December 6, 2010: The recently revealed secret American diplomatic messages (via Wikileaks) have not revealed anything new, but confirm many of the bizarre (to Westerners) conditions in Pakistan. President Zardari (husband of murdered former prime minister Bhutto) is considered pro-Iran and not too bright (which is apparently how he go on so well with his brilliant wife). American efforts to get Saudi Arabia to use its influence to get Pakistan to be more aggressive against Islamic terrorists largely failed because the Saudis did not trust the pro-Iranian Zardari. Other messages showed that American diplomats believed that it would take up to fifteen years to defeat the Islamic militants, criminal gangs and corrupt officials that make Pakistan such a mess, and ideal terrorist base. Some messages show that the army is still ready to take over the government again, but threats of the U.S. cutting off vital economic and military aid, get in the way now. The army and ISI are not only powerful inside Pakistan, they are corrupt. In fact, the diplomatic messages frequently touch on the pervasive corruption and ineffectiveness of the Pakistani government, and how resistant all those dishonest officials, and their business allies, are to cleaning up the corruption. This situation is very unpopular among the general population, and the main reason why Islamic militants are popular (because of promises to clean it all up.) One thing the Pakistani leadership will dig their heels in on is support for Islamic militants who operate in neighboring countries (Afghanistan and India.) These bad boys are considered a national asset and will not be sold out. Islamic terrorists who misbehave inside Pakistan are another matter, and are killed if they won't agree to settle down and just torment the neighbors.
In Pakistan's Swat valley, a popular tourist area adjacent to the tribal territories, it has taken the army over a year to clear out the remaining Taliban, causing most of them to flee, surrender, get killed or be arrested. Starting in 2008, the Taliban terrorized the valley for over a year, didn't wear masks and were generally identifiable. Most of the two million refugees have now returned, and freely talk of the brutality the Islamic militants employed to terrorize the population. The refugees were quick to identify the remaining Taliban terrorists. But many of the Taliban sought to hide in the hills, and continue their terror attacks. Most of these men have been caught or killed. People in Swat don't like their corrupt government (which made the Taliban popular at first), but found Islamic militants even more oppressive. The refugees say they will flee again if the Taliban return, and prefer the military to run the area, rather than the usual corrupt government officials. In Pakistan, those who openly strive to eliminate corruption receive death threats, and are sometimes attacked or even killed.
In the Orakzai region of the Pakistani tribal territories, along the Afghan border, the government has cleared out the Taliban sufficiently to arrange an end to five years of hostility by local Shia and Sunni tribes. The Taliban are very anti-Shia, considering them heretics and enemies of Islam. The Taliban encourage, and sometimes compel, tribes with Shia neighbors to fight the Shia. The Mehsud tribal refugees are now returning to South Waziristan. There are still Taliban in this area, but the army has arranged ceasefires with the Islamic militants, much to the annoyance of the Americans, whose UAVs still prowl the skies, using Hellfire missiles to kill Taliban leaders. The Pakistani Army can't help the Taliban with that.
In eastern India, the offensive against the Maoist rebels continues, with economic development coming in behind the larger and more aggressive police presence. Schools are being reopened or built in areas formerly dominated by Maoists (who did their own educating, including a large amount of communist doctrine). The Maoists still have thousands of armed fighters, and these are spending more and more of their time going after local informers, trying to terrorize the population into silence. The greater police presence is catching Maoist leaders, who long could move around large areas of eastern India freely. No more. Many additional police checkpoints are in action, and IDs are being scrutinized.
December 5, 2010: In Indian Kashmir, a group of men attacked the home of the local police chief, but were repulsed. Automatic weapons, and at least four grenades were used in the attack, which caused no casualties. It's uncertain exactly who the attackers were, as it might have been local gangsters, and not Islamic terrorists.
Once more, Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed to eliminate any terrorist sanctuaries on both sides of their borders. But this time the two countries, particularly Pakistan, may mean it. That's because Afghan Taliban, driven out of Afghanistan by recent NATO offensives, are carrying on like bandits on the Pakistani side of the border. The Pakistani Army has also negotiated, or coerced, peace deals with many unruly Pushtun tribes on its side of the border, and wants it made clear that armed Afghans will be disarmed or killed, and that Afghanistan will cooperate if these interlopers flee back into Afghanistan. Maybe. We'll see.
December 4, 2010: A Pakistani court issued arrest warrants for two senior police commanders, in connection with an investigation into who was behind the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto three years ago. The usual suspects, the Taliban, took pleasure in the murder, but denied they were responsible. It's now believed the ISI or Pakistani Army were behind the killing, and the Pakistani police helped cover this up.
Pakistani police arrested five Islamic terror suspects, believed responsible for an attack on an ISI facility last year. The Pakistani police are diligent about taking down terrorist groups that attack Pakistani targets, but not those who attack Indian, or other foreign, targets. This is a cause of contention with India, and the West in general.