India-Pakistan: Lost In The Jungle Of Lies And Deceptions

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July 2, 2012: Pakistani politicians and military leaders are obsessed with the idea that Pakistan is being persecuted by American plots and conspiracies. India is still seen as a major conspirator as well but America is the superpower and, therefore, must be the bigger threat. This Pakistani conspiracy culture includes things like the belief that the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States were staged by the CIA, to cause hatred of Moslems. The Islamic terrorism in Pakistan is believed to be somehow caused by the United States. This mentality includes blaming the United States and India for Pakistan's internal problems (corruption and government incompetence). These attitudes are a major problem in so many different ways. For example, Pakistani popular opinion opposes reopening NATO road access to Pakistan, so that supplies can be shipped to the Pakistani port of Karachi and trucked into Afghanistan. This access will not be restored until the U.S. apologizes for the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers last November. These troops were killed by American helicopters because Pakistani commanders gave the wrong location of their own troops during an incident when someone (possibly Pakistani troops, as has happened before) fired at Americans and Afghans across the border in Afghanistan. The U.S. is not going to apologize for Pakistani incompetence and treachery. But the Pakistanis see themselves as innocents, doing whatever they can to cope with American plots and conspiracies. It's all a jungle of lies and deceptions.

All this is the result of decades of anti-American propaganda. Opinion surveys in Pakistan show 74 percent of Pakistanis see the United States as an enemy and this is up from 64 percent three years ago. Some 40 percent of Pakistanis believe economic and military aid from the United States is not helpful, while only ten percent see such aid as useful. The aid is seen as part of the American conspiracy against Pakistan. The Pakistani military exploits and encourages this paranoia by supporting Islamic radicals. For example, the military protects Islamic radical religious schools from government attempts to regulate what is taught. In turn, the schools are inclined to support the military if there is another move to take over the government. This use of religious students is how the military formed the Taliban two decades ago. It's an old idea that still works.

The U.S. is trying to persuade Pakistan to go after all Islamic terrorists, not just those who have declared war on Pakistan (like the Pakistani Taliban). Currently, major terrorist groups, like the Haqqani Network, are immune from Pakistani military attacks as long as they stay in North Waziristan and only make attacks on Afghans and foreigners in Afghanistan or India. The Pakistani military is upset that the Pakistani Taliban they defeated along the border, and who took refuge just across the border in Afghanistan, keep raiding into Pakistan. The Pakistanis want NATO to hunt down and kill these Pakistani Taliban. But NATO is reluctant to make the effort as long as the Pakistani military is supporting Haqqani Network operations inside Afghanistan. NATO prefers to emphasize operations against Haqqani, rather than Pakistani Taliban, who behave themselves in Afghanistan and only attack in Pakistan. Pakistani generals refuse to turn on the Haqqani Network, who are doing God's work in making attacks on the enemies of Pakistan (NATO and the NATO supported government in Afghanistan).

The Indian campaign against Maoists in eastern India is doing considerable damage to the leftist rebels. In response, the Maoists have allied themselves with some criminal gangs, selling the gangsters guns and obtaining help from the gangs to get explosives and other supplies. The Maoists and gangsters are also sharing information on police activity. Normally, the common criminals keep their distance from the Maoists but the heavy police presence in Maoist dominated areas has hurt the local gangsters as well. So the gangs and Maoists have been cooperating with each other out of mutual need.

July 1, 2012: An American UAV fired missiles at Islamic terrorists in North Waziristan, killing eight of them. The men attacked were followers of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, an Islamic terrorist who often worked for the Pakistani military.

Political, ethnic, religious, and criminal gang violence in Karachi, Pakistan continued, leaving nearly 200 dead last month. Karachi, Pakistan's largest city (18 million), has ethnic and religious violence that is again growing, causing hundreds of casualties a week and chaos in some neighborhoods. The violence has been high all this year, although in the last month the security forces thought they had put a lid on it. The lid is rattling and the police and army reinforcements have yet to calm things down.

June 30, 2012: The Pakistani Army has sent more troops to the Afghan border in an attempt to halt raids by Pakistani Taliban fighters based in Afghanistan.

June 29, 2012: Pakistani and NATO officers met and agreed that neither side should allow hostile forces to operate from their territory and attack across the border. That means Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan and Haqqani Network terrorists in Pakistan. But Pakistan has promised to abide by this sort of agreement before and Haqqani Network operations were never touched. NATO has made it clear that if the Pakistanis want the Pakistani Taliban hunted down in Afghanistan, Haqqani has to go. No one is expecting the Pakistani generals to actually do anything. The Haqqani Network is a largely Afghan group that operates out of Pakistan to make attacks on enemies (political and business) in Afghanistan. Haqqani is also a major criminal organization, which is how it finances its mayhem across the border. The ISI (the Pakistani intelligence agency, controlled by the army, which handles liaison with Pakistani terrorist groups) has been assisting Haqqani Network efforts to start a new umbrella organization (the Muraqba Shura) to control all Islamic radical groups operating in North Waziristan, a terrorist sanctuary on the Afghan border. This effort began late last year and the Muraqba Shura now provides a semblance of unity among Islamic terror groups in North Waziristan.

The Haqqani Network has been sponsored by the ISI since the 1980s. Haqqani has always been careful to cause no problems in Pakistan and only carried out attacks in Afghanistan. The ISI used to control all Islamic terror groups in Pakistan but lost control of many of them after the 2003, American invasion of Iraq. The Muraqba Shura is another attempt to merge the terror groups that are at war with Pakistan (like the local Taliban) and those that are not (like Haqqani). The ISI has gotten Haqqani and the Taliban to claim, in public, that they are united, but they are not. All these two groups have in common is the use of the North Waziristan sanctuary. The Muraqba Shura is a way to avoid any clashes between the two groups in North Waziristan. The U.S. wants Haqqani destroyed while the Pakistani military does not and sees Haqqani as a powerful tool to influence government policy inside Afghanistan.

The Pakistani military also has an ally in the Pakistani Supreme Court, where the chief justice is pressuring the government to reopen a corruption investigation against Pakistani president Zardari. Few question accusations that Zardari is corrupt, but the Supreme Court would face more violent opposition if they tried to curb corruption among Pakistani generals and admirals. That's why there is growing fear that the military is about to take over control of the government, as they have done so often in past. For about half of Pakistan's 65 year existence the military has ruled as an unelected government.  

Pakistani troops encountered some Pakistani Taliban who had crossed the border from Afghanistan and killed six of them.

In eastern India (Chhattisgarh) a series of clashes with police left at least 21 Maoist rebels dead.

June 28, 2012: In the Pakistani tribal territories (near the Khyber Pass) a roadside bomb killed eight soldiers. In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) a bus carrying Shia pilgrims was attacked and 13 Shia killed.

June 27, 2012: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) a bomb went off in a railroad station, killing five people.

In Pakistan's tribal territories (Peshawar) the bodies of the leader of an anti-Taliban tribal militia, and three of his bodyguards, were found in the hills outside the city.

In eastern India (Jharkhand) Maoists killed several police and cut railroad tracks with explosives in two places. This was all in support of an attempt to halt economic activity for a day.

June 26, 2012: An American UAV fired missiles at Islamic terrorists in North Waziristan, killing four of them.

Pakistan has warned foreign diplomats and aid workers to restrict their movements in the tribal territories, to avoid violence and kidnapping attempts.

June 25, 2012: Indian police scored a huge success when they got Saudi Arabia to arrest Pakistani terrorist leader Zabiuddin Ansari and, today, deport him to India. Pakistani Islamic terrorists like Ansari are usually safe while in Persian Gulf Arab states, as long as they behave. But India and the U.S. found out that Ansari was in Saudi Arabia and pressured the Saudis to arrest him and then deport him to India, where he is wanted for his leadership role in the November 2008, terror attack in Mumbai, which caused hundreds of casualties. Once in India, Ansari began to talk and revealed details about the "control room" in Pakistan that stayed in communication (via cell phone) with the ten Pakistani terrorists until nine were killed and one captured. The captured man identified Ansari and several others who had recruited and trained the terrorists. Pakistan refused to arrest Ansari and several others the captured terrorist had identified. Attempts to prosecute terrorists in Pakistan tend to fail, usually for "lack of evidence." Pakistan denies any responsibility for the Mumbai attack, even though Ansari and the captured terrorist identified Pakistani intelligence officials that were involved with the operation. On the down side, the arrest and interrogation of Ansari will slow down peace talks between India and Pakistan as the Pakistanis are distracted by the need to vigorously deny everything Ansari says.

In Indian Kashmir a fire destroyed a 200 year old wooden Islamic shrine. Mobs of Moslem civilians soon gathered and attacked the police, insisting the fire was part of an anti-Moslem plot.

June 24, 2012: About a hundred Pakistani Taliban crossed from Afghanistan into Pakistan, ambushed a large Pakistani Army patrol, killed 17 soldiers and beheaded them. The Taliban took pictures which soon showed up on their web site. This enraged and embarrassed the Pakistani Army generals.

 

 

 

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