India-Pakistan: The Blame Game

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September 16, 2013: Pakistani politicians have been backing the media campaign by their generals to pin the blame on India for the growing number of border incidents (Pakistani troops firing on Indians) along the LoC (Line of Control which separates Indian and Pakistani held Kashmir). India has responded with senior political leaders denouncing these accusations as lies and reminding Pakistan that Indian restraint cannot be taken for granted. Pakistani troops have violated the 2003 ceasefire regularly all this year, and Pakistani generals have become more vocal with their claims that this violence is all the fault of the Indians. India sees this as all about Pakistani generals seeking to increase military and diplomatic tension with India to justify all the economic and political privileges the Pakistani military has gained over the last 60 years and to discourage Pakistani politicians who are seeking to prosecute serving and retired officers for past crimes. This time around the Pakistani politicians have again backed down in the face of army threats of another coup. This refusal to deal with the LoC problem, despite the growing evidence that Pakistan soldiers have been instigating these attacks, is causing major diplomatic issues with India, which is dismayed at this lack of backbone by elected Pakistani officials, and the tension is coming closer to triggering an escalation to another war. Pakistani has lost all its previous wars with India, all of them instigated by Pakistan. The Pakistani generals believe that, since Pakistan got nukes in 1999, it can torment the Indians with these unprovoked border attacks without fear of escalating retaliation turning into a major war.

By Indian count Pakistan has violated the border twice as often in 2013 as last year. Since 2009, when Pakistan began regularly breaking the 2003 ceasefire, India has counted over 250 ceasefire violations. In the last three years 26 Indian soldiers have died in these attacks, 9 this year and 5 of them in one attack on August 6th. Indian public opinion is increasingly hostile towards Pakistan and demanding something be done. These border violations are a continuing impediment to negotiating a peace treaty with India, something many Indians and Pakistanis want but that the Pakistani military very much opposes.

The Pakistani government is still trying to get the Pakistani Taliban to undertake peace talks. The Taliban have responded that they would do so if the army withdrew from the tribal territories. This was refused. The army had earlier demanded that peace talks should only take place if the Taliban disarmed first. This was refused as well.

September 15, 2013: India successfully tested an Agni V ballistic missile for the second time. The first test was in April 2012. Agni V is a solid fuel missile that has been in development for nearly a decade and is to begin production in 2014. Agni V has a maximum range of 5,000 kilometers and a payload of one ton. This missile can hit targets in Russia, China, Europe (Italy and points east), Japan, and Africa. Most Agni Vs will apparently be aimed at China. Because it is a solid fuel missile, Agni V can be fired on short notice and is compact enough to be moved around on a truck to avoid surprise attack. Regular service for Agni V means sitting in a silo for decades, tended by a small crew of technicians. 

In the Pakistani tribal territories (Upper Dir) a roadside bomb killed an army general and a lieutenant colonel. The Taliban took credit.

Pakistani troops again opened fire on Indian soldiers at four outposts along the LoC in Kashmir. The Indians returned fire but no one claimed any casualties.

September 14, 2013: In eastern India (Chhattisgarh state) police commandos attacked a Maoist camp before dawn (acting on a tip from the night before) and killed 14 rebels, including a leader. Over twenty Maoists escaped, leaving many weapons and a lot of equipment behind.

In the Pakistani tribal territories (Baluchistan) the Taliban ambushed a convoy of fuel tankers headed for Afghanistan. 1 driver was killed and 8 tankers were set on fire.

September 12, 2013: In eastern India (Odisha state) police found a Maoist cache containing several weapons and 8 bombs.

In the southern Pakistan (Lahore, Punjab) police arrested 9 al Qaeda members and seized a bomb making workshop. 6 of those arrested had volunteered to be suicide bombers while the other 3 built the bombs and organized the attacks.

September 9, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (Bara) the Taliban killed 3 pro-government tribesmen and kidnapped 3 others. First, the 3 dead men were beheaded. The Taliban have increased their attacks on tribes that will not cooperate with the terrorists which only causes more hostility between the Islamic terror groups and the tribal people they are living amongst.  

September 8, 2013: Pakistani troops again opened fire on Indian soldiers along the LoC in Kashmir. The Indians returned fire but no one claimed any casualties.

In northern India (Uttar Pradesh) anti-Moslem violence broke out in a rural village, enflamed by Hindu nationalists giving anti-Moslem speeches. Over the next two days 28 people were killed, most of them Moslems. Dozens more were missing and feared dead. Additional police were called in and over a hundred arrests were made in a successful effort to halt the violence. There have been similar incidents in this area since the early 1990s. In 2009 an Indian government report, which took 16 years to complete, concluded that Hindu nationalist (BJP) politicians planned the 1992 riots that destroyed a 16th-century mosque in the Uttar Pradesh town of Ayodhya, which had been built on the ruins of an even older Hindu temple. This kicked off Hindu violence that left over 2,000 Moslems dead. Despite these occasional outbreaks, Pakistan continues to suffer 5-6 as many deaths from terrorists and rebels as does India (with 6 times the population). In other words, adjusting for population, Pakistan is 30 times as violent as India, at least when it comes to terrorist and rebel caused deaths. India has been much more successful at reducing sectarian violence than Pakistan. In particular India enforces “hate speech” laws when it comes to religious violence (and not just to punish those who speak out on unpopular topics). Thus the recent outbreak of religious violence in Uttar Pradesh led to the arrests of Hindu politicians who gave speeches advocating violence against Moslems. There’s no such policy in Pakistan for violence against non-Moslems.

September 7, 2013: Pakistan released seven Taliban leaders from prison and said this was an effort to encourage the Afghan Taliban to negotiate a peace deal. Many Pakistanis doubt this because at the same time the 7 Taliban were being released 2 Pakistani soldiers were released by the Taliban. Pakistani officials denied any exchange, but Afghans doubt releasing Taliban leaders will do any good and are inclined to believe that this is an effort by the Pakistani military to win favor with the Taliban and don’t really want the Taliban to make peace.

In Indian Kashmir Islamic terrorists opened fire on a police compound but only managed to kill two civilians while return fire killed two of the attackers. Some weapons were recovered and several of the attackers got away.

September 6, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (North Waziristan) an American UAV fired a missile that killed six Islamic terrorists, including a Haqqani Network leader (Sangeen Zadran) who had long been sought by the United States (dead or alive). Before the end of the day local clerics announced the death of Zardan. 

 

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