India-Pakistan: Border Sores

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October 14, 2013: Despite the elected leaders of India and Pakistan agreeing that the 2003 ceasefire should be enforced, Pakistani politicians are still reluctant to take on their military leaders directly over this. The generals still speak out against any attempts to calm things down on the Indian border and blame India for any problems there. The generals see peace with India as a threat, as for decades the military has justified their large budget and affluence of the senior officers by claiming that India is planning to invade Pakistan. The Pakistani politicians know better but are afraid of getting into public arguments with the generals. In the past, this was what usually preceded a coup. India accuses the Pakistani military of trying to get as many Islamic terrorists into Kashmir before the Winter snows close many of the remote smuggling routes the terrorists use to get into Kashmir. The Pakistani generals dismiss all this as part of an Indian plot to weaken Pakistan.

In the Pakistani tribal territories (Waziristan) 4 more cases of polio were reported, making 31 in the territories so far this year (and 43 in all of Pakistan). A Taliban ban on polio vaccinations has left over 250,000 young children vulnerable to the disease, and these are the ones getting infected. Polio should have been eliminated entirely by now, but there has been resistance from Islamic clergy in some countries, who insist the vaccinations are a Western plot to harm Moslem children. This has enabled polio to survive in some Moslem countries (especially Nigeria, Somalia, and Pakistan). The disease also survives in some very corrupt nations, like Kenya and India, because of the difficulty in getting vaccine to remote areas, tracking down nomad groups, and stopping corrupt officials from plundering the vaccination program (and causing many vaccinations to not happen). 

India is assigning ten UAVs to special national police units operating against Maoist rebels in eastern India. The police battalions there have long demanded more air support, and UAVs are preferred to manned aircraft because the unmanned aircraft can stay in the air longer. The government has kept the military out of this operation, instead mobilizing 100,000 police personnel, most of them in special counter-terror battalions and smaller police commando units. The UAVs will mostly be working in Chhattisgarh state, which has the most intense Maoist activity. The anti-Maoist campaign is one of patrols, raids, and constant intelligence gathering.

India and China are still talking about their border disputes. This has halted Chinese use of troops to move across the border into remote areas that China claims but has not resulted in a Chinese agreement that this sort of thing will not happen again. Chinese troops are still more numerous on the border than their Indian counterparts and China has renewed its tactics of not recognizing the passports of Indians living in the areas China claims (since these people are, in Chinese eyes, Chinese citizens who are trying to use Indian IDs and passports). Indian diplomats fear that the current situation is just a truce and that the Chinese will not give up their efforts to take the Indian territory they claim.

October 13, 2013: The United States and India agreed to increase cooperation in monitoring and blocking Islamic terrorist group financing. This requires comparing banking system records and blocking transactions by terrorists. The U.S. has been very successful at this and greater access to the Indian banking system enables the U.S. to compare activity it has on India based terror groups with what India has. This is expected to reveal patterns and connections that were not visible before.

October 12, 2013: Afghan police reported that they clashed with a group of Pakistani Islamic terrorists near the Pakistan border and killed 5 of them and wounded 3. The terrorists attacked a border post, but the Afghans were prepared and suffered no casualties in repelling the attack. The surviving terrorists fled back into Pakistan where Pakistani police were alerted and searched for them (without success).

October 10, 2013: A bomb exploded outside a police station in Quetta, the largest city in Baluchistan (southwest Pakistan). 6 died and over 30 were wounded. In eastern Pakistan (Lahore) a smaller bomb went off in a marketplace, killing 1 and wounding several others. In the northwestern city of Peshawar 5 policemen were wounded by a roadside bomb. The 5 were returning from guarding polio vaccination teams. This is the first year that soldiers as well as police were assigned to guard the vaccination teams from Taliban attack.

In Pakistan police arrested former president (and retired head of the Pakistani military) Pervez Musharraf for the death of a radical Pakistani cleric in 2007. The radical cleric Abdul Rashid Ghaz was killed, along with a hundred of his followers, when the army attacked the Red Mosque in the capital. That mosque compound had become a base for more and more radical activity in the capital. Yesterday Musharraf finally received bail on the last (of three) charges he had previously been arrested on. Musharraf has been held under house arrest.

October 8, 2013: India announced that it was calling off its search of a border area in Kashmir where several groups of Islamic terrorists had tried to cross over from Pakistan. India accused Pakistani troops of firing across the border to distract Indian troops to give the terrorists a better chance of getting clear of the Indian soldiers. Pakistan has employed this tactic many times before, and this time the Pakistanis made a big deal of denying it. Indian troops spent over a week skirmishing with these Islamic terrorists and killed 12 of them.

October 7, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (outside Peshawar), a roadside bomb killed 6 people involved in polio vaccinations.

In eastern Afghanistan (Khost province, near the Pakistan border) U.S. troops captured Latif Mehsud, a Pakistani Taliban media official. Mehsud was in charge of arranging meetings between Pakistani Taliban officials and journalists. The Pakistani Taliban waited a few days before admitting Mehsud had been taken.

October 6, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (North Waziristan), a roadside bomb killed 3 soldiers and wounded 7 others.

October 5, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories the government, for the first time, ordered that soldiers as well as police be assigned to guard the vaccination teams from Taliban attack.

In Indian Kashmir troops killed 7 Islamic terrorists who had just crossed over from Pakistan.

October 4, 2013: In Indian Kashmir (Poonch) Pakistani troops opened fire on Indian border posts. The Indians returned fire but there were no casualties.

October 3, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (Upper Orakzai) the Taliban sent 4 suicide bombers to attack a compound belonging to a pro-government tribal militia. The attack left 15 dead. The Pakistani Taliban are encountering growing resistance from tribes that are fed up with all the Islamic terrorist violence and are now willing to organize and fight the religious radicals.

October 2, 2013: India accused Pakistan of again ordering its soldiers to help Islamic terrorists get across the border into Kashmir. This incident began with multiple simultaneous crossing attempts on September 23rd, which led to over a week of fighting with the terrorists, as well as fire coming across the border from Pakistani troops. Over 20 of the terrorists were trapped for a while in the abandoned village of Shala Bhatta.

In Baluchistan (southwest Pakistan) a terrorist bomb killed 2 soldiers and wounded another. The troops were involved in distributing relief supplies to victims of a recent earthquake. Tribal separatists in the area thought the army was using this disaster relief effort as an excuse to get close to rebel camps in the area.

September 30, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (North Waziristan), 2 American UAV missile attacks in the last 2 days killed 6 Islamic terrorists.

September 29, 2013: The Indian and Pakistani leaders met at the UN in New York and agreed that they should do everything possible to revive the 2003 ceasefire. In the last few years the Pakistani military has increased the number of attacks across the border, usually in Kashmir and usually in coordination with Islamic terrorists based in Pakistan. These terrorists have long been supported by Pakistan to attack India. Pakistan denies this but it is an open secret in Pakistan.

In the Pakistani tribal territories (Peshawar) a car bomb killed 39 people and wounded over a hundred in a crowded market.

 

 

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