India-Pakistan: More Smoke Than Fire


November 19, 2007: In Burma, the army has launched another operation to find and destroy camps, used by tribal separatist rebels, along the Indian border. Northeast India has had problems with the tribal rebels for generations, and only recently, when arrangements (weapons shipments and trade deals) were made with the Burmese dictatorship, have the tribal separatists been forced out of their sanctuaries. There are over 5,000 Indian rebels in these border camps, and the Burmese offensive will cause many to flee into India, where they will either quit fighting, or go up against Indian counter-terrorism forces. Without the Burmese sanctuaries, the separatists face defeat. This is hastened by the evolution of some separatist groups into criminal gangs. That's more lucrative, but gives up most popular support.

November 18, 2007: In Kashmir, fighting has increased, with nine rebels and two soldiers killed in one day, the highest daily death toll this year. The increased violence is the result of the Winter weather forcing many Islamic terrorists out of their mountain hideouts, and down into the more densely populated valleys. There, the security forces are waiting for them, more so than in past years.

November 17, 2007: In Pakistan, the battle in the Swat valley has escalated, with over a hundred Islamic radicals killed in the last week. The army has lost five soldiers. The Islamic radicals cannot deal with the military in a regular battle. Guerilla war in the Swat valley is difficult because most of the locals oppose the radicals (who are ruining the mainstay of the local economy; tourism).

November 15, 2007: In northwest Pakistan, Islamic militants have moved into the Swat valley, in an attempt to impose Islamic law in the area. The army is sending in more troops to oppose the militants, and has launched an offensive to oust the militants. Several dozen militants have been killed in the last few days.

November 14, 2007: In Pakistan, the students have not been leading large demonstrations against the emergency rule of Musharraf, because the student community is split. The Islamic radicals are the best organized, and most violent, even though they represent the fewest students. The democrats are split between party partisans and those wanting true reform. The majority of students are bystanders.

November 13, 2007: While political party leaders are calling for general Musharraf to resign as president in Pakistan, not a lot of Pakistanis are taking to the streets over the matter. None of the political parties offer anything different, or worth risking your life for in street demonstrations. Pakistani politicians have proved, again and again, that they are corrupt and inept. The generals aren't much better, but they aren't worse either. So the people wait for the next round of elections, which are supposed to happen in the next two months.


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