India-Pakistan: Disastrous Delayed Decisions

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March 17, 2009: The traditional method of dealing with unruly tribes of Pakistan is being undone by religion. It's been largely religious issues that have killed 1,600 people in terrorist attacks during the last two years. In the past, government peace deals with the tribes brought a few decades of peace. But with groups like the Taliban and al Qaeda, tribal peace deals are simply an opportunity for the Islamic radicals to prepare for more violence. Because of the Islamic radicals, and their goal of taking over the country, and eventually the world, the Pakistani army and the government confront a very difficult task. They can either convince the majority of the tribes to destroy the Islamic radicals (Taliban and al Qaeda) or, worse, do what has not been done before, and take direct control of the long autonomous tribal areas. The government has been putting off a final decision for years.

Since the new U.S. government came into power in January, there have been six UAV missile attacks in Pakistan, indicating that these attacks are continuing, and expanding (to go after Taliban, as well as al Qaeda, targets). There have been over 30 of these attacks since intensive use of these UAVs began seven months ago. Nearly 350 people have been killed by the Hellfire missiles.

Meanwhile, in India, low level violence continues because of Islamic terrorists in Kashmir, and Maoist rebels in eastern India.  

March 16, 2009: In Pakistan, the government gave in to the Sharif brothers and their large following in Punjab (with nearly half the nation's population) province. The government reinstated a supreme court judge who had been removed (in 2007, by the military government) for contradicting government decisions. The government caved because the army said it would not use troops to prevent the Sharif brothers from shutting down the capital with demonstrations. Near the capital, a suicide bomb attack killed 14 civilians.

March 15, 2009: In Pakistan, an American UAV used two missiles to kill four al Qaeda men in a tribal territories safe house. In the tribal territories, some 60 Taliban broke into two freight terminals and destroyed 30 trucks and tractor trailers holding NATO supplies. The freight terminals are supposed to be guarded, but these attacks appear to have more to do with a dispute over how much protection money can be extorted from the truck companies and drivers.  More of this freight is now being moved by rail through Russia and central Asia. Elsewhere in Pakistan, Islamic radicals killed two prominent Ahmadiyya Moslems. There are four million Ahmadiyya in Pakistan, and Islamic conservatives consider them heretics. There has been sporadic violence against the Ahmadiyya for over a century, but groups like al Qaeda encourage even more killings.

March 12, 2009:  In Pakistan, two American UAVs used four missiles to kill 25 Taliban, and wound 50, in a tribal territories training camp. In Karachi, police prevented a large group of protesters leaving for the capital.

March 11, 2009: Police in Pakistan's Punjab province arrested over 300 political activists, in an attempt to disrupt a planned march on the capital (and attempt to shut down the government via non-violent demonstrations.

 

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