India-Pakistan: Rotten At The Top


September 27, 2010: In India, Maoist rebels continue trying to use captured policemen to get imprisoned Maoist leaders freed. It isn't working, even though the communist rebels recently killed three policemen they were holding when the government refused to release anyone. Four other policemen are still being held.

The schools in Indian Kashmir were ordered to reopen today. The schools had been closed for three months, under threat of violence from anti-Indian radicals. But the violence has been concentrated in only a few areas, and Indian police believe they can get most of the schools reopened. Parents are anxious about their children's education and economic future.  The 14 weeks of violence have left over 5,000 people injured, most of them policemen hit by flying objects (usually rocks). India is trying to calm things down by negotiating political deals (involving some degree of autonomy) with Moslem groups that are opposed to the Islamic terrorism Pakistan has sponsored in Kashmir for over two decades.

Pakistani troops and police continue a week long operation in Peshawar (the largest city in the tribal territories), raiding Islamic terrorist hideouts and killing over fifty suspects. Many weapons and much ammo has been seized, along with bomb making materials.

A cell phone video has shown up in Pakistan, showing Taliban stoning a woman to death two months ago. The woman was condemned for being seen with a man she was not related to. While Moslems in this part of the world can get violent in situations like this, stoning someone to death is rare and generally considered over-the-line. In the tribal territories, the Taliban are more feared than admired. But in most of the tribal areas, the Taliban are not strong enough to assert any control. In most parts of the tribal territories, the Taliban are a nuisance, not a threat. The Pakistani Army still refuses to go after Islamic terrorist and Taliban bases in North Waziristan, but is still chasing after these groups in other parts of the tribal territories.

September 26, 2010: In southwest Pakistan, a tribal rebel on a motorcycle attempted to throw a grenade into a policeman's house, but missed and wounded three children and an adult nearby. In northwest Pakistan, a U.S. UAV killed seven Islamic terrorists in two attacks near the Afghan border.

The aftereffects of the massive floods in Pakistan appear ready to inflict some major damage on the economy. Foreign donors are not providing enough cash to help devastated farmers avoid losing a season's harvest. The reluctance of donors is the result of persistent government corruption in Pakistan. The latest attempts to attack the corruption are failing. Corrupt officials fight back if indicted or convicted, stay out of jail and often keep what they have stolen. Foreign donors note this, and refuse to give when they are certain that all or most of the funds will never reach the needy. The UN is desperately seeking $180 million, to feed six million destitute Pakistanis through the end of the year. Many nations have sent military and civilian aid personnel, along with equipment (helicopters especially). This stuff cannot easily be compromised by corruption, although there are attempts (asking for bribes to get permission to move people and gear, for example). The corruption is pervasive and goes all the way to the top. President Asif Ali Zardari, for example, despite an amnesty deal, is still fighting money laundering charges overseas. Zardari, husband of slain presidential candidate Benazir Bhutto, has been dodging corruption and murder charges for decades. Corruption is pervasive throughout south Asia, but according to international surveys, Pakistan has more problems with this than other countries in the region.

September 25, 2010: In eastern India, two policeman and a Maoist rebel were killed in two incidents.

In northwest Pakistan, U.S. missiles fired from a UAV killed three Islamic terrorists in North Waziristan.

September 24, 2010: In northwest Pakistan, two NATO AH-64 helicopter gunships caught up with a large (over a hundred) force of Taliban who had attacked a NATO base in Khost province, right on the border. That attack failed, and the Taliban fled for the sanctuary of their Pakistani base. But NATO rules of engagement allow for "hot pursuit" of hostile forces moving across the border. The two gunships caught the Taliban after they had crossed the border. These gunships killed at least 30 of the Taliban, and two smaller helicopters returned the next day (although it's unclear if these crossed the border) and shot at some stragglers.

September 22, 2010: In the Pakistani tribal territories, Taliban set off bombs in two adjacent girls schools, destroying a total of ten class rooms. In the last few years, the Taliban have attacked over a thousand schools. The recent floods damaged or destroyed nearly as many.

September 21, 2010: Indian police revealed that they had arrested a Pakistani spy on the 14th, and found incriminating documents. The spy had been active for a year, and revealed the names of accomplices. India and Pakistan have been actively spying on each other for decades. Jails on both sides of the contain hundreds of people arrested for espionage.

In northwest Pakistan, U.S. missiles fired from UAVs killed 19 Islamic terrorists during two attacks North and South Waziristan.




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