U.S. Issues Terror Warning for Pakistan; Taliban Take Key District in Helmand; Indian Finance Minister Sues Delhi Chief Minister

Pakistan Bonus Read: “Assistants of terror: How women raise funds for Da’ish in Karachi,” by Faraz Khan (ET) U.S. issues terror warning for Pakistan On Saturday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement warning of terrorist attacks in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad over the Christmas and New Year holiday (AP, Fox, VoA). The warning ...

KARACHI, PAKISTAN:  Pakistani paramilitary soldiers and policemen stand alert outside the US consulate in Karachi, 08 September 2004, after Karachi police received a telephone call warning a bomb was planted in the consulate.  Pakistani authorities stepped up security in the city a few days ahead of the third anniversary of September 11 terror attacks on the US.    AFP PHOTO/ Aamir QURESHI  (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
KARACHI, PAKISTAN: Pakistani paramilitary soldiers and policemen stand alert outside the US consulate in Karachi, 08 September 2004, after Karachi police received a telephone call warning a bomb was planted in the consulate. Pakistani authorities stepped up security in the city a few days ahead of the third anniversary of September 11 terror attacks on the US. AFP PHOTO/ Aamir QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
KARACHI, PAKISTAN: Pakistani paramilitary soldiers and policemen stand alert outside the US consulate in Karachi, 08 September 2004, after Karachi police received a telephone call warning a bomb was planted in the consulate. Pakistani authorities stepped up security in the city a few days ahead of the third anniversary of September 11 terror attacks on the US. AFP PHOTO/ Aamir QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan

Pakistan

Bonus Read: “Assistants of terror: How women raise funds for Da’ish in Karachi,” by Faraz Khan (ET)

U.S. issues terror warning for Pakistan

On Saturday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement warning of terrorist attacks in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad over the Christmas and New Year holiday (AP, Fox, VoA). The warning noted: “possible targets include places of worship and shopping centers.” A Pakistani intelligence official said that while there was a “general threat perception” there were no specific threats. The State Department issued a previous warning regarding travel to Pakistan in August.

Malaysia considers purchasing Pakistan’s JF-17 fighter

On Sunday, a top Malaysian official commented that Malaysia is considering purchasing JF-17 fighter jets from Pakistan (ET, Business Standard). High Commissioner of Malaysia to Pakistan Dato Dr Hasrul Sani bin Mujtabar told media outlets: “This [JF-17] jet fighter is considered an excellent production of Pakistan in the defence sector and decision about the number [of purchases] would be taken very soon by the Malaysian government.” The JF-17 fighter is jointly produced by China and Pakistan.

Afghanistan

Bonus Read: “ISIS Building ‘Little Nests’ in Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Warns,” by Michael Gordon (NYT)

Taliban take key district in Helmand

Taliban forces have taken control of most of the key Sangin district in Helmand province, according to reports on Monday (CNN, BBC). Police Commander Mohammad Dawood told the BBC: “The bazaar is closed; we have been surrounded for the past two days.” He added: “We only have the police HQ under our control and have a battalion of the national army with us. The district office and the intelligence directorate are under enemy control.” Deputy Governor Mohammad Jan Rasoulyar warned in an earlier open letter on Facebook that Helmand could fall writing: “Helmand will collapse to the enemies and it’s not like Kunduz, where we could launch an operation from the airport to retake it. That is just impossible and a dream.”

American killed in Kabul

According to Afghan officials a dual U.S.-Afghan citizen, Lisa Akbari, was shot and killed in Kabul on Sunday evening (NBC, TOLO News). On Monday, the U.S. embassy confirmed Akbari’s death, but did not confirm details regarding the incident. A suspect in the shooting has been taken into custody. Akbari was an aid worker and U.S. Army veteran who lived in the Karte Char area of Kabul for three years.

— David Sterman

India

Bonus Read: “Gandhi Family Vows to Fight Corruption Case Filed by Political Rival” by Ellen Barry (WSJ)

Indian finance minister sues Delhi chief minister

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a defamation suit on Monday against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for accusing him of corruption (BBC, The Hindu). Kejriwal recently alleged that “financial irregularities” took place under Jaitley’s watch when he served as the head of the Delhi and District Cricket Association, the capital territory’s cricket governing authority. Jaitley’s civil defamation suit also included five other leaders from Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was founded on an anti-corruption platform. The dispute between the two prominent politicians started last week, when the Central Bureau of Investigation raided Kejriwal’s office as part of a corruption investigation into another AAP leader. Kejriwal and the AAP accused the government of orchestrating the raid for political gain.

Indians protest release of Delhi gang rapist

The youngest convict in a highly-publicized 2012 fatal gang rape case in Delhi was released on Sunday, triggering protests and an outcry of opposition (FT, BBC). The convict was a minor at the time of the crime and was thus given the maximum sentence of three years allowed under India’s Juvenile Justice Act in August 2013. The four other convicts in the case have been sentenced to death for the crime, but the youngest convict was tried as a minor, as he was 17 years old at the time. “Crime has won and we have been defeated,” the victim’s mother, Asha Devi, said on Friday, after the Delhi High Court announced that it had no legal grounds on which to delay the release. “Despite all our efforts, a criminal will walk free. We were assured that we would get justice but that has not been delivered.” The brutal crime and the subsequent lenient sentence for the minor set off a public debate about how the country’s juvenile justice laws are written and implemented, but reforms have stalled.

Government introduces bankruptcy bill in parliament

India’s government introduced a bill in parliament on Monday that would overhaul the country’s bankruptcy system (Reuters, FT). India’s current bankruptcy system consists of competing, inconsistent laws and unclear jurisdictions for dealing with insolvent companies. This byzantine system is frequently cited as a deterrent for foreign and domestic investors, as it makes exiting business ventures much more cumbersome. If passed, the reform bill would introduce a uniform bankruptcy code and deadlines for processing insolvency cases, which would greatly speed up the resolution of cases.

— Udit Banerjea

Edited by Peter Bergen

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

David Sterman is a program associate at New America and Assistant Editor of the South Asia Channel. He tweets at @DSterms Twitter: @Dsterms

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