South Asia Weekly Intelligence Report

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South Asia Weekly Intelligence Report

  1. 1. SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW Weekly Assessments & Briefings January 17, 2011Assessment: PakistanInaugurating a military college in Sui area of Dera Bugti District, Chief of Army Staff (CoAS)General Ashfaq Kayani on January 3, 2011, announced the establishment of an ‘education city’ inthe Province; disclosed that 4,268 Baloch students were benefiting from Chamalang BeneficiaryEducation Programme, and that the Balochistan Institute of Technical Education, managed by thePakistan Army, had already trained 1,673 individuals; that the Gwadar Institute of TechnicalEducation would also start functioning soon; that the Army would recruit 10,000 Baloch youths by2012; that 4,000 youths from Balochistan had already been recruited in the Pakistan Army inOctober 2010; and that only a strong, stable and thriving Balochistan could make Pakistanprosperous.The realities of the ground, however, are far removed from this mirage of shared peace andprosperity. The very next day, on January 4, a remote controlled bomb hit a school bus carryingmore than 30 children of Frontier Corps (FC) personnel in the Turbat town of Kech District. Fivechildren and the security in-charge were injured in the blast. On January 5, security agenciesretaliated by dumping the dead bodies of two Baloch youth, Qambar Chakar (25) and IlyasBaloch (24), who were allegedly abducted by intelligence sleuths from Turbat town and Ormara inMakran District, respectively, on November 27, 2010. Chakar was the deputy organiser of theShal zone of the Balochistan Students Organisation-Azaad (BSO-A), and Ilyas was a student ofthe University of Balochistan. Hospital sources disclosed that each of the victims had been shotthrice and the bodies bore marks of extensive torture. Earlier, family members of the victims andBSO-Azad had persistently demanded that Chakar and Ilyas be produced before a court of law ifthey had committed any offence. The case is not an exception, but part of an extendedsuccession of ‘kill and dump’ incidents engineered by intelligence agencies. Indeed, onDecember 26, 2010, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had staged a largedemonstration in Quetta to protest against the recovery of bullet-riddled bodies of ‘missing’persons in Balochistan and the increasing incidents of targeted killing of political dissidents.HRCP chairperson Asma Jahangir, on October 5, 2010, had said that HRCP had a list of 198missing persons and 99 of them had been traced till that date. The US on November 23, 2010,had expressed serious concern over allegations of extra-judicial killings and human rightsviolations in the Province. The unclassified version of the Congressional-mandated report, datedNovember 23, published by The New York Times, stated, Significantly, on September 29, 2010, avideo appeared on the internet showing men in Pakistani military uniforms apparently committingextra-judicial killings of young civilians.In the meanwhile, violence in Balochistan escalated further through 2010. According to partialdata compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 347 persons, including of 274civilians, 59 Security Force (SF) personnel and 14 militants, died in 150 incidents of killing in 2010(all data till December 31). In 2009, 277 persons, including 152 civilians, 88 SF personnel and 37militants, died in 102 incidents of killing. Thus, while SF and militant fatalities declined by 32.95per cent and 62.16 per cent, respectively, civilian fatalities recorded an increase of 80.26 percent. [These numbers are likely to be underestimates, as access to media and independentobservers is severely restricted in Balochistan].Annual Fatalities in Balochistan, 2006-2010 Year Civilians SF Militant Total Injured Incidents Personnel 2010 274 59 14 347 601 325
  2. 2. 2009 152 88 37 277 491 364 2008 130 111 107 348 383 397 2007 124 27 94 245 NA NA 2006 226 82 142 450 NA 772[Data till December 31, 2010]There was, however, a small decrease in the number of major incidents (resulting in three ormore fatalities), from 28 in 2009, to 23 in 2010. Prominent among the major incidents of 2010were: • September 3: At least 65 persons were killed while over 191 were injured after a suicide bomber blew himself up amidst participants of a rally held to mark the al-Quds Day [an international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people] in Quetta. • August 14: Six Punjabi speaking persons were shot dead by assailants riding a motorcycle, when they were going home from work in the Khilji Colony of Quetta. • Unidentified assailants singled out Punjabi passengers travelling on a bus, killing 10 and injuring five others near Quetta. • June 15: Seven persons, including a tribal elder, were shot dead and two persons were injured, when their vehicle was ambushed on the RCD Highway in the Surab tehsil (revenue unit) of Kalat District. • April 16: A suicide bomber blew himself up in an attack inside the Civil Hospital in Quetta, the provincial capital, killing 11 persons and injuring 35.The insurgents, moreover, retained capabilities to carry out acts of sabotage on a daily basisacross the Province. Acts of violence were, crucially, not restricted to a few areas, but occurred inpractically every one of the 26 Districts of the Province, including capital Quetta . Quettacontinues to witness high levels of violence, both by Islamist extremists and Baloch nationalists.There were 101 militancy-related incidents in Quetta during 2010, as against 73 in 2009, 81 in2008, 72 in 2007, 75 in 2006, 61 in 2005, 51 in 2004 and 32 in 2003. One principal stream ofviolence is engineered by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)-Afghan Taliban-al Qaedacombine, which continues to disrupt NATO supply lines to Afghanistan, which pass throughBalochistan. Attacks in Balochistan on oil tankers and trucks ferrying NATO supplies toAfghanistan rose sharply from 14 in 2009 to 66 in 2010. 12 persons lost their lives in theseattacks, while 32 suffered injuries. Media reports on January 1, 2011, indicated that at least 139oil tanker and containers had been destroyed in Balochistan through 2010. In one such attack,unidentified militants set ablaze more than 20 NATO supply trucks heading for Afghanistan nearthe Akhtarabad terminal in Quetta in the morning of October 6, 2010. Claiming responsibility, TTPspokesman Azam Tariq said that its cadres carried out an arson attack on NATO tankers inPakistan as revenge against a scaled-up US drone strike campaign in the country’s northwest.On October 9, 2010, when nearly 30 tankers were set ablaze in the Bolan District, TTP warned,"We accept responsibility for the attacks on the NATO supply trucks and tankers. We will continuesuch attacks until the drone strikes are stopped."Amidst growing attacks on NATO convoys and apprehensions regarding the activities of theAfghan Taliban’s Quetta Shura, Western media reports in November 2010 indicated that theUnited States was seeking to expand the areas inside Balochistan where Central IntelligenceAgency (CIA) drones could operate. US officials were said to be eyeing areas surroundingQuetta, where the Taliban leadership was believed to be hiding. However, on December 11,2010, Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General, Major General Ubaidullah Khan,claimed that no TTP or Quetta Shura Taliban existed in any part of the Province, indicatingcontinuing collusion between the Pakistani Army and establishment and the Afghan Taliban, and
  3. 3. particularly the Quetta Shura, which is widely believed to operate under the protection ofPakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence.The TTP has, moreover, launched repeated suicide attacks against Government establishmentsin retaliation against US drone attacks, and Pakistani authorities are consequently trying theirlevel best to keep the US drones out of Balochistan, in order to appease the extremists.Significantly, the rebels targeted the Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan, Nawab Aslam Raisani, ina suicide attack on December 7, when he narrowly escaped the assassination attempt at arailway crossing at Saryab Pattak in Quetta. Claiming responsibility for the attack, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami spokesperson, who introduced himself as Abdullah Jhangvi, phoned the QuettaPress Club from an unspecified location and vowed to carry out such attacks in the future as well.Meanwhile, Islamabad continues to direct the bulk of its initiatives against the Baloch nationalistrebels. Seeking to crush nationalist rebellion, the Federal Government assigned Police powers tothe FC, a paramilitary force. Federal Minister of the Interior, Rehman Malik, on September 8,2010, announced that the Federal Government had given the Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan,Nawab Aslam Raisani, the authority to award Police powers to the FC to tackle the ‘law and ordersituation’ in the Province. He, however, qualified that all raids and actions against militants wouldbe led by the Police. Malik also announced that every organization whose name bears the word"liberation" or "lashkar" in Balochistan was banned from the date of his announcement, and theiraccounts were frozen. These organizations prominently included the Balochistan Liberation Army(BLA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), Baloch Republican Army (BRP), Lashkar-e-Balochistan(LB) and Baloch Mussalah Difa Organization (BMDO). He also warned that the Governmentwould take ‘tougher action’, if necessary, to control the escalating violence and unrest inBalochistan.Later, on November 24, 2010, the CM ruled out any possibilities of talks with Baloch militants,declaring that the ‘public’ had not given him a mandate for that purpose. This reflected a dramaticshift from the position articulated by the CM and the Balochistan Governor, Nawab Zulfiqar AliMagsi, on October 29. 2010, when they offered to engage in dialogue with ‘angry Balochelements’, especially the insurgents, and pledged to protect their legitimate rights. At the otherend of Islamabad’s ‘carrot and stick’ policy, in a joint sitting of Parliament on November 24, 2010,the Federal Government announced a ‘five-tier multi-dimensional special package’ forBalochistan, combining political, administrative and economic initiatives. The package, namedAghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan (beginning of the rights of Balochistan), was presented by thePakistan People’s Party Senator, Mian Raza Rabbani, who heads the seven-memberParliamentary Committee, which finalised the package in consultation with the political leadershipin Parliament and other ‘stakeholders’. The five-tier package envisages the withdrawal of theArmy from Sui, and its replacement by the FC; a fact-finding commission, headed by a retiredjudge of the Supreme Court/High Court, to probe into the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti [August 26,2006]; inquiry by the superior judiciary into the murder of Baloch political workers, includingGhulam Muhammad Baloch [April 9, 2009], Lala Munir [May 25, 2010], and targeted killings in theprovince.Exiled Baloch leaders, however, summarily rejected the ‘package’ on the grounds that it failed toaddress their core problems. Significantly, Talal Bugti, the late Nawab Akbar Bugti’s son andPresident of the Jamhoori Watan Party, alleged that the package had been prepared by ‘invisibleforces’ and not by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s team or a Parliamentary Committee."Our stand remains unchanged that the federating units must be treated as per the 1940 PakistanResolution," he declared, adding, "We don’t believe in dialogue anymore, as it has beenunproductive." Hyrbyair Marri, the London-based leader of the Marri tribe, while opposing anycompromise with the Government, called the package a "mockery and a cruel joke" on the peopleof Balochistan, claimed it fell far short of Baloch expectations, and that it was only an exercise inbuying more time. Further, the National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) on Inter-Provincial Coordination on January 10, 2011, expressed dissatisfaction over the pace ofimplementation of the packages for Balochistan, observing that a lot of work had been done on
  4. 4. paper and nothing on the ground. The NASC was, however, informed that, out of 61 proposals inthe package, 15 had been ‘fully implemented’, 12 were in the process of being implemented while34 proposals were in the ‘middle stages’ of implementation.Balochistan is rich in mineral wealth, but remains poor because of Islamabads relentlessexploitation, neglect and excesses. Jumma Khan Marri, president of the Baloch UnityOrganisation, thus observed, Kayani’s rhetoric about a strong, stable and thriving Balochistan isin stark contrast with the harsh realities of the ground in the Province, and reconcile poorly withIslamabad’s overwhelming reliance on relentless military suppression, human rights violationsand excesses by intelligence and security agencies. With Islamabad unable to escape thefruitless cycles of past policies, it remains unlikely that the suppurating wounds inflicted andconstantly renewed in Balochistan will heal, and that violence will approach an end in theforeseeable future.Assessment: IndiaIn their last major outrage of 2010 in Maharashtra, at least four Security Force (SF) personnelwere killed and seven were injured when Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadrestriggered a powerful landmine blast near Umanoor Hill on the Alapalli-Sironcha Road inGadchiroli District on December 21, 2010. Data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Managementindicates that Maharashtra witnessed at least 40 fatalities, including 22 civilians, 15 SF personneland three Naxalites (Left Wing Extremists) in 21 incidents of killing in 2010. On first sight, thisappears to suggest a significant improvement over the previous year: there were 87 fatalities,including 52 SFs, 23 militants and 12 civilians in 22 such incidents in 2009. Overall fatalities,thus, almost halved, giving a false indication that Maoist violence was on a decline. Closerscrutiny, however, shows that civilian fatalities rose from 12 to 22. Fatalities among the Maoistsfell to an eighth of their 2009 figure, from 23 to 3, while SF fatalities declined by a factor of almostthree and a half, from 52 to 15. These figures suggest an escalation of Maoist depredations, evenwhile the SFs fail to engage effectively with the rebels. Reports from the field, in fact, indicate thatthe Maoists are extending their areas of activity, even as the SFs withdraw into a defensiveposture, failing to engage proactively.Fatalities in Left Wing Extremism: 2005-2010 Year Civilian SF Naxals Total 2005 2 17 8 27 2006 13 3 33 49 2007 9 2 8 19 2008 2 5 7 14 2009 12 52 23 87 2010 22 15 3 40 [Data: Till December 31, 2010]In addition to the December 21 incident, the State witnessed another two major incidents(resulting in three or more fatalities) in 2010. These included:October 8: Seven persons, including two schoolchildren and three Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP) personnel, were killed in two encounters with the CPI-Maoist in the in the Sawargaonforest area of Gadchiroli District along the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border.October 4: A land mine blast triggered by the cadres of the CPI-Maoist killed Central ReservePolice Force (CRPF). Inspector Nevrutti Yadav, two Sub-Inspectors of the District Police –
  5. 5. Shashikant More and Mahendra Kumar Nalkul – and a constable each from the CRPF and theDistrict Police, at Perimili in Gadchiroli. The Maoists managed to decamp with their weapons.In 2010, incidents of killing were reported from just two Districts – Gadchiroli (39) and Bhandara(1) – out of a total of 35 Districts in the State. 2009 had also seen fatalities in two Districts –Gadchiroli (86) and Gonda (1). The State witnessed a total 51 Maoist-related incidents, includingincidents of killing, spread across seven Districts through 2010. Again, Gadchiroli topped the listwith 40, followed by Chandrapur and Gondia (3 each), Nagpur (2), Amravati, Bhandara andMumbai City (1). The number of such incidents stood at 36 in 2009 – Gadchiroli (30), Gondia (3),Chandrapur, Mumbai City and Nagpur (1 each).Fatalities in Gadchiroli District: 2005-2010 Year Incidents Civilians SFs Extremists Total 2005 5 2 15 4 21 2006 20 13 3 34 50 2007 31 7 2 8 17 2008 17 4 5 5 14 2009 30 11 52 23 86 2010 45 21 15 3 39 [Data: Till December 31, 2010]Gadchiroli clearly remains the epicentre of Maoist violence in Maharashtra. Describing thesecurity situation in the District during his visit, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram admitted,on December 29, 2010, that the Naxalites retained the capacity to attack "at will". Earlier,speaking in the State Assembly, State Home Minister R.R. Patil stated that a large number ofarmed Naxalites were active in Gadchiroli District, and were ‘waging a war’ against state power.He disclosed that the Union Government had provided four CRPF Battalions for the District, apartfrom a contingent of the ITBP. Significantly, on February 14, 2010, Union Home Secretary G.K.Pillai had claimed, "Once the full complements of Forces come, we should be able to clearGadchiroli of all Naxal elements within one year." Reports indicate increasing local support for theMaoists, though State Home Minister Patil, on July 8, 2010, responding to a query about theimpact of a bandh (general shut down) called by the Maoists in the State insisted, "Only tehsilslike Dhanora in Gadchiroli witnessed some support for the bandh." On May 20, Patil had claimedthat the Naxalite movement was being funded by a section of the cash-rich mining industry. Hesuggested that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence identify the sources of such funding fromcompanies working in Naxal-hit areas. Meanwhile, a Press communiqué of CPI-Maoist’sMaharashtra State Rajya Committee (MSRC), circulated in Gadchiroli in support of the December1, 2010, Vidarbha bandh called by the Vidarbha Rajya Sangram Samiti (Vidarbha State StruggleCommittee) , focused on the widening economic rift between Vidarbha and Western Maharashtra.The Maoists alleged that the State Government was favouring the growth of WesternMaharashtra at the cost of the progressively impoverished Vidarbha region. The pamphlet, writtenin Marathi and signed by ‘Comrades’ Kosa, ‘secretary’ of the Dandakaranya Special ZonalCommittee, and Sahayadri, ‘secretary’ of MRSC, emphasised that the approval of the 32,000 MWthermal power project in Vidarbha would lead to environmental degradation and massdisplacement. The rebels also alleged that the SFs were targeting students and innocent younggirls in the name of action against Naxalites. The neglected Vidharbha region is the principalprospective recruitment ground for the Maoists in Maharashtra.However, K.P. Raghuvanshi, Additional Director General (Law and Order), insists that theNaxalites were trying to increase their cadre strength principally through coercion: "The peopleare now disillusioned with them and no one joins them voluntarily anymore. Most of the recruits in
  6. 6. recent times have been roped in through intimidation, threats or blackmail." Raghuvanshi addedthat the State Police and Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) had been carrying out areadomination operations in Naxalite-affected areas: "The Central Reserve Police Force, SpecialOperation Group, C-60 commandoes and CoBRA [Combat Battalion against Resolute Action]commandoes are all part of the operation." The SFs did manage to arrest 50 Maoists, includingthree ‘State Committee’ members and one ‘zonal commander’, in 13 incidents of arrest in 2010.In one such incident, on December 28, six Maoists, including a couple, were arrested fromGondia and Chandrapur Districts. They included two Maoist ‘State Committee’ members. Inaddition, at least 10 Maoists surrendered through 2010, six of them on Republic Day (January 26,2010). A February 17, 2010, report, citing official sources, claimed that a total of 319 Maoistcadres had laid down their arms before authorities in the Gadchiroli District since the initiation ofhe Government’s surrender scheme in August 2005. Police recovered 81 rifles, mostly .303s andself loading rifles, ammunition and explosives, as well as Maoist literature, from the surrenderedcadres. On December 5, 2010, Police seized Maoist literature inciting people to take up armsagainst the State in protest against ‘injustice’ and highlighting the ‘failures of the Government’ onvarious fronts. Sources indicated that at least 12 pamphlets of the People’s Liberation GuerrillaArmy (PLGA), the military wing of the CPI-Maoist, were recovered in the Ganeshpeth area ofNagpur. The pamphlets appealed particularly to the younger generation to join the organisation,urging that armed struggle was the only way to end injustice. The pamphlets, issued by the NorthGadchiroli-Gondia border committee of the Maharashtra unit of the organisation, further statedthat people should help the Maoists destroy the Police intelligence network and strengthen theMaoist intelligence mechanism.The Maharashtra and Union Governments made significant allocations in their attempt to improvesecurity in the Maoist affected areas. On February 23, 2010, State Finance Minister Sunil Tatkareannounced a quadruple hike, from INR 173 million in financial year 2009-10 to INR 700.3 millionfor 2010-11, in the development allocation for the worst Maoist-affected Gadchiroli District. Morefunds were made available to the Maoist affected regions by the Union Government. State HomeMinister Patil, on May 21, disclosed that the Union Government had sanctioned INR 3.7 billion forroads in Gondia and Gadchiroli Districts. Gadchiroli was to receive INR 3.03 billion for 32 majorroad works (313 kilometres), while the remaining allocation was for six major roads in Gondia.Again on August 11, he stated that, "The Centre has, in principal, approved aid of INR 5.8 billionfor infrastructural facilities in Gadchiroli and Gondia Districts." As 2010 approached an end, onDecember 15, the State Government announced a package of INR 6.54 Billion for the Naxal-hitGadchiroli District for its ‘overall development’.To increase the strength of the fighting Force, the State Government had announced, on January29, 2010, that it would recruit 2,300 Police personnel, specifically for the security of the GadchiroliDistrict. On May 22, 2010, State Home Minister Patil disclosed that the Police recruitment drive inGadchiroli and Gondia had received ‘tremendous response’, with some 30,000 applying for 8,000vacancies advertised. Of the candidates, 18,000 were from Gadchiroli. According to theGadchiroli Police website, however, a total of just 981 Police personnel were selected in 2010.However, in order to strengthen the strike Force, on June 7, 2010, the first batch of the speciallyformed and trained ‘Alpha Hawks’ anti-Naxal unit was deployed in Gadchiroli, Gondia,Chandrapur and Bhandara Districts. On May 21, moreover, the Maharashtra Home Departmentproposed a compulsory two years’ services for all Government officials in CPI-Maoist-affectedareas, taking serious cognizance of the general reluctance to work there. Significantly, about 30per cent of all posts were vacant in Gadchiroli District, and officials refused to go there, citing lackof security. On February 8, 2010, in its bid to modernise the Police Force, the MaharashtraGovernment decided to formulate its "arms policy" within the next seven days, against thebackdrop of the growing threat of terrorism and LWE. It eventually took almost four months for theGovernment to announce this new arms policy, on June 4, 2010, according to which the PoliceForce was to be equipped with sophisticated weapons, including imported firearms. The policyseeks to equip the Police Force with modern pistols, assault rifles, sub machine guns, rocketlaunchers, Light Machine Guns and sniper rifles. The Government made funds available onpriority basis for procuring arms and ammunition. The State Home Minister R. R. Patil added that
  7. 7. the Department would review the policy after three years. The policy would also be applicable tothe State Reserve Police. The policy, however, remains principally on paper, with necessaryacquisitions still mired in bureaucratic red tape. Indeed, according to official documents puttogether by the Union Home Ministry, Maharashtra is among the seven States that have faredpoorly in modernising their Police Forces. Maharashtra was labelled as "poor performing state" asit failed to use the funds allocated by the Centre for upgrading the Police and intelligenceapparatus, and for failing to submit its utilisation certificates (UCs) for funds spent. As a result,Maharashtra was denied additional allocations, and its "funds have been diverted to otherresponsive states." The report further indicated that the ‘poor performance’ States had outdatedand obsolete weapons and even the extremist-prone Police Stations are often not supplied withmodern weapons. Even where such Police Stations are supplied with modern weapons, Policepersonnel are not trained for their use. The Police communication network in such States doesnot function efficiently, they do not have enough vehicles and their forensic laboratories lackproper infrastructure.Significantly during his visit to Gadchiroli, Union Home Minister Chidambaram had asked seniorPolicemen about the long-pending proposal to set up 10 additional Police Posts in the District, butreceived no satisfactory answer. Maharashtra has a Police population ratio of 155 policemen per100,000 population (significantly higher than the national average of 128), but still lacks thewherewithal to combat the Maoist menace. The broad orientation of the establishment inMaharashtra towards the Maoist menace remains confused, with excessive emphasis ondevelopmental expenditure on projects that simply cannot be implemented in the absence ofdramatically improved security. The security sector, on the other hand, continues to suffer frommassive deficits and an evident loss of direction, resulting in augmenting Maoist consolidationand expansion.News BriefsWeekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South AsiaJanuary 10-16, 2011 Security Force Civilians Terrorists/Insurgents Total Personnel BANGLADESH Left-wing 0 0 2 2 Extremism INDIA Jammu and 0 0 1 1 Kashmir Left-wing Extremism Chhattisgarh 0 1 0 1 Jharkhand 1 0 0 1 Odisha 0 0 2 2 West Bengal 2 0 0 2 Total (INDIA) 3 1 3 7 PAKISTAN Balochistan 6 3 0 9 FATA 9 4 44 57
  8. 8. Khyber 10 26 2 38 Pakhtunkhwa Sindh 2 0 0 2 Total (PAKISTAN) 27 33 46 106 Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.INDIAIntelligence alert on pre-poll Maoist strikes in West Bengal: Intelligence officials have sent specificinputs to camps-in-charge under various Police Stations in West Midnapore District about animpending attack by cadres of the Communist party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and People’sCommittee against Police Atrocities (PCPA). The report added, "Large numbers of arms andammunition have been collected by (CPI-Maoist)/ PCPA and Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia supportersas well as criminals and miscreants supported by various political parties." Times of India,January 15, 2011.NDFB-ATF declares unilateral cease-fire for six months in Assam: Ranjan Daimary, the arrested‘chairman’ of the anti-talks faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-ATF), onJanuary 10 declared a unilateral cease-fire for six months. Daimary said that in the interveningperiod they would not indulge in any act of violence and cease hostilities. He said their decision todeclare a unilateral ceasefire had been conveyed to the Union Government. Within hours of thedeclaration, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary sought suspension ofoperations against NDFB-ATF. Telegraph India, January 11, 2011.Centre to cut paramilitary in Jammu and Kashmir by 25 percent, says Union Home Minister G. K.Pillai: The Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai on January 14 said that Union Government ispanning to reduce the presence of paramilitary forces in populated areas of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) by 25 percent over the next 12 months as a confidence-building measure (CBM). "As aCBM in J&K, the strength of the security forces would come down by 25%. We would like toreduce it as soon as possible depending on the ground situation," Pillai said. Times of India,January 15, 2011.Government to pump in INR 5.8 billion to fight Maoists: The Central Government is pumping inINR 5.8 billion under the non-plan security-related expenditure scheme (SRE), a special securityscheme which would include strengthening road connectivity and recruiting 12,000 more SpecialPolice Officers (SPOs) to boost its fighting power against the Communist Party of India-Maoist(CPI-Maoist) in mineral-rich central and eastern India. The Government has decided to raise thenumber of its focus Districts to 60 from the current 35. The new focus Districts, according to thesources, are in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. Over INR 2 billion has already been releasedunder SRE. Hindustan Times, January 14, 2011.Bihar to hire 11, 000 Policemen every year: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on January 15 said thatthe State would recruit 10,000 constables and 1,000 sub-inspectors every year till the Police-Population Ratio in the State matches the National Average. "We would clear the backlog ofrecruitments," he added. Times of India, January 16, 2011.New training centre not for combating Naxals, says Army Chief: Army has asked the Governmentto finalise "Rules of Engagement" as it gets ready to open a new training facility in Chhattisgarh,but denied the move is linked to combating Naxalites [Left Wing Extremism] in the State. "Wehave deliberately stayed out of any commitment to tackle Left Wing Extremism, except for givingadvice or training," Chief of Army Staff General V.K. Singh said. The Hindu, January 16, 2010.
  9. 9. NEPALMaoists ready to take bold steps, says UCPN-M chairman Prachanda: The chairman of theUnified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda saidon January 10 that his party is prepared to hand over the command control of cantonments to thePrime Minister-led Special Committee overseeing the Maoist combatants before United NationsMission in Nepal (UNMIN) scheduled departure on January 15. He outlined three steps thatwould ensure a smooth transition before UNMIN wraps up. The steps include organising a specialceremony to formally mark the transfer of the chain of command to the Special Committee, theregrouping of combatants into two different categories (those opting for integration and thoseopting for rehabilitation), and finalising the norms and modalities for integration. Kantipur Daily,January 11, 2011.UCPN-M and Government agreed to replace UNMIN with a six-member committee: Thecaretaker Government and the Unified Communist party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) on January14 agreed to form a six-member mechanism comprising three members each from the ArmyIntegration Special Committee (AISC) and its Secretariat to carry out all the activities of theUnited Nations’ Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) after its departure. Prime Minister Madhav KumarNepal and UCPN-M chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda singed a three-pointagreement in a bid to assure the outgoing UNMIN that the remaining tasks of the ongoing peaceprocess would be effectively handled in its absence. Nepal News, January 15, 2011.Panel formed to amend House regulations to elect Nepal Prime Minister: The Parliament onJanuary 13 endorsed the formation of a five-member committee to make necessary preparationsfor amendment to the House regulations aimed at starting the new process to elect the PrimeMinister. The Business Advisory Committee had on January 12 decided to form the committeeafter Nepali Congress parliamentary leader and the sole prime ministerial candidate, RamChandra Poudel, withdrew his nomination, ending the process that could not elect the PrimeMinister despite 16 rounds of voting. Nepal News, January 14, 2011.PAKISTAN44 militants and nine civilians among 57 persons killed during the week in FATA: Six militantswere killed when a vehicle carrying militants hit a landmine in the Mamozai area of OrakzaiAgency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 15. Security Forces (SFs) shotdead four militants in a retaliatory firing when a group of militants attacked a security check postin the Toda Khora area.SFs killed 11 militants, including foreigners, and injured many others in Chinarak area nearAfghanistan border in Kurram Agency on January 14. Frontier Corps (FC) personnel killed threemilitants and injured four others in retaliatory firing when a group of unidentified militants attackedthe FC camp in Bhaidaq of Mohammad Agency with rockets and mortar shells.Mortar shells fired from across Afghanistan border killed eight persons, including five men andthree women, in Tity Mada Khel village in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on January 13.Seven militants were killed and 10 other militants injured when SFs on January 12 heavilypounded terrorist hideouts near the Afghanistan border in Orakzai Agency. In addition, fivemilitants were killed when a US drone targeted a suspected militant compound at Haider Khelvillage in Mir Ali tehsil (revenue unit) of NWA. Separately, a US drone strike killed threesuspected militants and injured several others in Mir Ali tehsil of NWA on January 12.Five militants, including a local ‘commander’, were killed when two rival militant outfits clashed inZangi area of Kurram Agency on January 10. Dawn; Daily Times;Tribune; The News, January11-17, 2011 .Pakistan defers military offensive against Haqqani Network, says report: Pakistan has indefinitelypostponed a full-scale military offensive against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan Agency
  10. 10. (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) because of the freezing winter there thatnormally lasts over six months, Express Tribune quoting an unnamed source reported. In themeantime, US drones will continue to target Taliban sanctuaries in NWA and elsewhere in thetribal belt as this is the only available option to weaken the militants. Tribune, January 12, 2011.US patience on North Waziristan Agency running out, warns Vice President Joe Biden: TheUnited States (US) Vice President Joe Biden on January 12 made it clear that the US patiencewas running out with Pakistan’s indecision on military action against militants’ hideouts in NorthWaziristan Agency (NWA). Biden, who was in Islamabad on a day-long visit to Pakistan, heldtalks with both civilian and military leaders, the existence of militant sanctuaries in Pakistan’stribal areas and the radicalisation of Pakistani society. Dawn, January 13, 2011.National Assembly Standing Committee not satisfied with implementation of Balochistanpackage: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) onJanuary 10 expressed dissatisfaction over the pace of implementation on the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan (beginning of the rights of Balochistan) package with the observation that a lot ofwork had been done on paper and nothing on the ground. The committee was told that devolutionof five ministries, including education, social welfare and special education, tourism, culture andlivestock and dairy development, will be completed by the end of the current (January) orbeginning of the next month (February). Daily Times, January 11, 2011.SRI LANKAUNHCR expects more Tamil refugees to return in 2011: The United Nations High Commissionerfor Refugees in Sri Lanka predicted on January 9 that more refugees and displaced personswould return to their homes in north Sri Lanka in 2011. According to UNHCR data, in 2010, thenumber of refugees it assisted to return to Sri Lanka was 2,054. The UN body places the totalnumber of internally-displaced persons at 4.39 lakh and refugees at 1.45 lakh. Colombo Page,January 10, 2011.Faheem Ul Hasan

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