Pakistani Taliban Commander Vows More School Shootings; Chinese Tycoon to Develop $10 Billion Indian Project; Taliban to Send Members to Conflict Resolution Summit in Qatar; Nepalese Police Kill Three Madhesi Protesters

Pakistan Bonus read: “Pakistan attack raises tough question: should teachers shoot back?” by Jibran Ahmed and Tommy Wilkes” (Reuters) Pakistani Taliban commander vows more school shootings in video A Umar Mansoor, senior Taliban commander, released video footage on Friday of four fighters he said carried out Wednesday’s attack on Bacha Khan University in the the ...

Pakistani policemen stand guard outside Bacha Khan university a day after an attack by militants in Charsadda, about 50 kilometres from Peshawar, on January 21, 2016.  Pakistan observed a day of national mourning for the 21 people killed when heavily-armed gunmen stormed a university in the troubled northwest, exposing the failings in a national crackdown on extremism. AFP PHOTO / Aamir QURESHI / AFP / AAMIR QURESHI        (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani policemen stand guard outside Bacha Khan university a day after an attack by militants in Charsadda, about 50 kilometres from Peshawar, on January 21, 2016. Pakistan observed a day of national mourning for the 21 people killed when heavily-armed gunmen stormed a university in the troubled northwest, exposing the failings in a national crackdown on extremism. AFP PHOTO / Aamir QURESHI / AFP / AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani policemen stand guard outside Bacha Khan university a day after an attack by militants in Charsadda, about 50 kilometres from Peshawar, on January 21, 2016. Pakistan observed a day of national mourning for the 21 people killed when heavily-armed gunmen stormed a university in the troubled northwest, exposing the failings in a national crackdown on extremism. AFP PHOTO / Aamir QURESHI / AFP / AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan

Bonus read: “Pakistan attack raises tough question: should teachers shoot back?” by Jibran Ahmed and Tommy Wilkes” (Reuters)

Pakistani Taliban commander vows more school shootings in video

Pakistan

Bonus read: “Pakistan attack raises tough question: should teachers shoot back?” by Jibran Ahmed and Tommy Wilkes” (Reuters)

Pakistani Taliban commander vows more school shootings in video

A Umar Mansoor, senior Taliban commander, released video footage on Friday of four fighters he said carried out Wednesday’s attack on Bacha Khan University in the the Charsadda district of Peshawar and vowed more attacks in the future (Reuters). “Now we will not kill the soldier in his cantonment, the lawyer in the court, or the politician in parliament but in the places where they are prepared, the schools, the universities, the colleges that lay their foundation,” Mansoor said in the video. Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khorasani issued a written statement the evening of the attack disassociating the group from the school shooting and calling it un-Islamic. However, the same day, Umar Mansoor told Reuters that his militants had targeted the campus because it prepared students to join the government and army.

Armed Pakistani teacher hailed as hero after school shooting

A Pakistani chemistry teacher is being credited with saving the lives of several students during the terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University on Wednesday (Post, Dawn). Syed Hamid Husain pulled out his pistol during the attack and began firing at the gunmen as they approached his classroom, according to Agence France-Presse. Husain, who died in the gun battle, staved off the attackers for 15 minutes allowing several students to escape, according to his students.

–Alyssa Sims

India

Bonus Read: “How Severe is Inequality in India? We Just Don’t Know, Says Thomas Picketty,” by Raymond Zhong (WSJ)

Bonus Read: “India should seize its chance to shine,” (FT)

Chinese tycoon to develop $10 billion Indian project

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group announced on Friday its plans to invest $10 billion developing an industrial park in the northern state of Haryana in India (BloombergReuters). Wang Jianlin is the wealthiest person in China, and his Wanda Group is China’s largest commercial property developer. The first phase of the project, known as Wanda Industrial New City, will cover five square miles and house a wide variety of industries, including software, automobiles, and healthcare. If completed, the project would represent a significant victory for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to attract foreign capital to India, as the development would be the largest foreign direct investment in India to date.

Bomb blast in West Bengal kills two

Two people were killed in an explosion on Thursday in a house in the Birbhum district in the eastern state of West Bengal (NDTVHT). The two men, Hafizul and Tarik Hussain, were believed to be supporters of the Trinamool Congress, the ruling party in West Bengal, and the house belonged to a local Trinamool Congress leader. According to the local police superintendent, “the damage was caused when a large number of crude bombs exploded.” An initial investigation revealed no connection to terrorism, but the police are continuing to investigate the incident. According to the Hindustan Times, local villagers reported that “bombs, guns, and ammunition” were being stocked in the house prior to the explosion.

–Udit Banerjea

Afghanistan

Taliban to send members to conflict resolution summit in Qatar

The Taliban will send envoys from its political office to a gathering in Doha, Qatar, hosted by the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs crisis group. This meeting is not part of the official four-country peace process with the United States, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan that have held meetings in Kabul and Islamabad this month (ABCVoAPajhwok). According to the Taliban, the two-day conference that is to begin on Sunday, Jan. 24, is “purely for research purposes with academic debates.” There are conflicting reports as to the attendance of Afghan government officials.

Afghan women remain absent but insist on greater involvement in peace process

Afghan women have yet to participate in either of the quadrilateral peace talks – held in Kabul and Islamabad earlier this month – involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the United States. According to a recent report from Human Rights Watch, Afghan women have been absent from over 20 peace talks over the last 10-plus years (AP). A U.N. study shows that negotiations that include women are – across a variety of metrics – more sustainable, quicker, and cover more subjects. Yet, due to men controlling Afghan politics, the likelihood of change is in doubt. “The government has shown multiple times that it doesn’t really take women’s interests seriously enough,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Ahmad Shuja.

–Albert Ford

Nepal

Nepalese police kill three Madhesi protesters

Nepalese police fired on protesters in eastern Nepal on Thursday, killing three people (NYT). Protesters from the Madhesi ethnic group in southern Nepal have set up an unofficial blockade along the border with India since September of last year, blocking shipments of essential goods like fuel, food, medicine, and vaccines from India for the past several months. Many Madhesis are unhappy with Nepal’s new constitution, which they argue disproportionately favors other ethnic groups. Police forces have routinely clashed with the protesters in attempts to clear the blockade. The latest flare-up in violence occurred when some protesters attempted to attack a pro-constitution rally in the town of Rangeli, leading to a forceful police response.

–Udit Banerjea

Edited by Peter Bergen

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

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