November 17, 2008: Pakistan has become
ground zero for the war on terror. U.S. and Pakistani officials are admitting
that the Pushtun tribal areas along the Afghan border area are where al Qaeda
and the Taliban have concentrated for a do-or-die battle. The Pakistani army,
and pro-government tribes, have been attacking the Taliban tribesmen for five
months now, and appear ready to keep it up into the Winter. In response, the
Islamic terrorists have tried to stir things up in the cities, especially the
largest city in the tribal territories; Peshawar. This is having no effect on
the continuing offensive against the Taliban. The increased terrorist activity
in Peshawar has been facilitated by the thousands of refugees fleeing the
anti-Taliban offensive and heading for the city.
Bangladesh accused Indian border guards
of crossing into Bangladesh territory and killing three civilians. There has
long been tension on this border, and a constant flow of smugglers, Islamic
terrorists and illegal immigrants. The border guards are known to be trigger
happy at times.
Over the weekend, eastern Indias Chhattisgarh
state saw several armed attempts by Maoist rebels to disrupt elections. The
voting takes a month, and began on Friday. The Maoists want to establish a communist
dictatorship, and see democracy has hostile to their goals.
Pakistan has reopened the Khyber Pass,
but for the moment, trucks will travel in convoys and the police have stationed
a quick reaction force in the area. Police and local tribes are searching for
three gangs of bandits (or Islamic terrorists, or both) believed responsible
for recent attacks on trucks.
November 16, 2008: The Pakistani government halted truck traffic
through the Khyber Pass so that the army could chase down bandits, or Islamic
terrorists, who have been attacking trucks. Hundreds of vehicles travel through
this border crossing each day, and it is the main route for people and goods
coming in and out of landlocked Afghanistan.
Pakistani zeal to shut down terrorist
operations in the border areas has led the police to arrest many foreigners who
are not terrorists. However, many of those arrested are often common criminals or illegal migrants
making their way from Central Asia to India or the West. Even foreigners in the
tribal territories with legitimate documents are often arrested, sometimes just
so the police can rob the travelers. Several hundred foreigners a year have
been arrested in the tribal territories since September 11, 2001, and most have
not been terrorists.
In Bangladesh, police arrested a senior
Islamic terrorist, and seized 160 pounds of explosives. There are a growing
number of Islamic militants in Bangladesh, who provide a supportive population
for Islamic terrorists. But the police are aware of the trend, and keep after
the potential terrorists.
November 15, 2008: Along the Afghan border, pro-government
tribes are demanding pro-Taliban warlords surrender, or have their homes
destroyed and families driven out of the tribal territory. Getting expelled
from your tribe is pretty severe, and some of the pro-Taliban tribesmen are
expected to rethink their Islamic radicalism as a result.
November 14, 2008: In the Pakistani
border town of Peshawar, a Japanese journalist and his Afghan assistant were
shot and wounded. In the North Waziristan border area, two Hellfire missiles
from an American UAV hit a house were foreigners (believed to be al Qaeda) were
staying. Twelve people were killed.
November 13, 2008: The recent arrest of
two Hindu Indian Army officers on terrorism charges has exposed a radical Hindu
terrorist group that was attacking both Moslems and Hindu targets with the aim
of increasing violence and distrust between the two communities.
In the Pakistani border town of Peshawar,
an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped and his bodyguard killed.
November 12, 2008: In the Pakistani
border town of Peshawar, a suicide bomber attacked a ceremony in a sports
stadium, in an attempt to kill senior government officials there. Instead, a policeman
and three civilians died. Elsewhere in Peshawar, an Islamic terrorist killed an
American foreign aid worker. Both of these attacks are believed part of a new
Taliban strategy to try and destabilize the government by attacking the
leadership and foreign allies (thus the attack on aid workers.)
The IMF (International Monetary Fund)
has agreed to grant Pakistan a $7.5 billion loan, so economic collapse can be
avoided. Meanwhile, Pakistani investigators have uncovered a money smuggling
operation, that has illegally moved over $10 billion out of the country (to
escape the collapsing Pakistani currency). Moreover, senior government
officials were found to be involved in this illegal currency movement.
November 11, 2008: Near the Pakistani
border with Afghanistan, a Canadian journalist was kidnapped.