In the Indian controlled
portion of Kashmir, terrorist violence is down by more than half this year.
This is due to better control of the Pakistani border (where fresh terrorists,
trained in Pakistani camps, come across), and an increasingly anti-terrorist
attitude among the Kashmiri Moslems. Thus there are fewer Islamic terrorists,
and more civilians willing to turn them in. In response, the terrorists have
been more violent towards Moslems who would not support them. This backfired,
and local Moslems became more hostile to the Islamic militants.
In Pakistan's Swat valley, Islamic radicals are
asking for a truce. The army has demonstrated they have the firepower and
determination to kill all the pro-Taliban tribesmen there. Several hundred
people, mostly tribesmen, have been killed or wounded so far. Thousands of
civilians are fleeing the area, because the fighting appears ready to escalate
October 28, 2007: Islamic radicals in
Pakistan's Swat valley beheaded 14 civilians and security personnel in an
attempt to intimidate the government. The army came back with artillery and
In eastern India, police continue to pursue a group
of Maoist rebels, who attacked a public gathering two days ago and killed 17
people. At least four of the Maoist gunmen have been hunted down and killed so
far. The increased police activity in areas where Maoists operate has caused
the rebels to change tactics. They can no longer move about in small groups (a
dozen or fewer gunmen), to intimidate local officials, businessmen or police.
So the Maoists are forming larger groups of gunmen, often several dozen armed
people, and taking on the larger police patrols, and spreading terror with
larger scale attacks.
October 27, 2007: In Pakistan's Swat valley, troops
surrounded and closed in on hundred of armed Islamic radicals who had come to
protect a radical cleric. This situation rapidly developed because the cleric,
and several others, had figured out how to use radio broadcasting equipment
(easily available if you have the cash) to set up illegal FM radio stations.
These were used to broadcast religious and anti-government propaganda.
October 25, 2007: In Pakistan's Swat valley, a
suicide bomber's explosives set off an army truck full of ammunition, killing
21 people, most of them soldiers.
October 24, 2007: In northwest Pakistan, several thousand
troops have moved to capture a radical cleric who has built an "army"
of several hundred armed followers, and is trying to take control of the Swat
valley. Heretofore, the Taliban has been more subtle, but the government will
not allow such a blatant power grab by Islamic militants. But there's another
angle to the Swat violence; rivalry between local religious leaders. The
religious passions in the region often lead to fighting between local partisans
of this cleric or that.
October 23, 2007: Pakistani police are making
little progress in tracking down who was responsible for the October 18 suicide
bomb attack against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Taliban ,
government and Bhutto supporters all blame each other for the bombing. The Bhutto
crowd is calling for an outside (the country) team to investigate. Many
government officials (especially police, army and intelligence) are sympathetic
to Islamic radicals. While there have been many attempts to remove these
pro-Taliban officials, most have failed because the traitorous officials are
discrete and protect each other. Some play both sides, making themselves useful
to their government bosses, while still supporting Islamic radical activity.