India accuses Pakistan of using its SSG (Special Services Group) commandos to carry out a January 8
attack on Indian soldiers guarding the Kashmir border with Pakistan. This incident resulted in two Indian soldiers being beheaded, an atrocity that angered most Indians. India also reported that there have been 188 similar incidents along the Pakistani border in the last three years and that these resulted in 29 casualties. The incidence of this violence is on the increase, as there were 93 such incidents compared to 51 in 2011 and 44 in 2010. India has told Pakistan that if this continues India would consider it a violation of the ceasefire agreement between the two countries. That could lead to military retaliation from India. The SSG is Pakistan’s primary special operations unit and operates under direct orders of the military high command.
The Pakistani government is having plenty of problems with illegal violence inside Pakistan. The civilian government has been unable to completely halt army support for some Islamic radical groups. The army also refuses to attack Islamic terrorists who have long had sanctuary in North Waziristan and Quetta (the capital of Baluchistan). While the Afghan Taliban in Quetta have been pretty quiet, many of the Islamic terrorists in North Waziristan are openly hostile towards the Pakistani government and openly boast of attacks inside Pakistan.
The Pakistani military has no enthusiasm for any kind of civilian control. This is because the military has been largely autonomous for decades and its leaders have grown quite rich in the process. The troops are treated well because of some reforms in the last decade (when some generals noted that many of the troops were unhappy about their poverty, especially compared to the officers). The Pakistani government pays for all this. Most of the financial burden falls on lower income Pakistanis because few wealthy Pakistanis pay taxes. All this is becoming more widely known and the military is resented for its greedy and independent ways. The military is seen as more interested in getting rich than in actually providing security for Pakistanis. The recent growth in Sunni Islamic terror group attacks on Shia Moslems, Christians, and other religious militias is blamed on the military's unwillingness to shut down the many Sunni Islamic terror groups they either support or tolerate. The military can no longer control the mass media like they used to, and all this unrest is constantly in the news.
In Bangladesh Islamic radical violence against Hindus (about ten percent of the 143 million Bangladeshis) over the last few weeks has left 47 temples and 700 homes burned. This violence was in response to a local court recently sentencing a senior Islamic conservative politician and religious leader (Delawar Hossain Sayedee) to death, after he was convicted of committing war crimes during the 1971 civil war with West Pakistan (back when Bangladesh was East Pakistan). Sayedees followers promptly went on a violent rampage in an effort to coerce the government into letting Sayedee live. The violence has killed about a hundred people so far and the government seems unlikely to back down. Hindus were targeted because Islamic radicals are particularly hostile to non-Moslems. What was ironic about this was that many of the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh were against local Hindus, as Pakistan always blamed the rebellion in East Pakistan on India. That was not true, as most Bangladeshis (Moslem and Hindu) had a long list of complaints against their “brothers” in West Pakistan.
Families of the many victims of the 1971 violence have long demanded that the surviving culprits be brought to justice. Many current Islamic religious leaders in Bangladesh were young Islamic militants in 1971, and supported West Pakistani efforts to suppress separatist activity in East Pakistan. What is now Pakistan (then West Pakistan) was always more into Islamic radicalism than Bangladesh, where the local Islamic radicals are still considered a threat. That's one reason why there is a lot less Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh than in Pakistan. Another reason is that the Islamic clergy of Bangladesh never became as radicalized as their counterparts in Pakistan. Part of this was due to history and culture, partly to closer ties between Pakistan and the oil-rich Arab states in Arabia. A lot of that oil money went into funding conservative Islamic missionaries, and a lot more of those missionaries went to Pakistan than to the less hospitable Bangladesh. While not all Pakistanis agree with their conservative, and often radical, Islamic clergy, there is tremendous social pressure to keep quiet about such disagreements.
In Karachi, Pakistan a bomb went off in front of the headquarters of a cable TV company. Islamic terrorists were suspected but the cable TV (something Islamic radicals hate) said they had received no threats.
March 14, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (near the Khyber Pass) another 300 soldiers were sent in to try and halt the fighting between the Pakistani Taliban and a pro-government militia (Ansarul Islam). The pro-government militia has been trying to push the Taliban out of the area and the Islamic terrorists resisted. At least 30 have died in two days of fighting.
March 13, 2013: In India, Kashmir two Islamic terrorists, disguised as cricket players, fired on a group of soldiers, killing five before return fire killed the attackers.
In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) a group of eight gunmen kidnapped two Czech tourists and took them across the border into Afghanistan. The two women had a police escort, but the two cops were no match for the eight gunmen. No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Pakistan is widely known as inhospitable for tourists but adventurous foreigners keep coming anyway.
March 11, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (Kurram), a roadside bomb killed three soldiers. The military retaliated by bombing three known Taliban hideouts, killing at least twelve people. Kurram is on the Afghan border and anti-government Islamic terrorists operate on both sides of the border.
March 10, 2013: In the Pakistani tribal territories (North Waziristan), American UAVs killed two Islamic terrorists with a missile. This is the first such attack since the two in February.
The Pakistani Taliban refuse to even start peace talks until the Pakistani F-16s and American UAVs halt their attacks on Taliban targets. The government refuses to go along with this. The government wants the Taliban to disarm before talks, and the Taliban refuse to even consider this.
March 9, 2013: In Lahore, Pakistan a Christian neighborhood came under repeated attack by several thousand Moslems when someone accused a local Christian of being disrespectful of Islam. Over a hundred homes were burned down and a lot of property damage was caused. Hundreds of Christians then demonstrated, demanding that the government do something to stop this sort of violence. Police then acted and arrested at least 150 suspects. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are frequently used as an excuse to attack non-Moslems.
March 7, 2013: Pakistan has halted the release of Taliban prisoners. This was being done at the request of Afghanistan to promote peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. But of the 26 Taliban leaders released so far, most have gone right back to working with the Taliban. The Afghans refuse to do anything to halt this, and the Pakistanis now regard the release of these prisoners as a liability for Pakistan. For the moment, Pakistan does not trust Afghanistan. That is nothing new and goes both ways.
In Karachi, Pakistan police arrested three Taliban suspects. The three were also accused of kidnapping and robbery, two methods urban Taliban use to raise money.