India-Pakistan: Avoiding The Blame Just Got Harder


July 15, 2010:  Indian state governments confronted by growing Maoist terror activity are increasing their counter-terror efforts. This includes going after leftist NGOs (especially Indian ones) that support (usually covertly) Maoist operations. This causes problems at the national level, where many leftist politicians (communist and non-communist) oppose attacks on leftist allies of the Maoists. But the increasing number of police and government officials killed by the Maoists creates a situation where the government has to respond forcefully. After all, for decades, the Maoists have made no secret of their desire to overthrow the democratic government of India, and establish a communist dictatorship. The anti-Maoist offensive begun three months ago has already seen casualties up a third over the last few years. For the first six months of the year, Maoist violence left 97 Maoists and 209 police dead. There were 325 civilians killed, 142 of them killed by Maoists for being police informers. Police arrested 1,321 Maoist suspects. The Maoists are facing extinction, and fighting hard. So the government is adding more resources (police, aircraft, and maybe even troops). The national government has also persuaded state governments to coordinate their anti-Maoist operations.

India believes the evidence makes it clear that the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, was directly involved in planning and carrying out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Pakistan denies this, but Pakistan is the center of global and regional Islamic terrorism, and it's no secret that ISI has long supported Islamic radical movements (including the creation of the Taliban.) Pakistan denies responsibility for sustaining Islamic terrorism, but also admits it is struggling to root Islamic radicals out of the ISI. To make matters worse, Pakistan continues to resist declaring many Pakistan-based Islamic terrorist groups as outlaws. This, quite naturally, causes more nations to blame the Pakistani government for much of the Islamic terrorist activity in the region, and for being a major backer of Islamic terrorism. Pakistani officials will, at most, admit that there are powerful groups and individuals in Pakistan backing Islamic terrorism. But this support is quite strong and allows major terrorist groups, like the Haqqani  group, to use Pakistan as a base for many attacks in Afghanistan. The Pakistani government is also reluctant to continue its offensive in Waziristan, mainly  because some of the terror groups there are ones that the government has long cooperated with. Meanwhile, many Islamic terrorist groups continue to make war on the Pakistani government, at least that part of the government that does not support Islamic radicalism.

In Pakistan, near the Khyber pass, a large bomb was placed in a mosque, destroying it and damaging an adjacent shrine. There were no casualties. This was the second such bomb to go off in the tribal territories in the last week. As a result, police and troops have rounded up over 300 known Taliban in the city of Peshawar (the largest city in the territories). These arrests also uncovered large supplies of weapons, ammunition and bomb making material.

Indian officials are debating how to handle the continued unrest among the Moslem population in Kashmir. Many of these Moslems have opposed Indian rule and want either autonomy or unification with Pakistan. Some Indian leaders want to use more negotiations with these Moslems, and less police work. But the cops are still needed, because many of the Kashmiri Moslems still support efforts to drive all non-Moslems from Kashmir, and attack the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who visit ancient Hindu shrines in the area each year. Meanwhile, police have revived the curfew in the most disorderly parts of Kashmir.

July 13, 2010: In Indian Kashmir, troops clashed with a group of Islamic terrorists who had just crossed the border from Pakistan. One Indian soldier and two terrorists were killed. The army had received a tip that armed strangers had been moving through this rural area and promptly sent troops to investigate.

July 9, 2010: Indian counter-terror officials put the country on alert with a warning that Pakistani based terror groups Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) were sending 31 terrorists, via Bangladesh, to carry out attacks in India. The police are calling on the public to report any of these Pakistani terrorists they might encounter.

In Pakistan's tribal territories (the Mohmand Agency, near the Khyber Pass), two Taliban suicide bombers set off their explosives in a village market, killing over a hundred people and destroying or damaging 70 shops. The Taliban did this to intimidate locals into submission.

In Bangladesh, the highest court in the country outlawed the use of civil punishments (imprisonment, physical abuse or death) imposed by religious leaders, using Sharia (or Islamic) law.




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