India-Pakistan: Feel The Hate

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June 11, 2012: American leaders have become very public lately in expressing exasperation at Pakistan's pro-terrorism policy. Officially, Pakistan denies that it supports Islamic terrorists but the evidence is extensive and more piles up daily. One reason Pakistan, at least the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment, is so hostile to the American UAV campaign in the tribal territories is that most of the time these pilotless aircraft are just watching what is going on down on the ground. What the UAVs see daily is vivid examples of Pakistani troops cooperating with Islamic terrorists. This surveillance process also identifies Islamic terrorist leaders and the UAVs fire missiles that kill them and their bodyguards and civilians used as human shields. Pakistan doesn't mind it when terrorists who are, or have, attacked Pakistani targets are killed but get very upset when terrorists allied with Pakistan are wacked. Pakistan can't openly admit this, so the military makes a big deal of the U.S. "violating Pakistani territory." The U.S. ignores the Pakistani complaints, the Pakistanis don't escalate (like using American made F-16 jets to shoot down the UAVs) and the charade goes on. The Americans are fed up with it, as are the Afghans and a growing number of Pakistanis. But speaking out against the military in Pakistan, especially for a journalist, can get you jailed, murdered, or "disappeared." American are sometimes also in danger and even U.S. diplomats will suffer harassment.

The U.S. is particularly angry at Pakistan's continued support for the Haqqani Network, a largely Afghan group that operates out of Pakistan to make attacks on enemies (political and business) in Afghanistan. Haqqani is also a major criminal organization, which is how it finances its mayhem across the border. The ISI (the Pakistani intelligence agency, controlled by the army, which handles liaison with Pakistani terrorist groups) has been assisting Haqqani Network efforts to start a new umbrella organization (the Muraqba Shura) to control all Islamic radical groups operating in North Waziristan (a terrorist sanctuary on the Afghan border). This effort began late last year, and the Muraqba Shura now provides a semblance of unity among Islamic terror groups in North Waziristan.

The Haqqani Network has been sponsored by the ISI since the 1980s. Haqqani has always been careful to cause no problems in Pakistan, and only carried out attacks in Afghanistan. The ISI used to control all Islamic terror groups in Pakistan but lost control of many of them after the 2003, American invasion of Iraq. The Muraqba Shura is another attempt to merge the terror groups that are at war with Pakistan (like the local Taliban) and those that are not (like Haqqani). The ISI has gotten Haqqani and the Taliban to claim, in public, that they are united but they are not. All these two groups have in common is the use of the North Waziristan sanctuary. The Muraqba Shura is a way to avoid any clashes between the two groups in North Waziristan. The U.S. wants Haqqani destroyed, the Pakistani military does not and sees Haqqani as a powerful tool to influence government policy inside Afghanistan.

Pakistan has, with the warmer weather, again unleashed its military against Islamic radical groups (mainly the Pakistani Taliban) who attack the Pakistani government. The Taliban seek to replace the government in the northwestern tribal territories along the Afghan border. There, Pushtun tribes (about 15 percent of the national population) predominate and have never considered themselves subject to rule by Pakistan, or anyone else. Decades of intrusion by the Pakistani government (and non-Pushtuns from Punjab and Sind provinces, where most Pakistanis live) has caused resentment. The Pakistani government is corrupt and inefficient, so the Taliban find some support for their attacks against the government held towns and cities in the territories. But the military has more troops, who are better armed and equipped (with artillery and warplanes) and the Taliban attacks are more of a nuisance than a decisive threat. But after four years of heavy fighting, the Taliban won't stop. There is continued fighting near the Khyber Pass area and several hundred thousand civilians are expected to flee their homes temporarily as the army goes after Taliban groups in the next few months.

In Kashmir, the Pakistani terror campaign has been suppressed to the extent that many tourists (mainly from India) are returning. Most Kashmiri Moslems would still like to live in an independent Kashmir but see that as unlikely. Kashmir contains a lot of Hindu shrines, and India does not trust a Moslem government to safeguard them or guarantee safe access for Hindu pilgrims. The Moslem independence groups are still active in Kashmir, organizing demonstrations and strikes. These activities are unpopular with many Kashmiris because they interfere with the returning tourists. Two decades ago, before the Pakistani Islamic terror campaign began, Kashmir was quite prosperous because of tourism. Older Kashmiris want to get that back. For that to happen the Kashmiris would like all the Indian paramilitary police and soldiers to leave. That is starting to happen but the Indians want to be sure the terrorists are really gone before withdrawing the additional security forces. The border force commanders warn that the long frontier with Pakistan passes through much mountainous and forested terrain and can never be completely sealed. Some terrorists will get through, although many more are killed, captured, or driven back. Those captured trying to cross the border provide information indicating that some infiltrators are getting through.

June 10, 2012: Two al Qaeda websites claimed that their number two guy, Abu Yahya al Libi, was not dead and that a video would soon appear to prove it. Al Libi was Libyan and had been in Afghanistan with al Qaeda since the 1990s. He was captured in Afghanistan by the Americans but became famous by escaping from the U.S. Bagram prison in July, 2005. He became the number two man last year when Ayman al Zawahri left that job to replace Osama bin Laden, who was killed in May, 2011. Several al Qaeda officials have confirmed al Libi's death, but they may have been acting on second-hand information that was incorrect. Communications within al Qaeda is often unreliable because of precautions taken to avoid being tracked by the Americans.

In eastern India the campaign against the Maoist rebels continues, both in the sparsely populated rural areas and in the cities, where Maoist leaders raise money, recruit, and arrange for supplies (weapons and bomb making material). The large number of paramilitary police sent into the countryside has overwhelmed many local Maoist groups, forcing them to spend more time hiding their base camps and avoiding patrols. The police have learned to be more careful in detecting and avoiding ambushes and surprise attacks on their camps. In the urban areas more and more Maoist leaders are being found and arrested. The Maoists have taken some damage but are still determined to fight on until they establish a communist dictatorship.

June 8, 2012: In Pakistan's tribal territories (Peshawar) a bomb went off on a bus, killing 19. Most of the dead were government workers.

In India a jailed (awaiting trial) Indian Islamic terrorist was murdered by fellow (non-terrorist) inmates. The Islamic terrorists are hated by most Indians, including most Moslem Indians. Criminals are particularly angry at the terrorists because the increased police activity often disrupts criminal activities as the cops search for Islamic radicals.

June 5, 2012:  For the fifth time in the last month, Pakistan test fired one of its missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Today's test was of a Hatf 7c, which is a cruise missile with a range of 700 kilometers.

June 4, 2012: A U.S. UAV missile attack in Pakistan killed the number two man in al Qaeda, Abu Yahya al Libi.

June 3, 2012: NATO has struck deals with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan to allow NATO to ship thousands of vehicles and cargo containers out of Afghanistan as NATO forces prepare to leave in the next two years. Similar arrangements were already made with Russia, whose railroads comprise most of the route. All four nations will see their railroads get over a hundred million dollars in additional business because of the NATO movement of weapons and equipment. This means Pakistani firms lose nearly as much business because of the continued refusal to allow NATO truck traffic into Afghanistan.

In Pakistan's South Waziristan an American UAV fired two missiles at Islamic terrorists and killed ten of them. This is the sixth UAV attack in the last two weeks. Two of the dead were foreigners and all were gathered to mourn the death of another Islamic terrorist killed in an earlier missile attack.

June 2, 2012: India revealed that it had arrested a sergeant in its intelligence services who had attempted to sell military secrets to the Pakistani ISI. The sergeant's activities were detected and he was stopped before he could carry out his plan.

In Pakistan's South Waziristan an American UAV fired two missiles at Islamic terrorists and killed two of them. The dead men had been hiding out in a village and UAVs had been monitoring the place for some time, waiting for the two terrorists to come out, be identified, and attacked.

 

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