Daily brief: Indian police issue shoot-on-sight orders in Kashmir

Event notice: Peter Bergen, Maj. Michael Waltz, and Shuja Nawaz will be discussing the Battle for Afghanistan and Pakistan today at 12:15pm EST in DC. Details and RSVP available here (NAF). Flashpoint The death toll from yesterday’s clashes between Kashmiri protesters and Indian security forces has risen as high as 19, and in an attempt ...

SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images
SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images
SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images

Event notice: Peter Bergen, Maj. Michael Waltz, and Shuja Nawaz will be discussing the Battle for Afghanistan and Pakistan today at 12:15pm EST in DC. Details and RSVP available here (NAF).

Flashpoint

The death toll from yesterday's clashes between Kashmiri protesters and Indian security forces has risen as high as 19, and in an attempt to prevent another round of violent demonstrations, Indian police reportedly drove through the main towns in the valley announcing that curfew violators would be shot on sight (AP, Dawn, Hindu, BBC, The News, CNN, AJE, Independent). The Iranian television station that broadcast images of a book alleged to be the Quran being desecrated in the United States, which contributed to the latest round of protests, has been banned in Kashmir (Guardian, NYT, NDTV, Hindu). Yesterday, two Christian schools and 12 government buildings were set on fire by demonstrators; overnight, protesters set fire to a police vehicle southwest of the main town of Srinagar; and earlier today, street protests continues in towns across Kashmir, and thousands more Indian police were deployed (Post, Dawn/AP, AP, Reuters). Several were wounded when Indian security forces reportedly fired on crowds of protesters, and some three dozen people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

Event notice: Peter Bergen, Maj. Michael Waltz, and Shuja Nawaz will be discussing the Battle for Afghanistan and Pakistan today at 12:15pm EST in DC. Details and RSVP available here (NAF).

Flashpoint

The death toll from yesterday’s clashes between Kashmiri protesters and Indian security forces has risen as high as 19, and in an attempt to prevent another round of violent demonstrations, Indian police reportedly drove through the main towns in the valley announcing that curfew violators would be shot on sight (AP, Dawn, Hindu, BBC, The News, CNN, AJE, Independent). The Iranian television station that broadcast images of a book alleged to be the Quran being desecrated in the United States, which contributed to the latest round of protests, has been banned in Kashmir (Guardian, NYT, NDTV, Hindu). Yesterday, two Christian schools and 12 government buildings were set on fire by demonstrators; overnight, protesters set fire to a police vehicle southwest of the main town of Srinagar; and earlier today, street protests continues in towns across Kashmir, and thousands more Indian police were deployed (Post, Dawn/AP, AP, Reuters). Several were wounded when Indian security forces reportedly fired on crowds of protesters, and some three dozen people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

Indian authorities have put off making a decision about whether to change the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, an unpopular law which currently gives Indian security forces broad leeway to carry out operations in Kashmir and shields them from liability (WSJ, Hindustan Times, FT, The News, Hindu).

Barraged

In the tenth reported U.S. drone strike so far this month, around 10 alleged militants were killed earlier this morning in North Waziristan (AP, Pajhwok, Geo, AFP). In the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, authorities have again delayed the trial of Sufi Muhammad, the leader of the TNSM militant group, because of a lack of evidence from the prosecutors (Daily Times). He faces charges of sedition, encouraging terrorism, and conspiring against the state. In Karachi, as many as five people were killed in clashes between rival political groups (Dawn, ET, Geo).

Flood watch: Serious flooding continues in the southern Pakistani province of
Sindh, where Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited a relief camp yesterday (ET, Reuters, Dawn, Dawn). Gen. Kayani also visited Baluchistan, which is reportedly hosting at least 600,000 refugees from flooded areas of Sindh (The News). Iran announced over the weekend that it has allocated $100 million of humanitarian aid for Pakistani flood victims (ET). The flooding has forced the Pakistani military to change some of its plans for offensive actions against militants in the northwest, particularly in the Swat Valley (NYT).

Ballots or bullets?

Fourteen percent of Afghanistan’s polling stations will not be opened on election day this Saturday because of security concerns, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered tightened security across the country (AFP, Pajhwok). The Taliban have continued to target campaign workers, wounding three in the northern province of Balkh yesterday (Tolo). U.N. envoy to Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura said that some members of the insurgency are making overtures toward the political process, though analysts and observers are skeptical (Post). Bonus read: Thomas Ruttig on Afghanistan’s elections (FP).

NATO has reportedly contracted for $300 million with three Afghan companies owned by women to provide boots and clothing to Afghan soldiers, in keeping with new alliance guidelines stipulating that NATO should first seek Afghan companies for contracts (Post, AFP). NATO has issued 63 percent of its contracts this fiscal year to Afghan companies.

Over the next two months, British soldiers will be pulling out of Sangin, a town in Helmand where almost one third of British troops were killed in Afghanistan, and turning responsibility for security over to U.S. forces (WSJ). Britain will also send another 189 troops to staff NATO headquarters in Kabul, a separate deployment from its involvement in Helmand (Times). British Ministry of Defense officials, according to the Guardian, have refused to disclose whether any individuals have been killed in British military custody in Afghanistan, causing concern that some may have died during interrogations (Guardian).

On the ball

The Independent profiles the aspiring Kashmiri football player Basharat Bashir, a 19 year old whose father’s onetime involvement with anti-India militants in Kashmir slowed the issuing of Bashir’s passport (Independent). Bashir, a fan of Man U and Cristiano Ronaldo, is looking for opportunities with Brazilian clubs.

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