The last of the American troops are leaving the earthquake zone in northeast Pakistan. The U.S. troops have been doing relief work there for six months, and up to 1,200 Americans were involved at any one time. There are only about two hundred left. The American troops, their helicopters, and seemingly unending supply of relief materials, made the U.S. very popular in an area that had long been dominated by Islamic radicals.
March 20, 2006: Violence continues in Indian Kashmir, although at a declining rate. Most of the attacks now are minor. Things like a few rifle shots, or a thrown grenade. There are fewer and fewer armed terrorists left in Kashmir, as Pakistan cracks down on the Islamic groups in Pakistani Kashmir, where there have long been terrorist training camps.
March 19, 2006: In eastern India, Maoist rebels used an anti-vehicle mine to destroy a police truck and kill two policemen and injure 13. Some three dozen police had been searching for Maoists in the area. The police have armed many local civilians, which causes problems for the Maoists. The rebels have used terror against civilians who were not enthusiastic about supporting the Maoist revolution. Many of the civilians, who have had family members killed by Maoists, are eager for revenge, and there have been several gun battles between these civilian self-defense forces and the Maoists.
March 18, 2006: The U.S. and Afghanistan are keeping up the pressure on Pakistan to move against pro-terrorist tribesmen along the Afghan border. This forces the Pakistanis to attack, which they don't like to do. Attacking the tribes causes long term problems with these people, who can hold a grudge for generations, and are difficult to disarm.
March 15, 2006: In Pakistani Baluchistan, a bomb went off next to a girls school, wounding fourteen (most of them students). The Pakistani is under a lot of pressure to double its education spending, to deal with the fact that Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates (less than 50 percent) in the world. Part of the problem is the Islamic conservative pressure not to educate women. But this lack of literacy limit economic growth and the ability of people to participate in democracy. It is also easier to recruit Islamic terrorists from an illiterate population. Islamic conservatives will often attack those involved with trying to educate women and girls.