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CrisisWatch Database

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Bangladesh

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Special anti-corruption court 19 March indicted Bangladesh National Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia on charges dating from her last term as PM 2001-2006, could see her jailed for life; Zia’s son and political heir Tarique Rehman, currently in self-exile in London, also indicted. Zia rejected charges as politically motivated, vowed to restart protests to oust Awami League (AL) govt, prompting fears of renewed political tensions, violence. Zia’s trial due to start 21 April. Continued violence surrounding ongoing non-party upazila (local body) elections amid opposition allegations of rigging by AL and its supporters; at least 7 killed, hundreds injured in violence during 3rd and 4th round voting and during campaigning. In 15 March speech to Supreme Court Bar Association Zia urged opposition groups to launch movement against AL’s “killer and repressive government”. Following BNP-allied candidates’ lead in 1st and 2nd rounds, AL-affiliated candidates took lead following 3rd and 4th rounds. In continuing war crimes cases against Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, prosecution in case against Jamaat leader Motiur Rahman Nizami 12 March reiterated demand for death penalty. Govt minister 14 March announced that Jamaat would be banned by June 2014 for its role in 1971 war crimes. ICT set April date for decision on contempt of court proceedings against UK journalist David Bergman for criticising tribunal’s procedural flaws and biases towards prosecution in blog posts.

Pakistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Militant attacks continued as talks between govt and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) revived: TTP 1 March announced month-long ceasefire; bombs targeting polio vaccination workers’ convoy killed 11 police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province same day; 3 March suicide attack on Islamabad court killed at least 11, injured 24, TTP splinter group Ahrar-ul-Hind claimed responsibility. Ahrar-ul-Hind bombing 14 March targeting Frontier Corps van in Quetta and market in Peshawar killed at least 18 civilians. Reconstituted govt negotiating team met TTP committee 14 March in FATA: TTP demanded release of 300 non-combatants, creation of free travel “peace zone” in S Waziristan. Govt and TTP held direct talks in N Waziristan 26 March. TTP 30 March announced ceasefire extended beyond 31 March. Interior minister 2 March said govt will halt air strikes on terrorist hideouts; defence minister Khawaja Asif 7 March warned strikes will resume if insurgent attacks continue. Madrasa students in Sindh’s Larkana district 15 March burned Hindu temple after alleged act of blasphemy by Hindu community member. 10 March UN report called for independent investigations of drone attacks in Pakistan. Former President Musharraf formally indicted for high treason 31 March.

Nepal

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Constituent Assembly (CA) 21 March approved regulations paving way for constitution-drafting process. Leaders of Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-UML) and UCPN-Maoist 25 March agreed to form High-Level Political Committee to prepare new constitution; 27 March agreed on roadmap to facilitate constitution-writing process. CPN-UML 23 March decided to exert pressure on govt and Election Commission to hold local elections by mid-June.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Insurgent attacks continued ahead of 5 April presidential polls: Taliban 10 March threatened to “use all force” to disrupt polls, warned Afghans not to vote; official 12 March reported 3 campaign workers shot dead; Taliban 20 March attacked Serena hotel in Kabul, killed 9 including 1 international election observer; 2 foreign election observation missions pulled out staff. Taliban attack killed 11 police in Jalalabad 20 March. Taliban 25 March attacked Independent Election Commission (IEC) office in Kabul, killing 5, and IEC HQ 29 March; security forces killed at least 4 attackers. President Karzai announced support for former FM Zalmai Rassoul in elections after brother Qayum Karzai withdrew 6 March. Former Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak also pulled out 16 March. Karzai 12 March reiterated opposition to signing Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S. before elections, said country does not need troops. Govt 20 March released another 55 detainees from Bagram prison. 6 March NATO air strike accidently killed at least 5 Afghan soldiers, injured 8 in eastern Logar province. Anti-insurgency operations continued: 16 insurgents killed 14 March; govt 3 March said Taliban insurgents driven from strongholds in Helmand province.

Kashmir

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Protests erupted in Jammu and Kashmir after security forces killed teenager in Srinagar 14 March; govt imposed curfew, arrested separatist leaders including Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik. PM Sharif 24 March asked for U.S. assistance to settle Kashmir dispute in meeting with Sec State Kerry. Tensions over normalisation of bilateral trade ties continued. Security forces killed 3 suspected militants in Kathua following 28 March terror attack that killed 2.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

UN Human Rights Council (HRC) 27 March passed resolution with 23 yes votes (12 opposed, 3 abstained) criticising Sri Lanka govt for impunity for rights violations and lack of reconciliation; established investigation by OHCHR into alleged war crimes by govt and LTTE. Govt won easy victory in western and southern provincial council elections 29 March, though with reduced majorities; President Rajapaksa, other govt candidates used HRC process and threat of “international intervention” to win votes, sharply criticised Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for supporting HRC resolution. Govt launched military and police crackdown in N and E, alleging attempt to revive LTTE; increased pressure on human rights activists and NGOs, accused of propagating “false information” to tarnish govt’s image internationally. 6 activists arrested, others threatened mid-March; 2 activists held 48 hours under Prevention of Terrorism Act released 16 March following international outcry. Govt 7 March suspended excavation of mass grave outside Mannar following excavation of over 80 bodies.

Pakistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Govt 6 Feb restarted talks with militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP); talks suspended 17 Feb after TTP revealed 23 Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers held since 2010 executed. Govt 18 Feb set unconditional ceasefire as requirement for continuation of negotiations; TTP 21 Feb said prepared to talk if military operations end, 26 Feb fully rejected proposal. At least 100 killed, including civilians, in series of govt airstrikes targeting insurgent bases in N Waziristan and Khyber Agency 20-25 Feb. Senior army officer killed 18 Feb in TTP attack. Taliban leader Mawlawi Abdul Raqib assassinated 17 Feb in Peshawar. Sectarian violence continued: Shia scholar Haji Sardar Ali shot dead by TTP 4 Feb in Peshawar; 9 Shia killed, 50 injured by bomb in Peshawar 5 Feb; gunmen 10 Feb attacked Sufi religious gathering in Karachi, killed 8. Militant extremists 2 Feb issued ultimatum to minority Kalash “kafirs” threatening attacks if they do not convert to Islam. 8 killed in 16 Feb train bombing between Peshawar and Karachi, Baloch radicals claimed responsibility.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

PM Sheikh Hasina consolidated new govt following Jan re-election of her Awami League (AL) party; opposition street protests subsided, reflecting apparent loss of appetite domestically, international pressure on opposition BNP. Following its boycott of Jan elections, BNP decided to contest upazila (local body) polls, technically a non-party election; achieved significant lead over other parties in 1st and 2nd phase of polls 20, 27 Feb. Some violence during polls; 1 AL activist killed following clash between AI and BNP supporters in Chaugachla, 1 killed after police fired on Jamaat-e-Islami supporters in Sonaimuri. 2 main parties yet to enter into talks to improve relations despite international pressure; BNP top party committee passed resolution 6 Feb calling govt and 10th parliament illegal and unconstitutional. 30 Jan sentencing of 14 men, mostly with links to opposition parties, to death for involvement in 2004 arms smuggling case, further aggravated BNP-AL tensions. Audio tape purportedly from al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri mid-Feb called on Bangladesh’s Muslims to wage “intifada” and “massive public uprising in defence of Islam against enemies of Islam”; citing police action against May 2013 Islamist rally charged that “massacre of Muslims is being carried out”. AL MP 16 Feb accused BNP and ally Jamaat-e-Islami of maintaining ties to al-Qaeda; BNP strongly refuted, accusing govt of “suicidal ploy to divide the nation and the people for its own political interests”. Jamaat and Islamist umbrella group Hefajet-e-Islam also denied links to al-Qaeda. Cabinet 17 Feb approved 5-year extension of speedy trial bill, which has seen due process subverted in high-profile cases against Jamaat and its allies, aggravating tensions between the 2 main parties.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Presidential election campaign began 2 Feb, first televised debate held 4 Feb with 5 out of 11 candidates. Taliban 18 Feb attacked presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s convoy in Surobi, Kabul; 2 elections campaigners killed in Herat 1 Feb. Govt 13 Feb released 65 Bagram prison detainees despite U.S. objections; President Karzai accused U.S. of not respecting Afghan sovereignty. Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S. still unsigned; NATO Sec Gen 20 Feb said Karzai’s successor likely to sign deal. U.S. President Obama 25 Feb informed Karzai plans underway for full U.S. troop withdrawal by end 2014; NATO 27 Feb agreed to plan for all options, including full withdrawal. Hezb-i-Islami suicide bomb attack in Kabul killed 2 NATO contractors 10 Feb; 2 U.S. troops killed, 4 injured 12 Feb in attack in E Kapisa province. Roadside bomb 9 Feb killed 7 Afghan soldiers in Farah province. Taliban killed 21 Afghan soldiers, kidnapped 7 after storming army outpost in Kunar 24 Jan. Karzai 17 Feb ordered last-minute changes to domestic abuse law after pressure from Western, Afghan women’s rights activists.

Nepal

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

10 Feb elected Sushil Koirala of Nepali Congress (NC) new PM with 405 out of 601 votes after political parties failed to agree on consensus PM. Koirala 25 Feb formed cabinet, 10 members each from NC and main coalition partner Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-UML), latter awarded home and foreign ministries. CPN-UML’s Subash Chandra Nembang elected CA chair 18 Feb; appointment supported by NC.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

U.S. 1 Feb officially announced intention to table resolution at March UN HRC calling for Sri Lankan govt to “do more to promote reconciliation, democratic governance, justice and accountability”; resolution expected to call for international inquiry into war crimes allegations. EU Foreign Affairs Council 10 Feb confirmed support for accountability efforts, including independent investigation. UN OHCHR report to HRC 24 Feb called for “independent, international inquiry mechanism” into allegations of war crimes by govt and LTTE forces; govt rejected report as “unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state”. Senior govt delegation 19 Feb visited newly appointed South African special envoy to Sri Lanka in Pretoria to discuss reconciliation issues. Govt using HRC process to bolster support in western and southern provincial council elections scheduled for 29 March. Main opposition United National Party (UNP) 13 Feb announced support for domestic war crimes inquiry, criticised govt human rights and governance record. Over 80 bodies recovered in past 2 months from mass grave outside northern town Mannar.

Kashmir

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade resumed after Pakistan and India 12 Feb agreed to release stranded trucks and drivers, following 17 Jan detention of Pakistani truck driver for alleged drug smuggling. Indian trade minister cancelled planned attendance at India Trade Show in Lahore mid-Feb amid concerns about operationalisation of Jan trade pact to grant liberalised trade status by end-Feb. Protests broke out in Kupwara region after Indian army 24 Feb killed 7 civilians mistaken for rebels; strike in Kashmir Valley 28 Feb. 2 Hizbul Mujahideen Indian separatist group members killed 13 Feb in encounter with security forces in Sophian, S Kashmir.

Kashmir

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Tensions on Line of Control (LoC) lessened following Dec discussions between senior Indian and Pakistani military officials on restoring 2003 ceasefire, fewer clashes. Pakistan described as “provocative and regrettable” 13 Jan remarks of newly-appointed Indian army Chief General Bikram Singh admitting killing of 10 Pakistani soldiers in retaliatory fire across LoC in Dec, and warnings that India would retaliate in same way against further ceasefire violations. Gen Singh also ruled out withdrawing army from Indian-administered Kashmir or repealing controversial Armed Forces Special Power Act. Pakistani troops reportedly violated ceasefire 26 Jan; Indian troops did not retaliate. Pakistani and Indian commerce ministers 18 Jan agreed on measures including uninterrupted trade across Wagah/Attari border and more liberal visa policy for businessmen; Pakistan promised to grant India Non-Discriminatory Market Access by late Feb, instead of more controversial Most Favoured Nation status.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Taliban attack on restaurant in Kabul 17 Jan killed at least 21, including 13 foreigners, among them IMF country head and 4 UN staff members, in worst attack on foreign civilians since 2001. Taliban attacks continued: suicide bombers 4 Jan attacked NATO HQ in Shinwar district, killed 1; assault on NATO base outside Kandahar 20 Jan killed 1; suicide bomber detonated bomb next to police bus in Kabul 12 Jan, injuring 6 police. National Directorate of Security 8 Jan reportedly averted assassination attempt on deputy director, arrested 3 suspects. Internal political pressure on President Karzai to sign Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S. continued; tensions between U.S. and Afghanistan increased 25 Jan when Karzai said would not sign deal unless peace talks with Taliban restarted. Karzai 9 Jan defied U.S. by authorising release of 72 prisoners from former U.S.-run Bagram prison.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

U.S. Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp visited 6-11 Jan, travelled extensively in north; media reported Rapp promised TNA and other Tamil leaders that U.S. will introduce resolution at March UNHRC meeting calling for international investigation into alleged 2009 war crimes. Rapp and U.S. Ambassador Michele Sisson 9 Jan posted photo of school playground to Twitter, said “site of killing of hundreds of families by army shelling”; U.S. embassy confirmed post was official U.S. govt statement. Officials and pro-govt media reacted angrily but govt declined to protest remark officially. UK 16 Jan reiterated commitment to backing international investigation if govt fails to initiate credible and independent inquiry by March. Presidential secretary late-Jan travelled to Geneva and Washington to present reported progress in implementing recommendations of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). Over 50 skeletons recovered from mass grave discovered late Dec in Mannar district dating from late 1990s to 2004; contradictory reports over whether area under LTTE or Sri Lankan security forces control during period. No improvement in tense relations between Northern Provincial Council and central govt despite 4 Jan promise by President Rajapaksa to Northern Province chief minister to appoint new chief secretary to council. Radical Buddhist groups led by monks 12 Jan attacked at least 3 evangelical Christian churches in Hikkaduwa.

 

Nepal

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Newly elected Constituent Assembly (CA) members sworn in 21 Jan, 2 months after elections, amid sit-in protest by 3 dozen UCPN-Maoist MPs; party leaders 22 Jan vowed to draw up new constitution within year. Differences between Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) concerning new presidential elections resolved after Supreme Court 24 Jan ruled interim president could remain in place until constitution formation. Leading party NC started negotiations on power sharing and distributing key CA posts with runner-up in elections CPN-UML. President Yadav 26 Jan pressed political parties to form consensus govt in 7 days. Sushil Koirala seen as most likely next PM following appointment as NC leader 26 Jan. Supreme Court 3 Jan ruled serious human rights violations may not be covered by amnesties in future truth and reconciliation commission.

Pakistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Militant attacks intensified: 19 Jan suicide bomb attack on military convoy in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killed at least 20 soldiers and injured 30; suicide attack next to Pakistan's military HQ in Rawalpindi 20 Jan killed at least 14, including 7 soldiers; 3 polio vaccination workers killed in Karachi 21 Jan; at least 3 security personnel killed in Karachi 29 Jan. Awami National Party member killed 12 Jan in Peshawar; 6 killed in attempted attack on prominent PML-N member in Swat same day; senior Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf member shot dead in Lahore 11 Jan; senior counter-terrorism official killed in Taliban attack in Karachi 9 Jan. Growing pressure on PM Sharif to take action against Pakistani Taliban. Pakistani airstrikes in N Waziristan 20-21 Jan killed 40 including 4 Taliban leaders. Sharif 29 Jan reiterated commitment to initiate dialogue with Taliban. Sectarian violence continued in Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Gunmen 4 Jan killed 2 senior members of Sunni extremist group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat in Islamabad. 15-year-old killed 5 Jan in Hangu preventing suicide bomber’s attack on his school in Shia-majority neighbourhood; 29 Shia pilgrims killed 21 Jan after Lashkar-e-Jhangvi suicide bomber drove car with explosives into bus near Quetta; 3 Shias shot dead in Karachi same day in attack claimed by Sunni extremists.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Awami League (AL) govt held elections 5 Jan despite boycott by BNP, 18 small parties, sparking further political uncertainty. More than 20 killed in election day violence. Govt claimed voter turnout 48%, some media assessed only 22%, suggesting instances of fraud. 154 of 300 seats contested only by AL candidates. AL won 233 seats; parliamentary opposition to be led by Jatiya Party with 33 seats. BNP absent from parliament for first time since 1991. PM Sheikh Hasina 6 Jan announced crackdown on opposition unrest, but lifted restrictively heavy security around BNP leader Khaleda Zia’s house. Sporadic protests and deadly clashes between opposition supporters and police continued, including 3 killed in clashes with police in SE 26 Jan. Human Rights Watch criticised authorities’ use of excessive force, crackdown on opposition, extrajudicial killings by security forces of opposition supporters. Some reports suggesting Hindu minority being increasingly targeted by govt opponents. Court 30 Jan sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami president Motiur Rahman Nizami and 13 others to death for arms smuggling in 2004; Jamaat supporters staged protest following verdict.

Nepal

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Official results of 19 Nov elections for new Constituent Assembly (CA) 3 Dec: Nepali Congress Party (NCP) won largest share of CA seats (196 out of 601); Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) won 175 seats, United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) 80 seats. 8 major political parties reached deal 23 Dec to bring UCPN-M-led parties into CA. 4-point deal includes: parliamentary committee to investigate “questions raised” about CA election (response to UCPN-M and others alleging fraud); new constitution to be drafted in 6 months in spirit of Oct 2005 12-point agreement, Nov 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2007 Interim Constitution, promulgated in a year; high-level political mechanism to help complete peace process, constitution-writing; Truth and Reconciliation and Enforced Disappearances Commissions to be formed. CPN-UML 5 Dec formally demanded election of presidential and vice-presidential posts, NC said president’s term not negotiable under interim constitution. Splinter communist group Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) 17 Dec declared “12-point Agreement in 2005 and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2007 stand annulled”, said “new understanding” must be reached.

Bangladesh

  |  2 Jan 2014

Risk Alert

Tensions and violence intensifying amid continued political deadlock ahead of general election scheduled for 5 Jan, with opposition promising blockades until election day, violence bringing country to standstill. Bangladesh National Party (BNP)-led opposition 2 Dec announced it will boycott elections, continues calling for ruling Awami League (AL) to stand down and form neutral caretaker govt to supervise polls: blocked rail, road and waterways. BNP 18 Dec labelled 5 Jan polls “one-party elections”. Opposition boycott would mean 154 out of 300 seats could go uncontested. BNP head Khaleda Zia’s house surrounded by police 29 Dec; party vice chairman among BNP leaders arrested. AL-led alliance continued election process, 15 out of 40 registered parties 2 Dec filed nomination papers. AL-alliance suffered setback when coalition member Jatiya Party (JP) joined election boycott. Deadlock exacerbated by 12 Dec execution of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) leader Abdul Quader Mollah, convicted by International Crimes Tribunal for atrocities committed during 1971 liberation war. JeI supporters 12-15 Dec protested execution, enforced nationwide blockade, attacked houses of 4 AL ministers, clashed with police and AL supporters; at least 25 killed. More than 100 dead in political violence since BNP announced boycott.

Afghanistan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

President Karzai continued to refuse to sign Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S.; Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-e-Islami insurgent faction, said group would stop fighting if Karzai continues to refuse to sign. Several leading political figures, civil society groups urged Karzai to sign BSA quickly. Pakistan National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz 15 Dec said Taliban not ready for talks with Afghan High Peace Council, emphasised need for informal discussions. Leading presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah 14 Dec accused certain groups of stoking linguistic, ethnic and sectarian tensions. Security services 10 Dec said it had foiled 9 coordinated explosions in Kabul, detained 22 Haqqani militants. Hundreds protested 11 Dec in Kabul on “National Victims’ Day”, called for justice for war criminals, criticised NATO and U.S. forces for civilian deaths.

Kashmir

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Pakistan PM Sharif 3 Dec reportedly said failure to resolve Kashmir problem could trigger war “anytime”, PM’s office later denied statement; Indian PM Singh 5 Dec warned Pakistan would lose in event of war. Pakistani and Indian security forces meeting in Lahore agreed to reduce LoC ceasefire violations, boost joint security mechanisms.

Pakistan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Military officials refuted claims by residents that scores of civilians were killed in ongoing military operations in N Warizistan agency, launched after 18 Dec suicide attack on army checkpost; claimed some 30 militants, mostly Uzbeks, killed. Sectarian violence continued in Karachi, threatens to spread to Lahore: 15 killed 3 Dec, including deputy SG of Shia Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen and 3 members of Sunni Tableeghi Jamaat; Sunni extremist Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) Punjab head Shamsur Rehman Muawiya shot dead 6 Dec in Lahore; Tehreek Nifaz-e-Fiqa Jafria Shia organisation leader in Multan killed 15 Dec in Lahore. 4 killed by suicide bomber outside Shia mosque in Rawalpindi 18 Dec. 6 Dec Balochistan local elections boycotted by Baloch hardliners; predominately Pashtun Islamist Jamiat Uleme-e-Islam won largest number of votes, followed by independents. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry retired 11 Dec, succeeded by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani.

Sri Lanka

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Tensions between newly elected northern provincial council and central govt continued: no formal response from President Rajapaksa to council’s call for replacement of provincial governor Ret. Gen. Chandrasiri with civilian governor. Pro-govt thugs 10 Dec violently disrupted protest by families of disappeared in Trincomalee, NW. Harassment of Muslims continued: Buddhist nationalists resumed campaign to remove Muslim residents from Debanagala village; police mid-Dec visited 3 mosques, demanded they cease religious activities; 2 Muslim-owned shops in southern Galle district set alight 19 Dec; mosque in Colombo stoned 18 Dec. Govt 17 Dec announced possibility of truth and reconciliation commission but signs of resistance from high-level politicians. U.S. early Dec called for accountability; UK deputy PM Clegg 11 Dec called for truth commission. Inquiry launched into mass grave found in Mannar district, NE. French charity Action Against Hunger (ACF) accused security forces of killing 17 employees at office in Muttur in 2006, demanded international inquiry.

Pakistan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Mullah Fazlullah 7 Nov replaced Hakeemullah Mehsud, killed 1 Nov in U.S. drone strike, as head of Pakistani Taliban; Fazlullah vowed to launch strikes in Punjab, stronghold of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Govt condemned attack on Mehsud, lodged formal complaint with U.S. ambassador; Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) threatened to block NATO supplies transiting through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province in retaliation. PTI and KPK coalition partner Jamaati-i-Islami leaders and activists began Peshawar sit-in 23 Nov to block NATO supply trucks, disrupting domestic economic activity and Afghanistan-Pakistan trade. As part of anti-drone campaign PTI 27 Nov released name of alleged CIA chief in Pakistan, demanded he be tried. PM Sharif 27 Nov appointed Lt. Gen Raheel Sharif to replace army chief Kayani. Sectarian attacks in Karachi continued, including shooting of 5 Shias 5 Nov and killing of 7 Sunnis 6 Nov. Security operations to combat Karachi violence continued, Sindh police late Oct reported 6,840 suspected criminals arrested since start of operation on 7 Sept; 6 alleged militants killed 13 Nov in clash with police after 3 bombs targeting 2 Shia mosques injured 16. At least 9 killed 15 Nov in riots in Rawalpindi; incident also sparked sectarian violence in Punjab and KPK’s Kohat district 16-17 Nov.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Dec 2013

Deteriorated

Political crisis deepened. Awami League (AL) leader/PM Hasina formed “all-party” interim cabinet to supervise Jan 2014 elections, based on 19 Oct AL proposal to form joint election cabinet with opposition. Ministers submitted resignations 11 Nov, President Abdul Hamid 19 Nov swore in new 8-minister interim govt comprised entirely of pro-AL politicians after 19-party opposition led by Bangladesh National Party (BNP) refused to join, calling it “another version” of previous AL govt and continuing call for transfer of power to neutral caretaker govt ahead of elections. Opposition 4-7 Nov enforced 84-hour strike to protest new cabinet; clashes with AL-supporters and security forces left 2 dead, over 100 injured. Violence reignited 9 Nov after police arrested 5 senior BNP leaders for “instigating” attacks. Election Commission 26 Nov announced elections to be held 5 Jan, urged all parties to participate; 28 Nov said elections could be postponed if govt and opposition agree. Opposition rejected date, called for suspension of elections, 26-29 Nov held new strikes and demonstrations; 22 reported killed in unrest and clashes; 30 Nov started another 72-hour nationwide strike demanding postponement of elections. BNP leader Khaleda Zia 20 Nov requested President Hamid resolve political deadlock “within his constitutional limits”, said opposition would not participate in “one-sided election”. International Crimes Tribunal 7 Nov sentenced British Muslim leader Chowdhury Mueen Uddin to death in absentia for alleged 1971 war crimes; Uddin said trial “politically motivated”. Special court 4 Nov sentenced 152 ex-border guards to death for 2009 2-day mutiny over low wages; UN human rights chief Navi Pillay criticised trial for failure to meet international standards, said defendants were tortured.

Nepal

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Elections for new Constituent Assembly (CA) held 19 Nov with little violence, turnout close to 70%, after dissenting groups, including breakaway Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M), enforced shutdown days before polls but refrained from using violence or obstructing vote. Domestic and international monitors 21 Nov said elections “free and fair”. Near-complete results 28 Nov indicate lead for Nepali Congress and United Marxist Leninist (UML), unexpected major losses for Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), coming in distant third and for Madhesi parties. UCPN-M, Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Nepal and Federal Socialist Party 20-22 Nov claimed elections were rigged, boycotted counting. Parties did not present evidence but 27 Nov submitted request to Election Commission to probe irregularities. UCPN-M demanding constitutional amendment for consensus govt, NC and UML refuse. UML 26 Nov demanded parliament elect new president.

Kashmir

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Lull in Indian-Pakistani military exchanges across Line of Control (LoC). Indian military 22 Nov claimed Pakistani troops opened fire on Indian positions in Mendhar sector, Poonch district, 1 injured. Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif 23 Nov said India-Pakistan dialogue to resume after early 2014 Indian parliamentary elections. Indian Secretary of Commerce Arvind Mehta 15 Nov urged Pakistan to grant India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trading status. Unidentified militants 7 Nov killed 2 policemen in Avantipur, next to Srinagar; 16 Nov injured 5 soldiers in ambush on army convoy on Kupwara-Srinagar road.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Politicians, elders, scholars and other leading figures gathered 19-24 Nov for Loya Jirga (traditional council), endorsed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with U.S.; President Karzai 24 Nov said will not sign deal into law until after 5 April presidential polls, but later backtracked, leaving his intentions unclear. Karzai 28 Nov condemned NATO airstrike in Helmand province that reportedly killed child, said will not sign BSA if killings continue; NATO apologised 29 Nov. Insurgent attacks continued: uptick in explosions, suicide attacks to coincide with Loya Jirga including at least 6 killed 17 Nov in explosion in central Kabul. Intelligence services 7 Nov reportedly foiled suicide attack on senior govt official in Kabul. Security forces 3 Nov seized some 50 tonnes of explosives in Paktia province. Pakistan PM Sharif visited 30 Nov, discussed peace efforts, bilateral relations. Independent Electoral Complaints Commission 19 Nov said only one disqualified presidential candidate, Daud Siltanzoi, reinstated to final list.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) held 15-17 Nov in Colombo with lowest attendance on record, with only 27 of 53 heads of govt attending; Indian PM Singh 11 Nov announced decision to boycott summit; Canada and Mauritian PMs also chose not to attend, citing human rights concerns. International media coverage extremely negative, focused on Sri Lankan record of human rights abuses, intimidation of Sri Lankan activists, attempts to block Tamil protests. British PM Cameron 15 Nov visited Jaffna, met with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leaders, endorsed international investigation into alleged war crimes should Sri Lanka fail to complete credible and independent investigation by March 2014 UNHRC session. Chinese foreign ministry 18 Nov released statement asking govt to “make efforts to protect and promote human rights”. President Rajapaksa 17 Nov mooted truth commission after meeting with South African President Zuma during CHOGM; govt 26 Nov announced census to count civil war deaths. Northern Provincial Council 13 Nov passed resolution calling for replacement of provincial governor on grounds he is retired general.

Nepal

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Ahead of 19 Nov Constituent Assembly (CA) elections unidentified gunmen 4 Oct killed Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) candidate Mohammad Alam in Bara. Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) 2 Oct said “foreign power centres” caused Sept failure of talks to include CPN-M in elections; party vowed to “actively boycott” elections: 19 Oct enforced strike in 3 western districts, banned other parties from campaigning in Bardiya district. Party cadres engaged in numerous low-intensity clashes; 5 UCPN Maoist cadres seriously injured after 20 Oct clash with Nepali Congress cadre in Aathbiskot. Army deployed over 60,000 soldiers to maintain order during polls.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Newly-elected Tamil National Alliance (TNA)-controlled northern provincial council held first session 25 Oct. Some dissent within TNA over allocation of provincial ministers and decision of newly-elected chief minister Wigneswaran to take oaths of office before President Rajapaksa 7 Oct. Govt 21 Oct announced 2014 budget including increased defence spending to record $1.95bn. Militant Buddhist organisation Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) 22 Oct renewed campaign against “halal” meat as part of larger aim to counter threat of “muslim extremism”. UK parliament Foreign Affairs Committee mid-Oct criticised govt decision to back Sri Lanka’s hosting of Nov Commonwealth leaders’ meeting despite human rights concerns; Canada early Oct announced it will not attend in protest at govt human rights record, will review financial support for Commonwealth; India’s Tamil Nadu Assembly 24 Oct demanded Indian govt boycott meeting.

Kashmir

  |  1 Nov 2013

Deteriorated

Regular gun- and mortar fire exchanges between Pakistan and India despite late Sept agreement between leaders to stop attacks. India accused Pakistani troops of firing at over 50 Indian border posts 24 Oct in what it called most serious ceasefire violation in decade, killing 1 Indian soldier and injuring 6; claimed Pakistan shelled Indian military post in Uri sector of LoC 28 Oct, killing 1 soldier. Indian troops 4 Oct reportedly fired across LoC, killed infant, injured 5 civilians. Pakistan PM Sharif 10 Oct said normalised relations with India a priority, but finance minister same day said India’s Most Favoured Nation trading status to be suspended until May 2014 Indian parliamentary elections. Indian President Mukherjee 5 Oct accused Pakistan of exporting state-sponsored terrorism.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Independent Election Commission 22 Oct announced 16 of 27 presidential candidates disqualified. U.S. Sec State Kerry visited 11 Oct, discussed with President Karzai bilateral security agreement setting out plan for some U.S. troops to remain after 2014 NATO withdrawal; agreed remaining U.S. troops would not conduct unilateral operations, could not agree on immunity for U.S. soldiers. Foreign ministry 27 Oct urged Pakistan to facilitate direct talks with deputy Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, reportedly recently freed to encourage Afghan peace process; govt 29 Oct announced meeting with Baradar agreed during London talks. Senior Pakistani Taliban commander Latif Mehsud reportedly seized 12 Oct by U.S. forces in East. Logar province governor and close Karzai ally Arsallah Jamal killed, 15 wounded in bomb attack on mosque 15 Oct. Roadside bomb killed 18 civilians on way to wedding in east 27 Oct; 3 killed, 15 injured 29 Oct in Quetta bombing. 4 coalition soldiers killed 6 Oct during operation in Zhari district, Kandahar province; suicide bomber 18 Oct attacked Green Village foreign compound on outskirts of Kabul.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Nov 2013

Deteriorated

Violence erupted late-month as opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists clashed with police and supporters of ruling Awami League (AL), after PM Sheikh Hasina 14 Oct said session of present parliament would continue after 24 Oct, rejecting deadline set by BNP for transfer of power to caretaker govt ahead of Jan 2014 elections. Reportedly over 100,000 BNP supporters rallied in Dhaka 25 Oct; at least 6 people reported killed by security forces. BNP leader Khaleda Zia 25 Oct called for 60-hour nationwide strike starting 27 Oct; in rare direct contact, PM Hasina telephoned Zia 26 Oct in partially televised call in attempt to cancel strike, but no deal reached. Strike saw violent street fights across country, at least 20 people killed, hundreds wounded. Local BNP leader 28 Oct bombed and knifed to death in Jhenaidah by pro-AL demonstrators, 1 AL supporter reportedly hacked to death 27 Oct in Jessore. Police 27 Oct opened fire on BNP demonstrators in Nagarkanda; 29 Oct killed at least 2 Jamaat-e-Islami demonstrators on Kutubdia island. Situation further inflamed as controversial International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) 9 Oct sentenced BNP politician Abdul Alim to life imprisonment for killing at least 600 people during 1971 war of liberation; followed 1 Oct sentencing to death of another BNP MP Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.

Pakistan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

PM Sharif 23 Oct reportedly urged U.S. to end drone strikes in Pakistan during trip to U.S., met with President Obama; condemned U.S. drone strike 31 Oct that killed 3 in N Waziristan. Govt report 31 Oct said only 67 civilians killed in drone strikes prompting scepticism from Amnesty International, Bureau of Investigative Journalists. Sharif 31 Oct said talks with Pakistani Taliban underway. Attacks in 4 provincial capitals 11 Oct including 8 killed in Quetta marketplace, 1 in Lahore marketplace. Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KPK) law minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) member Israullah Gandapur among 8 killed 16 Oct in attack in KPK’s Dera Ismail Khan district; PTI said not responsible, reiterated calls for peace talks. Suicide bomber 2 Oct killed 8 at Chaman border crossing with Afghanistan. Remote-controlled bomb targeting police protecting anti-polio workers killed 2, injured 13 in Peshawar 7 Oct. Army chief General Ashraf Parvez Kayani 4 Oct announced retirement end-Nov amid rumours he would retain senior military position.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Northern provincial council elections held 21 Sept: Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 30 of 38 seats, nearly 80% of vote, with high turnout despite pre-poll violence and intimidation of TNA candidates by military. Commonwealth Election Observer mission 23 Sept expressed concern over heavy military involvement in electoral process. Fears of deepened ethnic polarisation after strongly nationalist rhetoric from TNA campaigners and govt, which repeatedly accused TNA of continuing Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) quest for separate state. Polls also held in central and NW provinces where President Rajapaksa’s United People’s Freedom Alliance won large majorities. Indian govt 24 Sept welcomed elections, called on Rajapaksa to implement fully and go beyond devolution of power under 13th amendment. Supreme Court 26 Sept ruled powers over land belong to central govt, not provinces; TNA 29 Sept said judgment does not conform with previous rulings.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Preparations for 2014 polls continue: parliamentarians from eastern provinces 9 Sept announced formation of alliance ahead of presidential elections, did not name candidate. New Harakat-e-Milli (National Movement) party emerged 4 Sept. Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani 30 Sept announced candidacy. Head of Independent Election Commission (IEC) secretariat 3 Sept said half of Afghanistan’s voting centres seriously vulnerable after opposition expressed concerns about security in run-up to polls. Pakistan 7 Sept released 7 Afghan Taliban detainees, ostensibly to advance peace process, but did not hand them over to Afghan authorities; political opposition, civil society expressed concerns released detainees will rejoin insurgency; senior Taliban leader Mullah Baradar released from custody 21 Sept, reportedly to safe house in Karachi. Foreign ministry official 1 Sept said several Taliban leaders in secret talks with govt. 22 insurgents killed 8 Sept in Wardoj district, Badakhshan province; National Security Forces 17 Sept announced Wardoj cleared of insurgents. 18 insurgents reportedly killed 11 Sept in Helmand, 2 Taliban commanders arrested and weapons seized. Insurgents 2 Sept attacked U.S. base in Nangarhar province, 13 Sept attacked U.S. consulate in Herat killing 10 and injuring 30; 4 Afghan soldiers injured 10 Sept in suicide bomb attack on military installation in Logar province.

Nepal

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Constituent Assembly (CA) 19 Nov elections expected to go ahead despite 17 Sept failure of all-party talks to bring 33-party anti-election alliance, led by Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M), on board; process failed after major parties refused core CPN-M demands including postponing election date and resignation of head of govt Khila Raj Regmi from chief justice post. Alliance 12 Sept organized strikes in Kathmandu to protest elections. Interim govt 17 Sept continued CA election preparation: on govt request, president Ram Baran Yadav issued presidential decrees 17 Sept to maintain CA size at 601 seats, 24 Sept to allow deployment of army to secure elections. CPN-M General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa 24 Sept warned of second armed if army is deployed.

Pakistan

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

All-parties conference 9 Sept supported talks with Pakistani Taliban (TTP) but provided no roadmap or specific preconditions; TTP 13 Sept reportedly presented conditions for talks including release of TTP prisoners, imposition of Sharia law and army’s withdrawal from FATA. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) govt 15 Sept announced army’s withdrawal from Swat from mid-Oct; militants 16 Sept killed soldier and 2 army officers including top military officer for Malakand Division; Peshawar High Court 17 Sept ordered KPK not to withdraw troops from Malakand, citing legal problems and possibility militants would return to area. Over 85 killed in Taliban attack on church in Peshawar 22 Sept. Bus blast 27 Sept killed19 govt employees in Peshawar; 41 killed, 100 injured 29 Sept in car bombing in Peshawar. Armed forces 4 Sept launched targeted operation in Karachi to tackle criminal and ethnopolitical violence; operation led by paramilitary Rangers; govt issued list of 450 terrorists, kidnappers, killers and extortionists to be targeted; over 1,500 reportedly arrested in first half of Sept. Sindh govt 12 Sept reshuffled provincial police force, appointed respected senior officer Shahid Hayat as Karachi’s new police chief; 10 Sept arrested Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) member Nadeem Hashmi for alleged involvement in killing of 2 policemen; MQM called strike 11 Sept, shutting down Karachi; Hashmi released 19 Sept. Targeted killings in city continued: gunmen 10-11 Sept killed 11; police officer killed 14 Sept; 6 killed 17 Sept.

Kashmir

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

India and Pakistan PMs met 29 Sept, agreed to stop Kashmir attacks following several exchanges of heavy fire on line-of-control (LoC) during Sept; at least 9 killed 26 Sept in militant attack on Indian police station and army camp near Pakistan border ahead of talks. Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar 7 Sept assured IMF India would retain Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status despite Aug threat to withdraw status after military exchanges with India along LoC left 2 Pakistanis injured. Indian police 7 Sept killed 4 in Shopian, imposed curfew in district; police claimed 2 victims were rebels attempting attack on base, residents said victims civilians; police 11 Sept violently dispersed mass protest, killing 1 and injuring 13. All Parties Hurriyat Conference mid Sept called strike in Kashmir valley to protest killings. Suspected separatist rebels 23 Sept killed Indian soldier, injured another at Srinagar market; Indian army 23 Sept killed suspected militant trying to cross LoC in Kupwara region. PMs Singh and Sharif 29 Sept met on sidelines of UNGA, tasked Directors General Military Operations to seek means to restore 2003 ceasefire.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Supreme Court (SC) 17 Sept rejected Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) leader Abdul Kader Mullah’s appeal against International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) jail term for 1971 war crimes, increased sentence to death penalty. JeI 18 Sept said trial politically motivated, called for 48h nationwide strike, demonstrations: 2 civilians died in 19 Sept protest in Mujibnagar town, 4 police injured in Chittagong. ICT 1 Oct sentenced to death senior opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) MP Salauddin Quader Chowdhury for 1971 crimes. SC 24 Sept started hearing on appeal filed by JeI leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee against 28 Feb ICT death penalty verdict. Viability of Oct elections remained in question: Awami League (AL) leader/PM Sheikh Hasina 17 Sept stated polls to be held on schedule under current govt; BNP 9 Sept threatened election boycott, 12 Sept threatened to resign from parliament if elections not held under caretaker govt.

Sri Lanka

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

At least 3 killed, many injured, several journalists attacked 1 Aug when army dispersed protest in Colombo; protesters reportedly chased and beaten in local Catholic church prompting condemnation by Catholic archbishop who called for independent investigations. Army’s actions strongly and widely condemned, including among Sinhalese. Opposition 14 Aug staged rally protesting violence; Defence Sec Gotabaya Rajapaksa accused opposition of using deaths to tarnish army’s reputation; military announced inquiry into deaths. Militant Buddhists 10 Aug attacked mosque in Grandpass area of Colombo, prompting protests and communal clashes between Muslims and Buddhists in Grandpass district injuring at least 12. Govt’s Muslim ministers 11 Aug issued unprecedented joint statement condemning police inaction and calling for president to take action to halt anti-Muslim campaign. Campaigning for 21 Sept provincial council elections began: intra-party violence seen in north-central and central provinces; scattered attacks on opposition campaigners in northern province. Govt 13 Aug appointed presidential commission of inquiry into war-time disappearances in north and eastern provinces. Visiting UN human rights chief Pillay 27 Aug met families of missing and disappeared in north and east; 31 Aug said “deeply concerned” that country “showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction”.

Kashmir

  |  1 Sep 2013

Deteriorated

India 6 Aug claimed Pakistani troops fired at Line of Control (LoC) border post killing 5 soldiers, said incident “gross violation” of 2003 ceasefire; Pakistan reported 2 soldiers killed in separate attacks near Skardu 20 Aug and near Rawalakot in Poonch district 22 Aug. Unidentified militants 27 Aug killed two Indian police officers in separate attacks in Shopian, Anantnag districts of South Kashmir; Indian police 30 Aug reportedly killed at least 5 militants during clash in Najwan forest area near Ganderbal district. Indian FM Salman Khurshid 12 Aug said secretary-level talks with Pakistan will only take place in “environment free of terror”. Pakistan PM Sharif 14 Aug called for de-escalation, reiterated his govt’s resolve to normalise relations.

Pakistan

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Political crisis continued following 31 July resignation of Justice Ibrahim, reportedly in protest at Supreme Court interference in July presidential election: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) challenged legitimacy of election, call for resignation of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. Former president Musharraf officially charged 20 Aug over killing of former PM Benazir Bhutto. Afghanistan President Karzai visited 26 Aug to discuss Afghanistan peace process, urged Pakistan “to facilitate peace talks” with Taliban; PM Sharif said process must be “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led”; no tangible progress made. Govt 13 Aug issued first detailed statement on countering terrorism and extremism: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said govt would prefer dialogue but would not shy away from “all-out war”; also said joint policy to be devised on U.S. drone program; in first televised address to nation, PM Nawaz Sharif 19 Aug reiterated both call for dialogue and military option. Attacks continued in Balochistan including killing of 2 paramilitary personnel 18 Aug. 30 police officers, including Deputy Inspector General of Operations, killed 8 Aug in suicide bombing targeting funeral of senior police official in Quetta; 10 killed in attack 9 Aug. In Karachi, first ever attack on Ismalili Shia sect mosque killed 2 and injured 40 13 Aug; 3 wounded in second attack; Sunni extremist Laskhar-e-Jhangvi suspected. 4 killed 30 Aug by reported U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan, govt condemned attack. Treason conviction against Dr. Shakil Afrisi, who also aided U.S. in hunt for Bin Laden, overturned 29 Aug, retrial ordered.

Nepal

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

All-party talks began 24 Aug between 33-party anti-election alliance led by Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) and HLPC, collapsed within minutes. CPN-M continues to demand govt’s resignation, dissolution of High Level Political Committee (HLPC); CPN-M strategy uncertain but its leaders urge boycott of polls. Deal on elections reached 15 Aug between HLPC and opposition Federal Democratic Forum, comprising Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Nepal and 7 other small parties: parties agreed to join elections, proportional representation/first-past-the-post ratio restored to last election ratio (335/240). Ashok Rai-led Federal Socialist Party not part of deal, but remains open to negotiation. Parents of war victim Krishna Adhikari fast-unto-death for justice in 5th week; govt ordered force feeding, doctors say unethical; case could have consequences for elections. 70 ex-Maoist rebel fighters 26 Aug joined national army as officers, fulfilling key component of 2006 peace deal.

Afghanistan

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Negotiations intensified ahead of Sept opening of presidential nominations for 2014 polls as parties discussed coalition-forming and selection of candidates: Hezb-e-Wahdat Islami party, headed by 2nd VP Karim Khalili, and party’s political arm, led by Minister of Economy Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, agreed to support single unnamed candidate in 2014 polls; Omar Daudzai, ambassador to Pakistan, 17 Aug announced intention to run; President Karzai 24 Aug denied reports he suggested candidacy of Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, former mujahidin leader accused of human rights violations. UN SRSG Jan Kubiš 27 Aug said “encouraged” by progress following meeting with elections commission (IEC) chairman. Opposition parties 7 Aug expressed concern over Strategic Cooperation Agreement between Afghanistan and Iran. Major offensives in eastern districts continued: defence ministry 9 Aug said nearly 200 insurgents and some dozen Afghan troops killed in operation in Azra district, Logar province. National Directorate of Security (NDS) 4 Aug said 52 Pakistani insurgents arrested in previous 4 months. Taliban attacks continued including: bombing of army base in eastern province Kapisa 26 Aug killing 1 soldier, 5 Taliban killed in ensuing firefight; 6 govt workers executed by Taliban in Herat 27 Aug; 15 police killed 28 Aug in Farah province; district governor killed 30 Aug in Kunduz. NATO commander in Afghanistan Gen. Joseph Dunford 14 Aug said Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) able to independently maintain security for 2014 polls, 2014 fighting season.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Sporadic clashes, shutdowns, protests over war crimes trials and govt crackdown on Islamic groups continued. Supreme Court 5 Aug refused to stay High Court verdict upholding Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) party ban, triggering protests; some 40 pro-JeI demonstrators injured in clashes with police 13 Aug. International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) 18 Aug began investigations into JeI party role in 1971 war of liberation; previous investigations focused on individual members. ICT prosecutors 20 Aug charged Human Rights Watch with contempt of court for criticising trial of ex-JeI leader Ghulam Azam. Awami League (AL) and opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) failed to reach agreement on elections; BNP 16 Aug said violence “inevitable” if vote held under incumbent govt, calling for caretaker govt. Rights activist Adilur Rahman Khan arrested 10 Aug for claiming 61 Islamists killed by govt in 2 May protest.

Bangladesh

  |  1 Aug 2013

Deteriorated

Series of International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) rulings during month against former Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) leaders prompted violent protests. ICT-1 15 July sentenced former JeI leader Ghulam Azam to 90 years for crimes against humanity during 1971 liberation war; ICT-2 17 July sentenced JeI SG and former Al Badr militia chief Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed to death for mass murder and torture; ICT prosecutors 18 July charged JeI Assistant SG Azharul Islam with genocide and war crimes. Elections Commission chief 18 July said Commission closely examining verdicts to determine whether to ban JeI party. 4 JeI activists killed, several injured in clashes with police during protests against rulings in Dhaka 14-16 July. Suspected JeI activists 15 July killed Awami League local leader in Debhata, Satkhira; 2 JeI killed by mob while attempting to form road block in Mirupur, Kushtia. JeI student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir 3 July held nationwide protests against prolonged detention of its President Delwar Hussen, scores injured in clashes with police.

Nepal

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

Major parties in High Level Political Mechanism called breakaway Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) and other parties for talks to address concerns about Nov elections and enable broad participation; issued “last call” 29 July; breakaway CPN-M and allies initially appeared willing, but finally rejected talks. Alliance comprising CPN-M and smaller identity-based parties Federal Democratic Forum and Federal Socialist Party Nepal 25 July announced efforts to disrupt Nov Constituent assembly polls. Supreme Court 23 July issued stay on implementation of Election Commission (EC) decision to link voter registration with possession of citizenship card. Constituency delimitation committee’s term extended again to 5 Aug after it failed to draw new constituencies. EC 11 July approved code of conduct for parties during election.

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CrisisWatch N°128

Read the latest edition of CrisisWatch in full.