Hopes Belied

S. Binodkumar Singh Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On October 7, 2018, Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli at a book launching ceremony in Kathmandu promised, “If someone had committed crime in the name of Maoist War, then they will be punished: there will be no amnesty for serious crimes. We are going to follow the international conventions we have signed.” Earlier, addressing the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 27, 2018, Prime Minister Oli had observed
Air-Power: Uncertain Impact
On September 30, 2018, at least 21 Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) terrorists were killed in a United States (US) drone strike in the Sikanar area of Wazir Tang in the Khogyani District of Nangarhar Province.
J&K: Extreme Measures
On September 30, 2018, a Policeman was killed and his rifle was snatched when suspected Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) militants attacked Police Station Shopian in Shopian District The slain Policeman, identified as Saqib Mohiudin, was manning the entry gate of the Police Station when the attack took place at around 6 am [IST].
Chhattisgarh: Narayanpur: Tightening Vice
On September 2, 2018, at least four cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), including a Local Organization Squad (LOS) ‘commander’, were killed in an encounter with District Reserve Guard (DRG) personnel in a forest near the Gumiyabeda village under Maad Police Station limits in Narayanpur District. During a subsequent search of the spot, four bodies, including one of a woman cadre, were recovered, of which two were identified; one of the these as Somlu, the Nelnar ‘area committee member (ACM)’; the other, a woman cadre, identified as Ratti, the ‘commander’ of the Jhara LOS. DRG personnel recovered four weapons, including one INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) assault rifle, one .303 rifle and two 12-bore guns.
CPEC: Chinese Checkmate
At least six persons – among them three Chinese engineers – were injured in a suicide attack on a bus in the Dalbandin area of Chagai District in Balochistan in the morning of August 11, 2018. The bus carrying 18 Chinese engineers was being escorted by Frontier Corps (FC) troops to the Dalbandin airport from the Saindaik copper and gold mines when a suicide bomber tried to drive his explosives-laden vehicle into the bus. “The explosives-laden vehicle exploded near the bus on Quetta-Taftan Highway – and as a result three Chinese engineers, two FC soldiers and the bus driver were injured,” an unnamed Levies official stated. Saifullah Khatiran,Deputy Commissioner of Chagai District, disclosed that the engineers were working on the Saindak project, a joint venture between Pakistan and China to extract gold, copper and silver from an area close to the border.The three injured Chinese engineers were identified as Huo Xiaohu, Shi Jiangpeng and You Riwei. The suicide bomber was killed. All the Chinese engineers were later sent to Karachi.
Justice Grinds On, Slowly
On August 13, 2018, International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT-1) sentenced to death Mohamad Esahaq Shikder (83), Abdul Goni Hawlader (72), Mohamad Awal aka Awal Moulavi (69), Mohamad Abdus Sattar Pada (65) and Solaiman Mridha aka Soleman Mridha (86) for committing crimes against humanity in the Patuakhali District during the Liberation War in 1971. They were found guilty of two charges for which they were indicted on March 8, 2017. All the five men were handed death sentence for the murder of 17 villagers after torturing them in confinement and setting fire to at least 12 houses after looting them in Itbaria, a village in the Patuakhali District on May 4, 1971. They were also given death sentence for the abduction of 15 women from the same Itbaria village on the same day, taking them to the Circuit House Army camp where they were tortured and raped for 10 days until May 14, 971. All the convicts were involved with the Muslim League (ML) and are behind bars.
Sukma: Losing the Heartland
A team of District Reserve Guard (DRG) personnel of the Chhattisgarh Police killed at least 15 Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres in an encounter in a forested area between Golapalli and Konta, near Nalkatong village in Sukma District. Chhattisgarh, on August 6, 2018. Special Director General (SDG), anti-Naxal[Left Wing Extremism, LWE] Operations, Durgesh Madhav Awasthi, confirmed that a ‘militia platoon commander’, identified as Vanjam Hunga, was among those killed, while the identities of rest of the deceased Maoists were yet to be ascertained. Four Maoists, including a woman, were also arrested during the operation. Of the three male Maoist cadres arrested, one Madkami Deva is an ‘area committee member’ and carried a bounty of INR 500,000. The identities of the other three, including the woman cadre, were yet to be ascertained. The slain and arrested Maoists belonged to three separate militia formations–the Gompad militia, Balatong militia and Belponcha militia –which are active in the Konta, Golapalli, and Bhejji areas in Sukma.
Deep State Driven Democracy
The efforts of the military to steer the elections against PML-N and PPP, the two most popular political formations in Pakistan, and in favour of a possible coalition led by Imran Khan's PTI and including a range of radical Islamist formations, has enormously destabilised both the political and extremist landscape across the country. Under the prevailing situation, a dramatic rise in violence is not unexpected.
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