The Pakistani army offensive against the Taliban in the tribal territories continues, disrupting Taliban and al Qaeda terrorist attacks as well. Explosives filled cars and trucks are being captured, along with bomb making materials and people involved with the terror attacks. Police say they have thwarted about one suicide attack a week in the capital over the past six weeks.
In Swat, and adjacent areas, Pakistani troops continue to hunt down remaining Taliban. Civilians who had not fled, were eager to offer information on where the Taliban were, as were some of the captured Taliban (who now realized that they had joined the wrong side.) There are still groups of Taliban (with up to 30-40 men each) wandering around in the hills adjacent to the Swat valley. These groups are still dangerous, especially to the small groups of soldiers or police manning checkpoints throughout the area. But the remaining Taliban also have to worry about the anti-Taliban tribal militias that have been organized in the hill country. These militias are chasing down and killing any Taliban they come across. Any armed stranger in the neighborhood is identified as Taliban, unless they are wearing army or police uniforms. Unarmed strangers are questioned, or turned over to the police.
In Eastern India (Chhattisgarh state), thirty police, including a senior commander, were killed by Maoist ambushes and landmines over the last few says. The Maoists are resisting army and police efforts to capture rebel bases and chase rebels from territory they have long dominated. This government attempt to suppress the Maoists has increased the number of clashes with the communist rebels. Over the last three years, there had been 1500-1600 incidents, and about 700 deaths a year because of Maoist activity in eastern India. But in the first half of this year alone, there have been 1128 incidents and 455 deaths. While some Maoists have moved out of the way of the advancing police, many have not. So, unless the Maoists change tactics, the rest of the year will be a violent one in eastern India.
July 13, 2009: Pakistani police captured 13 al Qaeda operatives, as they were driving from Baluchistan to Punjab (where they were to organize attacks.) In the capital, two al Qaeda leaders were located and arrested.
July 12, 2009: In Kashmir, Indian police were tipped off to the location of a terrorist leader, and an hours long gun battle ensued. The man, a Pakistani, was killed. Elsewhere in Kashmir, a terrorist was arrested before he could use the grenade in his possession. Grenades have become popular weapons for terrorist attacks.
July 9, 2009: In Pakistan, the government announced a plan to move some two million Swat refugees back to their homes over the next two weeks. Free transportation, and other assistance will be available.
July 8, 2009: American UAVs and Pakistani jets are daily attacking targets in South Waziristan, in support of a Pakistani army advance into the heartland of the Pakistani Taliban. Apparently, the Pakistanis are now completely cooperative with the U.S. on locating targets for the UAV strikes. Once such attack destroyed a convoy of five vehicles, carrying some 40 Taliban gunmen and leaders. Most were apparently killed by the multiple Hellfire missiles.
For the first time, a Pakistani official admitted that Pakistan had created and nurtured Islamic terrorists in the hope of using them against India (in Kashmir, starting in the late 1980s) and Afghanistan (to end the civil war in the early 1990s). President Asif Zardari discussed this subject while addressing a group of former civil servants. This support of terrorism has been an open secret for over two decades, but now Pakistan has to face the fact that this policy backfired, and now the nation is at war with the monster it created.
In Kashmir, students rioted after a student was found murdered, and the rumor spread that the police had done it. There was no proof of this, but fifty people were injured in the violence.