India-Pakistan: The Problem That Doesn't Exist Is Being Taken Care Of


December20, 2006: The political leadership in Pakistan is corrupt, and unable to agree among themselves. Thus we have the country run by a military dictatorship (the generals are less corrupt), while the non-military politicians (including many representing Islamic conservative parties) fret and fume. Many politicians play the religious card ("the West is at war with Islam"), which plays well to many Pakistanis. These "religious" politicians have enough popular support to prevent the army from shutting down Islamic terrorist operations in the country. Only those groups, like al Qaeda, that openly declared war on the government, have been crushed (but not eliminated.)

The growing political violence in Bangladesh is more about militant leftist movements, than it is about Islamic radicalism. Political radicalism in general is leading to more violence, as more people become frustrated at the corruption and incompetence in government.

December 19, 2006: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) a pro-government tribal leader was killed by a bomb. The dead man, Banglan Khan, had come over to the government side earlier this year, and that made him enemies among the Baluchi tribal leaders who did not want to make peace with the government.

December 18, 2006: In Pakistan, a senior police commander in the northwest tribal areas, was shot dead. The victim has been increasingly effective at shutting down gang activities, which may have gotten him killed.

December 17, 2006: In central India, a Maoist terror campaign against tribal groups has backfired. Most of the tribesmen in Chhattisgarh state have now backed the government. Maoist violence in the area has left over 400 people dead this year, most of them civilians. The Marxists insist they are seeking to liberate the tribesmen from oppression, but the tribesmen who refuse this help are threatened, and sometimes killed, by the communist militants.The tribesmen are not attracted to the communist propaganda.

December 16, 2006: Fewer Islamic terrorists have been crossing from Pakistan into Kashmir, but India accuses Pakistan of refusing to shut down the Islamic terrorist groups, and their camps, in northern Pakistan. This is apparently the case, with the Islamic terrorists enjoying the support of Islamic conservative political parties. Meanwhile, the latest persistent rumor is that, for the past year, al Qaeda has been training a dozen Western converts to Islam (two Norwegians, an Australian, and nine Britons) for a special mission in Europe. This is given credence because police in Europe are constantly arresting terrorists who have trained, often quite recently, in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan just denies that these training camps exist, and that it is negotiating with the Pushtun tribes to shut down these camps, that don't exist.

December 15, 2006: India is reorganizing the security forces in Kashmir, because the Islamic terrorists are fading fast, and a political peace deal with locals is looming. For a population of ten million, Kashmir currently has 65,000 police, 23,000 Special Police and 40,000 part time security personnel guarding 3,000 villages. The new force would be 200,000 locally recruited police, in fifty battalions. Eventually, many of these battalions would be moved to other parts of India. Five of the fifty battalions are already being formed. India may not form all fifty battalions, even though the program is pitched as a way to solve the unemployment problem in Kashmir. Years of terrorism have wrecked the economy.

December 14, 2006: Pakistan insists, to Afghanistan, that it is curbing Taliban activity in the tribal areas along the Afghan border. But these tribal areas, which contain some three million very independent minded Pushtun tribesmen, openly flout their Taliban support, and Western journalists are publishing stories, with interviews and pictures, of Taliban fighters training and resting in Pakistan. Yet the Pakistani government insists that the Taliban are wholly an Afghan problem, and that Afghanistan has to take care of it. Pakistan blames much of the problem on the three million Afghan refugees still living in Pakistan. The United States puts pressure on Pakistan to do something about this Taliban sanctuary, and the Pakistani reply with reports of how they are making the tribes self-policing, and that the tribes have, indeed, curbed (but not eliminated) foreign terrorists (who threaten the Pakistani government). The Taliban are considered something that is part of the Pushtun tribal tradition, and exists on both sides of the border. The Afghans believe the Pakistani government, and the Taliban, are simply doing what they want in Pakistan, and benefiting from the growing opium and heroin production with in Afghanistan.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close