India-Pakistan: The Hidden Wars


May 22, 2007: President Musharraf is the third army general to take over Pakistan in its sixty year history. The two previous general/dictators lasted about ten years before they were removed (one by a democratic uprising, the other by an assassin). Musharraf has survived several assassination attempts, and the nations democrats are getting organized and angrier. The basic problem is the corruption. The politicians are among the most corrupt and inefficient on the planet. By comparison, the military is run by virtuous men, who feel it's their duty to take over and, well, no one has quite figured out what to do once in charge. Musharraf has tried to deal with the corruption, but has been sidetracked by the need to battle Islamic militants, and make peace with India. Pakistan is a mess, has not been able to govern itself throughout its sixty year history, and is armed with nuclear weapons.

May 22, 2007: India continues to fight a four front war against Maoist separatists in Kashmir, tribal separatists in the northeast, Islamic and Hindu terrorists throughout the country and Maoist rebels throughout central India. Together, these largely unreported (outside India) situations account for more dead each year than does the more widely reported counter-terror operations in Pakistan.

May 21, 2007: In southern India, four bombs were found on a train, about to leave a Hindu holy city. The bombs were crude, and were disabled by police.

May 20, 2007: In Pakistans capital, an uprising based in a large, radical, mosque (the "Red Mosque") has escalated from religious students attacking music stores, to the kidnapping of four policemen. The clerics in the mosque threatened to kill the cops if eleven mosque staff were not released from jail. Four of the jailed radicals were released, as were two of the captive policemen. The mosque is surrounded by police, but the government does not want to storm the place. This might cause thousands of other Islamic radicals in the capital to get organized, and violent. Meanwhile, along the Afghan border, a hundred armed tribesmen seized eight government aid workers. Apparently, the government workers are being held until the government gives into some demand. Taking hostages for this purpose is an old tribal custom.

May 19, 2007: In Bangladesh, the interim (until new elections can be held) military government has Islamic militants threatening a terror campaign if jailed Islamic militants are not released. The government refuses, and is redeploying police to try and stop terrorist violence.

May 18, 2007: In southern India, a bomb went off in a mosque, killing eleven. Hindu nationalists were suspected, but the government believes that Pakistani agents did it in order to create religious unrest in India. This bombing caused Moslems to riot, and police killed five of them. Two other bombs were found and defused.

May 17, 2007: In Pakistan's tribal territory, the government made a peace deal with warlord Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, who had previously been close with al Qaeda. These deals don't always hold, and the tribesmen that break their word lose some face because of it. But the open signing of such deals is important to show that the government is winning in its battle against Islamic militants.




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