India-Pakistan: August 13, 2002


India also asserts that Pakistan has not stopped the movement of rebels from camps in Pakistani Kashmir into Indian Kashmir. Pakistan has not tried to shut down all the rebel camps in Pakistani Kashmir. This area is basically under the control Islamic militants who recruit and trail most of the rebels fighting Indian forces in Kashmir. The fighting in Kashmir is very popular in Pakistan and the government risks unrest and outright rebellion if it tries to suppress the Islamic militant operations in Kashmir. One possible way out is the attempts by unarmed separatist groups in Indian Kashmir to negotiate a new arrangement with India. This might not separate Indian Kashmir from India, but if it appears that most Kashmiris go along with it, the Pakistani government might feel confident enough to defeat the Islamic militants supporting the fighting in Kashmir. A lot of "ifs", perhaps too many.

It appears that al Qaeda members are behind the a series of attacks in the last few months that have left three Americans, 11 Frenchmen and 40 Pakistanis dead. The attacks sometimes used suicide bombers, which is a tactic common to al Qaeda, but not to the Pakistani Islamic radical groups. Police has arrested at least 50 Pakistani radicals in the last few days and believe that two of the five main Islamic radical groups in Pakistan have allied themselves with al Qaeda. More attacks are expected against foreigners, non-Moslems and government officials. The objective is said to be the overthrow of the current government. 

The army and police have been more active looking for terrorists along the Afghan border. However, similar operations in Pakistani Kashmir have not been undertaken. While the terrorists can hide out in Pakistani Kashmir, they have to leave those sanctuaries to   attack their non-Moslem targets. 

A fifth victim of the August 9th attack on a Christian hospital has died of wounds. A total of five died and 25 were wounded in that attack. All the casualties were Pakistani Christians.

Police and troops continue to search the Afghan border areas for al Qaeda and illegal weapons. Over 300 al Qaeda suspects have been captured in the past nine months, New weapons seizures are made every week. Resistance from the local tribes has been light, as the police are using Pushtun troops and police to do a lot of the searches and often negotiate safe passage with local tribal leaders.

Pakistan is under more international pressure for not stopping Islamic militant activity in Indian Kashmir. New elections are planned in Kashmir, and the rebels are trying to disrupt them. The rebels want no compromise or democracy, they just want non-Moslems out of Kashmir. 


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