India-Pakistan: Communists Conscripting Children

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October 31, 2006: In eastern India, Maoist terrorists have threatened hundreds of farmers with death if they farm land the Maoists want to take and give to landless people in the area. The police are unable to provide sufficient protection for the threatened farmers, so about 10,000 acres has been left idle. The Maoists have also been forcibly recruiting children from families with two or more children. By getting the kids young, at 8 or 9, the Maoists can indoctrinate them and turn them into dedicated fighters.

October 30, 2006: In Bangladesh, street violence by political parties left several dead and over 30 wounded. The opposition parties are protesting government decisions over how to handle upcoming (in January) elections. The current government is a coalition, containing Islamic parties. The opposition sees those Islamic parties has having too much influence, and encouraging Islamic radicals.

October 29, 2006: Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked a religious school near the Afghan border, killing 80 people. The school was identified as an al Qaeda refuge and training center. Local tribesmen insisted that there were no terrorists at the school, but that is a normal response. The tribes believe the attack is a violation of the recent peace deal between the tribes and government. But the fact that the government used their helicopters in the attack, indicates it was believed senior al Qaeda or Taliban leaders were staying at the school. These leaders move around, to avoid capture, and are known to stop at places like religious schools, where they are more certain of hospitality and security from informers.

October 28, 2006: Another terrorist bomb went off in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province (in southwest Pakistani). The Baluchi tribes continue to battle against the government, demanding more autonomy and oil money.

October 27, 2006: Indian police arrested two Pakistanis, along with documents, a laptop and satellite phone, linking the two men to terrorist groups in Kashmir and Pakistan. The two were planning another bombing in India. The two men resisted arrest and were taken only after a gun battle. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan agreed to restore air-freight service between them. Such service was severed 35 years ago, when the two countries were at war.

October 26, 2006: Hundreds of foreign men have left North Waziristan, as part of the peace deal between the tribes and the government to eliminate al Qaeda and Taliban refuges. The foreigners have fled to other Pakistani areas along the Afghan border, or into Afghanistan itself. Many of these men are from Central Asia (especially Uzbekistan), and have been in the area for ten years or more. The men fled their Central Asian homelands because the local dictators were too effective in finding and killing Islamic militants. The men have since become core members of Taliban and al Qaeda groups along the Afghan border, and married into Pushtun tribes. The men left their wives and families behind, indicating that they plan to return after the government has shifted its attention elsewhere.

October 25, 2006: Pakistan is unable to go after many prominent Islamic militants because the militants preach an anti-Hindu (the majority religion in India) message that has been popular since Pakistan was created in 1947 (by splitting British India according to religion, producing India and Pakistan). The Pakistani militants preach the need to terrorize and attack Indians, in order to reclaim border areas, like Kashmir, that should belong to Pakistan. Some Islamic militant preacher have built up huge organizations that have made the preachers wealthy, and the government wary of offending the preachers followers.

 

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