India-Pakistan: The Communist Threat in the Jungle


March 19, 2007:   Islamic conservatives, in the tribal areas along the Afghan border, are becoming increasingly assertive. Groups of these men are more frequently demanding that people adopt customs in line with Islamic conservatism. That means women must cover up, men must wear beards, and that there be no music or movies or booze. There are more and more incidents of violence against those who do not comply. 

March 18, 2007:  In southwest Pakistan, Baluchi separatists cut the rail line to the rest of the country. Explosives blew up a portion of the track. A similar attack cut a natural gas pipeline.  In northwest Pakistan, Islamic radicals set off a bomb that destroyed three shops selling music and movies. 

March 17, 2007:  Pakistan's capital has had several days of demonstrations, mainly by lawyers and politicians, protesting president Musharrafs removal of the Chief Justice on March 8th. Pakistan is, at the moment, a military dictatorship trying to rule through a democratic government. But the elected officials often oppose the orders of president Musharraf. This is apparently why the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was removed. Musharraf remains in power as long as he retains the loyalty of the army and police. So far he has. But that limits how far he can go in fighting Islamic conservatives and radicals. Many military and police officials are Islamic conservatives. 

March 16, 2007:  In northeastern India, tribal separatists are setting off bombs in market places. One wounded six people, while another just killed its handler, when it went off prematurely. 

March 15, 2007:  In central India, a force of several hundred Maoist rebels attacked a police camp at night, killing 55 policemen and getting away with over a hundred rifles and pistols. This is the worst loss the police have ever suffered in over four decades of fighting Maoist rebels. The government has brought dozens of  additional battalions of police, in the last year, to deal with the growing Maoist movement. This attack, on an isolated camp in a rural area, is the Maoist response. 

In northern Bangladesh, police commandos arrested six Islamic terrorist suspects. 

March 14, 2007: In southwest Pakistan, police attacked a base of the Baluchistan Liberation Army, and arrested 18 rebels, including a senior commander. A large quantity of weapons and ammo was seized as well.   In western India, farmers protesting expropriation of their land clashed with police, leaving six dead and fifty wounded.



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