India-Pakistan: Risking A Mass Rising Of The Tribes


March 14, 2010: Terrorists in Pakistan carried out five attacks in the last week, killing and wounding over 200 people. The Taliban keep demanding that the government halt its operations in the tribal territories, and against Islamic radicals in general, or the terror bombings will continue. The government has made peace with some tribes, even those that are sheltering Islamic terrorists. But the public is demanding vengeance for the growing number of terrorism victims. So are the American and Afghans across the border. So the Pakistani government keeps going after some of the local terrorists.

The offensive against Maoists in eastern India has initially found lots of abandoned rebel camps and bunkers. The Maoists have better intelligence in the areas they have long controlled, and will, for a while, be able to get out of the way of the troops. The government understands this, and believes the destruction of these Maoist groups will take years. But the government also has to deal with the economic and social problems in the rural areas, which cause the discontent that the Maoists have exploited to recruit fighters and obtain other support. India considers the Maoist movement more dangerous than Islamic terrorism (as the former has been far more successful than the latter.)

Pakistani police and troops continue to hunt down and arrest or kill Islamic militants, especially Taliban and al Qaeda leaders hiding in major cities, like Karachi. At one point, police thought they had arrested the American born spokesman for al Qaeda, but it turned out to be another American working for the terrorists.

Pakistani police seized a truck loaded with explosives, as it attempted to enter Punjab from the tribal territories.

In Bangladesh, several days of violence by university Islamic radical groups, which left at least three people dead. Police then arrested over 200 student activists.

March 13, 2010: In Pakistan's Swat valley, a suicide bomber killed 13 as he tried to attack a courthouse, but was shot by security guards and detonated his bomb outside the building.

India police are searching for a hijacked truck, carrying 16 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Mixed with fuel oil, the fertilizer becomes a powerful explosive. Since the truck was stolen by Maoist rebels, police fear the fertilizer is going into bombs, not agriculture.

March 12, 2010: In Lahore, Pakistan, five terrorist bombs went off, killing over 50 and wounding over a hundred people. Police promptly made fifty arrests among Islamic radicals suspected of terrorist activity.  In southeast India, police caught up with and killed Maoist leader Shakamuri Appa Rao. Captured documents confirmed his identity and activities. This is the second senior Maoist leader caught (the other one was arrested March 2nd) this month.

Russia and India signed several agreements, including the building of two more nuclear reactors in India, and a final price (of $2.35 billion) for refurbishing the old Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, for Indian service.

March 11, 2010: In Pakistan's tribal territories (Peshawar), a terrorist bomb destroyed a video store, killing four people. In Karachi, gunmen killed the leader of a Sunni Islamic radical group. This was believed part of the ongoing fighting between Islamic radical groups.

March 10, 2010: In northern Pakistan, gunmen killed six Pakistani employees of a Christian foreign aid group. In Pakistan's tribal territories, such violence against foreigners and religious minorities is increasing.

March 8, 2010: In Lahore, Pakistan, a suicide bomber killed 13 outside a military intelligence facility.  American UAVs made two missile attacks in the Pakistani tribal territories, killing at least twelve Islamic militants. Both attacks involved missiles hitting vehicles the militants were travelling in. This is the preferred method for attacking, as it avoids civilian casualties.

Maoist rebel leaders have threatened a terrorist campaign in cities if the government does not halt its offensive against Maoist controlled rural areas. The Maoists are calling for "peace talks" that will go nowhere, but will halt the fighting. The government is willing to start peace talks, but will not halt military operations. The anti-Maoist offensive has gradually begun in the last few weeks, as all the 70,000 additional troops and police arrived and prepared for action.

March 7, 2010: The Taliban in Pakistan have threatened to unleash thousands of suicide bomber if the security forces did not halt their operations against Islamic militants (attacks and arrests), and the Americans did not stop their UAV missile attacks. In all of last year, the Taliban and al Qaeda launched 87 suicide bomber attacks in Pakistan, killing over 1,300 people (most of them civilian.) The government response has been the largest military operation ever in the tribal territories. This has made even pro-government tribal leaders nervous. To the tribesmen, hatred of foreigners is an ancient custom, and anyone from outside the tribal territories is a foreigner. The government does not want to trigger an uprising of all (or most) of the tribes, but can no longer tolerate Islamic terrorists using the tribal lands as a sanctuary and base.





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