20, 2006: The political leadership in Pakistan is corrupt, and unable to agree
among themselves. Thus we have the country run by a military dictatorship (the
generals are less corrupt), while the non-military politicians (including many
representing Islamic conservative parties) fret and fume. Many politicians play
the religious card ("the West is at war with Islam"), which plays
well to many Pakistanis. These "religious" politicians have enough
popular support to prevent the army from shutting down Islamic terrorist
operations in the country. Only those groups, like al Qaeda, that openly
declared war on the government, have been crushed (but not eliminated.)
growing political violence in Bangladesh is more about militant leftist
movements, than it is about Islamic radicalism. Political radicalism in general
is leading to more violence, as more people become frustrated at the corruption
and incompetence in government.
19, 2006: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) a pro-government tribal leader
was killed by a bomb. The dead man, Banglan Khan, had come over to the government
side earlier this year, and that made him enemies among the Baluchi tribal
leaders who did not want to make peace with the government.
18, 2006: In Pakistan, a senior police commander in the northwest tribal areas,
was shot dead. The victim has been increasingly effective at shutting down gang
activities, which may have gotten him killed.
17, 2006: In central India, a Maoist terror campaign against tribal groups has
backfired. Most of the tribesmen in Chhattisgarh state have now backed
the government. Maoist violence in the area has left over 400 people dead this
year, most of them civilians. The Marxists insist they are seeking to liberate
the tribesmen from oppression, but the tribesmen who refuse this help are
threatened, and sometimes killed, by the communist militants. The
tribesmen are not attracted to the communist propaganda.
16, 2006: Fewer Islamic terrorists have been crossing from Pakistan into
Kashmir, but India accuses Pakistan of refusing to shut down the Islamic
terrorist groups, and their camps, in northern Pakistan. This is apparently the
case, with the Islamic terrorists enjoying the support of Islamic conservative
political parties. Meanwhile, the latest persistent rumor is that, for the past
year, al Qaeda has been training a dozen Western converts to Islam (two
Norwegians, an Australian, and nine Britons) for a special mission in
Europe. This is given credence because police in Europe are constantly
arresting terrorists who have trained, often quite recently, in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan just denies that these training camps exist, and that it is
negotiating with the Pushtun tribes to shut down these camps, that don't
15, 2006: India is reorganizing the security forces in Kashmir, because the
Islamic terrorists are fading fast, and a political peace deal with locals is
looming. For a population of ten million, Kashmir currently has 65,000 police,
23,000 Special Police and 40,000 part time security personnel guarding 3,000 villages.
The new force would be 200,000 locally recruited police, in fifty battalions.
Eventually, many of these battalions would be moved to other parts of India.
Five of the fifty battalions are already being formed. India may not form all
fifty battalions, even though the program is pitched as a way to solve the
unemployment problem in Kashmir. Years of terrorism have wrecked the
14, 2006: Pakistan insists, to Afghanistan, that it is curbing Taliban activity
in the tribal areas along the Afghan border. But these tribal areas, which
contain some three million very independent minded Pushtun tribesmen, openly
flout their Taliban support, and Western journalists are publishing stories,
with interviews and pictures, of Taliban fighters training and resting in
Pakistan. Yet the Pakistani government insists that the Taliban are wholly an
Afghan problem, and that Afghanistan has to take care of it. Pakistan blames
much of the problem on the three million Afghan refugees still living in
Pakistan. The United States puts pressure on Pakistan to do something about
this Taliban sanctuary, and the Pakistani reply with reports of how they are
making the tribes self-policing, and that the tribes have, indeed, curbed (but
not eliminated) foreign terrorists (who threaten the Pakistani government). The
Taliban are considered something that is part of the Pushtun tribal tradition,
and exists on both sides of the border. The Afghans believe the Pakistani
government, and the Taliban, are simply doing what they want in Pakistan, and
benefiting from the growing opium and heroin production with in Afghanistan.