Not unexpectedly, the Taliban has, for over two weeks, been warning the government not to accept American (and non-Islamic nation) flood aid. While the ideological angle is expected, the Taliban scored big by claiming (quite accurately) that Pakistani officials would endeavor to steal foreign flood aid (like they steal so much else). The U.S. has also warned Pakistan that stealing flood aid would mean much less aid, and that U.S. officials would be looking for signs of the usual Pakistani corruption. Nearly a billion dollars worth of foreign aid has been pledged, so far, for flood relief and reconstruction. Despite much of it coming from the United States, Pakistani media continues to attack America as an enemy of Pakistan, and Islam in general. This works for the media, as it plays into a persecution fantasy popular throughout the Moslem world. Despite this, the Pakistanis have accused the Taliban of using the flood disaster as an opportunity to recruit and raise funds by setting up relief operations and diverting some of the aid effort to terrorist operations. So the government has shut down at least sixteen Taliban relief efforts. This was also done as part of an effort to prevent Taliban attacks on foreign, especially American, flood relief workers. American helicopters involved in the relief effort have to be wary of attacks, especially in, or near, the tribal territories. The floods continue, with nearly a million people cut off, and over ten percent of the country's population suffering some flood related loss. The biggest problem is getting food to areas where local supplies have been destroyed. Medical supplies are needed for the growing number areas where people are falling sick from contaminated drinking water.
Pakistani officials have, since arresting two dozen Taliban leaders last January, been increasingly frank in admitting that this really happened to discourage the Afghan Taliban from negotiating peace deals with the Afghan government. Pakistan created the Taliban in the early 1990s and have never ceased to consider it a tool for controlling events in Afghanistan. This annoys India and NATO, and most Afghans, especially because Pakistan officially denies that this relationship with the Afghan Taliban exists. The CIA, or even American diplomats and troops, can pick up this pro-Taliban chatter among Pakistani military and intelligence personnel. Pakistan's two-faced attitude on Islamic terrorism has complicated relations with the West, and India.
Pakistan has moved a dozen or more helicopters from operations against tribal rebels in the northwest, to do flood relief work. Some 60,000 troops have also been sent in to help. None of these soldiers came from the 140,000 troops operating in the tribal territories. But those troops are not making any attempt to clear out the last major Islamic terrorist sanctuary in North Waziristan. The Pakistani have made deals with those pro-Taliban tribes that are willing to follow the government line (and support the Afghan Taliban, while not making any trouble in Pakistan). Tribes that did not go along with this have been attacked over the last two years, and are much less active. The anti-government Pakistani Taliban have been forced to disperse, and now operate largely as terrorists, not large groups of armed tribesmen trying to take control of territory.
The government has been issuing three-month "work visas" for foreign aid and flood relief specialists from foreign countries. None of these visas will be issued to citizens of Israel or India, because of various disputes, and cultural differences. Pakistan did agree to accept $5 million in aid from India.
The urban violence continues in Kashmir, where Pakistani based Islamic terrorists support the anti-Indian demonstrations, hoping that the Indians will arrest or injure enough local Moslem to restore the support the terrorists have lost because of a decade of terrorist violence.
August 23, 2010: For the third day in a row, U.S. UAVs attacked Islamic terrorists in North Waziristan. Over twenty terrorists, many of them foreigners, have been killed. There have been at least five such attacks so far this month. The Islamic terrorists have been increasingly active in trying to hide their movements, and the locations of the buildings they use for working, sleeping and storing weapons. Pakistani intelligence cooperates with the U.S. in locating Islamic terrorists who are attacking Pakistani government targets, but the U.S. is largely on its own finding Taliban and other Islamic terrorists who are allied with the Pakistani government.
In eastern India (Jharkhand) another senior Maoist leader surrendered. The police offensive, despite the casualties from a few high profile Maoist attacks or ambushes, has disrupted Maoist infrastructure and leadership. Many senior Maoists hid in plain sight in urban areas. But this is no longer safe, and many are making deals with the government, to avoid getting killed or imprisoned for a long time.