2008: Pakistanis have a their own view
of what's going on in their tribal areas, and along the Afghan border. This
frontier, still called the "Durand Line" (an impromptu, pre-independence invention
of British colonial authorities) was always considered artificial by locals,
because the line often went right Pushtun tribal territories. However, the
Afghan government is are more inclined to accept the Durand Line (although tribal leaders on the frontier are not), and fight to maintain it.
The Pakistanis believe absolute control of the border is impossible, and
attempts to stop illegal crossings cause additional trouble (as tribesmen do
not like excessive attention at border crossing posts on roads). The majority
of politicians just want to ignore the tribal areas. Most Pakistanis have more
immediate problems than the threat of terrorists in the back country. Rising
food and fuel prices, power blackouts (because of a shortage of power plants)
are causing widespread unrest. So the government has told the military that the
defense budget will stop rising (it's currently $4.1 billion a year). This is
all headed for an undeclared war in the tribal areas, involving Afghan and NATO
forces, as well as various Pakistani factions.
assurances, from tribal chiefs, that violence will be reduced, has not
happened. Police patrols are still ambushed, yet the tribesmen protest if the
police seek to find and arrest the attackers.
2008: For the second time in the last
ten days, Indian troops detected and stopped an attempt by Islamic terrorists,
trained in Pakistani camps, to cross the line. Two terrorists were killed.
Afghan border, a battle between Taliban, Pakistani border guards, Afghan and U.S.
troops left at least eleven Pakistani troops. The dead were paramilitaries,
recruited from local troops. Fights on the border usually start as Afghan or U.S.
troops pursue fleeing Taliban (who are trying to reach safety in Pakistani
territory). Sometimes the Pakistani troops will open fire on the pursuers.
Sometimes the Pakistani border guards basically side with the Taliban, but are
usually careful in who they take on. Firing on NATO troops risks bring in the
smart bombs, which is what happened this time. The U.S. apologized, but refused
to promise it would not happen again, because it will.
2008: Two bombs went off in the
northwest, killing four. Meanwhile, police, in the city of Rawalpindi, seized
three cars rigged for suicide bomb attacks, and arrested six people. Police in
the capital have had to increase the security for European diplomats, as Pakistani
Islamic radicals threatened violence (because back in Europe, Europeans have protested Islamic terrorism,
which many Islamic radicals insist does not exist, and will kill those who say
2008: Pakistani troops again fired at
Indian soldiers, across the Kashmir Line Of Control. This is usually done to
distract the Indians while Islamic terrorists, trained in Pakistani camps,
cross the line.