were killed and five were injured when CPI-Maoist cadres triggered a landmine, blowing up a patrol van carrying Jharkhand Jaguar Force personnel at Kutmu More in Latehar District.

June 12, 2009: CPI-Maoist cadres detonated a landmine in the Nawadih area of the Bokaro District, killing at least 11 SF personnel and injuring eight.

June 10, 2009: 11 Policemen, including a CRPF Inspector, were killed and another six were injured when CPI-Maoist cadres triggered a landmine explosion targeting their vehicle in West Singhbhum District.

August 30, 2008: 12 Police personnel were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in was blown up by a landmine in the East Singhbhum District.

December 2, 2006: 14 Police personnel were killed and another three injured in a landmine blast detonated by suspected CPI-Maoist cadres at Kanchkir in the Bokaro District.

June 1, 2006: At least 12 Police personnel were killed when CPI-Maoist cadres triggered a landmine in the West Singhbhum District.

October 8, 2005: 13 SF personnel were killed in a bomb blast triggered by the CPI-Maoist near Baniadih village in the Chatra District.

April 7, 2004: Naxalites triggered a landmine blast in the Saranda Forest area of Chaibasa in the West Singhbhum District killing 20 Policemen.

December 20, 2002: Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) cadres laid an ambush on a convoy of Police personnel at Bitkilsoya in the Saranda Forest under Manoharpur Police Station limits in West Singhbhum District, killing 18 Policemen and injuring 20 others.

May 7, 2002: 15 Police personnel were killed and another 10 were injured when MCC cadres blasted a landmine destroying a Police patrol van in Mthadih village under Satgawan Police Station limits in Koderma District. In the firing that followed, an MCC cadre was also killed. It was the second day of the three-day economic blockade called by the Naxalites to protest the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

October 31, 2001: MCC cadres killed 13 Police personnel at Topchanchi, 35 kilometers from Dhanbad. The Naxalites opened fire at the Police picket housed in the Topchanchi block office premises when the Police personnel were taking lunch.

October 4, 2001:  Four Police personnel, including a DSP, were killed and four were seriously injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxalites near Bargarh in Garhwa District.

September 23, 2001: 12 CRPF personnel were killed and another 15 were injured in a landmine blast triggered by the MCC in Hazaribagh District.

Despite innumerable attacks and significant loss of personnel, the SFs’ top brass appears to be failing to learn from past mistakes. Speaking about the Lohardaga incident, Jharkhand Director General of Police (DGP) Gauri Shanker Rath stated, on May 4, 2011, “The jawans (troopers) were trapped. The area is known to be highly mined. I don’t know what compelled them to venture into the forests.” He also expressed concern over intelligence gathering and cross verification of the intelligence. On May 9, he admitted that Operation Prahar (assault) had been poorly planned and that, "Due to poor planning on part of the officers leading the operation, we had to suffer major casualties." CRPF Inspector General (IG) (Operations) Alok Raj conceded that the operation had been planned at the lower ranks and that there had been a ‘communication gap’.

Worse, while only four SF personnel died on location during the Lohardaga incident, the remaining seven SF fatalities occurred due to delays in evacuation and medical treatment. One Police constable, Jamshed Khan, complained, “Dukh iss baat ka hai ki char ghante jungle mein marne ke liye mereko chor diya gaya (I am sad because I was left unattended in the jungle for four hours).” “The helicopter reached as late as 4:00 PM. So, many lives were lost [due to this],” an unnamed CRPF trooper added. The DGP admitted, “At least six succumbed to their injuries as they didn’t get medical aid on time.” Though he blamed the delay on the remote location, the reality was that the helicopter stationed in Jharkhand was on a sortie in West Bengal's Midnapore District during the operation. The lack of operational planning and co-ordination could not be more obvious.

However, despite this clear failure, CRPF Director General K. Vijay Kumar, insisted, “There was no lapse in the coordination and planning part and the jawans fought till the end and did not allow them [Maoists] to take away any weapons.” As is repeated after every debacle in different theatres of the struggle against Naxalism, including the disaster at Chintalnad, Kumar argued, “Every incident is a learning process and we will work out on the failures but we will bounce back." Unfortunately, there appears to be no end to this sanguinary ‘learning process’.

Meanwhile, a May 19, 2011, report indicated that the Maoists have been trying hard to bring the four Districts of Dumka, Pakur, Godda and Sahebganj in the Santhal Parganas region under their control, which could give them access to West Bengal, Bihar and Bangladesh. Bangladesh is approximately 50 kilometers from Sahebganj. Intelligence sources also disclosed that the Maoists were keen to develop the Santhal Parganas Division as their gateway to India’s Northeast, where they are developing a nexus with other insurgent groups to source smuggled weapons and secure locations for training. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Dumka Zone) Vinay Kumar Pandey noted that the Maoists in the Santhal Parganas Division were presently in a ‘gestation period’. 

A May 20, 2011, report indicated that the Maoists were exerting efforts to regain lost ground in the Dumaria, Dalma, Patamda and Bodam Blocks of East Singhbhum District. The IG (Kolhan Division) Naveen Kumar Singh noted, “The rebels are trying to gain a foothold in areas where they have suffered losses at the hands of security personnel. Our intelligence suggests that the Maoists are getting ready for a big operation in Dumaria, where they are terrorising villagers to join their fold.” Sharing the IG’s concern, the Commanding Officer of CRPF’s 7th Battalion, Sanjay Kumar Singh, stated, “According to our sources, the rebels have gathered in large groups on the Bengal border and are looking for an opportunity to enter the State. They have also held several meetings at villages like Koira, Chamta and Jhunjhka… This shows how desperate they are to terrorise people and regain lost territory.”

The DGP Rath continues to insist that "Operations are on and will continue till we are able to check extremism in the State and there is no question of slowing down of anti-Maoist operations." He adds, further, "Jharkhand is in a war-like situation. It is not a one day battle. I am sure we will win the war."

Unfortunately, the state's operational responses have remained rudderless and ill planned, and unless there is a tremendous qualitative shift in strategic and tactical orientations, the SFs will continue to be effectively targeted by the Maoists, and future catastrophes will be inevitable.

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Balochistan: Running out of Gas
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

In a report presented to the Supreme Court of Pakistan on May 16, 2011, Balochistan Chief Secretary Ahmed Bux Lehri stated that 251 people had died in targeted killings over the preceding three years in Balochistan. The Chief Justice later remarked that law enforcement agencies had failed to control the spiralling violence which had engulfed the Province in the aftermath of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s killing in August 2006, and directed the Chief Secretary to prepare a comprehensive report detailing the security situation in Balochistan over the last three years.

The targeted killings are blamed on Pakistan’s military intelligence setup, and have included several notable Baloch leaders and activists, most prominently including Nawab Akbar Bugti [August 26, 2006], Ghulam Muhammad Baloch [April 9, 2009], Lala Munir [May 25, 2010].

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairperson Asma Jahangir, on October 5, 2010, had disclosed an HRCP listing of 198 missing persons, of whom 99 had been traced till that date.The people traced were either dead or in prison or found living 'freely'. However, there were no specific details available about the number of dead, imprisoned or 'free' people. On November 23, 2010, the US had expressed serious concern over allegations of extra-judicial killings and human rights violations in the Province. The unclassified version of the Congressional-mandated report, dated November 23, stated:

The State Department remains concerned about allegations of gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, by Pakistani Security Forces; humanitarian organisations' access to detainees and displaced persons, and cases of disappearances in Balochistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and other conflict zones in Pakistan.

Unsurprisingly, banned groups such as the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) and Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), have repeatedly claimed responsibility for sabotaging economic infrastructure, mostly gas pipelines, as a reaction to the recovery of bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch youth, activists and leaders. According to partial data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, a total of 165 incidents of attack targeting Gas Pipelines have been recorded since January 1, 2005. While the number of these attacks was as low as five in 2005, it has spiralled over succeeding years, with the previous high being recorded in 2007, at 37 incidents. Alarmingly, the first four and a half months of 2011 have already witnessed 38 such incidents. Significantly, the insurgents involved in these attacks focus on targeting the economic interests of the Provincial and Federal Governments, rather than causing loss of life, though some fatalities have also resulted. There have been no deaths in the 38 incidents already recorded this year.

Attacks on Gas Pipelines: 2005-2011

Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal [*Data till May 22, 2011]

John C. K. Daly of the Jamestown Foundation observed, in March 2011,

While most of the world's media remains focused on insurgent attacks on oil facilities in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is experiencing a rising tide of violence against its Sui natural gas installations located in the country's volatile Balochistan Province, where the majority of the energy-starved country's natural gas facilities are located.

The attacks on Government installations, particularly in the Bugti tribal territory, Nasirabad and Sibi Divisions, picked up in 2006, after a military operation that was carried out in Dera Bugti against the former Governor and Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Akbar Bugti. The Balochistan Economic Report (September 20, 2009), conceded that the law and order situation had hampered the exploration of gas and production activity in Balochistan over preceding years. The Report noted that the security situation in Balochistan had worsened after 2006, with ‘terrorist attacks’ in 2006 almost twice as high as cumulative total for the period between 2002 and 2005. The Report also observed that gas pipelines, security checkpoints and camps, government offices, rail tracks and bridges were the principal targets in these attacks. Gas fields of Sui, Uch, Pirkoh and Loti are all located in Dera Bugti, which is at the heart of the conflict, the Report said, and the precarious security situation in Dera Bugti was the main reason behind the decline in gas output – with the financial impact felt throughout the Province. The Report also observed that Kohlu District – a stronghold of the BLA – along with Quetta and Sibi, represented over one quarter of the ‘terrorist attacks’. Moreover, with the exhaustion of gas fields, worsening security, declines in fiscal receipts, and doubts over community support, Balochistan's gas economy was in urgent need of reforms.

These attacks have dented the economy severely. On December 17, 2008, the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Syed Naveed Qamar, in a written statement to the National Assembly, disclosed that 80 attacks on the Sui Gas Pipelines in the preceding five years had caused a loss of PKR 526.923 million to the Government. The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Balochistan General Manager Mohammad Haroon further noted, on February 14, 2011, “Last year [2010], the SSGC suffered a loss of over PKR 100 million due to targeted attacks on gas pipelines. The company has suffered an equivalent loss this year [2011] too, as attacks have picked up.”

Natural gas accounts for about 50 per cent of Pakistan’s total energy consumption and is currently the country’s principal energy source. Indeed, Pakistan’s economy is one of the world’s most natural gas dependent. Of Pakistan’s proven natural gas reserves of about 28 trillion cubic feet in 2006, an estimated at 19 trillion cubic feet (68 per cent) were located in Balochistan. Balochistan accounts for between 36 and 45 per cent of Pakistan’s present natural gas production, but consumes only a modest 17 per cent of this. Of particular note is the fact that the largest share of the Province’s contribution to the nation’s natural gas production comes from the long operating Sui gas fields in the Bugti tribal domain, located among the parts most seriously afflicted by Baloch militancy. The Sui gas field in the Bugti tribal area produces approximately 45 per cent of the Provincial gas production, with Pakistan Petroleum Limited producing 720-750 million cubic feet of gas daily from more than 80 wells in the field. Other natural gas fields in the Province include Uch, Pirkoh, Loti, Gundran and Zarghoon near Quetta. Despite Balochistan’s natural resource wealth (including the country’s largest deposits of coal and copper, as well as copious quantities of other minerals), Balochistan is Pakistan's poorest province, with 45 per cent of the population living below the poverty line. There is rising resentment in the Province over the fact that, despite the annual revenue of USD 1.4 billion that the Province’s gas output generates, the Federal Government remits only USD 116 million in royalties back to the Province.

In the Annual Planning Coordination Committee meeting in Islamabad on May 13, 2011, Provincial Industries Minister Ehsan Shah noted, “Of the PKR 29 billion allocated under the Federal development budget, only PKR seven billion have been released so far. Of the PKR 10 billion that were meant to be given to the National Highway Authority (NHA) for projects to connect Gwadar to Punjab and Sindh, only PKR 2.5 billion have been released to the NHA. All this has been a focal point of sharp controversy between Islamabad and Baloch nationalists.”

Meanwhile, the gas pipelines, which are up to an estimated eight thousand kilometres long and supply gas to 12 Districts and 29 small townships of Balochistan, are guarded by a private security company, the National Police Foundation Security Company (NPFC), and not by Federal or Provincial Security Forces.

The SSGC and the Provincial Government blame each other for ‘security lapses’. SSGC Balochistan General Manager Mohammad Haroon argues, “It is the responsibility of Government as well to provide security to the gas pipelines because the company alone cannot afford to depute security guards on the entire network.” On the other hand, Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani declared, “NPFC is responsible for security because it is being paid for this purpose by the SSGC,” adding that most of the personnel in NPFC were aged and retired employees, and some had been arrested recently because they were not even present on duty at the time of the attacks. Durrani argued, further, “It is extremely difficult to attach explosive materials along a buried pipeline without the help of the locals in tribal areas. We have suggested that companies recruit local people as security guards. It helps when locals themselves are responsible for security.” He also stated that the Provincial Government has beefed up security for the main gas pipelines, while Balochistan Constabulary personnel had also been deployed in areas under the control of the Balochistan Levies in view of the rising frequency of attacks.

Despite these “beefed up” security measures, however, the Government has failed to either block or disrupt the attacks on natural gas industry, or to address the rising popular concerns that have fuelled these attacks, including the relentless slew of targeted killings and ‘disappearances’ engineered by the state’s secret agencies. Indeed, military operations in Balochistan have only compounded past and enormous public anger, and the Federal Government’s apathy and direct oppression in the State gives little cause to believe that the insurgency in the Province – and the tremendous financial costs it is inflicting on the gas economy – will be brought to an end any time soon.



Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
May 16-22, 2011



Security Force Personnel





Jammu & Kashmir


Left-wing Extremism


Andhra Pradesh








Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa





Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


JeI following strategy of not involving in anti-Government movement: Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) is following the strategy of not involving itself in anti-Government movement right now to avoid further arrest of its leaders and disaster in the party. Instead, it is encouraging other Islamist parties, including Fazlul Haq Amini-led Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), and like-minded Islamic leaders to launch an anti-Government movement. A top IOJ leader admitted that several JeI leaders are giving them full support for the movement, especially on the Women Development Policy issue. Daily Star, May 21, 2011.


"Bad Guys" in contact with Pakistan and not ISI could have bombed Indian Embassy in Kabul, claims Pakistan's National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani: While denying that Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had a hand in the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul (July 7, 2008), Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan's National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, on October 13, 2008, admitted to his Indian counterpart M. K. Narayanan that Pakistan had contacts with "bad guys" and "one of them" could have carried out the attack. This news came via a leaked cable revealed by the Wikileaks. The Hindu, May 20, 2011.

CPI-Maoist revive international forum to take on Indian security forces: Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has revived all the international Maoist fora to regroup after the massive onslaught from the Indian Security Forces over the past year. Months ago, the CPI-Maoist revived the South Asian Maoist forum -Co-ordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) after five years. CCOMPOSA, which was formed in 2001 by Naxalites [Left Wing Extremists] and Nepali Maoists for ideological and strategic exchange, turned defunct after Maoists in Nepal stepped into parliamentary democracy. It led to a rift between Maoist parties in Nepal and India. The forum has now gained relevance once again following major damage to Maoists in India. Times of India, May 18, 2011.

Osama bin Laden's killing will have a "ripple effect", says Defense Minister A. K. Antony: Defence Minister AK Antony on May 20 termed the killing of Osama bin Laden by the US Forces in Pakistan a "watershed" event which would have a "ripple effect" in the India's "strategic neighbourhood" and asked the Armed Forces to be prepared for any eventuality. He also observed that China continued to be the strategic partner of Pakistan despite the latter's position being "internationally stamped" as core of terrorist activities in the region. PTI, May 21, 2011.

Maoist backed-PCPA wants to resume talks with new West Bengal Chief Minister: Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) wants to resume the dialogue process with the State Government. Manoj Mahato, former PCPA secretary said he trusts Mamata Banerjee, the new Chief Minister of the State, and wants to resume the dialogue process. Times of India, May 19, 2011.


Cases against Maoists being fast withdrawn, says impunity watch: The Ministry of Home Affairs is working in full swing to withdraw registered criminal cases against Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) cadres charged with various offences - including serious charges dating back to the period of insurgency. According to some senior Home Ministry officials, since taking charge of the Home Ministry, Krishna Bahadur Mahara has been asking them to expedite compilation of a list of cases registered against Maoist cadres from courts across the country. ekantipur, May 18, 2011

Politically motivated cases will be withdrawn, says Minister for Home Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara: Minister for Home Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara said on May 20 that politically motivated cases registered against the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) cadres during the insurgency period would be withdrawn. Mahara said withdrawal of such cases will not breach the Comprehensive Peace Accord. ekantipur, May 21, 2011.

PLA agrees to Army's proposal on integration: A day after Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) Standing Committee decided to accept the modality proposed by Nepal Army on integration of People's Liberation Army (PLA) combatants, the General Staff meeting of PLA on May 20 put its stamp of approval to the party's decision. PLA Chief Nanda Kishore Pun, his deputy Chandra Parkash Khanal and commanders of the seven divisions of the PLA concluded that the party had made a "correct decision" on May 19. ekantipur, May 21, 2011.

New constitution to be named 'Constitution of Nepal': The sub-committee formed under the Constitutional Committee on May 19 resolved eight disputes surrounding the upcoming constitution including its name. A meeting of the sub-committee decided to name the statute as 'Constitution of Nepal'. There were six disputes over the name of the upcoming constitution. Nepal News, May 20, 2011.

Opposition parties put seven-point condition for CA term extension: Opposition parties led by main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) on May 16 submitted a seven-point memorandum on concluding peace and constitution drafting process to Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal. The parties submitted the memorandum with conditions for support for the extension of Constituent Assembly (CA) term. Nepal News, May 17, 2011.


37 militants and 21 civilians among 60 persons killed during the week in FATA: Eight militants were killed when helicopter gunships pounded their positions in Khadezai and Saigel Darra areas of Orakzai Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on May 22.

16 persons, including eight members of a family, were killed when NATO oil tankers were set ablaze in two separate incidents at Landikotal and Torkham areas of Khyber Agency on May 20.

Six persons were killed when missiles fired by a US drone hit their car near Esha Check post in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA). Sources said that two missiles were fired at the vehicle going from Miramshah to Spalga village.

Security Forces (SFs) targeted militant positions in Khadezai area of Orakzai Agency with artillery fire, killing six suspected militants.

Five Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants were killed when a double-cabin vehicle on its way to Sadda in Kurram Agency from Mamozai, went off near the border area of Ghunza in Orakzai Agency.

At least 12 militants were killed and another four injured in twin US drone attack in Mir Ali Town, some 40 kilometres east of Miranshah, in NWA on May 16. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, Tribune; May 17-23, 2011.

10 persons killed and two planes destroyed in TTP attack on naval air base in Karachi: In an attack targeting Karachi's naval air station the militants reportedly killed five navy personnel. Five militants have also been killed. The attack was carried out in the night of May 22 and after a lull resumed in the morning of May 23. Claiming responsibility for the attack the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said it was revenge for Osama bin Laden's killing. NDTV, May 23, 2011.

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar killed, says unconfirmed report: According to media reports, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar has been killed in Pakistan, although there is no official confirmation yet. Omar was shot dead as he was being moved from Quetta in Balochistan to North Waziristan Agency in Federally administered Tribal Areas (FATA) two days ago, according to Afghan news outlet TOLOnews. The Taliban have, however, denied reports that Mullah Omar has been killed. NDTV, May 23, 2011.

TTP vows to continue fight: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) vowed to fight with "new zeal" in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death to complete the al Qaeda chief's mission of waging holy war against the West, the 'deputy commander' of TTP Waliur Rehman said on May 16. Rehman said that terrorists would continue to stage attacks in the coming days. Daily Times, May 19, 2011.

Saif al-Adel named new al Qaeda leader, says CNN report: Al Qaeda has chosen a former Egyptian Special Forces officer as its leader in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death on May 2. Saif al-Adel, a top al-Qaeda strategist and senior military leader, has been tapped as caretaker 'chief' of the group, CNN reported, citing former Libyan militant Noman Benotman, who has renounced al Qaeda's ideology. Times of India, May 18, 2011.

Will repeat action in Pakistan if needed, asserts U.S. President Barack Obama: U.S. President Barack Obama on May 22 said America would not hesitate to launch another unilateral military operation on Pakistani soil to flush out other al Qaeda figures if it had information that they were hiding there. He said while his government respected Pakistan's sovereignty its first priority was to "secure the United States'' and this had been "made clear to the Pakistanis''. A day earlier, Pakistan's National Assembly adopted a strongly-worded resolution warning against any action similar to the Abbottabad without informing the Pakistani Government. The Hindu, May 23, 2011.

Army General Chief Ashfaq Kayani had demanded drone strikes in Waziristan, reveals WikiLeaks: One of the secret internal American Government cables, accessed by Dawn through WikiLeaks, provide confirmation that the United States (US) military drone strikes programme within Pakistan had more than just tacit acceptance of the country's top military brass, despite public posturing to the contrary. In fact, as long ago as January 2008, the country's military was requesting the US for greater drone back-up for its own military operations. Dawn, May 20, 2011.

Islamabad submitting exaggerated bills of terror expenditure to US, reports Wall Street Journal: Pakistan has been submitting exaggerated and inaccurate bills for the billions of dollars US pays to fight militants along the Afghanistan border and the Pentagon has been rejecting 40 per cent of its claims, a Wall Street Journal report said on May 18. "The billing spat has exacerbated tensions between the countries, which reached a nadir after the US raided the compound of Osama bin Laden without informing Pakistani authorities," the report said. There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon. Indian Express, May 18, 2011.

General Elections in PoK to be held on June 26: Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Chief Election Commissioner Justice Khawaja Mohammad Saeed on May 16 fixed June 26 as the polling day for the General Election to 41 direct seats of PoK Legislative Assembly. According to the polls' schedule, nomination papers will be filed by May 26. Dawn, May 17, 2011.


Government to probe delay in prosecuting former LTTE members: Sri Lanka's Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem said on May 15 that the Government was looking into the delay in taking legal action against former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres, two years after the war had ended. Hakeem said that several committees have been appointed to find out the reasons for the inability of authorities to take legal action against LTTE cadres. Colombo Page, May 17, 2011.

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

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

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