India-Pakistan: Sending a Message Via Mutilation

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June 21, 2006: In India, Maoist rebels have increased their terror attacks against tribal people in eastern India. In Chhattisgarh state, Maoists killed seven people and kidnapped another 25, in an effort to force tribal people to support, or at least not inform on, Maoist rebels. Some 50,000 tribal people have fled the Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh, and the Maoists are attacking the refugee camps as well, to terrorize the refugees. In nearby Andhra Pradesh state, police killed three Maoists, including a senior leader. In the last six months, over 300 Maoist rebels have been killed in India.

June 20, 2006: Pakistan has moved several hundred troops into the tribal areas of the northwest to suppress tribal warfare over water. Every time there's a drought (several times each decade), the tribes will fight over control of water. This time around, at least five have died in skirmishing over water access. The battles this time often involve Afghan Pushtun tribes from the other side of the border.

June 19, 2006: India has made it illegal for civilians in Kashmir to wear military uniforms, especially the camouflage uniforms worn by combat troops. This is because it has become increasingly common for Islamic terrorists to disguise themselves as soldiers.

June 18, 2006: Pakistan has announced a large economic development program for the tribal areas of the northwest (the Pushtun tribes) and the southwest (the Baluchi tribes of Baluchistan). Lack of jobs, and mass media that lets the unemployed youth know what they are missing out on, has been a major cause of the current unrest. For thousands of years in the past, when the number of unemployed, or underemployed, young men grew large enough, an enterprising warlord would organize a large raid into the more civilized, and wealthier, regions to the east. The ensuing war would kill off a lot of the young tribesmen, make some of the survivors rich, and that would be that for another generation or so. But that sort of thing is no longer possible. Now the tribal raiders join terrorists, and move about in small groups, killing and looting. The government believes jobs are the answer, and for most of the young men, they are. But corrupt government and tribal officials will have to be overcome before programs like this can work.

June 16, 2006: Islamic terrorists in Pakistan and India have increasingly taken to mutilating those they are intimidating. Cutting off noses and tongues is a favorite method to discourage informers. For India, this is only happening in Kashmir, where Islamic radicals are trying to control the Moslem majority, and drive out all non-Moslems. In Pakistan, this form of terrorism is most intense in the northwest tribal areas. Here, there is an ongoing war within the tribes, between the Islamic radicals, and more moderate factions.

June 15, 2006: In Karachi, Pakistan, gunmen ambushed a police commander, killing him, three other policemen and a civilian. The police commander was in charge of prisons, and it is not known if the killing was related to Islamic radicals, or criminals unhappy with some prison situation.

 

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