India-Pakistan: The Rest Of The World Is Running Out Of Patience

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April 22, 2012:  After dominating Pakistan for over half a century, senior officers of the Pakistani Army, including the commander, have called for shrinking the size of the army and making peace with India. The recent disaster on the Siachen glacier was yet another stark example of the absurdity of the situation the army finds itself in. Endless, expensive, and futile military confrontation with India has been under growing criticism within Pakistan. The financial demands of the military had long been a burden to the national economy and this is now widely accepted. The generals are aware of growing public opposition to army domination and exploitation. Some generals believe the army should fight such traitorous attitudes and do whatever it takes to maintain the army's dominant role in Pakistan. For the moment, the generals in charge are not willing to fight the country they are supposed to be defending. There is a practical reason for this; the Pakistani economy is a mess and without a strong economy the country is doomed to growing poverty and chaos. The army sees no advantage in presiding over that kind of mess. But India, and many Pakistanis, does not see this apparent change in the Pakistani generals as a fundamental shift but as a tactical move to avoid a large scale and violent revolt against the wealth, privilege, and power of the military. The decades of deception and fraud perpetuated by the Pakistani generals has been under a harsh spotlight in the last year, beginning with the American raid inside Pakistan that found and killed Osama bin Laden. That opened a spigot of additional embarrassing revelations. Now we have the disaster on the Siachen glacier and attention being paid to another absurd situation the Pakistani Army has got itself, and the country, into.

Resulting Pakistani calls for demilitarizing the border area on the Siachen glacier has been greeted with skepticism in India. That's because the Pakistani Army has used lies and deceptions for decades in a futile effort to gain an edge over India. This has led to the current situation, where thousands of Islamic terrorists, openly supported by Pakistani troops, continue to plan and carry out attacks on India. It happens every day in places like Kashmir. But Pakistan officially denies it all. Until the denials stop and taking responsibility begins there will be no real peace with India.  

NATO and Pakistan are still stalemated over the resumption of truck traffic from Karachi to Afghanistan, and Pakistan is refusing to attack Islamic terrorists in North Waziristan (North Waziristan) or Quetta (Baluchistan). These two places have become the most dangerous terrorist sanctuaries on the planet but the Pakistani government refuses to shut them down. India also wants Islamic terror camps (run by groups specializing in attacks on India) in other parts of Pakistan eliminated. Again, Pakistan defies the world and refuses to act against the terrorists. The rest of the world is running out of patience.

The UN is running a major refugee relief effort in northwest Pakistan to aid nearly 200,000 civilians who have fled fighting between Islamic terrorists (mainly Taliban) and the army. While Pakistan maintains North Waziristan as a terrorist sanctuary, the army insists that Taliban stay in this terrorist reservation or be subject to arrest or attack. Many heavily armed Pushtun tribesmen continue to profess Taliban ideals and fight to the death to do that wherever they want.

In Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, ethnic and religious violence are again growing, causing hundreds of casualties a week and chaos in some neighborhoods.

India is making a major effort to identify and destroy the supply system the Maoist rebels have put together over several decades. This is how the Maoists obtain some weapons (the rest are stolen from the police) and a lot of specialized communications equipment and other gear needed to operate in the bush. Much of this stuff if not, strictly speaking, military but it is essential for keeping the Maoist gunmen going. The recent arrests of senior Maoists has apparently revealed some important details of how this supply network works, and the government wants to exploits this momentary edge. The Maoists have become the biggest military threat to India. The Pakistani threat is in decline and the Chinese threat is still largely potential, not actual. The Maoists threaten stability in nine Indian states and make no secret of wanting to replace democracy with a communist dictatorship.

April 21, 2012: Afghan police found ten tons of Taliban explosives meant for attacks inside Kabul. The explosives came from Pakistan, where the government has been unable to do much to halt this smuggling.

April 20, 2012: In eastern India a Maoist landmine killed three political activists.

April 19, 2012: India successfully tested an Agni V ballistic missile. This is a solid fuel missile that is still under development. It has a maximum range of 5,000 kilometers and a payload of one ton. This missile can hit targets in Russia, China, Europe (Italy and points east), Japan, and Africa. It's unsure what point the Indians are trying to make here. Most Agni Vs will apparently be aimed at China. Agni V is a solid fuel missile, meaning it can be fired on short notice and compact enough to be moved around on a truck to avoid surprise attack. Agni V is still in development and needs another five successful tests before it is ready for mass production and regular service (sitting in a silo for years at a time, tended by a small crew of technicians).  

April 16, 2012: Revelations of how corruption has crippled Indian military procurement has led to the government allowing another exemption from the procurement (and anti-corruption) bureaucracies so that army special operations forces (commandoes) can get badly needed new equipment. These "fast-track" exceptions provide opportunities for more corruption, which in cases like this is seen as the lesser of many evils.

April 15, 2012: In northwest Pakistan about a hundred Taliban gunmen attacked a prison and freed nearly 400 prisoners.

The Pakistani Army is setting up its own nationwide FM radio network, to counter Islamic radicals and terrorists who have been shutting down legitimate radio (via bombs, murder, and intimidation) and setting up illegal Islamic radical FM stations. The army will defend the people (mostly civilians) running these new stations and dictate editorial policy.

 

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