On May 25, 2021, Islamabad-based journalist and blogger Asad Ali Toor was attacked in the federal capital city of Islamabad. Initial reports indicated that unidentified assailants broke into his house and physically assaulted the journalist. In 2020, Toor was booked on charges of spreading “negative propaganda” against the state and its institutions, including the Pakistan Army, through his social media posts.
The tendency towards authoritarianism, the flagrant disregard for painstakingly agreed rules and conventions of international order, the denigration of human rights across wide and dispersed geographies, and the seeming inability of those tasked with preventing these to do so has meant that events such as the hijacking of international aircraft by the State and the killing of dissidents on foreign shores, to name just a few, have today begun to appear commonplace.
Only the harshest and most forceful terms would be fitting to describe terrorist attacks that specifically target children, no matter in which part of the world.
Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi is slated to travel to Bangladesh on 26 March for what will be his second visit as PM to the neighbouring country. Modi’s first visit to Dhaka in June 2015 had, by all accounts, been a very successful one. The two countries had signed as many as 22 agreements, and followed that up with the exchange in August 2015 of 162 land enclaves. This addressed a long overdue process of land and population exchanges that had been hanging fire since the 1950s. The 2015 visit had paved the way for closer strategic ties between the two countries. As productive as that visit was, the forthcoming one promises to better it owing to a variety of factors.
On February 23, 2021, a total of 1,040 militants surrendered before Assam Chief Minister (CM) Sarbananda Sonowal. Prominent among these were the ‘chairman’ of the People's Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), Ingti Kathar Songbijit; ‘chairman’ of the Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), P. Dilli; and ‘commander-in-chief’ of the Donri Kramsa-led faction of Karbi People's Liberation Tiger (KPLT), S. J. Ejang.
It is too often the case in the modern world that the voices of the suppressed, especially those from numerically smaller groups, get lost in the vast hollows of apathy and self-interest that seem to have consumed the conscience of powerful nations.
On January 10, 2021, two cadres of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a splinter group of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), were arrested by Security Forces (SFs) in the Lowahatu Forest area under Taibo Police Station limits in the West Singhbhum District. SFs recovered a country-made gun, a cycle, a battery charger, a wireless set, 10 mobiles and Naxal [Left Wing Extremism, LWE] literature, among other items, from their possession.
On January 3, 2021, Islamic State (IS) militants killed 11 coal miners and injured four in the Mach area of Kachi District of Balochistan. The victims belonged to the Shia Hazara minority community.
On December 29, 2020, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed a civilian near Tumdikasa village under Manpur Police Station limits in Rajnandgaon District. The Maoists left a pamphlet near his body, which accused the victim of being a ‘Police informer’.
Results for 278 of the 280 District Development Council (DDC) seats, which went to poll between November 28, 2020, and December 19, 2020, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) were declared on December 22, 2020. The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of five Kashmiri political parties, won 110 seats, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 75 seats; Independent, 50 seats; Indian National Congress, 26 seats; Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP), 12 seats; Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party and Peoples Democratic Front, two seats each and Bahujan Samajwadi Party, one seat.
On December 15, 2020, former All Bodo Student’s Union President, Promod Bodo, of the United Peoples’ Party Liberal (UPPL), took oath as the new the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of Bodoland Territorial Council/Bodoland Territorial Region (BTC/BTR). Former National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militant leader, Gobinda Chandra Basumatary, also of the UPPL, was sworn in as deputy CEM.
Yesterday marked twelve years of the 26 November 2008 (26/11) Mumbai terrorist attacks that had shocked and shaken the world. The 26/11 attacks were among the most brazen, audacious and gruesome acts of terror ever witnessed. Ten terrorists belonging to the Pakistan-based-and-backed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), egged on by a cocktail of handlers comprising their LeT bosses and serving officers of the Pakistani Army operating out of a control room in Karachi, unleashed burst after burst of gunfire and explosions at several different locations in downtown Mumbai. The terrorists finally besieged a high-end hotel and held hundreds of hostages there for three days. Over those three days the terrorists went from room to room, indiscriminately killing whoever they could find. At the end of the nightmare, 166 innocent people had died, as had 9 of the attackers, and more than 300 people were wounded. Among those killed and injured were nationals of countries such as the United States (US) and Israel.
Pakistan’s biggest single drug haul of 2020 was made on November 12 in the Pasni coast area of Gwadar District of Balochistan, when the Pakistan Coast Guards (PCG) confiscated 751 kilograms of methamphetamine and heroin, worth an estimated PKR 20 billion in the international market.
Do we live or do we die? Should we laugh or should we cry? The dilemma in the mind of a common Kashmiri exists for thirty years.