In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) four months of fighting against Islamic terrorists, especially the Pakistani Taliban, has largely come to an end. Over 1,200 Islamic terrorists were killed and hundreds more arrested. Even so in the last two weeks nearly a hundred Islamic terrorists have been killed up there and over a hundred were arrested or surrendered. For this the army suffered at least twenty casualties including at least four dead. The cold weather is slowing down operations and most of the military effort is now devoted to finding and destroy Islamic terrorist hideouts where the enemy seeks to wait for warmer weather and another year of fighting. More Islamic terrorist violence is occurring to the north, in the Khyber region where many Islamic terrorists have fled to from North Waziristan. There some groups of Islamic terrorists are still planning and carrying out attacks, especially against pro-government tribal leaders. These tribal elders have made it more difficult for Islamic terrorists fleeing North Waziristan to find refuge in Khyber. In part this is because the tribal leaders encourage people to report the presence of Islamic terrorists, which usually results in an aerial attack or a raid by ground troops. The military has also pointed out that because of the four month old offensive Islamic terrorist attacks inside Pakistan have dropped by more than a third.
The Pakistani military and their media allies are finding that “hate India” no longer works to distract the Pakistani people from all the corruption (especially by military officers), terrorism (often supported by the military) and bad government in Pakistan. The army has staged numerous border incidents this month, firing into India and accusing the Indians of firing first. This used to work, but it no longer does and that’s part of a trend the military has been trying to ignore. Since September 11, 2001 anger against the military has increased with the number of Islamic terror attacks inside Pakistan, especially those carried out by groups that were, or still are, supported by the military. The 2011 American raid into Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden was another major publicity disaster for the military. The growing anti-corruption movement in Pakistan is also directed at military personnel, who have been plundering the economy for decades, all in the name of “defending against Indian aggression.” Pakistanis no longer believe the tried and true lies.
Alarmed at the more than 340 Chinese border violations so far this year, India is forming 12 new border police battalions, each with about a thousand personnel. These will be posted on the 3,500 kilometer long border with Chinese Tibet. In 2013 there were 411 of these Chinese border violations, following 426 in 2012 and 213 in 2011.
Indians living in areas near the Chinese border are becoming more vocal about growing Chinese aggressiveness in asserting its claims. The latest incident involved a formal Chinese protest against India building roads near the Chinese border in northeastern India. This involves an area that new (2014) Chinese maps show Indian territory claimed by China as actually being part of China and within China’s borders. This is just another escalation in a long-running border dispute over who owns areas like Arunachal Pradesh. In this part of northeast India there are few, if any, ethnic Chinese. The locals know that a Chinese takeover would mean drastic changes because the first thing China does in places like this is move in a lot of ethnic (Han) Chinese and marginalize the natives. This rarely ends well for the locals. While these Chinese claims have been on the books for decades, since 2000 China has become more vocal about it. That's one reason India has been rapidly increasing its defense spending. But since both nations have nuclear weapons, a major war over these border disputes is unlikely. Constant Chinese pressure is another matter. China is applying the same tactic in all its recently activated territorial claims. Constant pressure while avoiding anything that might trigger a war is seen by China as a slow but certain way to secure its claims.
October 27, 2014: Iran and Pakistan agreed to peacefully settle a recent border incident that left one Pakistani soldier dead. At the same time Iran still wants Pakistan to do something about Baluchi tribes on both sides of the border who carry out terror attacks in Iran from bases in Pakistan. This is all the result of the religious dictatorship in Iran being hostile to Sunnis and the Iranian Baluchis (who are Sunni) do not like this at all. During the last few years the Iranian Baluchi rebels have become bolder and more successful in their attacks on Iranian security forces. Iran has responded by executing more captured Baluchi rebels and that has resulted in even more Baluchi violence. Iran demanded that the Pakistani government act on future incidents of Baluchi violence in Iran or Iran would send its own troops into Pakistan to find and punish the culprits. These threats have been intensifying since earlier in 2104 when five Iranian border guards were captured by Islamic terrorists and taken to Pakistan. Eventually one was killed and the other four released.
In Pakistan (Karachi) police killed nine Taliban who were operating in the city. A large quantity of weapons and bomb making materials were also seized. Many Taliban want revenge for the offensive in North Waziristan and Karachi is a good target. It is the largest city in Pakistan, the main port and has a large Pushtun population. But many of those Pushtuns moved to Karachi to get away from the tribal feuds and Islamic terrorists in the northwest. So when the Taliban show up in a Pushtun neighborhood they are often quietly reported to the police. Cell phones make this easy, and unlike the tribal territories, the Taliban cannot shut down cell phone service, even briefly, in Karachi.
October 26, 2014: In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) aircraft and helicopters hit nine targets (suspected Islamic terrorist hideouts) and killed at least 33 people.
October 25, 2014: In Pakistan (Khyber, north of Waziristan) five air raids killed at least 18 Islamic terrorists. This area has seen more and more air attacks as aerial reconnaissance detects Islamic terrorists fleeing from North Waziristan seeking to set up camps in remote areas of Khyber.
October 24, 2014: In Kashmir Pakistani troops again violated the 2003 ceasefire agreement by firing on Indian troops across the LOC (Line of Control) with machine-guns and mortars. The shooting continued into the next day. Indians responded with similar type weapons. The official Pakistani Army position is that India starts these incidents by firing first but there is little evidence of that and even the Pakistani government is at a loss as to why their military continues to allow these incidents to happen. India believes many of these attacks are used to distract Indian border guards to assist Islamic terrorists trying to cross the LOC. The Indians also believe a lot of this border violence is for Pakistani media, to keep Pakistanis fearful of war with India and prevent reforms in the Pakistani military (especially more civilian oversight) and cuts in the military budget. Meanwhile the Pakistanis will claim that any Indian return fire was “unprovoked”, especially if any Pakistani civilians (which the Pakistani army does not seem too concerned about) are killed by the return fire. These ceasefire violations have been particularly numerous in October and have caused over a hundred casualties, about 20 percent of them fatal. Most of those hurt have been military but a few civilians have been hit as well. This caused over 30,000 civilians to flee the border area.
October 23, 2014: In southwest Pakistan (Quetta) three terror attacks left 13 people dead. One attack was by the Pakistani Taliban, one was by local Baluchi tribal separatists and the third was by Sunni Islamic terrorists against local Shia Moslems.
October 22, 2014: In Kashmir Pakistani troops again violated the 2003 ceasefire agreement by firing on Indian troops across the LOC.
October 21, 2014: In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) aircraft and helicopters hit several targets (suspected Islamic terrorist hideouts) and killed at least 28 people.
In the Pakistani capital 65 days of street demonstrations in the capital aimed at overthrowing the government officially ended. The demonstrators say they will take their effort to other parts of the country. This effort has been orchestrated by opposition politician Imran Khan and Islamic cleric/politician Tahir ul Qadri. On August 14th these two began a massive march on the capital (Islamabad) with the intention of blockading parliament and other government offices to force the current government to resign. Khan is a nationalist and populist and Qadri is reformer and anti-corruption advocate who proposes an appointed government of honest politicians followed by elections that are not rigged. Kahn/Qadri accuse the government of corruption (a normal state in Pakistan) and rigging the last election (also quite normal). While the Kahn/Qadri solution is radical and, to an outsider, seemingly improbable, it is very popular to many, if not most, Pakistanis. Despite the presence of several hundred thousand supporters in the capital the government stood firm and the army refused to intervene. For a while many Pakistanis saw this as another of those situations where the military would take control “for the good of the country” because democracy was deadlocked by the dispute between Kahn/Qadri and the elected officials. Most members of the current government (parliament and the key ministers) oppose Kahn/Qadri but with over half a million angry anti-corruption (and anti-current government) demonstrators in the capital just calling out more police to chase them away was not an option. So the situation became a siege and the government was able to last longer. The Kahn/Qadri “army” began losing its resolve in September and started melting away. Kahn/Qadri have the support of many judges, who refuse to allow arrests for violations of laws banning such disruptive behavior. But the general public has lost patience with the disruptions to travel and commerce the demonstrations have had. This isn’t over, especially the growing anger over the corruption.
Elsewhere in the capital a judge ordered an anti-government TV channel off the air for 15 days because the channel had criticized the judiciary and vigorously supported the Kahn/Qadri demonstrations.
October 20, 2014: The Pakistan Taliban announced that their official spokesman had been replaced because he, along with four other senior Taliban officials, had declared allegiance to ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). All this is a major win for the Pakistani army because the new pro-ISIL factions are hostile to all the other Islamic terrorist groups in Pakistan and that means there will be more violence between the Islamic terrorists. This will result in less terrorist violence against civilians and security forces inside Pakistan. Meanwhile the military still has a number of “loyal” Islamic terrorist groups that do not attack inside Pakistan. The army tends to go easy on Islamic terrorists who confine their mayhem to India, Afghanistan and other foreign targets.
October 19, 2014: In Kashmir Pakistani troops again violated the 2003 ceasefire agreement again by firing on Indian troops across the LOC.
October 17, 2014: In southwestern Pakistan a border policeman was killed and three others wounded when the Pakistanis encountered a group of 30 Iranian troops two kilometers inside Pakistan. The Iranians opened fire and then retreated back into Iran. Pakistanis were angry over this and threatened Iran. It took diplomats on both sides over a week to calm things down.
October 16, 2014: Iran warned Pakistan that Iranian troops would enter Pakistan if Pakistan failed to act against Baluchi terrorists based in Pakistan who were making raids into Iran. This threat was all about certain Baluchi groups who were known to the Pakistani police but were left alone because they did not commit any violent acts inside Pakistan.
October 15, 2014: In northwest Pakistan (Khyber) an Islamic terrorist used a suicide bomb to kill pro-government tribal militiamen manning a checkpoint.
October 12, 2014: In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) an American UAV attack killed four Islamic terrorists. These UAV attacks resumed in June at the same time Pakistan troops finally moved into North Waziristan to clear out the Islamic terrorists who had long had sanctuary there. Since 2005 the United States has carried out over 300 UAV attacks in Pakistan. There were 23 attacks in 2013 and fifteen so far this year. The peak year was 2010 when there were 90 attacks.
October 11, 2014: In northwest Pakistan two American UAV attacks (in North Waziristan and nearby Khyber) left eight Islamic terrorists dead and three others wounded. Among the dead were senior officials of al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban.
In Pakistan (Karachi) police raided a suspected Islamic terrorist hideout and a large quantity of weapons and bomb making materials was seized.
October 9, 2014: In northwest Pakistan an American UAV attack in North Waziristan left three Islamic terrorists dead.
October 8, 2014: In northwest Pakistan an American UAV attack in North Waziristan left two Islamic terrorists dead.
October 7, 2014: In Kashmir Pakistani troops again violated the 2003 ceasefire agreement again by firing on Indian troops across the LOC. This was done on a large scale with mortar and machine-gun fire directed at 40 border posts and 25 villages near the border.