India-Pakistan: January 14, 2005


In Pakistan, troops began house to house searches for weapons in villages near Baluchistan gas fields that were recently attacked by tribesmen. Most tribal leaders are content with the gas royalty arrangements, but radical elements have no trouble getting tribesmen excited by saying that there should be more royalty money to spread around. This sort of thing is a direct challenge to the authority of the traditional tribal leadership. These leaders lost face when the gas fields were attacked, and have asked the government to let the tribes discipline the attackers. The leading tribal dissidents are remnants of communist rebel groups formed over three decades ago. Communism is still seen as a modern, progressive set of ideas in this part of the world, and the idea of a good old fashioned communist dictatorship, to make things all better, still finds believers. Can UFOs be far behind?

The government is, for the moment, holding off on sending in massive numbers of troops. To the north, in the Pushtun lands, soldiers have killed over 3,000 tribesmen and foreign Islamic radicals in the past year, and had 202 soldiers killed doing it. Some Baluchis believe they could put up a better fight, but would rather not have to. The army would eventually win, at least as far as the body count went. 


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