Pakistan's leaders are losing their war with Islamic terrorists. Not because the security forces can't hunt down and kill Islamic terrorists, but because the continued corruption and incompetent government has kept most Pakistanis unhappy with their government. This makes it possible to keep recruiting new Islamic terrorists, who keep seeking to kill the people who run the country. Thus the Taliban threat to come after senior military and civilian leaders if the government did not halt the American CIA use of UAVs to kill terrorist leaders. Officially, the government has refused to comply. But it appears that the intelligence agency, ISI, has backed down to the Taliban threat. Cooperation between the CIA and ISI has been much reduced in the last four months, As a result, the number of CIA missile attacks on terrorist leaders are down as well. The U.S. has been forced to pull dozens of intelligence operatives out of Pakistan. Since ISI is a largely autonomous part of the Pakistani government, it has resisted the efforts of politicians to bring it under civilian control. Thus American demands that the Pakistani government do something about ISI siding with the terrorists, has had little impact. The ISI believes this pro-Taliban policy will protect their leaders from terror attacks. While most Pakistani politicians publically oppose the CIA UAV campaign, the government (except, as of this year, the ISI) supports it. Thus the Taliban will continue trying to kill Pakistani politicians until the CIA is forced to stop killing terrorist leaders. The U.S. is threatening Pakistan with a cut in military and economic aid if there less help in fighting the Taliban. The ISI is demanding more control over what the CIA does in Pakistan.
Pakistani leaders don't like to admit that parts of their government are out of control. But that's nothing new. For years, Pakistani politicians have spouted all manner of fantasies about what is going on in the country. In that sense, nothing has changed. Nor has there been much change in the widespread government corruption and incompetent government. This can most clearly be seen in the tribal territories, where the Taliban were chased out of areas they had taken over. But as soon as government officials came back, along with their corrupt ways, so did support for the Taliban, especially if the Islamic terrorists attacked those government officials.
Foreign aid groups are noting the growing power and influence of Islamic radicals. Not just the Taliban, but Islamic radical groups that have been around for decades, and have grown steadily stronger since the Pakistani government endorsed Islamic radicalism in the 1970s. Despite the fact that Islamic radical politicians have also been found to be corrupt, they have a certain moral advantage over their more moderate (and often more corrupt) colleagues.
One of the decisive weapons against the Islamic radicals in the tribal territories has been the American CIA UAVs and missiles used to attack key (leaders and technical experts) personnel in the Taliban and other terrorist groups. In 2010 there were 120 such attacks, compared to 52 in 2009. There have been over 200 of these attacks since 2004, and the Islamic terror groups are terrified and unable to do anything to halt the attacks, or avoid them. Officially, the Pakistani government opposes the UAV attacks, but actually supports them. The CIA do the most damage to the terrorist groups that carry out bombings and assassination attempts (against senior Pakistani officials). The Pakistanis admit that the CIA attacks are the best way to disrupt the Islamic terrorism directed at Pakistani targets. So the politicians have it both ways. They condemn the attacks as a violation of national sovereignty, but secretly facilitate the attacks in order to preserve national sovereignty (and prevent the Islamic radicals from taking over.)
India Army leaders are asserting that Chinese troops are now operating on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control in Kashmir. China and Pakistan deny it, and India will not, or cannot, provide proof. Claims have been made by Indians that the U.S. has proof, but no American officials will confirm this. The "Chinese troops" may be engineering and construction personnel helping the Pakistani's build roads in remote areas (which is what much of Kashmir is.)
Meanwhile, the Islamic terrorists based in Pakistan continue to sneak into Indian Kashmir. The Indians believe they kill, capture or force back most of them, but over a hundred still get into Kashmir each year. Most of these Islamic radicals are eventually found, but the usual result is a gun battle. Surrender is not an option for most of these fanatics. The Islamic radicals like to head for a local Mosque, and make a last stand there. This is yet another reason why Islamic terrorists are unpopular with Kashmiri Moslems. And that's why Islamic terrorists crossing from Pakistan are increasingly under orders to concentrate on maintaining the loyalty of Moslems in Kashmir. That has led to more and more armed conflict between the Islamic radicals and the Kashmiri Moslems they are supposed to be liberating.
The Pakistani Army continues to refuse to go after the thousands of Taliban and other Islamic terrorists known to be living in North Waziristan. Those Islamic militants continue to impose a reign of terror on local civilians, killing several a week who they believe are spying on them.
Pakistan revealed that, for the first time, a contingent of Chinese Air Force personnel came to Pakistan for a joint training exercise. This took place during a two week period last month. The aircraft type involved was not mentioned. Pakistan operates several types of Chinese made warplanes, the most recent one being the JF-17.
In Bangladesh, mainline politicians are warning opponents not to try and use Islamic radicalism to gain an advantage. Pakistan is used as an example of how that approach does not work. Nevertheless, some Bangladeshi politicians are enlisting Islamic militants as allies, certain that these religious fanatics can be kept under control.
April 11, 2011: A group of armed Taliban, fleeing an army search operation in the nearby tribal territories, entered the Swat Valley, and were quickly discovered by security forces. During the resulting gun battle, five Taliban and two soldiers were killed. There were several other tips, from residents of the valley, about Taliban activity, leading to several more encounters and over a dozen casualties.
April 8, 2011: In Indian Kashmir, a prominent local cleric (Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah) was killed by a bomb planted in his mosque. The dead cleric advocated an independent Kashmir, which is opposed by Islamic terrorists based in Pakistan, who believe all of Kashmir should belong to Pakistan. No one took credit for the attack, and separatists called for, and enforced, several days of economic shutdown.
In Pakistan's tribal territories (Mohmand Agency, north of Waziristan, on the other side of the Khyber Pass), troops clashed with a large group of Taliban, killing at least 30. The survivors scattered, some of them heading for the nearby Swat Valley.
April 3, 2011: Suicide bombers attacked a Sufi Moslem shrine in central Pakistan, killing 52 and wounding over a hundred. Sunni Moslem radical groups have been terrorizing Shia, Sufi and other Moslems sects for decades. The Pakistani Taliban are allies with these older Sunni radical groups, The Taliban were founded with the help of Sunni radicals and share many of the same bad habits (as in anyone who is not Sunni is not really Moslem and must comply with Sunni religious practices or die.)
Pakistani police appear helpless to halt the wave of political and religious violence sweeping the largest city; Pakistan. Last month, over 160 people were murdered by death squads. The various extremist groups in the city are trying to terrorize their opponents into inaction. Assassination isn't the only problem the police have in Karachi. Criminal gangs have expanded their use of extortion against businesses to the point that business associations have been calling day-long strikes. These shutdowns have been successful, and that has gotten the attention of the police.
Last month, American UAV attacks against Islamic terrorists in the tribal territories left 89 dead. There were twelve UAV attacks for the entire month, continuing a downward trend that is the result of the ISI cutting off cooperation with the CIA on locating Islamic terrorist leaders.