2008: The United States is pressuring Pakistan to allow American and NATO
troops to go after al Qaeda camps in Pakistan, along the Afghan border. Pakistan
is unwilling to risk the unrest in its security forces, by fighting what many
Pakistanis consider a civil war, against the pro-terrorist tribesmen. The
attitude in Pakistan is that, if the Islamic terrorists stay in the tribal
areas, the rest of Pakistan is willing to look the other way. This is
unacceptable to NATO, Afghanistan and India, who are the victims of these
terrorists. The U.S. also wants more guarantees that Pakistan's nuclear weapons
are secure from theft by Islamic terrorists. The pressure is getting serious,
as the new Pakistani government is being told that they will be held
responsible for Islamic terror attacks traced back to these Pakistani bases.
2008: Near the Khyber Pass in Pakistan, members of the Lashkar-e-Islam terrorist
organization and the Kooki Khel tribe fought for several days, leaving over a
hundred dead and wounded. The terrorists are trying to assert control in the
area, and the tribal leadership is resisting. The most contentious items are
terrorist efforts to impose Islamic lifestyle rules (no videos, booze or music)
on the tribes.
2008: Trade between Pakistan and China is $6.8 billion a year, and is expected
to rise to $15 billion in the next three years. China sees Pakistan as a
valuable ally, and has provided a $500 million loan to the new government. High
oil prices and election promises has caused a cash crunch for the government,
and the Chinese money will help.
2008: India has agreed to provide training in counter-terrorism operations for
the Afghan Army. This is needed to deal with Islamic terrorists operating out
of bases in Pakistan. The training will take place in India and Afghanistan.
2008: In the Pakistani city of Karachi, police arrested three Islamic
terrorists who were responsible for killing the army's chief medical officer
two months ago, and for attacks on other military commanders. Two of the men
were Pushtun tribesmen, one was from the Punjab. The three gave up information
on twenty other members of their terrorist organization.
2008: Indian Maoists are emulating the Taliban and are raising money via the
illegal drug trade. In this case, it's marijuana, which they grow in remote
areas, and then sell throughout the areas they operate in. Maoists are also
more active in using extortion against large companies, who are often willing
to pay to protect their facilities. India is also nervous about the impact of
the victory of Nepalese Maoists in recent national elections there. Indian communists
have gained control of state governments, and are generally hostile to the more
radical Maoists, but the Nepalese situation could lead to more violence between
communist factions in India.
2008: The Pakistani interior ministry warned local police that five foreign
Islamic terrorists (two Arabs and three Afghans) had arrived in the city of
Lahore to plan and carry out attacks.