India-Pakistan: America Demands Play For Pay


October 25, 2010: The U.S. has told Pakistan that continued foreign aid will be dependent on successful Pakistani efforts against Islamic terrorist groups, particularly the Taliban. Pakistan has received $3.5 billion in American military and economic aid in the last year. The U.S. just agreed to another $2 billion in military aid for the next year. But there are conditions. If the Taliban and al Qaeda are not attacked, the military aid will not be delivered. This has upset many Pakistanis, because it was believed that there was an unspoken arrangement that Pakistan would get lots of military aid that could mainly be used to defend the country from India, while pretending to use it against the Taliban. As part of this deal, Pakistan would concentrate on Islamic terrorists that were attacking the Pakistani government, and generally leave those attacking India or Afghanistan alone. But now the U.S. is insisting that the Pakistanis go after all Islamic terrorists. This is unacceptable to many Pakistanis, including senior military commanders and intelligence officials. For these men, India is still the main enemy, and the Taliban are useful for keeping Afghanistan from becoming an ally of India.

In eastern Pakistan, a bomb went off outside a popular Sufi Moslem shrine, killing six people. The Sufi sect of Islam used to be dominant in Pakistan, but in the last three decades, more militant forms of Islam have become more popular. This was fostered by missionaries from Saudi Arabia, who preached intolerance and violence against non-Moslems and Moslems who are not extreme enough. This extremist form of Islam has been a major factor in preventing India and Pakistan from making peace. According to Islamic radicals, Hindus are the worst kind of infidel (non-Moslem) because, unlike Christians and Jews, they have no common religious roots with Islam. Actually, Hindus do, as there was a lot of Hindu influence in Arabia when Islam was founded 1,400 years ago, but the founders of Islam choose not to openly recognize their Hindu roots. Thus the harder line on Hindus.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani security forces have observed a truce with the Taliban for several months now. Taliban are able to take refuge in many parts of the tribal territories (including Baluchistan). The Pakistani government continues to aid Islamic terrorists operating in Indian Kashmir, and some of the terrorist bases just across the border in Pakistan are being used as rest camps for Taliban driven out of areas near the Afghan border, or Afghanistan itself. The new American threat has been acknowledged by the Pakistani Taliban, who are now making plans to move into Afghanistan in large numbers, apparently feeling that they have a better chance of survival there. This, however, may just be for show, as there are plenty of sanctuary areas in Pakistan, but only for those Taliban who can abide the truce with the Pakistani government. However, many Taliban are only in it for the opportunity to overthrow the Pakistani government. These guys are looking for a fight in Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Afghan Taliban are taking a beating, and many defeated Taliban are heading for sanctuary, and rest, in Pakistan (particularly Baluchistan).

The Pakistani military still attacks Taliban and al Qaeda, but only factions that attack Pakistani targets. While most Taliban and al Qaeda factions are content to observe a truce with the Pakistani troops and police, there are always some who do not want to wait for the "inevitable" transformation of Pakistan into a religious dictatorship run by the Taliban (or al Qaeda, that's another dispute that has been deferred for the moment.) These radical factions continue to kill soldiers and police, blow up schools and intimidate civilians in the tribal territories. Nearly all this violence (a few incidents a week) take place in the tribal territories along the Afghan border. Pakistan security forces concentrate on suppressing any Islamic terrorism group that is still trying to attack the Pakistani government. The government has greatly increased its counter-terrorism efforts outside the tribal territories. Karachi, the largest, and wealthiest city in Pakistan, is adding 3,000 policemen and being much more aggressive against Islamic terror groups and the criminal gangs that have been helping the terrorists (often because both are composed of Pushtun tribesmen, often from the same tribe.)

The EU (European Union) is opening an anti-terrorism center in Bangladesh. This will provide a headquarters for EU anti-terror operations in the region. This mainly consists of exchanging information and providing training for security forces in the region.

Three months after the massive floods in Pakistan, about a third of the seven million people rendered homeless, are still without shelter. Corruption and government inefficiency are the main cause.

October 23, 2010: In eastern India, six police were killed by a Maoist roadside bomb in Bihar state. The Maoists have been trying to enforce a voting boycott on local legislative elections, but have failed. Some 53 percent of voters defied the threats and went to the polls. Bihar is one of the most intense battle zones for the Maoists, who are active in over 80 percent of the state.

October 22, 2010: Near the Khyber Pass in Pakistan, a remote control bomb went off in a packed mosque, killing six and wounding two dozen. This was yet another religious dispute among Islamic factions.

October 21, 2010: In northwest Pakistan (Kurram) a local Taliban commander and six of his followers were killed by a roadside bomb. This was apparently the result of a feud between two Taliban factions. The dead commander was apparently continuing to attack Pakistani troops, and kidnapping civilians for ransom. The Pakistani army told the local Pakistan to shut this guy down, or the army would come and hit all the Taliban in the area.

October 20, 2010: Nearly a week of political violence in Karachi, Pakistan, has left over fifty dead and several hundred wounded. The violence is largely between rival political parties, who disagree with the results of local elections.





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