Targeting the Future

Tushar Ranjan Mohanty Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

At least nine persons, including six students, were killed and 37 were injured when Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists attacked the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), on December 1, 2017. At least four attackers wearing suicide jackets under burqas (veils) reached the compound in a rickshaw. Their first target was the security guard, after which they headed inside towards the ATI students' hostel. Two soldiers were also injured in the rescue operation. A cache of arms and ammunition, including three suicide jackets, 20 hand grenades, AK-47 rifles and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered from the incident site. According to reports, about 120 college residents, out of a total of nearly 400, were present at the time of the attack. Most of the others had gone home for a long holiday weekend.

Balochistan: Ethnic Carnage

Five bullet-riddled bodies of ethnic Punjabis were recovered by Levies Force personnel in the Tajaban area of Turbat tehsil (revenue unit) in the Kech District of Balochistan on November 18, 2017. The Levies Force disclosed that all the victims had received multiple bullet injuries and belonged to the Gujrat District of Punjab.

War without End

On November 16, 2017, Police raided a house at Nawduli village in the Naogaon District (in Northern Bangladesh) and arrested five cadres of the Neo-Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo-JMB). Police recovered two foreign-made pistols, 13 rounds, electronic devices, explosives and grenade making materials from their possession.

Progress on an Unfinished Agenda

On October 30, 2017, the three-day debate on the Interim Report of the Steering Committee set up under the Constitutional Assembly (CA) began in Parliament. The debate was supposed to conclude on November 1. However, due to demands from a large number of Members of Parliament (MPs) for additional time to express their views, Chairman of the CA, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya decided on November 2, 2017, to continue the debate on November 2 and November 8.

PAKISTAN-USA: Drone Strikes Escalate

On October 17, 2017, at least 11 suspected terrorists were killed when two United States (US) drones fired six missiles on their hideouts in the mountainous region of the Kurram Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

J&K: Embryonic Investigations
On October 17, 2017, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in Delhi extended tillNovember 15, 2017, the judicial custody of seven Kashmiri separatists arrested on July 24, 2017, in connection with the NIA case for funding terrorist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). These arrested separatists included Altaf Ahmad Shah Funtoosh Geelani, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah aka Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Khan and Farooq Ahmad Dar aka Bitta Karate. Farooq Ahmad Dar was arrested in New Delhi and the other accused persons were arrested from Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K. Altaf Ahmad Shah Funtoosh Geelani is the son-in-law of All Parties Hurriyat Conference-Geelani (APHC-G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Aftab Hilali Shah is a close aide of APHC-Mirwaiz (APHC-M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Ayaz Akbar Khandey is the spokesperson for the APHC-G.
Sectarian Spite
At least 20 persons were killed and more than 30 injured on October 5, 2017, when a suicide bomber struck outside the Dargah (Sufi shrine) of Pir Rakhyal Shah in the Gandawa area of Fatehpur, a small town in the Jhal Magsi District of Balochistan. The deceased included at least three children. Four of the injured people died later, two each on October 6 and October 7, raising the death toll to 24.
Chhattisgarh: Insecure in Sukma
On September 21, 2017, Security Forces (SFs) killed an 'area commander' of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), identified as Podiyam Bheema, during an encounter in the forests between Pidmel and Palamdgu villages under Polampalli Police Station limits in Sukma District. SFs later recovered the dead body of the slain Maoist along with three country-made firearms, explosives and other materials. The slain Maoist was handling operations in at least 10 villages in the area.
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