While some Pakistani Taliban leaders now insist that their boss, Baitullah Mehsud, is really alive, the chatter out in the hills says different. The U.S. and Pakistani intell is plugged into that chatter, and enemies of Baitullah Mehsud are very happy. Not just because their nemesis is dead, but because a quickly held meeting to choose a successor to Baitullah Mehsud, degenerated into a gun battle which left kin of Mehsud dead, and a blood feud now presenting the Pakistani Taliban with yet another problem to deal with. Meanwhile, the Pakistani Army continues to mass on the edges of Waziristan, hoping that the Taliban continue to unravel, making an invasion unnecessary.
Pakistani lawmakers are pushing to repeal many of the pro-Moslem laws passed in the last thirty years. Way back then, it was believed that Islamic conservatism would cure the nation's problems with corruption and disorder. These laws (like the ones against blasphemy) make it easier for Islamic radicals to persecute their enemies. There is now general agreement that Islamic radicalism has not been good for Pakistan.
Police and troops continue to search the Swat valley for Taliban, especially those identified as leaders. The Taliban in Swat are basically trapped, with the Taliban unraveling in Waziristan and under heavy attack across the border in Afghanistan.
Some of the many Islamic terrorists trying to sneak into Kashmir, from Pakistan, appear to have succeeded. But the army and police are in pursuit. Violence in Indian Kashmir has been much reduced in the last few years, mainly by reducing the number of trained terrorists that came across from Pakistan. Everyone of these guys who succeeds getting into Kashmir, will try to organize terror attacks that kill Indian security forces, non-Moslems and Moslems who are not suitably enthusiastic about the operation. These terrorists are usually suicidal, and will fight to the death if cornered, not caring how many civilians get killed in the crossfire.
August 9, 2009: Pakistani Taliban are now claiming that their leader Baitullah Mehsud is not dead, but alive and well. At the same time, there are reports coming out of the tribal territories that the current meeting of Taliban leaders resulted in a gun battle between followers of the two top candidates to replace the departed (maybe) Baitullah Mehsud. One of these two rivals (Hakimullah Mehsud), was killed by the other (Wali-ur-Rehman).
August 8, 2009: In Pakistan, the Taliban leadership are meeting to select a new leader, in the wake of former leader Baitullah Mehsud's death from a U.S. missile. In Kashmir, Indian troops, for the seventh time in a week, encounter Islamic terrorists trying to sneak in from Pakistan. In many of these encounters, the infiltrators open fire, and retreat back into Pakistan. But this time, some of the infiltrators were trapped, refused to surrender, and three were killed.
August 6, 2009: In Karachi, Pakistan, gunmen killed the Minister of Taxation for the province of Baluchistan.
August 5, 2009: An American UAV fired two Hellfire missiles at a compound belonging to Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud. At first, it was reported that only Mehsud's wife was killed, but then, over the next two days, U.S, and Pakistani intelligence began picking up reports in the tribal territories that Baitullah Mehsud was himself dead, and his followers were in disarray, and disagreement over who should replace the departed Mehsud.
In Kashmir, Indian troops killed eight Islamic terrorists trying to sneak in from Pakistan. This is the main infiltration season, because the snow melts in several remote mountain passes, opening routes that are closed most of the year because of the snow. But the Indians have installed a large number of sensors that can detect these infiltration attempts. Indian troops also have many more night vision and heat detection devices, making it more difficult for the Islamic terrorists to avoid detection in these remote areas.
August 4, 2009: In Baluchistan (southwest Pakistan), tribal rebels killed four policemen, and threatened to kill 21 hostages unless the government released tribal rebels who had been arrested, and withdrew security personnel from tribal territories.