August 6, 2011: Pakistan is getting more unwanted publicity about its counter-terrorism operations in Baluchistan (southwest Pakistan), where there is increasing violence by everyone. A growing number of Baluchi tribesmen are turning to violence, often in response to the arrest and murder, by the secret police (ISI, the military intelligence agencies) and military, of suspected tribal rebels. The ISI has increased its use of death squads against tribal rebels. The ISI agents kidnap anti-government Baluchis, apparently question them, and then kill them. Bodies are just dumped in remote areas, sometimes to be found. Meanwhile, the government is unable to stop the continuing violence between Sunni and Shia groups, which leave dozens dead or wounded each month.
If you read both Indian and Pakistani media, you will see numerous reports of Indian abuse of arrest and interrogation powers in Kashmir, and Pakistani abuse in Baluchistan (and throughout the tribal territories). Pakistan appears to be ahead in the number of abuse incidents, and has greater violence problems as a result. The monthly casualties from this sort of thing are 5-10 times higher in Pakistan, compared to India (which has six times as many people). The United States is more concerned about the Taliban sanctuary in Baluchistan, which Pakistan has long insisted did not exist. Not just the Taliban sanctuary, but the continuing war against tribal leaders who oppose the Taliban throughout the tribal territories. Many tribes want no part of the Taliban, but the army refuses to aid all of them.
The American CIA, in order to carry out its orders, has been increasingly at war with its Pakistani equivalent, the ISI. After bin Laden was killed in May, it became known that the CIA was running an intelligence operation (to confirm the presence of bin Laden) without informing the ISI (who probably would have warned bin Laden). Since then, the ISI and the Pakistani government have been at war with the CIA in Pakistan. It’s an undeclared war. Meanwhile, the ISI denies that it is working with al Qaeda, despite a growing pile of evidence to the contrary. The Pakistanis don’t want to go public with this feud, at least not any more than they already are. But the ISI is more openly working against the CIA, while the CIA UAV campaign against Islamic terrorists in the tribal territories continues, despite Pakistani objections. Now Pakistan has another problem, with China. The Chinese are demanding that Chinese Turkish (
Uighur) Islamic terrorists in Pakistan be killed or turned over to China. In this case, the U.S. and China are on the same side. But Pakistan does not want to hunt down the Uighurs, and the ISI chief recently went to China to plead his case. It’s unclear how this will play out.
Pakistan finds itself with fewer and fewer Islamic radical groups it can rely on. Al Qaeda blames Pakistan for the death of Osama bin Laden, and has again declared war on Pakistan. Many Pakistani Taliban factions are at war with Pakistan. The only major terror organization the Pakistanis can depend on is the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan. This outfit is under heavy attack by the Americans, in Pakistan (via CIA UAVs) and Afghanistan (via everything available). Pakistan continues to make excuses for not sending troops into North Waziristan.
The Indian offensive against Maoist rebels in eastern India slogs forward. The Maoists are not giving up easily, and are using more terror to maintain control over rural populations. The rural civilians are caught in the middle, and the Maoists are much more lethal than the government. The Maoists use threats, kidnapping, torture and murder to get local leaders to cooperate. This terror enables the Maoists to cripple parts of states by ordering “strikes” (no travel or economic activity) lasting a week or more. Those that violate the order can be killed by Maoists.
In Kashmir, Indian troops have twice, in the last week, clashed with Islamic terrorists trying to cross over from Pakistan. There have been over a dozen casualties in these incidents.
August 5, 2011: The governor of Pakistan’s Sind province has called on the national government to declare martial law in Karachi, the largest city in Sind and Pakistan. The army opposes this, as the violence in Karachi is largely political and gang wars, plus some Islamic terrorism.
August 4, 2011: The Pakistani government is demanding that the Navy court martial the three senior officers in charge of the Karachi naval base that was attacked on May 22nd. A team of Islamic terrorists easily got into the base and destroyed two very expensive P-3 maritime recon aircraft, and left twenty people dead. The attack was a great embarrassment for the military, and some senior officers oppose trying the naval officers, as this would bring the military more bad publicity.
Pakistan, fearing another terror attack in Karachi, has moved several warships from Karachi to a smaller port in the southwest (Baluchistan).
August 3, 2011: The U.S. forced Pakistan to ease up on restrictions on American diplomats in Pakistan. The U.S. threatened to charge Pakistan with violating international law, retaliate and, in general, make a big stink. Pakistan backed down, for now. But Pakistan is in the habit of resuming such bad behavior after a while.
August 2, 2011: In North Waziristan, CIA UAVs killed four Islamic terrorists. So far this year, 45 such attacks in Pakistan have taken place, compared to 117 for all of last year. Twenty attacks have taken place since the May 2nd raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
August 1, 2011: China announced that two recent Islamic terrorist bombings in western China were carried out by Chinese Turks (
Uighurs) who had been trained in Pakistan. The Uighur Islamic terrorists have been operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan since the 1990s (as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement), but now China is demanding that Pakistan shut down the Uighur operations in Pakistan. That will be difficult because the Uighur terrorists are part of al Qaeda, Taliban and other terrorist organizations. Pakistan provides sanctuary for many of these groups, and does not want to fight them. Trying to destroy these terrorist groups would be difficult and time-consuming. Nevertheless, the ISI told China that the Uighurs would be taken care of. The ISI tells the U.S. similar lies, and the Chinese are waiting to see what happens, or not.
The political, religious and ethnic violence in Karachi (Pakistan’s largest city) continues, with several thousand casualties so far this year. About a thousand people were killed or wounded last month, and over 700 have died so far this year. Government efforts to quell the violence have so far failed.
July 29, 2011: The UN has added the Pakistani Taliban to the list of international terrorist organizations.