"Exacerbating the Pandemic? Assessing The Critical Role of Religious Congregations in Indian Subcontinent"

Chapter 07:  Exacerbating the Pandemic? Assessing The Critical Role of Religious Congregations in the Indian Subcontinent. 

Rohan Kumar Gunaratna and Mohd Mizan Aslam (ed), COVID-19 Pandemic: The Threat and Response, Routledge, 2022.  See for details @ https://www.routledge.com/COVID-19-Pandemic-The-Threat-and-Response/Gun…

ANIMESH ROUL
January 2022

Why SAARC would not allow Foreign Ministers meet to Legitimise Taliban Regime

The South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Foreign Ministers meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting has become a convention since 1997. Despite the SAARC Summit meetings being cancelled or postponed, the SAARC foreign Ministers have met regularly to discuss the regional affairs. Lately, since 2018, the India Pakistan conflict has also spilled over to the SAARC foreign ministers meet in New York.

SMRUTI S PATTANAIK

MLM: "Abu Zar Al-Burmi—The Ideologue Spearheading an Anti-China Message and Reinvigorating the Pakistani Taliban"

September 06, 2021

On August 26, a prominent jihadist ideologue affiliated with al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mufti Abu Zar al-Burmi (hereafter Abu Zar), issued a congratulatory statement praising the Taliban for reestablishing Islamic rule in Afghanistan. While he vehemently criticized Islamic State (IS) for its hasty and brutal method of establishing the caliphate, he complimented the Taliban for its battlefield prowess, strict adherence to religious principles, and dedication to Islamic Sharia.

ANIMESH ROUL

Resurgence of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Security Implications

At least 12 people, including nine Chinese citizens, were killed after a bus carrying construction workers plunged into a ravine following an explosion on July 14, 2021, when the workers were heading to the Dasu hydropower project located in the Upper Kohistan region situated between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB). No one has claimed responsibility for the incident, though the nail of suspicion is on Pakistani Taliban formation infamous as Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP).

ANIMESH ROUL & NIHAR NAYAK

TM: "Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Factions Reunited for ‘Holy War’ Against Islamabad"

October 05, 2020

Since the death of firebrand Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah in June 2018, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has witnessed a substantial decline in stature and firepower due to a leadership crisis, inherent factionalism, and a sustained military offensive on its strongholds across the Durand Line, the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Following nearly two years of internal conflict, the Pakistani Taliban under the leadership of Abu Mansoor Asim Mehsud (a.k.a. Noor Wali Mehsud) has seemingly recovered from those reversals and is back from a near obsolescence.

ANIMESH ROUL

Balochistan: State Suppression Under Chinese Pressure

After a brief quiescence, Balochistan has once again gained international attention for extrajudicial killings and disappearance cases since the beginning of this year. In fact, in May 2020, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had sought Iranian assistance in tackling Baloch militants suspected to be operating from its soil. Gen.

NIHAR R NAYAK

MLM: "Decoding Ustadh Usama Mahmoud—The Shadowy and Uncrowned Leader of AQIS"

May 15, 2020

Following the death of al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent’s (AQIS) founding leader Asim Umar and several of his associates in September 2019 in Afghanistan, it was believed that the youngest franchise of the international terrorist organization would be in disarray. However, the jihadist franchise seems to have grown in strength, at least in its virtual jihad and dawa (proselytizing) campaigns. In the months following Umar’s death, the long-serving scholar spokesman, Ustadh Usama Mahmoud (a.k.a. Osama Mahmood), has risen to prominence in AQIS.

ANIMESH ROUL

Pakistan and COVID-19 Pandemic: Is the Army Taking Advantage?

Ever since the first Corona infected case was reported on February 23 in Sindh province of Pakistan and its spread to the other regions - Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), the authorities asked for army’s help to contain the spread of the virus. Instead of getting the virus directly from China, Pakistan got the infection when thousands of Pakistani pilgrims and businessmen returned from Iranian cities -- Mashhad and Qom, where the shrine of Imam Reza is located.

NIHAR R NAYAK