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India-Pakistan: Winter War
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November 17, 2008: Pakistan has become ground zero for the war on terror. U.S. and Pakistani officials are admitting that the Pushtun tribal areas along the Afghan border area are where al Qaeda and the Taliban have concentrated for a do-or-die battle. The Pakistani army, and pro-government tribes, have been attacking the Taliban tribesmen for five months now, and appear ready to keep it up into the Winter. In response, the Islamic terrorists have tried to stir things up in the cities, especially the largest city in the tribal territories; Peshawar. This is having no effect on the continuing offensive against the Taliban. The increased terrorist activity in Peshawar has been facilitated by the thousands of refugees fleeing the anti-Taliban offensive and heading for the city.

Bangladesh accused Indian border guards of crossing into Bangladesh territory and killing three civilians. There has long been tension on this border, and a constant flow of smugglers, Islamic terrorists and illegal immigrants. The border guards are known to be trigger happy at times.

Over the weekend, eastern Indias Chhattisgarh state saw several armed attempts by Maoist rebels to disrupt elections. The voting takes a month, and began on Friday. The Maoists want to establish a communist dictatorship, and see democracy has hostile to their goals.

Pakistan has reopened the Khyber Pass, but for the moment, trucks will travel in convoys and the police have stationed a quick reaction force in the area. Police and local tribes are searching for three gangs of bandits (or Islamic terrorists, or both) believed responsible for recent attacks on trucks.

November 16, 2008: The Pakistani government halted truck traffic through the Khyber Pass so that the army could chase down bandits, or Islamic terrorists, who have been attacking trucks. Hundreds of vehicles travel through this border crossing each day, and it is the main route for people and goods coming in and out of landlocked Afghanistan.

Pakistani zeal to shut down terrorist operations in the border areas has led the police to arrest many foreigners who are not terrorists. However, many of those arrested are often common criminals or illegal migrants making their way from Central Asia to India or the West. Even foreigners in the tribal territories with legitimate documents are often arrested, sometimes just so the police can rob the travelers. Several hundred foreigners a year have been arrested in the tribal territories since September 11, 2001, and most have not been terrorists.

In Bangladesh, police arrested a senior Islamic terrorist, and seized 160 pounds of explosives. There are a growing number of Islamic militants in Bangladesh, who provide a supportive population for Islamic terrorists. But the police are aware of the trend, and keep after the potential terrorists.

November 15, 2008: Along the Afghan border, pro-government tribes are demanding pro-Taliban warlords surrender, or have their homes destroyed and families driven out of the tribal territory. Getting expelled from your tribe is pretty severe, and some of the pro-Taliban tribesmen are expected to rethink their Islamic radicalism as a result.

November 14, 2008: In the Pakistani border town of Peshawar, a Japanese journalist and his Afghan assistant were shot and wounded. In the North Waziristan border area, two Hellfire missiles from an American UAV hit a house were foreigners (believed to be al Qaeda) were staying. Twelve people were killed.

November 13, 2008: The recent arrest of two Hindu Indian Army officers on terrorism charges has exposed a radical Hindu terrorist group that was attacking both Moslems and Hindu targets with the aim of increasing violence and distrust between the two communities.

In the Pakistani border town of Peshawar, an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped and his bodyguard killed.

November 12, 2008: In the Pakistani border town of Peshawar, a suicide bomber attacked a ceremony in a sports stadium, in an attempt to kill senior government officials there. Instead, a policeman and three civilians died. Elsewhere in Peshawar, an Islamic terrorist killed an American foreign aid worker. Both of these attacks are believed part of a new Taliban strategy to try and destabilize the government by attacking the leadership and foreign allies (thus the attack on aid workers.)

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has agreed to grant Pakistan a $7.5 billion loan, so economic collapse can be avoided. Meanwhile, Pakistani investigators have uncovered a money smuggling operation, that has illegally moved over $10 billion out of the country (to escape the collapsing Pakistani currency). Moreover, senior government officials were found to be involved in this illegal currency movement.

November 11, 2008: Near the Pakistani border with Afghanistan, a Canadian journalist was kidnapped.

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