Pakistan – The United States has added the founder of a banned Pakistani militant group to its list of global terrorists, blaming him for the deaths of hundreds of Pakistanis it was reported on the 7 Feb 14. Malik Ishaq is the founding member and leader of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) which is a banned Sunni Muslim organisation dedicated to killing or driving out Pakistan's minority Shi'ite Muslims. "In 1997, Malik Ishaq admitted his involvement in terrorist activity that resulted in the deaths of over 100 Pakistanis," the U.S. State Department said on its Web site in a statement posted on the 6 Feb 14. LJ specializes in armed attacks and bombings and has admitted responsibility for numerous killings of Shi'ite religious and civil society leaders in Pakistan. The U.S. made the decision in the wake of attack on Sri Lankan Cricket team in Lahore. When the incident occurred, Ishaq was in Multan district jail referring to a deadly 2009 attack on the sports team. In 2012, Ishaq told Reuters that Shi'ites were the "greatest infidels on earth" and that Pakistan should declare them non-Muslims.
The Federal government on the 9 Feb 14 directed Pakistani authorities to investigate the existence of an al-Qaeda affiliated organisation in the University of Karachi. The Interior Ministry has written letters to paramilitary rangers and police to investigate the existence of the organisation called "Ashab" on the university campus. The report said the group was a cell of the terrorist network, al-Qaeda. Police and investigating agencies have in the past reported the existence of cells of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan operating out of Pakistan's biggest city Karachi. But this is the first time that the Interior Ministry has talked about the existence of an al-Qaeda cell on the Karachi university campus. In recent months, police and rangers have unearthed and arrested some members of the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islaami from the Punjab university students' hostel for being part of al-Qaeda networks.
Philippines – On the 1 Feb 14 a homemade bomb that was detonated was likely carried out in the southern Philippines by Muslim terrorists wounded 12 people, including six soldiers and two television journalists. The blast happened near an area where government troops have been battling Muslim insurgents who broke away from a larger rebel group after it signed a peace deal with the government. The explosions came three days after troops captured a rebel stronghold with bomb-making and training facilities. The bombs are typically fashioned from unexploded mortars and rocket-propelled grenades triggered remotely by cell phones. The rebels belonging to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement are fighting to establish an independent state and broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has agreed to a deal granting them greater autonomy in the southern Philippines. The talks to end four decades of Muslim rebellion in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation's south were concluded last week in Malaysia. The Philippine government is also battling other rebel groups, including the smaller but more brutal Abu Sayyaf, which is notorious for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings.
Thailand – On the 1 Feb 14 three people have been wounded in explosions and gunshots close to a standoff between supporters and opponents of Thailand's government. The attacks came a day before Thailand holds a general election, as opponents of the prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, vowed to boycott and disrupt. It was not immediately clear whether the demonstrators or those wounded were the government's supporters or its opponents. The attack took place in Bangkok's Laksi district, close to the Don Muang airport, a stronghold of Yingluck's Puea Thai Party. Her supporters had gathered to demand Sunday's ballot is not obstructed. Ten people have died and at least 577 have been wounded in politically related violence since late Nov 13. The anti-government protesters took to the streets in November in the latest round of an eight-year conflict between Bangkok's middle class, southern Thais and the royalist establishment against the mostly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled by a protest movement in 2006. Unrest in the country is going to continue for some time to come. More rallies, protests and deaths are likely to continue fuelling more unrest. It is also possible that rebel elements will attempt to hijack these protests and it will not be long before the violence escalates and more deaths occur.