India, and many Pakistanis, are hoping that the Peshawar massacre will finally persuade the military leadership to turn away from its decades of obsession with India and forcing India out of Kashmir using Islamic terrorism. In the last few years Pakistani army leaders have admitted that, as a practical matter, their personnel are more actively involved fighting Islamic terrorists inside Pakistan than with defending the country against the Indian invasion that never comes and, if you read Indian newspapers, never will. Some Pakistani generals are now admitting that over 40 year’s obsession with India is an after effect of Pakistan losing the 1971 war. Not only was the Pakistani army decisively defeated in 1971, but the country lost much territory (which actively south to secede and became Bangladesh). Former Pakistani military commander and dictator Pervez Musharraf recently admitted that he started the 1999 Kargil border war with India as another attempt to avenge the defeat (and loss of Bangladesh) in 1971. Pakistani officers (and many other Pakistanis) have always attributed the loss of Bangladesh to an Indian conspiracy with traitorous politicians in Bangladesh (that used to be called East Pakistan). Bangladesh calls that conspiracy theory absurd and that the real reason for the rebellion was corruption and incompetent government imposed by troops from “West Pakistan” (which after 1971 was all that remained of pre-1971 Pakistan).
Pakistan reports that since the December 16 Peshawar massacre their forces in Waziristan and neighboring Khyber have killed over 200 Islamic terrorists using more aggressive ground operations as well as increased air strikes. This increases the total Islamic terrorist deaths (from the North Waziristan operation that began in June) to over 1,500. The security forces have lost about 130 men as well.
Meanwhile American aid for the Pakistani military is shrinking as most NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan. Thus the Pakistani military will get $336 million in 2015 versus $353 million in 2014 and a peak $1.24 billion in 2010. Economic aid is also declining, from a peak $1.77 billion in 2010 to $546 million in 2015. One reason for the declining aid was Pakistani inability (or unwillingness) to deal with the corruption that led to much of this aid being stolen by Pakistani officials and businessmen.
December 27, 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. There were no casualties. These unprovoked attacks are apparently part of an effort to keep the Pakistani Army “India is preparing to attack us” conspiracy theory alive.
In eastern Pakistan (a village near Lahore) Islamic terrorists murdered another Amadi Pakistani, the 11th to be killed this year. This murder was believed to be prompted by a Sunni cleric appearing on TV five days ago and condemning Amadis as evil. To Islamic radicals, the Ahmadi are considered heretics and are often attacked and even killed in Pakistan because of their beliefs. There are four million Ahmadi in Pakistan, and there has been sporadic violence against the Ahmadi for over a century, and groups like al Qaeda encourage even more killings. Pakistan declared in 1974 that Ahmadi Islam was illegal. This came during the 1970s when Islamic radicalism in Pakistan was given massive government support, and with that came more violence against Amadi Pakistanis. The government does little to stop it. Meanwhile the government has issued an arrest warrant for a prominent pro-Taliban cleric (Abdul Aziz) who openly refused to denounce the recent Peshawar massacre. Elsewhere in Pakistan (Karachi) police killed ten Islamic terrorists in two clashes.
December 26, 2014: In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) American UAVs used missiles to kill four Islamic terrorists.
December 25, 2014: In northwest Pakistan (Khyber) troops clashed with some Pakistani Taliban and when the battle was over found they had killed a wanted (for involvement in the recent Peshawar school massacre) Pakistani Taliban leader named “Commander Saddam.” This man was known to have helped make some key arrangements for that attack. When he died he was accompanied by six followers, all of whom were wounded and captured.
December 24, 2014: The Pakistani army has received government approval to use special army terrorism courts to try cases involving Islamic terrorism. This deals with some of the problems using civilian courts, which are very slow and increasingly compromised when judges are bribed or, more frequently, intimidated with death threats against themselves or their families. The army had tried to set up these courts in 1999 but the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional. The popular anger at the Peshawar massacre are expected to influence the Supreme Court this time around.
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. There were no casualties.
December 23, 2014: American, Afghan and Pakistani military leaders met in Pakistan and agreed to coordinate operations against Taliban operating on both sides of the Afghan border in northwest Pakistan. Afghanistan reported that in the last twelve days their forces in Kunar province
(which borders North Waziristan) had killed at least 150 Islamic terrorists and captured over a hundred.
Many Islamic terrorists, including leaders, have fled the Pakistani Army offensive in North Waziristan for neighboring Afghanistan. These terrorists believed they would be safer but that proved to be untrue. Another problem these displaced Pakistani Islamic terrorists have had is growing armed resistance by local Afghan tribesmen. The Pakistani Taliban have always tried to get along with their fellow Pushtun tribesmen just across the border but over the years the constant violence (including the American bomb and missile attacks and thousands of rockets and mortar shells fired from Pakistan by the army and police into these border areas) has turned the tribes against the Pakistani Islamic terrorists and that is reflected in increased sniping, ambushes and armed confrontations on roads. The tribes are also supplying the Americans and Afghan security forces with more information, which often leads to precise UAV missile attacks or helicopter raids by commandos on Pakistani Taliban hideouts. This is causing heavy losses among key people in the Pakistani Taliban and other Islamic terrorists in the area. This has led to discussions about moving to a safer area. The options are not good. Going back to Pakistan is dangerous and given the feuding between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, moving to other parts of Afghanistan is not a good idea. Meanwhile the Islamic terrorists in eastern Afghanistan are getting hammered.
In northeast India (Assam) tribal separatists attacked two villages and killed over 60 civilians. The dead were members of a tribe that moved to the area in the 19th century but are still considered newcomers by tribes that have been there for centuries.
December 22, 2014: In southern India Maoists attacked two government offices and a fast food outlet. There were no injuries, just property damage and handing out leaflets calling for revolution. There has been growing Maoist activity in this area since 2010 when long-established Maoists further north began moving fighters south to an area along the Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu state borders. Here, the Maoists sought to establish an area that security forces could not penetrate, and the rebels could use for secure bases. The government moved forces into position to try and stop this Maoist effort. This limited the activity of the Maoists in the south but was not able to eliminate their presence in remote areas.
December 21, 2014: The Pakistani government revealed that it had made dozens of useful arrests in the aftermath of the Peshawar massacre and interrogations had revealed who the key planners and “facilitators” of the attack were.
December 20, 2014: In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) American UAVs used missiles to kill five Islamic terrorists.
The Pakistani Taliban has threatened to kill the children of senior politicians if the attacks on them in the tribal territories do not cease. Meanwhile some Pakistani politicians are blaming India for the Peshawar massacre. This is derived from an earlier, and very popular, conspiracy theory that India was behind most of the Islamic terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.
The U.S. has agreed to release to Pakistan a billion dollars for expenses security forces have incurred during counter-terrorism operations. These funds have been withheld for years because Pakistan refused to shut down Islamic terrorist camps in Waziristan and go after the Haqqani Network. In the last six months the Pakistani military has invaded North Waziristan and appears to have attacked the Haqqani Network. When American terrorism experts can confirm some details, all the money will be handed over. There are still suspicions that the Pakistani military has allowed Haqqani and some other Islamic terrorist groups to avoid losses during the North Waziristan operation.
December 19, 2014: Pakistan lifted a six year moratorium on the death penalty and hung two Islamic terrorists who had already been tried and sentenced to death. Four more were hung two days later. There are 3,000 others surviving in prison because of the moratorium and the government seeks to execute at least 500 of these convicted killers.
December 18, 2014: In northwest Pakistan (North Waziristan) American UAVs used missiles to kill five Islamic terrorists.
December 17, 2014:
Pakistani officials arrived in Kabul to ask for Afghan help in destroying the Pakistani Taliban. Afghans sympathized with the Pakistanis for their loss of so many children from a recent Taliban attack but once the negotiations began the Afghans were blunt in expressing anger with Pakistan because of how some of the Pakistani media reacted to the December 16th attack and blamed Afghanistan. A few Pakistani officials joined the media in putting some of the blame on Afghanistan for tolerating anti-Pakistan Islamic terrorists hiding out in places like Kunar province. Afghanistan has been feuding with Pakistan about this for years because of the Islamic terrorists in Kunar (like the Haqqani Network) still have sanctuaries in Pakistan, are still supported by the Pakistani military and have this immunity because they exist only to carry out terror attacks in Afghanistan and run numerous criminal enterprises there as well. Afghanistan and the United States both accuse Pakistan of being selective in its condemnation of Islamic terrorism. Groups that keep their violence confined to India or Afghanistan are still free to operate in Pakistan, but groups like the Pakistani Taliban who attack in Pakistan, especially major massacres like the December 16th one, are being attacked more vigorously. Despite what the Pakistanis say now, the Afghans do not believe there will be a crackdown on the “good” Islamic terrorists supported by Pakistan. Some Afghans are optimistic that most Pakistanis will realize that the current surge of Islamic terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and the massacre at the Peshawar are all part of the same problem that both countries have to go after without exception.
Pakistani officials also pointed out that there was an attack by the Afghan Taliban against a school in Kabul on the 11th. The teenage suicide bomber attacked a musical performance at the cultural center that shares the compound with a French run school for foreigners and children of well-off Afghans. The explosion killed two adults (a German and an Afghan) and wounded twenty other people (some of them children). This attack was not in the same league with the Peshawar massacre. The Taliban on both sides of border oppose secular education and have longed attacked secular schools, especially foreign run ones. Cultural Centers run by foreigners from non-Moslem nations are also on the hit list. But mass killings of children is generally opposed and nearly all Islamic clerics in Pakistan condemned the Peshawar massacre. In Pakistan senior clerics who usually tolerate or even praise Islamic terrorists openly condemned the Pakistani Taliban for this atrocity. So did the Afghan Taliban and several other Islamic terrorist groups.
December 16, 2014: Seven Pakistani Taliban attacked an army run school compound at an army base outside Peshawar and killed 152 people (90 percent of them children). The Pakistani Taliban later took credit for the attack and said it was payback for the continued (since June) army offensive in North Waziristan.
India is accusing China of again violating a 2013 agreement that was supposed to halt the Chinese practice of sending troops across the LAC (Line of Actual Control) into Indian territory. Like the last incident in September, this one was in Ladakh. Today the intruding Chinese troops withdrew after three hours when Indian soldiers showed up. The LAC is also known as the MacCartney-MacDonald Line and is the unofficial border between India and China. The LAC is 4,057 kilometers long and is found 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. There have been hundreds of armed confrontations over the last few years as one side or the other accuses “foreign troops” of crossing the LAC. China will talk with India over the claims on Indian territory but refuses to back down. This is making India, which has a defense budget one third that of China’s, nervous.
December 15, 2014: In eastern India (Jharkhand) police, acting on a tip, captured a wanted Maoist leader and seized weapons and documents.
December 12, 2014: In Pakistan (Karachi) police arrested five members of the new AQIS (Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent) organization. Since formed in September AQIS has been responsible for several terror attacks in Pakistan.
December 9, 2014: In Pakistan (Punjab) Islamic terrorists killed another polio vaccination official. These killing usually occur in the tribal territories, where opposition to vaccination is more widespread and effective. This has led to a large number of polio cases (over 270 so far this year), mostly in the tribal areas. Among the refugees from the North Waziristan fighting are over 200,000 children who have never been vaccinated. Some 70 percent of recent polio cases in Pakistan occurred in North Waziristan. Now the vaccination teams are able to vaccinate most of the North Waziristan children in safety in the refugee camps and in relative safety in Waziristan. This won’t reduce the high number of polio cases this year but will make a big difference next year. The Taliban, and many other Islamic terrorist groups believe polio vaccinations are a Western plot to poison Moslem children. Since 2012 66 polio vaccination workers in Pakistan have been killed by Islamic terrorists.
December 8, 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. There were no casualties.
December 7, 2014: U.S. forces in Afghanistan handed over to Pakistan three Pakistani Taliban who had been captured and held in Afghanistan by the Americans. One of these Pakistani Taliban was a senior leader the Pakistanis had long wanted to get ahold of and interrogate.