India-Pakistan: April 26, 2002



In Pakistan, a Shiite mosque was bombed, killing 12 women and children. Some 600 Shiite men then rioted, looking for radical Sunnis thought responsible.

American special forces, commandos and CIA agents are now operating in Pakistan territory near the Afghan border. This is apparently being done with permission from Pakistan, but no one is admitting anything. Pakistan is apparently taking advantage of the fact that most Pakistanis are hostile to al Qaeda and the Taliban. But that is not the case along the Afghan border and in northern (largely Pushtun) northern Afghanistan. But most Pakistanis are not too friendly with the Pushtuns either, who have raided what is now southern Pakistan for centuries. While American operations in northern Pakistan is done in coordination with the Pakistani army, the American's are pretty much on their own. American agents have worked in the area for months, trying to establish relationships with the local tribes.

In Kashmir, a gun battle between troops and rebels left at least nine rebels dead. 

A government investigation of Hindu-Moslem violence in northern India has found that the Hindu attacks on Moslems was done with the cooperation of the provincial government (which is largely composed of Hindu nationalists.)

India is negotiating to buy 126 nuclear-capable Mirage-2000-5 fighters from France. These will form five squadrons and will be the backbone of the new strategic nuclear command. India expects to see its Air Force drop from 40 squadrons to 35 as the MiG-21s retire, but it wants to be sure it has reasonably modern aircraft for the remaining units.--Stephen V Cole

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