Pakistan has agreed to ban Haqqani Network and ten other Islamic terrorist organizations that long had sanctuary in Pakistan because these groups only attacked foreigners, in particular countries Pakistan wanted to fight but could not handle just using its military forces. The enemy states in this case were mainly Afghanistan and India. This relationship was never an official policy but Afghanistan, India and the United States have compiled a massive amount of evidence (documents, witness statements, Pakistani communications and such) showing that Pakistan began using Islamic terrorism this way in the 1970s. It is believed that this new ban will largely be for show. If Pakistan were really serious about going after these Islamic terrorists they would arrest the known leaders and shut down the terrorist training camps and recruiting offices that have long operated openly in Pakistan. It is believed there will be no real action against the terrorist leaders and camps, if only because that would turn these groups into hostile forces inside Pakistan. The problem is that over 30 years of official support for Islamic radicalism has created a large minority of the population who actively support Islamic terrorism and many of these people would continue to do so despite any number of bans. Just getting this largely symbolic ban required the Americans to use some convincing persuasion on Pakistan. This involved the U.S. agreeing to release a billion dollars for expenses Pakistani security forces have incurred during counter-terrorism operations. These funds were withheld for years because Pakistan refused to shut down Islamic terrorist camps in Waziristan and go after groups like the Haqqani Network. But starting in June 2014 the Pakistani military invaded North Waziristan and appears to have attacked some Haqqani Network facilities. But no senior Haqqani leaders have been arrested. Because of the money involved American terrorism and intel experts will seek to confirm Pakistani compliance before all the money is handed over. There are still suspicions that the Pakistani military has allowed Haqqani and some other Islamic terrorist groups to avoid losses during the North Waziristan operation by letting them know when and where attacks were taking place. Despite the North Waziristan operation, the many other Islamic terrorist groups (based outside the northwest tribal territories) that concentrate on India have not been touched. The U.S. has long urged Pakistan to halt its undeclared terrorist campaign against India but so far Pakistan has refused. The U.S. has been warning Pakistan openly that their terrorism policy will only result in more attacks inside Pakistan and a lot of Pakistanis are beginning to publicly agree with this assessment. Pakistan has a created a monster that is turning on its maker.
Pakistan continues its heavy use of air attacks in North Waziristan, using American smart bombs to hit suspected terrorist hideouts. The cold weather has forced the Islamic terrorists to seek shelter and that makes them more vulnerable to detection and attack. This is especially true since most of the civilians have fled North Waziristan. Army troops follow up on many of the air strikes to confirm who was killed and find that most of the attacks do indeed hit Islamic terrorists. The troops also seek to collect documents (electronic or paper) and identify the dead. The operations in North Waziristan have left nearly 2,000 Islamic terrorists dead since June as well as about 200 soldiers and police.
The North Waziristan campaign has created another problem, the refugees (over 500,000 of them) who fled their homes to avoid the fighting. These people are living in temporary camps or doubled up with kin and suffering from a lack of food, schooling, medical care and so on. There is a lot of pressure on the government to allow the refugees to return home when the weather gets warmer in a few months. To do that the remaining Islamic terrorists have to be killed or chased out of the area. Even then there will need to be more intensive policing in North Waziristan to make it difficult for the Islamic terrorists to return to a population that still tolerates and sometimes even supports them.
Pro-reform Pakistanis see another military power-grab in the recent decision to allow the military to set up special courts to try the thousands of Islamic terrorism suspects awaiting trial. Since the late 1990s there has been growing pressure to strip the military of all the economic and political privileges it has acquired over the last half century. The reformers also note that the military is continuing to create border incidents with India, violating a 2003 ceasefire negotiated by elected politicians and largely ignored by the military. This border violence is also carried out to maintain the myth that India is preparing to invade and that Pakistan needs its armed forces, no matter how much they cost.
In Pakistan (Karachi) Islamic terrorists killed another polio vaccination worker who was treating children in a suburban area. That work was halted temporarily so police could search for the killers. These killing usually occur in the tribal territories, where opposition to vaccination is more widespread and effective. This has led to a large number of polio cases (303 in 2014, the highest since 1998), mostly in the tribal areas. Among the refugees from the North Waziristan fighting are over 200,000 children who have never been vaccinated. Some of those refugees fled to Karachi where over a million people from the tribal areas have settled in the last decade. Some 80 percent of recent polio cases in Pakistan still occur in the tribal territories of the northwest. Now the vaccination teams are able to vaccinate most of the North Waziristan children in safety in the refugee camps and in relative safety in Waziristan. This won’t reduce the high number of polio cases this year but will make a big difference next year. The Taliban, and many other Islamic terrorist groups believe polio vaccinations are a Western plot to poison Moslem children. Since 2012 67 polio vaccination workers in Pakistan have been killed by Islamic terrorists.
In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) an American UAV used two missiles to kill five Islamic terrorists. In neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over 600 have been arrested in the last two days, including 125 illegal migrants from Afghanistan. The main objective of the operation was to find Islamic terrorists and 113 firearms and over 3,000 rounds of ammunition were also seized.
In Pakistan the government has executed at least 20 Islamic terrorists since it decided on December 17 to lift the ban on executions. Pakistan has over 8,000 people in prison with death sentences. Nearly half of them are their because of terrorist activities and the government said it would execute many of them. Islamic terrorist groups are scrambling to try and bribe or intimidate judges to prevent the execution of at least some of the condemned.
The Iranian economic problems have led India to make itself very useful to Iran. Barter deals enabled India to import 42 percent more Iranian oil (276,800 barrels a day) in 2014. India, Russia and Iran have created an unofficial currency union and barter network to facilitate trade that gets around the sanctions. India wants peace with Iran because Iran is often on bad terms with Pakistan. Russia is still a major supplier of weapons to India and India has many leftists who are still nostalgic about the old Soviet Union.
India recently tested its improved counter-terrorism measures implemented after the November 2008 Islamic terrorist attack in Mumbai. The test consisted of deploying 450 special police to monitor 70 areas along the coast near Mumbai where the mock terrorists might land. In 24 hours the terrorists made thirty attempts to sneak into Mumbai and plant dummy explosives. In 27 percent of these attempts the mock terrorists succeeded. On the bright side any real terrorists planning to hit Mumbai again have to realize that, while they could do it, the risk of getting caught was higher than in 2008. But for Indians it made it clear that the country was still vulnerable. This was demonstrated on December 31st when a boat carrying explosives from Pakistan was intercepted.
India has launched another major offensive in the east against leftist (Maoist) rebels. India believes they are wearing the Maoists down. For example in 2014 Maoist related deaths were down 25 percent (to 314). The peak year for this violence was 2010, when 1,180 died. That’s a 73 percent decline in four years. The Maoists are feeling the pressure and some factions are now willing to negotiate a peace deal.
January 18, 2015: In Indian Kashmir troops killed two Islamic terrorists from Pakistan. The dead men carried two AK-47s, a pistol and other equipment brought with them from Pakistan. In the last two days six other Islamic terrorists were killed in the area and all eight are believed to have crossed the border recently.
In Pakistan thousands protested the publication of a picture of Mohammed on the cover of French magazine Charlie Hebdo (whose offices were attacked earlier and 12 people murdered). These demonstrations have been taking place for nearly a week and on the 16th a journalist was shot in Karachi by an armed demonstrator. Despite, or because of this, more Moslems are speaking up about the fact that there was never a religious prohibition to depicting the prophet Mohammed in a picture and centuries old pictures of Mohammed exist. These were created in Moslem countries where there was never any homicidal rage over such illustrations. The current violence is based on a myth created by modern Islamic radicals and successfully imposed on many Moslems.
January 17, 2015: Afghanistan revealed that it had arrested five men, only described as non-Afghans, near the Pakistani border and are holding them because of suspected involvement in the December 16 massacre at a Pakistani school. That attack led Afghanistan to agree to cooperate in capturing or killing all those responsible.
January 15, 2015: In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) an American UAV used two missiles to kill seven Islamic terrorists.
Intelligence officials in Indian Kashmir believe over 200 Islamic terrorists in 36 locations are on the Pakistani side of the border waiting for an opportunity to sneak across.
January 11, 2015:
Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States have agreed to cooperate on finding and killing Mullah Fazlullah, the head of the Pakistan Taliban, who is believed to operate from a hideout in Kunar province (eastern Afghanistan on the Pakistan border). All three countries will pool their intel on Fazlullah while the Americans will seek to kill Fazlullah as soon as he is found (before he can find another hiding place) using missile armed UAVs. This sudden cooperation over Fazlullah is the result of Pakistanis capturing radio messages in which Fazlullah can be heard directing the December Taliban attack on a Pakistani school that left 132 children dead.
January 10, 2015: A faction of the Pakistani Taliban released a video on the Internet showing them pledging allegiance to ISIL. To “celebrate” that announcement the video concluded with the beheading of a Pakistani soldier. One of the Islamic terrorists shown in the video actually pledged allegiance to ISIL back in October but the local ISIL chapter apparently has some new recruits.
January 9, 2015: In Pakistan (Rawalpindi) a suicide bomber attacked a Shia mosque, killing five people. No one took credit so any number of Sunni Islamic terror groups were suspected because all of them consider Shia heretics.
January 8, 2015: In northwest Pakistan (Lower Kurram) a roadside bomb killed four soldiers and wounded three others. In eastern Pakistan (Karachi) seven al Qaeda men were killed. The dead included a wanted terrorist leader. In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) the body of an air force officer, who disappeared on the 4th, was found. He had been shot to death and the Taliban claimed responsibility. Elsewhere in Baluchistan two soldiers were ambushed and killed.
January 6, 2015: In eastern Pakistan (Karachi) police killed three members of the Taliban in a gun battle.
January 5, 2015: In Indian Kashmir artillery killed four Islamic terrorists preparing to cross the border into India. Pakistan claimed the dead men were civilians. Technically, Islamic terrorists recruited and trained in Pakistan are civilians. Pakistan had earlier resumed firing across the border at Indian troops, killing one. India is also angry about recent Pakistani violence on the Kashmir border, which has involved attacks on 60 Indian border posts along 200 kilometers of the frontier. Pakistan insists the Indians fired first but this is rarely the case.
January 4, 2015: In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) American UAVs used missiles to kill seven Islamic terrorists.
January 3, 2015: In Kashmir Pakistani machine-gun and artillery fire across the border killed a civilian and wounded a dozen others. Over a thousand civilians fled the violence.
January 1, 2015: Pakistan began the year with a nationwide offensive against Islamic terrorists. This involved rounding up the usual suspects in the major cities, especially those outside the tribal areas. Hundreds of searches were conducted. In most cases offering more bribes did not stop the police who were under orders to show results (as in hit the places they normally took bribes to leave alone) or else. Outside the tribal territories the most violent place has been the city of Karachi, where nearly 1,100 people died in fighting the security forces in 2014. Fifteen percent of the dead were security personnel and most of the battles were involved with Islamic terrorists.
On the Kashmir border Pakistani troops opened fire on 13 Indian border posts. This wounded one soldier and one civilian. The Indians returned fire.
December 31, 2014: Off the Indian west coast (near Gujarat just south of the border) an Indian warship hailed a small ship that intelligence had been tracking since it recently left Pakistan (Karachi). There are normally about 8,000 small craft between Karachi and the Indian coast but this one ship was believed part of an Islamic terrorist effort to launch another terror attack in India. When the suspect boat was hailed it switched off its lights and fled. As the Indian warship was catching up the suspect boat stopped and then exploded. The size of the explosion indicated explosives on board. Pakistan denied that it had anything to do with the boat and some suggested the boat was smuggling diesel fuel and exploded when fired on The intelligence service later identified the four men on board and provided evidence that they were up to something illegal. All this was similar to how the 2008 Islamic terrorist attack on Mumbai took place. This time the boat from Pakistan was halted 370 kilometers from the Indian coast.
On the Kashmir border Pakistani troops opened fire on an Indian patrol. The Indians returned fire killing four Pakistani troops. India believe this was the beginning of a period of cross-border firing to distract Indian forces so Islamic terrorists could sneak in from Pakistan. India was also mad at Pakistan backing off on its pledge to arrest the Pakistani based Islamic terrorists known to have directed the 2008 attack on Mumbai.
December 28, 2014: In the southwest, on the Iranian border, three members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, sent to reinforce the border police, were killed when their border post was attacked. Tribal (Sunni Baluchi) rebels were believed responsible. The next day, in retaliation, Iranian troops fired 42 rockets into Pakistan at a village believed to harbor Baluchi rebels from Iran. The rockets wounded seven Pakistanis. The Iranian Baluchis are a persistent and growing problem in this area, despite frequent arrests.