Al Qaeda is fighting back against the Pakistani tactic of
bombing terrorist camps along the Afghan border. In the last few weeks,
terrorists bomb attacks have killed over a hundred people. Police have
also prevented several additional bombings, capturing bomb making materials and
documents proving the al Qaeda connection. Some of the captured bombers were
actually preparing for attacks on Shia religious festivals next month, but most
were revenge hits ordered up by al Qaeda.
is in a tough position. With most of the population either enthusiastic, or
supportive, of Islamic radicalism, it's difficult for the government to declare
open war on the tribes providing bases for the Taliban and al Qaeda along the
Afghan border. Officers have already reported that up to a third of their
troops might be "unreliable" if there were sustained military
operations in the tribal territory. Yet, if the government does not go after
these bases, the people in them have vowed to continue building their strength
until they can topple the government. Such a headache.
18, 2007: The courtroom bombing motivated the police to arrests fifty
terrorist suspects. Meanwhile, a Pakistani train headed for India was bombed,
killing at least 65. Al Qaeda was again suspected. The train service with India
was just resumed, after being suspended in 2002 because Islamic terrorists
attacked the Indian parliament.
is offering Myanmar more goodies (weapons, diplomatic support), to get more
cooperation in shutting down tribal separatists from northeast India, who have
bases in jungle forests on the Myanmar side of the border.
17, 2007: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan), a suicide bomber set off his
explosives in a courtroom, killing the judge and 14 others. Another 30 people
were wounded. This was unusual, for the Baluchis are not into suicide attacks.
Police believe the bomber was an Afghan, or a non-Baluchi of some sort,
probably dispatched by al Qaeda.
16, 2007: Police in Pakistan say they have evidence that the recent suicide
bombings were the work of Islamic radical groups in the tribal areas along the
Afghan border. But the Taliban and al Qaeda groups hiding out there continue to
deny any involvement. This is so the terrorists can make their point (and
intimidate the government), without enraging the public and encouraging another
major military operation along the border. Meanwhile, the Pakistani government
is insisting that Afghanistan do more to guard their common border. Currently,
the Pakistanis have about a thousand watchposts along the 2,500 kilometer
border, while Afghanistan has only about a hundred. But this is the result of
different tactics. Afghanistan has access to a NATO (mainly American) force of
recon aircraft and UAVs to patrol the border, while Pakistan has more people.
Nevertheless, Pakistan is willing to cooperate more with border security. This
might help settle the argument between Pakistan and Afghanistan over where the
Taliban and al Qaeda are based. Both countries insist that the other hosts 80
percent of the bad guys.
15, 2007: Radical Islamic clerics in northern Pakistan have been pushing the
idea that vaccinations for diseases is a Western plot to poison Moslem
children. This particular fantasy has been rattling around for nearly a decade,
and has prevented the UN from wiping out polio. Like small pox (which was wiped
out in the 1970s), once there are no people with polio, the disease is gone for
good (it can only survive in a human host). The Islamic clerics urging parents
not to vaccinate their children against polio, provide the disease with hosts,
and keep it going. Last year, 24,000 children were not vaccinated in northern
Pakistan because of this paranoid fantasy. As a result, at least 39 cases of
polio were confirmed last year. The victims (usually children) either die, or
are crippled for life. In 2005, there were 28 cases. When confronted by angry
parents, the clerics say that it's "God's will" that the kid is dead
or crippled from polio. Most Moslem parents accept that, because Islam means,
central India Maoist rebels killed three volunteer village guards, while a
policeman died trying to defuse a Maoist bomb.
14, 2007: Over 90 percent of the 13,000 madrassas (religious schools) in
Pakistan have been registered. But the 500 or so that have not registered
contain most of those that are heavily into training Islamic radicals and
terrorists. Religious schools are popular because they are free, and most teach
secular subjects as well. Only about 40 percent of Pakistanis are literate, and
most parents realize that education is a way out of poverty.
has ordered its police to increase efforts to shut down Maoist terrorist
organizations. This is not easy to do, as the Maoists are based in remote,
rugged areas, and often have support from locals. Nevertheless, dozens of
suspects have been picked up lately.