August 5, 2010:
Massive floods (the worst in decades), caused by two weeks of monsoon rains, have hit parts of the Pakistani tribal territories, killing over 2,000 and making over three million homeless. The monsoon rains appear each year at this time and drench South Asia, but depending on oceanic weather conditions, vary in intensity. The Taliban have continued their terror attacks, while Pakistani forces have switched to flood relief. The U.S. has sent in helicopters and other aid (food and medical supplies.)
Eight weeks of urban violence in Indian Kashmir have left 45 dead. The Pakistani based Islamic terrorists got behind existing unhappiness (mostly at the economic side effects of decades of Islamic terrorism in the province) and contributed terrorism professionals and cash to amp up the violence. The traditional tactics of the Islamic terrorists have failed, so new methods were sought. The terrorists now seek to encourage young men to make more violent attacks on police, and trigger reactions that get demonstrators killed. The Islamic radicals are thinking Palestine, which is an example of abject political failure, but no matter.
Indian police estimate that Maoists extract $300 million a year from mining companies alone. The mines are a major source of income for the Maoists, who use the money to pay and maintain thousands of gunmen and to run a shadow government in many rural areas of eastern and central India. The Maoist violence is concentrated in areas with mines (especially a 40,000 square kilometer area in southern Chhattisgarh state), demonstrating how important the mine extortion is.
August 4, 2010: Over the last two days, a force of a hundred Indian paramilitary police operating in a rural area of Chhattisgarh have been fighting Maoist rebels. The police patrol lost radio contact with its base, and, for a while, it was feared the unit had been ambushed and wiped out. A relief force of 75 police was sent in, but then it was discovered that the original force had taken casualties, but was successfully fighting its way out of an area that proved, as suspected, to be thick with Maoists.
In the Pakistani tribal territories, a Taliban death squad, using a suicide bomber, assassinated the very effective commander of the Frontier Corps (a locally recruited, from the tribes, 25,000 strong police force). The Taliban are increasing their death squad activity, against pro-government leaders at all levels. It's this strategy that keeps the Pakistani government backing the American UAV missile attack campaign (against Taliban and al Qaeda leaders) going. Pakistani media, and many politicians, condemn this CIA run operation. But the Predator and Reaper operations kill Islamic radical enemies of Pakistan.
August 3, 2010: In Bihar, eastern India, four passenger trains were cancelled due to Maoist threats. There have been several major train crashes recently, some caused, it is believed, by Maoists (but at least one was definitely human error). Speed restrictions have been imposed on trains going through Maoist controlled areas. In Jharkhand state, a Maoist roadside bomb destroyed a truck, killing five civilians.
August 2, 2010: Someone (the Taliban are suspected) assassinated a popular Karachi politician in a mosque. This triggered three days of street violence between rival political gangs that left over 70 dead and hundreds wounded. Thousands of businesses shut down in response. Karachi, with a population of over 18 million, is the largest city, and port, in Pakistan. It is increasingly a refuge for Taliban fleeing the fighting in the tribal territories, and taking refuge among over a million Pushtun who live in Karachi. There are dozens of other religious and ethnic factions in Karachi, and many have armed militias and a lunatic fringe. The killing of one senior leader can trigger blind reprisal attacks at suspect groups, which causes more reprisals. The cycle of hatred and violence has been a burden to Karachi for over half a century.
July 30, 2010: A senior Pakistani intelligence official cancelled a scheduled visit to Britain to protest the British prime minister recently saying, while visiting India, that many Pakistan intelligence officials, especially in the ISI (the Pakistani CIA) backed Islamic terrorist groups. Pakistan acknowledges this, but not in public. Efforts, in the last two years, to purge the pro-terrorist officers from the ISI, and other government agencies, has met with limited success.