India-Pakistan: Hustling For A Nuclear Holocaust

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January 19, 2009: Pakistan continues to deny that it had anything to do with the Mumbai massacre. India and Britain are demanding that Pakistan shut down Islamic terrorist groups that are tolerated because they devote most of their resources to fighting in the disputed (between Pakistan and India) province of Kashmir. Britain is angry because over 70 percent of the terrorist plots it discovers in Britain have some connection to Pakistan based terrorists. Many of these Pakistani connections are the same terrorist groups that launch attacks inside India.

Pakistan claims to have shut down an Islamic charity connected with the Mumbai terrorists,  arrested 70 suspects and put another hundred under house arrest or surveillance. But Pakistan has done this sort of thing before, and after the media noise has died down, releases those arrested and allows the terrorist operations to resume. India wants the guilty people extradited to India for trial. Pakistan refuses to do this.

India revealed that they had captured one of the most senior Islamic terrorist leaders in Kashmir; Mohamed Ahsan Dar. Indian counter-terror operations continue to wear down the Islamic terrorist groups, and reduce the level of violence. Over the last few years, the rebels have been in decline, but still get support from bases across the border in Pakistan (where the government refuses to close them).

The U.S. believes that Osama bin Ladens eldest son, Saad bin Laden, has left his sanctuary in Iran and moved to Pakistan. Saad bin Laden and several other al Qaeda leaders were arrested in Iran in 2003, and offered to the United States in exchange for some leaders of an Iranian rebel group that was given sanctuary by Saddam Hussein. The U.S. refused to make the trade, and the al Qaeda leaders were put under house arrest in Iran. Since then, some have left, including Saad bin Laden (who is 30 years old, has 18 brothers and sisters by several wives of his father, is the most into Islamic terrorism of all the kids, and is considered Osama's "heir").

Pakistan claims that the war on terror is now costing it over $21 billion a year. Expenses were half that two years ago, but in the past two years, the Pakistanis have become more active against the Taliban and al Qaeda. This increased effort was made reluctantly, at the urging of NATO countries operating in Afghanistan. Now India is enraged over the Mumbai attack, and threatens swift and violent retribution if there is another attack like the Mumbai one. The Pakistanis know that the Islamic terrorist groups would like nothing better than a war between Pakistan and India (even with the risk of nukes being used.) As the terrorists see it, this would provide them with an opportunity to take advantage of the chaos, take over the country and establish a religious dictatorship. It's unlikely India would tolerate that, but logic does not play a big part in the decision making process of Islamic terrorist groups. The Pakistani government does not want to try and shut down all the Islamic radical groups, because these outfits have the support of a third or more of the population. Such an operation could trigger a civil war. The operations against the Taliban are seen as more of an effort against rebellious tribesmen. The war against al Qaeda is seen as defending the country against foreign terrorists (domestic terrorists are more likely to be forgiven for killing a few civilians, but foreigners get no such dispensation.)

In contrast to Pakistan, Moslem Bangladesh has proposed to India a joint counter-terror operation. Islamic terrorists have attempted, with some success, to establish bases in Bangladesh. But the government has been very hostile to that sort of thing, and so far, the Islamic radicals are very much on the defensive. The arrangement with India is intended to help keep it that way.

January 18, 2009: In Pakistan, the government insists that all the Taliban claims (of shutting down schools for girls, and the local government) in the Swat valley are just the Taliban up there trying to spin the media. The schools will remain open, and any tribesmen who attempt to interfere will be arrested. But the pro-Taliban tribesmen in the Swat valley are causing problems, and thousands of people have fled areas up in the hills where Taliban gunmen have driven away police and government officials. The government pulled out two army brigades and sent them to the Indian border recently, thus taking the pressure off the rebellious tribesmen. Elsewhere along the border, pro-Taliban, or just anti-government, tribesmen continue to set off a few roadside bombs a week, and snipe at soldiers.

January 15, 2009: In Karachi, Pakistan, police raided the hideout of an Islamic terror group that had kidnapped an Iranian diplomat. The terrorists resisted, killing two policemen. But eventually, 35 terrorists were arrested.

In eastern India, police attacked a Maoist camp, killing fifteen of the 60 rebels they found there. Maoists continue to attack police, and any civilians that disagree with the leftist rebels. In northeast India, three separatist tribal rebels were killed in a clash with police. The fighting in the northeast has become deadlier than the struggle against Islamic terrorists in the northwest (Kashmir).

January 14, 2009:  In southwest Pakistan, Sunni tribesmen deliberately ambushed and killed three Shia policemen (and a Sunni policeman who was with them). Violence between Sunni and Shia extremist groups is on the increase in Pakistan. In the north, the Khyber Pass road was again shut down so the army could go after tribal groups that have been attacking trucks on the highway. This has caused delays, but not halts, in deliveries. The major victims of the attacks are the Afghans, as only a small percentage of the trucks are carrying supplies for the foreign troops in Afghanistan.  

 

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