The Pakistani government held preliminary peace talks with the Taliban today. The Taliban is suffering from internal dissent and general unhappiness with years of fighting and nothing to show for it. Some Taliban factions have increased their attacks against government targets and that has led to retaliation from the military. During the last 12 years Pakistan has suffered heavy casualties (over 4,000 dead and 13,000 wounded) fighting Islamic terrorists in the tribal territories. Over 40,000 Islamic terrorists and local civilians have been killed (and many more wounded) by the security forces and Islamic terrorists but what the terrorist leadership fears the most are the American UAV missile attacks. These target key Islamic terrorist personnel and this tends to matter a lot to the terrorist leadership. There have been 330 of these attacks since 2006 and they have killed 2,400 people, most of them high ranking terrorist personnel and their associates or family members. These attacks have a tendency to hit their targets when they are travelling or otherwise isolated from civilians (who are regularly used as human shields). The terrorist groups have mobilized media and some key politicians to campaign against the UAV attacks but the government, while going along with the public condemnation of the attacks, has continued to secretly approve of and support them. That’s because the American attacks kill Islamic terrorists who are at war with Pakistan. The attacks also go after terrorist groups the government unofficially supports, who mainly carry out attacks in Afghanistan, India and elsewhere.
So far this year four cases of polio have been found in Pakistan, all of them in the tribal territories (North Waziristan). Islamic terrorist attacks on polio vaccination efforts has led to more cases of polio in Pakistan. In 2013 there were 72 cases compared to 58 in 2012. Many Taliban believe the polio vaccination effort is really a foreign plot to poison Moslem children and these attacks continue with even more intensity this year.
February 2, 2014: In Peshawar (the largest city in the Pakistani tribal territories) someone threw two grenades into a movie theater. Of about a hundred people there, five were killed and 31 wounded. Islamic terrorists disapprove of movies and video in general.
February 1, 2014: In the Pakistani tribal territories (Khyber) troops clashed with Islamic terrorists and killed four while arresting fifty others.
In northeast India (Odisha) a top Maoist commander was captured based on a tip. While several other Maoists managed to escape, police captured bomb making materials and documents.
January 30, 2014: China and India has agreed to hold another high-level meeting to discuss their border disputes. This would be the 17th such meeting and it will be held February 10th. The border is also called the LAC (Line of Actual Control) and is also known as the MacCartney-MacDonald Line. It is the unofficial border between India and China, because the two nations cannot agree on where the actual border is. The LAC is 4,057 kilometers long and is in the Indian States of Ladakh, Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal, and Arunachal. On the Chinese side it is mostly Tibet. China claims much territory that is now considered part of India. China has become less vocal about its claims on Indian territory recently but has not abandoned these assertions. The Chinese troops, when confronted by Indian soldiers or border guard will claim they are really in Chinese territory, but back off rather than open fire over the issue. This is a big relief to India, which has a defense budget one third that of China’s.
January 29, 2014: In Kashmir Pakistani troops fired across the border (LOC, or Line of Control) for five minutes hours at an Indian border post. The Indians fired back and the Pakistanis stopped firing.
In southwest Pakistan (Quetta) an influential cleric who supported the Afghan Taliban was shot dead.
Three Chinese warships (an amphibious ship and two destroyers) entered the Indian Ocean and conducted five days of training exercises before returning to the Pacific.
January 28, 2014: In eastern Afghanistan (Kunar) four rockets fired from Pakistan landed in a populated area, killing four children.
January 27, 2014: In the Pakistani tribal territories (North Waziristan) helicopter gunships killed two Islamic terrorists and wounded several others. Elsewhere in the territories (Khyber) six children died when they handled an explosive device they came across while playing. In Peshawar (the largest city in the territories) a policeman guarding a Hindu temple was shot dead.
Pakistan has suspended polio vaccinations in parts (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) of the tribal territories because of attacks on the vaccination teams.
Pakistani officials are negotiating with Chinese submarine builders to buy six Chinese submarines. The negotiations may not succeed, but if they do the Pakistanis believe they will have a deal by the end of the year.
The Pakistani military denied that its troops had violated the ceasefire on the Kashmir border.
In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) troops clashed with tribal separatists and killed four of them.
Thousands of civilians in North Waziristan began making preparations to move temporarily to avoid the military operations.
In eastern India (Jharkhand) Maoist mines wounded 14 policemen and killed one.
January 26, 2014: In Kashmir Pakistani troops fired across the border (LOC) for three hours at an Indian border post. Today is Republic Day in India, the 65th anniversary of the founding of the post-colonial Indian state. This was the first such cross border attack since senior Pakistani and Indian military commanders met in December to agree that these incidents would no longer occur.
January 25, 2014: In Karachi, Pakistan six policemen were killed by gunfire in two incidents involving Islamic terrorists.
The Pakistani military has ordered troops to prepare for a major operation against the Taliban in North Waziristan next month. This has been an Islamic terrorist sanctuary since September 11, 2001 and some recent attacks on military personnel have apparently convinced the army that a message must be sent to those Islamic terrorists that operate out of North Waziristan and attack Pakistanis. It is believed that groups that do not attack Pakistanis (like the Haqqani Network) will be left alone.
Pakistan has suspended bus convoys carrying Shia pilgrims through Baluchistan to Iran, at least until security (against Sunni Islamic terrorists) can be improved.
January 24, 2014: In Pakistan (Sindh province) at least twenty small bombs went off in four different districts and two people were wounded.
January 22, 2014: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) police commandos conducted several raids and arrested 25 suspected tribal rebels.
In the Pakistani tribal territories (Khyber) a bicycle bomb killed six policemen (and a nearby child) on their way to guard a polio vaccination team.
January 21, 2014: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) a roadside bomb killed 28 Shia pilgrims. Sunni Islamic terrorists were believed responsible, apparently from the same group that attacked police and a Spanish tourist yesterday.
In Karachi, Pakistan gunmen killed three members of two polio vaccination teams that were fired on.
In the Pakistani tribal territories (North Waziristan) air strikes overnight killed as many as 40 Islamic terrorists. This was retaliation for recent terrorist attacks directed at the military. In response to the air strikes the Taliban said it would increase attacks against the military, and would also go after the families of military personnel.
In eastern India (Bihar) a police raid led to the capture of a Maoist bomb making workshop. Found there were 70 hand grenades and 25 assembled bombs. The Maoists working there fled as the police approached.
January 20, 2014: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) gunmen opened fire on twelve policemen guarding a Spanish bicyclist attempting to cycle round the world. The Spaniard had just crossed the Iranian border. Six policemen were killed by the gunfire and the Spaniard was wounded.
In Rawalpindi Pakistan a suicide bomber killed 13 people at a checkpoint near a military base.
January 19, 2014: In the Pakistani tribal territories (Khyber) a Taliban bomb went off inside a military compound killing 26 soldiers. The Taliban said it would now be open to peace talks with the government but only if the government could convince the Islamic terrorists that the civilian politicians could control the military (that is, prevent military attacks on the Taliban.)
January 16, 2014: In Peshawar (the largest city in the Pakistani tribal territories) a bomb went off in a Sunni religious school, killing nine and wounding 50. This could have been the work of Shia Islamic terrorists as two more were found and disabled.
January 14, 2014: In eastern India (Jharkhand) Maoists clashed with police commandoes. One of the communist rebels was killed and another captured.