The South Asia Channel
Terrorist Attacks In Pakistan on the Decline; Saudi Diplomat Accused of Rape in Delhi; Security Scanners at Kabul Gates
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Terrorist attacks in Pakistan on the decline
According to the Washington Post, major terrorist attacks in Pakistan have declined by 70 percent over the last nine months (Post). In the first eight months of 2015, 680 civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks, compared with 1,194 during the same period in 2014 and 2,246 in 2013, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal. Bonus read: “The Sectarian Dilemma in Pakistan,” (South Asia)
Journalist killed in Karachi
Pakistani journalist Aftab Alam was shot by gunmen near his home in Karachi on Wednesday (ET, Dawn). Alam, 42, later died at the hospital. He was unemployed for over a year due to health issues but had previously worked for Geo News. This is the second attack on Geo News journalists in as many days. Yesterday, satellite engineer Arshad Ali Jafri was gunned down in an attack on the channel’s satellite news van in Karachi. The identities of the gunmen in both attacks are not known.
Sharif discusses madrassa reform
On Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with representatives from top religious seminaries to discuss reforming the madrassa school system as part of the National Action Plan — the government’s 20 point counterterrorism plan (VOA). Reforms are to be introduced in the madrassas’ curriculum, registration, and funding process. A statement issued by the prime minister’s office on Tuesday said scholars have pledged “unconditional support to the National Action Plan and they were ready to extend any cooperation to the government in this regard.”
Saudi diplomat accused of rape in Delhi
Police in the Indian capital Delhi have started an investigation of a Saudi diplomat who is accused of raping two Nepali maids at his house (BBC, Reuters, NYT). The women, aged, 30 and 50, were allegedly rescued from the house in suburban Delhi on Monday after a women’s rights organization informed the authorities. The women say they were brought from Nepal with promises of employment and then sold to the Saudi diplomat, who held them as captives for several months. Delhi police has filed a report against the diplomat without naming him, arguing that the official has diplomatic immunity. The Saudi embassy has denied the charges.
More than 1,000 Islamic scholars condemn the Islamic State
On Wednesday, a senior Muslim cleric in India announced that more than 1,000 Islamic scholars in the country had ratified a fatwa (religious ruling) that condemns the Islamic State and considers the group’s actions as “un-Islamic” (WP, NYT, FirstPost). The edict was issued by a leading Mumbai-based cleric, Mohammed Manzar Hasan Ashrafi Misbahi, and has been signed by the leaders of all the main mosques in India, which has the world’s third-largest Muslim population. Indian authorities have prevented nearly 25 Indians from joining the Islamic State in the past few months, and officials say they have evidence that 17 Indians have joined the Islamic State.
Seven Indian citizens missing after Saudi attack in Yemen
Seven Indian citizens are reportedly missing in Yemen after Saudi warplanes bombed two boats carrying 20 Indian crew members (BBC, NYT). Yemeni coast guard officials confirmed the attack saying five boats were targeted as suspected Houthi rebel fighters, a claim the rebels have denied. The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters that 13 Indian citizens were confirmed to be alive after the attack but could not provide any details about the identities of the twenty crew members.
Security scanners at Kabul gates
On Tuesday, the National Security Council announced that four gates to Kabul would be equipped with security scanners to ensure the capital’s security (Pajhwok). The scanners, which will be provided by China within a month, will help security forces detect dangerous objects in vehicles. Chinese engineers will help and train Afghan security officers properly install and use the scanners.
Two-day operation leaves 51 Taliban dead
In the southeastern province of Paktika, 51 Taliban and six Afghan security personnel have been killed and 80 militants wounded during a two-day operation to recapture police checkpoints (Pajhwok). The Taliban attacked checkpoints in the province late on Tuesday, capturing six police checkpoints in the Goshta area of Wazikhwa district.
— Courtney Schuster and Shuja Malik
Edited by Peter Bergen