JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
Publisher and Managing Editor

MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

0712 flag pakistanSectarian violence in Karachi is just another chapter in Pakistan’s long history of violence against minorities, has afflicted Pakistan virtually from its moment of birth...

TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY

U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, smiling through their teeth, are feverishly hoping that Washington will maintain its security commitments. The Russians are ... . . ..   

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-USA

A US revaluation of its Af-Pak policy appears likely under Trump... It is, however, unlikely that US AfPak policy under Trump will be ‘more of the same’. Crucially, Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan . . .

NUCLEAR WWWIII

Escalation of hostility may become a thermonuclear WWIII.

ARM & TRAIN

Non-Muslims in violent conflict areas to enhance the security...

HYDRO BOOM & CONFLICTS

With approval of power plants, conflicts have arisen ...

SUICIDE TERRORISM

Growing support for suicide terrorism

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Afghanistan - Pakistan: Strategic Folly

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By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

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

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Bangladesh: Islamist Backlash, Measured Justice

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By S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

OnAugust 7, 2015, Niladri Chattopadhyay Niloy alias Niloy Neel (28), a secular blogger and a Gonojagoron Mancha (People's Resurgence Platform) activist was hacked to death at his Goran residence in the Khilgaon area of the national capital, Dhaka, in broad daylight. Later in the evening, a group identifying itself as Ansar-al-Islam, Bangladesh chapter of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS), claimed responsibility for the murder in an email sent out to almost all media outlets. The email declared: “Alhamdulillah! Mujahidin of Ansar-al-Islam (AQIS, Bangladesh Branch) carried out an operation to slaughter an enemy of Allah and His Messenger (peace & blessings be upon him), whose name is Niloy Chowdhury Neel.”

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BANGLADESH: News Briefs

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Government has planned to flush out directors, officers and employees with links to JeI from IBBL, say officials: Officials of Foreign and Finance Ministries said that the Government has planned to flush out directors, officers and employees with links to Jamaat-e Islami (JeI) from the Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL). The officials said that the plan gained momentum after the Government obtained a 'green signal' from Yousif Abdullah Al-Rajhi, vice chairman and a foreign director of IBBL. New Age, August 26, 2015.

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Downstream Communities Fear Glacial Lake Outburst

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By Rajan Pokhrel

The April earthquake and its aftershocks have destabilised the already deteriorating terminal or lateral moraines of Imja, Tsho Rolpa and Thulagi lakes, according to a scientific study, which also suggested the authorities to reclassify them under the ‘dangerous’ category.

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NEPAL: News Briefs

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17 Policemen among 20 killed in Nepal violence, stated CDO Rajkumar Shrestha: Rajkumar Shrestha, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kailali District, said 17 Police personnel including a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) were killed in the clash between Tharuhat activists and Police in Tikapur in the District on August 24. At least 20 persons - 17 Policemen including a senior officer and three protesters - were killed and more than 100 injured in the violent clash in Kailali District on August 24, between Security Force (SF) personnel and protesters demanding a separate Tharuhat province. Firstpost , August 29, 2015.

 

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Pakistan: Frenetic Hangings

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On July 29, 2015, eight death row prisoners were executed in Pakistan’s Punjab Province. Three prisoners, identified as Muhammad Safdar, Aftab and his father, were hanged at Attock District Jail. Aftab and his father Usman had killed a man in 1998 over a monetary dispute. Muhammad Safdar had murdered two people over a ‘petty issue’ in 2003. Another convicted prisoner, Muhammad Tufail was hanged till death in Kasur District Jail. Tufail was hanged for killing a man and his son in 2001.

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The U.S. Is No Longer A Democracy

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Jimmy Carter Is Correct

By Eric Zuesse *

On July 28th, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an aftethought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:

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Why Was Pakistan Created, Asks Pakistani daily

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India Today

Why was Pakistan created, asked a leading Pakistani daily on Friday, ruing that the country has strayed from the "unique vision" of protecting the rights of its minorities.

An editorial in The News International, "A New Roadmap", said this Independence Day on August 14 "we need to talk about why this country was created and how far we have strayed from that aim".

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Karachi: Uncertain Gains

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On August 10, 2015, Pakistan Rangers in Sindh stated that the first stage of the ongoing ‘targeted action’ in Karachi, the provincial capital, had been completed. On September 4, 2013, the Federal Cabinet had empowered the Rangers to lead the ‘targeted action’ with the support of the Police, against criminals involved in the “four heinous crimes of target-killing, kidnapping, extortion and terrorism”. The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, laying emphasis that this was to be a ‘targeted action’ or ‘exercise’, rather than an operation, had announced that a committee headed by the provincial Chief Minister Syed Qim Ali Shah would “manage, administer and control” the action.   

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Punjab Proxies Gone Wild

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By Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management & South Asia Terrorism Portal

The Home Minister of Punjab Province, Colonel Shuja Khanzada (Retd.) and 22 others, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Shaukat Shah, were killed, and another 23 were injured, in a suicide attack on August 15, 2015. According to reports, the attacks took place when between 50-100 people were attending a jirga at Khanzada’s political office in the Shadi Khan Village of Attock District.

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PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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26 militants and nine SFs among 39 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 14 suspected militants were killed and their sanctuaries destroyed as military planes bombed the Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on August 29.

At least five soldiers and six Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants were killed during raids on Pakistan Army checkpoints in Shawal area of NWA on August 25.

Six militants and two security personnel, one of them an officer, Lieutenant Colonel Faisal Malik, were killed during a clash with the militants in Shawal Valley of NWA on August 24.

A pro-Government armed group of the Zakhakhel tribe, Tauheedul Islam (TI), beheaded three men from a rival group for allegedly planting a bomb outside a mosque in Zakhakhel Bazaar in Khyber Agency on August 24. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, August 25-31, 2015.

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