The South Asia Channel
Gun Battle, Car Bomb in Kabul; Bomb Scare Grounds Turkish Flight in Delhi; Bhutto’s Security Blames Her Actions For Her Death
Afghanistan Gun battle at NDS, NATO convoy hit by car bomb On Tuesday, several gunmen stormed the installation in Kabul that houses Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) (Pajhwok). The battle against the militants is ongoing, and no group has claimed responsibility yet. Just one hour prior to the NDS attack, a ...
Gun battle at NDS, NATO convoy hit by car bomb
On Tuesday, several gunmen stormed the installation in Kabul that houses Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) (Pajhwok). The battle against the militants is ongoing, and no group has claimed responsibility yet.
Just one hour prior to the NDS attack, a NATO convoy in Kabul was struck by a suicide car bomb as it neared the house of Pacha Khan Zadran, a former member of the Afghan Parliament (NYT, RFE/RL). No troops were killed and four civilians were injured. It was the second bombing to target a NATO convoy in the past week. The Taliban claimed credit for the both attacks.
Travel ban issued for Kabul Bank defaulters
The attorney general issued a travel ban on Monday for 155 individuals who have defaulted on their Kabul Bank debt and froze their assets (TOLO News, Pajhwok). The seized property is expected to be auctioned off following a court order. Scandal hit the Kabul Bank when it was discovered in 2009 that $987 million had been embezzled. The government has recovered $279 million from around two dozen defaulters and an additional $158 million from selling seized assets.
New textbooks for Afghanistan
Minister of Education Asadullah Hanif Balkhi on Tuesday signed a contract for 16 million new textbooks with three foreign companies to be delivered in four months (Pajhwok). The 16 million books together with 3 million more books funded by the World Bank are for primary, intermediate, and secondary schools across the country. One of the printing companies is in Vietnam while the remainder are in India. Denmark is providing $5.5 million in financial assistance to pay for the printing.
Turkish Airlines flight ground in New Delhi after bomb scare
A Turkish Airlines flight TK65, traveling from Bangkok to Istanbul, was forced to make an emergency landing at the New Delhi airport on Tuesday after a warning of a bomb was found in its lavatory (NDTV, Reuters, HT). A crew member noticed “bomb in cargo hold” written on the mirror of aircraft’s lavatory using lipstick. Indian National Security Guard commandos were rushed to the Indira Gandhi International airport and 148 passengers on board were evacuated. Passengers and crew are now being investigated. A security sweep of the aircraft was underway at an isolated bay of the airport. “Initial checks ruled out any threat. Flight operations are normal at Delhi airport,” an airport source said. The baggage of the passengers was being checked.
Woman claims she was set on fire for not paying a bribe
A 40-year-old woman Neetu Dwivedi in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has died after alleging she was set on fire by two policemen after she refused to pay a bribe (BBC). Dwivedi told a magistrate before her death that the policemen asked her for 100,000 rupees ($1,578). She had gone to the police station to free her husband, who had been detained for questioning in a crime. The accused policemen deny the charge and say she tried to immolate herself. The policemen have been suspended and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered an inquiry into the case.The incident took place on Monday in Barabanki town where in her dying declaration before a magistrate and reporters, she alleged that she was abused and humiliated by her attackers when she refused to pay the bribe.
Russian official says India and Pakistan not joining SCO this year
A top Russian official said on Tuesday that India and Pakistan will have to wait till next year to get full membership of the security and economic grouping the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) (PTI). “India and Pakistan are not joining the SCO tomorrow. The process of engaging them is beginning,” Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov. Earlier on Monday a senior Chinese diplomat confirmed that Pakistan and India will start the process of joining the security bloc led by China and Russia at the summit later this week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are also expected to meet on the sidelines of the summit.
Benazir Bhutto’s security agent blames her actions for her death
In the special Anti-Terrorism Court hearing the murder case of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Tuesday, the man in charge of her security, retired Major Imtiaz Hussain, testified that Bhutto could have survived if not for her own actions (ET). Hussain said under cross-examination that Bhutto opened the sunroof of her bulletproof car while at a political rally in order to wave to supporters. Once Bhutto emerged from the vehicle, gunshots rang out and a bomb detonated. All of Hussain’s prior statements blamed inadequate security at the park where the rally was held for her death. Bhutto was assassinated on Dec. 27, 2007.
NAB submits accounting to Supreme Court
On Tuesday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) submitted a report to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the case against the NAB for inefficiency and poor performance (Dawn). The report gave details on 150 mega corruption cases that the NAB is investigating, including 22 cases of monitory irregularities, 29 cases of land scams, and 20 cases of abuse of power. The court criticized the report for not containing details on when applications were filed against individuals and when the claims were verified.
–Courtney Schuster and Shuja Malik
Edited by Peter Bergen
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images