India-Pakistan: Islamic Intolerance Increases


August 27, 2007: Unrest continues in Baluchistan (southwest Pakistan). While the army has crushed large scale armed tribal resistance, many other forms of protest continue, and as well as some terror attacks. But the government has far more control in Baluchistan than it does to the north in the Pushtun tribal areas along the Afghan border. There, the lack of government control has resulted in U.S. troops regularly crossing the border when pursuing Taliban or al Qaeda suspects. The troops are allowed to penetrate up to ten kilometers inside Pakistan. To go beyond that they need special permission. These missions are kept as quiet as possible, and always officially denied. The Pakistani government goes along with this because the people being pursued are fighting the Pakistani government as well. When U.S. troops cross the border, they do have to notify their headquarters, which then tells U.S. officials in the Pakistani capital (who, presumably, let the Pakistani government know). In the last three years, Pakistani military operations in the Pushtun tribal areas have left 700 soldiers and 1,200 tribesmen dead. Some of the dead tribesmen were killed by American forces, usually while pursuing groups of Taliban who had been in Afghanistan.

August 26, 2007: There has been an increase in desertions in the Pakistani army. The reason given is unease about serving in the Pushtun tribal areas and "fighting my own people." In many cases the deserters are Pushtuns, who make up a disproportionate fraction of the military. The Pushtuns are about ten percent of the population, the Baluchis another five percent. But these two tribal groups comprise a third of the strength of some army units. Tribesmen frequently desert just because they get homesick, and know that the government can't touch them in the tribal areas.

August 25, 2007: In the south Indian city of Hyderabad, two bombs went off, killing 42. Another dozen bombs were found in the city, and defused. Police promptly set up over 50 checkpoints and began searching vehicles. Within days, over 700 suspects were arrested for questioning. Such a large scale attack is likely to be the work of Islamic terrorists. Three months ago, a Mosque was bombed in the city, killing eleven, and today's bombing is seen as payback. Islamic terrorism has been a constant in Indian history for over eight centuries. The Mongol armies that invaded India centuries ago brought Islam with them, but were only able to convert, usually by force, about 20 percent of the population. While the native Hindus fought back, Hinduism is generally one of the more peaceful religions on the planet. Hindu extremists have been far less lethal than their Moslem counterparts. Moreover, Islamic terrorists will attack Hindus no matter where they are. Thus Hindus (and other non-Moslems) are still persecuted in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There have been several similar bombings in the past two years, mainly in the Indian capital. Most have been proven to be the work of Islamic terrorists. Pakistan and Bangladesh serve as bases for Islamic terrorist groups that carry out attacks in India. Pakistan refuses to acknowledge this, while Bangladesh is fighting hard to eliminate the Islamic terrorists in its midst.

Pakistan conducted another successful test of its stealthy cruise missile. This is three decade old technology, and not as complex as the many ballistic missiles Pakistan has also built. Cruise missiles are cheaper than ballistic missiles, and can be recalled (useful if they have nuclear warheads).

August 24, 2007: In the Pakistani tribal areas, an army colonel and three aids were kidnapped, apparently by tribesmen seeking to get friends or kin released from jail. The tribal chiefs are trying to negotiate a ceasefire. This is complicated by the fact that the tribes are never united in any dealings with the government, or each other. This anarchy is one reason why the Pakistani government has never actually goverened its tribal areas. In addition to the fractious tribes, there are numerous warlords (religious, as in Taliban or al Qaeda, or simply tribal gangsters).

August 23, 2007: The growing feud between Pakistani president Musharraf and the judiciary has resulted in judges releasing terrorists from prison. This is done to protest Musharraf jailing judges he disagrees with.

August 22, 2007: In Pakistan, violence against Christians now includes more kidnappings of Christian girls (who are then forced to convert and marry a Moslem man they never met before.) The police often will not intervene. Islamic militants see it as their duty to persecute all non-Moslems.

August 21, 2007: In Pakistan, police have been chasing down and arresting Islamic terrorists associated with the Red Mosque. These were responsible for bombings in the capital that killed 29 in the last week. Since the Red Mosque was raided last month, Islamic radicals have declared open war on the government. Over 300 have died since then, mostly in terror bombings or battles with police and counter-terror forces.




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