In Pakistan, the government is
again falling apart. Pakistan has been unstable since it was created 60 years
ago. President Musharraf is a military dictator trying to do the right thing,
and the political parties, led by corrupt politicians, want to regain access to
the budget. All Pakistanis know that the military dictators are unpopular and
the elected politicians corrupt and incompetent. But no one has a solution for
the problem. The politicians will regain control soon, and the cycle will
continue. The Islamic militants are popular because they promise to end the
corruption and incompetence by installing a religious dictatorship. Most
Pakistanis don't go for this either, but the Islamic militants are willing to
kill for their cause, so they are difficult to ignore.
September 14, 2007: Indian Maoists in the
northwest are having a little civil war. So far, seven Maoists have been killed
in the fighting.
September 13, 2007: For the second time this month,
a suicide bomber penetrated a guarded military camp near the capital. This time
it was a commando officer, who set off explosives in a dining room, and killed
18 fellow commando officers. The SSG (Special Services Group) commandoes had
led the attack on the Red Mosque last Summer, and one of the Islamic militants
killed was the sister of the suicide bomber. The killer here, as was the case
in previous attacks, was a Pushtun. Some 12 percent of army is composed of
Pushtuns, the tribal peoples who occupy most of the Afghan border (the related
Baluchi tribes cover the rest) . Pushtuns comprise less than five percent of
the population of Pakistan, but are over represented in the army because of
tribal warrior traditions, and the army is a good paying job for guys who
otherwise face poor economic prospects in the tribal territories. The problem
is that, while most Pushtun soldiers are trustworthy, some are not. There's no
easy way to sort them out, and purging all Pushtuns from the military would be
very unpopular in the ranks. That's because the army is deliberately mixed
ethnically. There are no all-Pushtun units. The majority in most army units are
Punjabis, who, with those from Sind province, comprise the majority in the
country. But every unit has Pushtun troops and officers, who are generally well
liked because they are enthusiastic and competent soldiers.
Since the Red Mosque battle
two months ago, over 250 people have been killed by Islamic terrorists with
suicide bomb attacks.
September 11, 2007: In
northwest Pakistan, Islamic terrorists damaged Buddhist rock carvings with
explosives. Al Qaeda, and similar radical Sunni groups, make a point of
attacking non-Moslem targets whenever possible. This has been going on since
before al Qaeda showed up in the 1990s.