India-Pakistan: August 7, 2004

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 Pakistani police announced that al Qaeda leader Qari Saifullah Akhtar had been arrested in the United Arab Emirates, at the request of Pakistan, a week earlier and flown back to Pakistan.   Akhtar had run terrorist training camps in Afghanistan before 2001 and was involved in two recent assassination attempts against Pakistani president Musharraf. While Pakistan has been energetic going after al Qaeda, it has not touched Taliban or Pakistani Islamic militants. Many of the Taliban are from Pushtun tribes in Pakistan. There are actually more Pushtuns in Pakistan than in Afghanistan, with the international border running right through Pushtun tribal territory. The Islamic militants involved in fighting in Kashmir are also immune. Apparently the Kashmir terrorists are OK as long as they do not shelter al Qaeda members. But some of the Pushtun tribes have provided sanctuary to al Qaeda members, and the Pakistani army continues to operate along the Afghan border trying to grab those al Qaeda living in the area. 

 

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