News from South Asia, Thursday 6th June 2013

Pakistan:

Dawn: At least sixteen security personnel in Quetta have been injured in the wake of a suicide blast. “The casualties occurred during a security forces’ search operation which turned into a clash. Militants attacked the forces with hand grenades and opened fire on them, resulting in the injuries.

Moreover, militants blew themselves up to avoid arrest during the shootout. The explosion is also said to have killed members of the militants’ families. Subsequently, the bodies were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta.”

Sky News: Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister has called for the US to end its drone strike campaign. “US drone strikes in the country’s tribal northwest were among the issues he chose to tackle on his first day in charge.

‘We respect the sovereignty of others and they should also respect our sovereignty and independence,’ he warned.

‘This campaign should come to an end.'”

Analysis: Amnesty International: Pakistan’s new government must not allow peace talks with the Taliban to infringe on human rights. “‘Pakistan has just passed a historic political milestone by seeing through this democratic transition. The new administration must now seize the opportunity to tackle the many human rights challenges facing the country,’ said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.”

Afghanistan:

Independent: British forces are handing detainees back to Afghan authorities. “The transfer of detainees had been suspended in November amid concerns prisoners were being mistreated, but now, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond now says the moves are safe.

The decision follows revelations that last week up to 90 Afghans were being held by British forces at Camp Bastion, after which Mr Hammond suggested that the detainees could be handed over.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the suspects claimed their internment could have been unlawful, bringing High Court action on behalf of two of the men.”

India:

IBN Live: Three suspected terrorists from Pakistan have been detained in Uttar Pradesh. “The three men have admitted to have received terror training in Pakistan but claim they were on their way to Jammu and Kashmir to surrender.

The police say the suspects had entered India through Nepal. Acting on a tip-off that three suspected terrorists, who had once worked for Hizbul Mujahideen and JKLF, have arrived through a Pakistani airlines flight in Kathmandu on June 3 and would be entering the country from Rupaideeh, SSB personnel detained the them on Wednesday afternoon, Deputy Commandant of SSB, Mitul Kumar said. SSB guards the 1,751 km Indo-Nepal border.”

Indian Express: The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has said the Naxalites have failed to gain a foothold in the state due to continuous vigiliance, despite the best efforts of the Maoists. “In her address at the Chief Ministers’ conference on Internal Security at New Delhi, which was read out by Minister for Municipal Administration K P Munusamy, she said, ‘Although persistent attempts have been made by Maoists to strike roots in the State, they have not been allowed to gain a foothold, thanks to ceaseless vigilance particularly in the tri-junction area between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala where some intelligence inputs indicated that Naxalites were likely to try to establish their presence.'”

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