India-Pakistan: Musharraf Tells All

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September 27, 2006: Over the Summer (June-August), Indian security forces in Kashmir killed 52 Islamic terrorists, and arrested 156. For the first seven months of this year, India estimates that 327 Islamic terrorists have sneaked into Kashmir from Pakistan. Comparable numbers for past years are 1,373 in 2003, 530 in 2004 and 524 in 2005. Indian security forces have had a lot more success this year in hunting down Islamic terrorists in Kashmir, and now has reports that as many as 600 Islamic terrorists are assembled in Pakistan, for a sustained border crossing attempt.
September 26, 2006: Unrest in Baluchistan is declining, but the anger among the tribes is still there.
September 23, 2006: Mullah Omar, the last head of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, is hiding out in Pakistan, and just issued a statement endorsing the recent peace deal between the Pakistani Pushtun tribes and the Pakistani government.
September 22, 2006: In West Bengal, India, a Maoist land mine killed two policemen, and wounded 29 other people, while the police were trying to defuse it. The Maoists are now on the defensive, because of increased police and army activity.
September 21, 2006: President Musharraf has a new book out, a memoir. Lots of headline grabbing tidbits, but nothing really new for those who were paying attention to what has been going on in Pakistan over the last decade. Musharraf says that, right after September 11, 2001, the U.S. told him to join them in the battle against the Taliban, or "get bombed back to the stone age." Nothing new there. How soon we forget. Musharraf also noted his embarrassment when, in 2003, the CIA showed him the evidence that Pakistani scientists had sold nuclear weapons technology to North Korea and Iran. Musharraf also says that the 1999 Kargil war with India was started because of Indian aggression (at the time, it was pretty clear that Islamic terrorists from Pakistan triggered the conflict). Musharraf staged a coup when he, as head of the army, had a dispute with the elected president of Pakistan over the Kargil war (which Musharraf backed) and other matters.
September 20, 2006: The president of Afghanistan is openly calling on Pakistan to shut down Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. The Pakistanis say they have, or are, or will, or whatever. The Afghans also urge Pakistan to do something about the root problem; the Pakistani governments support for Islamic conservatives. This policy has been in effect since the late 1970s, and was originally seen as a way to deal with the corruption that interfered with economic growth and the development of efficient government. It turned out that Islamic conservatism was not the answer, but getting the genie back into the bottle has proved difficult. Billions of dollars in contributions from Saudi religious charities has led to the creation of thousands of religious schools since the 1980s, and the creation of a generation of Pakistani Islamic radicals. That's where the Taliban came from, Afghan refugees in Pakistan who attended these schools and were radicalized. Afghanistan wants Pakistan to shut down the schools, but Pakistan cannot do so without risking an armed uprising. The Pakistani government is not willing to take that gamble.

 

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