India-Pakistan: Sixty Years of Failure


November 5, 2007: In Pakistan's capital, lawyers and police confronted each other, and hundreds of lawyers were injured or arrested. Most Pakistanis are distraught over the their inability to create a stable government or an efficient economy. Compared to neighboring India, Pakistan is chaotic and poor. It wasn't that way when the two states were created in 1947. Some Pakistanis blame Islam, while many more blame foreign conspiracies. An increasing number see internal flaws that must be fixed. There is no general agreement on how to proceed. The majority want democracy, but Pakistani democracy has been crippled by corruption. Military dictators wear out their welcome in a few years. A large minority want an Islamic dictatorship, but after seeing how that worked in Afghanistan, most Pakistanis are very hostile to letting clerics run the country.

November 4, 2007: In northern Pakistan, days of negotiations with tribal elders resulted in the release of 200 soldiers captured two months ago (when their convoy was trapped in a pass). Elsewhere in Pakistan, the former head of the ISI (the intelligence service) was arrested. The ISI has long been a bastion of support for Islamic militants.

November 3, 2007: In Pakistan, president Musharraf declared a state of emergency (thus ruling without the constraints of the constitution) because the Supreme Court judges (who have been feuding with him) threatened to declare his recent election illegal.

In central India, a 23 man police patrol was ambushed by Maoists, leaving 18 of the policemen dead or wounded. The Maoists are resisting government attempts to find and shut down camps hidden in the mountains and forests.

November 2, 2007: In central Pakistan, a suicide bomber hit an air force bus, leaving eight dead. Meanwhile, on the Afghan border, clashes with Islamic militants left at least 70 of them dead.

November 1, 2007: A survey of urban Pakistanis found about half opposed using force against Islamic militants. Many Moslems believe it is not right to fight fellow Moslems, even if they are terrorists. There is also a lot of support for a religious dictatorship, since no form of government (democracy or military dictatorship) seems to have worked in Pakistan. Compared to largely Hindu India, Pakistan is way behind in economic terms, and suffers far more violence. While a lot of that is from Islamic radicals, most of the crime in Pakistan is garden variety thuggery.

October 31, 2007: In Pakistan, army officers have been ordered to wear civilian clothes when off duty, to make it more difficult for Islamic terrorists to attack.

October 30, 2007: In northern Pakistan's Swat valley, a truce between Islamic radical and the army yesterday has not stopped the flow of refugees. Civilians believe fighting will resume, because the Islamic diehards believe they are on a mission from God. In Pakistan's capital, a suicide bomber attacked about a kilometer from president Musharraf's residence, leaving eight dead. The terrorist attacks are an attempt to get the army to withdraw from the Swat valley, so the Islamic militants can continue to build their military force.




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