In Pakistan's capital, lawyers
and police confronted each other, and hundreds of lawyers were injured or
arrested. Most Pakistanis are distraught over the their inability to
create a stable government or an efficient economy. Compared to neighboring
India, Pakistan is chaotic and poor. It wasn't that way when the two states
were created in 1947. Some Pakistanis blame Islam, while many more blame
foreign conspiracies. An increasing number see internal flaws that must be
fixed. There is no general agreement on how to proceed. The majority want
democracy, but Pakistani democracy has been crippled by corruption. Military
dictators wear out their welcome in a few years. A large minority want an
Islamic dictatorship, but after seeing how that worked in Afghanistan, most
Pakistanis are very hostile to letting clerics run the country.
November 4, 2007: In northern Pakistan, days of
negotiations with tribal elders resulted in the release of 200 soldiers captured
two months ago (when their convoy was trapped in a pass). Elsewhere in
Pakistan, the former head of the ISI (the intelligence service) was arrested.
The ISI has long been a bastion of support for Islamic militants.
November 3, 2007: In Pakistan, president Musharraf
declared a state of emergency (thus ruling without the constraints of the
constitution) because the Supreme Court judges (who have been feuding with him)
threatened to declare his recent election illegal.
In central India, a 23 man police patrol was
ambushed by Maoists, leaving 18 of the policemen dead or wounded. The Maoists
are resisting government attempts to find and shut down camps hidden in the
mountains and forests.
November 2, 2007: In central Pakistan, a suicide
bomber hit an air force bus, leaving eight dead. Meanwhile, on the Afghan
border, clashes with Islamic militants left at least 70 of them dead.
November 1, 2007: A survey of urban Pakistanis
found about half opposed using force against Islamic militants. Many Moslems
believe it is not right to fight fellow Moslems, even if they are terrorists.
There is also a lot of support for a religious dictatorship, since no form of
government (democracy or military dictatorship) seems to have worked in
Pakistan. Compared to largely Hindu India, Pakistan is way behind in economic
terms, and suffers far more violence. While a lot of that is from Islamic
radicals, most of the crime in Pakistan is garden variety thuggery.
October 31, 2007: In Pakistan, army officers have
been ordered to wear civilian clothes when off duty, to make it more difficult
for Islamic terrorists to attack.
October 30, 2007: In northern Pakistan's Swat
valley, a truce between Islamic radical and the army yesterday has not stopped
the flow of refugees. Civilians believe fighting will resume, because the
Islamic diehards believe they are on a mission from God. In Pakistan's capital,
a suicide bomber attacked about a kilometer from president Musharraf's
residence, leaving eight dead. The terrorist attacks are an attempt to get the
army to withdraw from the Swat valley, so the Islamic militants can continue to
build their military force.