Winning: India Finds The Ways

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February 24, 2011: India, despite numerous rebel and terrorist groups operating in many parts of the country, has managed to steadily reduce the violence (or at least the number of deaths from rebels and terrorists) over the last decade. Back in 2001 there were 5,839 deaths from rebels and terrorist activity in the northwest (Kashmir), the northeast (separatist rebels in the tribal territories that were never really part of India until Britain tacked them on while creating modern India in 1947) and communist (Maoist) rebels throughout rural eastern India. In 2009 the number of deaths had declined to 2,232 and then to 1,902 last year. A combination of diplomacy, money and overwhelming force have greatly reduced the violence in the northeast and northwest.

The Maoists are now the main target of government attention. Unfortunately, the Maoists may prove to be the most difficult group to deal with. The northwestern violence was instigated by Pakistan, trying to use large scale Islamic terrorism to gain control of Kashmir (the two new nations disputed ownership in 1947). That approach did not work. Pakistan backed Islamic terror groups have also carried out several large attacks inside India, but the Pakistanis connection was found out, and not much support among Indian Moslems was there, so this source of violence has withered. In the northeast, it took the local tribes decades to get used to being part of India, and the militant separatism became less attractive over the years.

But the Maoists feed off the feudalism and discrimination against the tribes that still exists in this thinly populated countryside. There's also corruption out there, and a lack of economic and educational opportunity. All this has to be tended to if the Maoists are to be eliminated.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is suffering blowback, with growing Islamic terrorism within the country, and Pakistani supported Islamic groups in Afghanistan fleeing across the border to get away from NATO and local troops. Pakistan suffers more than five times as many terrorist and rebellion related deaths a year as India (which has six times the population). Most of the Afghan heroin and opium is shipped into Pakistan, mainly for export through Karachi. But enough stays in the country to keep millions of Pakistanis addicted. Little of the stuff gets into India. For India, this is karma at work.

 

 

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