August 23, 2022:
Pakistan is under pressure from China to allow China to base troops, combat aircraft and warships in Pakistan. This is mainly about the existing Chinese-built port/protected enclave at Gwadar. Anti-China violence in the southwest (Baluchistan province) is getting worse and the Chinese proposal is about Chinese forces protecting Gwadar while the existing special Pakistani security force concentrates on Chinese working outside of Gwadar.
There has always been some separatist violence in Baluchistan against whoever was in charge there at any moment. This escalated when Pakistan and China agreed in 2013 to build the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) project. This cooperation began a decade earlier when China agreed to expand the port of Gwadar in Baluchistan. Many Pakistanis, not just the Baluchis, saw such cooperation with China, especially the CPEC, as a threat to Pakistani independence and Baluchi separatism. This was made clear in 2021 when the Pakistani Navy and Coast Guard refused to give up 47 hectares (116 hectares) at the site of the expanded Gwadar port project. The commanders of the Navy and Coast Guard were making a public protest against the policy of being so economically and militarily dependent on China. This opposition was also growing within the military leadership, who see this dependence on China as a surrender of independence which also puts Pakistan at risk of becoming collateral damage if China decides to fight India and its Western and East Asian allies for control of the Indian Ocean. The Pakistani naval officers have done the math and believe China has little chance of prevailing against that kind of coalition. Worse is the fact that Pakistan is becoming economically and diplomatically dependent on their northern neighbor. This public protest, which the Chinese demanded be resolved quickly, began in late 2020 and surfaced in 2021 because the Chinese were visibly upset at such insubordination. There is growing opposition within Pakistan, and the Pakistani military, towards the increasing brutality of the military against elected officials, critical media and anyone who opposes the military getting its way, and not just among junior officers but also some senior commanders, especially those who retired.
The military decided over a decade ago that Pakistan should be willing to pay a high price to get CPEC done because it meant Pakistan had an ally against India, Iran and even Western powers that might have some violent disagreement with Pakistan. China addressed that by pointing out that China does not have allies, just powerful trading partners (the West in general) and client states (like Pakistan). That has always been the Chinese outlook and it hasn’t changed.
While China is picking up most of the $60 billion cost of CPEC, it means that China owns many of those new economic assets, especially the new port of Gwadar. In early 2017 China and Pakistan signed an agreement granting China a 40-year lease on new Chinese-built facilities at Gwadar. The lease granted China most (over 80 percent) of the revenue brought in by port and free trade zone operations.
China usually imports its own workers from China to do most of the work on projects like this. By 2022 China had several hundred thousand Chinese in Pakistan, some of them with their families. The easiest way to provide protection is to have most of them live in a heavily guarded and restricted access area. Gwadar is a key part of CPEC and it has the misfortune of being in a province (Baluchistan) that does not want to be part of Pakistan. China and the Pakistanis try to ignore this by not reporting on non-Islamic terror attacks on CPEC construction projects. The government has long been accused of suppressing news of tribal separatists in Baluchistan attacking government targets and especially those related to CPEC. The separatists claim they regularly carry out attacks on CPEC construction projects, but most of their attacks are still directed at Pakistani security forces and government facilities.
Because of the security threat to Gwadar, China demanded that Pakistan build 30 kilometers of three-meter (ten foot) -high security fencing near the two main entrances to Gwadar. In addition, the Chinese installed 500 security cameras within the perimeter of the port. Pakistanis fear the entire port area will eventually be fenced off to protect what is described by locals as a Chinese military base guarded by Chinese and Pakistani troops. Since early 2019 Pakistan has been responding to Chinese complaints about lack of security, and agreed to add more troops to the security forces already assigned to guard over 300 Chinese projects in Pakistan and the 15,000 foreigners (mainly Chinese) who were then working on them. The existing force has over 15,000 personnel with 9,000 being soldiers and the rest local para-military forces. This will be in addition to the special naval force that protects navy facilities in Gwadar and the waters off Pakistan.
In mid-2017 Pakistan also agreed to build a walled and restricted residential area near the port of Gwadar to house up to half a million Chinese that will eventually be working in Pakistan. Chinese construction work on Gwadar port facilities is visible to anyone on the ground or flying by, and it was noticed that some features of the new port and airport facilities are clearly intended for military use. India has long claimed that China (despite denials) was planning to use Gwadar as a base for Chinese warships and naval aircraft. Pakistan never had a problem with the Chinese military using Gwadar as it helped keep local troublemakers out. Pakistan assured China that there would be no terrorist violence against Chinese working on upgrading the port of Gwadar and land links north to China. The military now has to assure their Chinese overlords that dissent within the Pakistani military will be suppressed as well. That is not working and the violence against the military and Chinese in Baluchistan continues to escalate.
China often brings in its own security forces to protect Chinese working in foreign countries, especially mining operations that extract valuable minerals. In these situations, the Chinese security forces are not military but Chinese or local security contractors. This is particularly the case in Africa where many of the mines are in areas where the government security forces have a hard time controlling local bandits and rebel groups.
Along the Indian border China uses a gradualist strategy to gradually take possession of Indian territory where there are few, or no, resident civilians. China will build villages on the Indian side of the border and bring in civilians to occupy them. India often does not notice these new villages until after they have been there for a while. This is but one of many clever ploys China uses to gain control of Indian territory without starting a war. China will only admit that its border dispute efforts are proceeding as planned. Similar tactics are used in the South China Sea.
Pakistan still hosts most of the 2.5 million Afghan refugees. While Iran hosts 780,000 Afghans, Pakistan has nearly 1,3 million. Afghanistan’s northern neighbors (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and China) do not tolerate Afghan refugees. Pakistan and Iran do accept these refugees for religious and tribal reasons. Most of the refugees in Iran are Shia, about a fifth of Afghans are Shia. Most of the Afghans in Pakistan are Pushtuns. Pushtuns are the largest minority in Afghanistan while twice as many Pushtuns live in Pakistan, where they are an unpopular minority group. Many Afghans in Pakistan or Iran want to move out of the region, to North America, Europe or the Persian Gulf countries where they can find work. Most Arab countries will not accept Moslem refugees, much less allow them to settle down legally. But there is always a labor shortage in the Arab oil states and Afghans can find work if they have any useful skills.
While most of Afghanistan’s neighbors will not accept, they all want to trades with Afghanistan, and that includes India, which has maintained diplomatic relationships with the IEA government that were established during the previous IRA government. India recently reopened its embassy in Kabul as a consulate, not as a full embassy. Neighboring states have done the same. The IEA is still considered too unstable to be worth an ambassador. All the neighbors, including India, provide aid and seek to revive trade.
August 22, 2022: Pakistan has agreed to provide security forces (soldiers) for Qatar, which is hosting some of the football (soccer) World Cup games being held later this year (November 21 to December 18). For centuries begore there was a Pakistan, mercenaries from what is now Baluchistan, were often hired by Middle Eastern nations to carry out military operations local forces could not handle. Pakistan still sends a lot of people (several million currently) to the Persian Gulf Arab oil states, but as workers, not soldiers. The use of Pakistani troops in the Middle East died out after World War II, ending a centuries old practice.
In northwest Pakistan (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) security forces, acting on a tip, found and attempted to arrest a group of armed men who opened fire. The soldiers returned fire and the gunmen fled, leaving one body behind. The dead man was Hayat Mohammad, who was wanted on terrorism charges. There was a reward for information leading to his death or capture.
August 21, 2022: Police arrested former PM (prime minister) Imran Khan for threatening a judge and two police commanders in a speech the day before. Kahn was released because the arrest was another threat from the military which considers Kahn a threat to the military control over the government. Technically Khan was accused of terrorism, which is supporters fear the military will eventually use that to put Khan on trial and in prison. That would be a bold move for the military because Khan still has the support of many, if not most voters. The military sees Khan as a threat but not a serious enough threat to risk civil war over. Not yet.
August 20, 2022:
In northeast India (Assam State) police arrested two men suspected as belonging to AQIS (
Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent) as well as an Islamic terrorist group in Bangladesh. It is rare to find AQIS operating within India, especially the northeast. Since 2019 AQIS has been operating from bases in Afghan p
rovinces near the Pakistan border
. Technically Afghanistan was not part of AQIS territory but Afghanistan had become a more secure base area (for training camps) than Pakistan or anywhere else in South Asia. AQIS was created in 2014 and initially tried to establish its headquarters in Karachi (Pakistan), long a haven for all sorts of criminal activity and forged alliances with the major Islamic terrorist organizations there. Yet AQIS has been responsible for very few terror attacks in Pakistan or anywhere else. AQIS was created to manage and support operations in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Burma. Now that apparently includes Afghanistan. That sanctuary apparently survived the 2021 change of government in Afghanistan. Islamic terrorism experts believed AQIS was largely a publicity stunt by al Qaeda to counter the growing popularity of the more radical ISIL. Indian Moslems have produced some recruits for Islamic terrorism, but not enough to produce the level of mayhem Islamic terrorists wanted. Lacking a lot of radical clergy and religious schools India has simply not produced a lot of radicalized young men willing to kill and be killed. Similar recruiting problems were encountered elsewhere but other Al Qaeda groups have continued to provide enough cash and other assistance to keep AQIS going and are barely visible. Afghan training camps, destroyed at the end of 2017, were a major AQIS asset and that loss was one reason AQIS agreed to work with the TTP (Pakistani Taliban). That seems to have paid off because AQIS now has people who can make and place bombs. But to be sponsored by the Afghan Taliban it means you take orders from Pakistani intel (ISI) and do not direct any violence at Pakistan.
Sri Lankan officials are visiting India in an effort to encourage Indian tourism in Sri Lanka. Currently India is having major problems with its southern neighbor, the island state of Sri Lanka. India refused to not grant asylum to Sri Lankan politicians forced to flee the country on July 13th after they ruined the Sri Lankan economy with a series of disastrous decisions that ended with economic collapse, national bankruptcy and massive protests against the government and its close ties with China. The exiled Sri Lankan leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa came to power in 2019 and developed good relations with the Chinese by borrowing more money for unproductive projects. At the same time relations with India and the West declined. The final act was to sharply cut taxes so that much of the government budget had to be covered with loans. When all the debts came due, China would not bail him out. This may have been because ten percent of the national debt was owed to China.
In another effort to regain solvency Rajapaksa banned many imports. A 2021 order halting imports of fertilizer and insecticides for famers, who were told to switch to organic farming, failed. Sri Lanka continued to collapse and by 2022 there was not enough money to pay for all the imported fuel needed to keep the power plants operating full time. Unemployment was rising and so were popular protests that drove
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to resign on July 9th and discovered that no nation would grant him political asylum. Sri Lanka is still a mess but the main cause of the catastrophe is gone. The solution is another matter. Sri Lanka now finds itself in a situation similar to that afflicting Pakistan; too much debt caused, in part, by Chinese investments. In both cases China is now being asked for more loans so that debt-crippled Sri Lanka and Pakistan can avoid further economic and political damage. The initial Chinese response was to offer some money but not nearly as much as was asked. A similar disaster has been developing in Pakistan for over a decade while normally prosperous and stable Sri Lanka became an economic disaster in a few years.
The Sri Lankan officials now visiting India to encourage more tourism explained that the dependence on China was the reason they have not tried to get the Chinese to remove an electronic intelligence ship that has taken up residence in a Sri Lankan port built with Chinese loans.
August 19, 2022: In northwest India (Tripura State) border guards were ambushed while on patrol. One border guard was killed and the attackers fled. The attackers were apparently local tribal rebels operating from camps across the border in Bangladesh. Indian and Bangladeshi border guards have an agreement to coordinate operations against rebel groups from both countries.
August 17, 2022: In northeast India (Kashmir) two Moslems (a Pakistani and a local man) were jailed for organizing the use of quadcopters to transport weapons and ammunition across the border. The deliveries were hidden for later retrieval by Pakistan-sponsored Islamic terrorists operating in Kashmir. The two made a deal with the court to get reduced sentences if they revealed hidden caches of weapons. The first site proved to be empty but in the second one weapons (an AK-47, a pistol and two grenades). As the weapons were being collected the Pakistani man grabbed a soldier’s rifle and attempted to flee. He was shot dead before he could get far. The other man was returned to prison; he died of a heart attack during a group prayer service.
The use of quad-copters to bring weapons and explosives across the border has been increasing and this has led to more terrorist violence in Kashmir. This violence has been quite common, especially since Pakistan decided to back Islamic terror groups based in Pakistan to create violence in Indian Kashmir. Since then, Pakistani terrorist training camps have proliferated just across the border in the third of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan since 1948. Back then the newly created nations (India and Pakistan) disagreed over who should get Kashmir. By the terms of the agreement that created the two new nations, Kashmir belonged to India. In the first of many pointless disputes with India, Pakistan attacked, seeking to grab all of Kashmir using tribal warriors. The Indians responded and halted the Pakistani advance and did not escalate the war further by trying to push the Pakistanis out of the third of Kashmir they had taken. For over 70 years Pakistan has continued fighting to take all of Kashmir.
The use of Pakistani Islamic terror groups to train Pakistanis and Indian Kashmiris was carried out by groups like LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba). The international community, including the UN, recognized LeT as a terrorist organization as far back as 2001 and that is one reason for efforts to declare Pakistan a "terrorist state." That would be interesting, as Pakistan has nuclear weapons and is constantly in danger of falling apart.
So far in 2022, 120 Islamic terrorists have been killed in Kashmir, most of them trained in Pakistani camps just across the border in Pakistani Kashmir. About 30 percent of the dead are Pakistanis and most of the rest recruited in Kashmir. These Islamic terror groups have sanctuary in Pakistan as long as they confine their attacks to targets inside India. Some of these attacks have been outside Kashmir, usually in major Indian cities. Those attacks diminished when one of the Pakistani terrorists was captured and admitted that he was Pakistani and was trained in Pakistani. These terrorist operations are supported by the Pakistani military, which needs an active conflict with India to justify their large budget and freedom from government control. This has caused growing opposition from elected officials who see the military as a threat to Pakistani democracy and a major reason why Pakistan is bankrupt and increasingly dependent on China.
The military response has been to increase the use of violence in Kashmir, including the use of suicide bombers, a tactic that has not been seen for three years because it was opposed by most Kashmiris. One recent Islamic terrorist operation saw two LeT suicide bombers attacking an army base, killing themselves and four soldiers in a pre-dawn attack that was planned to get the bombers inside the base before using their explosives.
August 13, 2022: In southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan) gunman ambushed an army patrol, killing two soldiers, wounding six and wounding two nearby civilians. The troops fought back and ambushers soon fled.
In northwest Pakistan (the Pushtun tribal territories) hundreds of TTP (Pakistan Taliban) gunmen returned from their bases in Afghanistan. This was not supposed to happen until the ceasefire negotiations between the TTP and the Pakistan military were completed. Those negotiations involve the IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) government only because the Pakistani military controls one faction of the IEA government. Many other IEA factions don’t agree with such negotiations and just want to turn Pakistan into the IEP (Islamic Emirate of Pakistan). That effort complicated by the fact that the TTP represents a large minority of the 6,000 or so anti-Pakistan-government Islamic terrorists in Pakistan or neighboring countries like Afghanistan.
August 11, 2022: In Afghanistan a senior IEA cleric was killed in his religious school by an ISK (Islamic State Khorasan) suicide bomber . This group is the local ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) affiliate and has been very active in Afghanistan since the IEA took power in late 2021. The victim of the attack (Rahimullah Haqqani) spoke out in favor of allowing girls to return to school and against the ISK. School for girls is opposed by most of the IEA leadership and extremist groups like ISK. This was the third ISK assassination attempt against Haqqani. Factionalism within the IEA government often turns violent, which contributes to the general instability of the country. The is a major disappointment to Pakistan, which created the Taliban and controls one of the IEA factions. That’s not enough to control the IEA government. That means the IEA is doing a lot of things Pakistan does not approve of.
August 10, 2022: in Pakistan, the military arrested a politician who had good things to say about former prime minister Imran Khan. The military has long arrested or otherwise threatened critics and is not going after Kahn, who was elected with the backing of the military. The generals were disappointed when Kahn eventually sided with other politicians who were demanding that the military become subordinate to elected officials as is the case in India and most other democracies.
August 7, 2022: In northwest Pakistan, across the border in Afghanistan (Paktika province) Abdul Wali, a senior TTP leader and three of his associates were killed when their car exploded on a rural road. Wali has a $3 million American bounty on him but he's also wanted dead by Pakistan. TTP is the Pakistani Taliban that seeks to turn Pakistan into a religious dictatorship. The death of Wali complicates current peace talks between TTP and Pakistan.
July 31, 2022: Pakistan now knows where al Qaeda leadership ended up after their secret Pakistan headquarters was found and attacked by the Americans in 2011. Today, in neighboring Afghanistan, an armed American UAV killed al Qaeda supreme leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was living openly in Kabul. In 2011, when al Qaeda leader and founder Osama bin Laden was killed in his Pakistani hideout by American commandos, Zawahiri took over and continued operating from temporary hideouts on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghan border. His mentor, bin Laden, had obtained sanctuary in a residential compound in a Pakistani military city. After the death of bin Laden the Pakistani military insisted they had no knowledge of where bin Laden and his family were hiding out. No one believed them and the same degree of sanctuary was not offered to Zawahiri. That led Zawahiri to depend on a decade’s old relationship with Iran, which provides some sanctuary for prominent al Qaeda members, but under restrictive terms dictated by Iran. This arrangement gives Iran some leverage in getting al Qaeda to ease up on attacks on Shia Moslems. When the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in late 2021, Zawahiri felt it was safe for him to move to Kabul and live there with his family. He misjudged the situation. Meanwhile his second-in-command and successor was apparently safe in Iran. This new head of al Qaeda will have to leave Iran and reveal his identity to assume control of al Qaeda.
In the late 1990s al Qaeda headquarters moved to Afghanistan, where the Taliban provided sanctuary. That ended when the American attacked in late 2001. Pakistan quietly provided sanctuary. The Americans suspected the Pakistani were lying and that proved to be correct.
Against groups like al Qaeda, the U.S. uses decapitation attacks as part of their counterterrorism strategy. Decapitation is what you call the strategy of seeking out and killing the senior leadership of an organization, especially an international Islamic terrorist group like al Qaeda. Founded in 1988 to foster the creation and growth of Islamic terror groups worldwide, the term “al Qaeda” means “the base”. Founder Osama bin Laden was the wealthy Saudi citizen whose billionaire father died in a plane crash in 1967 when Osama was ten years old. The elder bin Laden was not only fabulously wealthy; he was prolific in other ways. He had 22 wives (no more than four at a time) and 52 children. Osama inherited about $30 million and studied business, engineering, public administration and religion but left his university studies in 1979 to go join the fight against the Russian invaders of Afghanistan. Bin Laden discovered he was more useful as an organizer and fundraiser for Afghan men who were refugees in Pakistan but regularly went back to Afghanistan to fight the Russians. Bin Laden raised a lot of money and organized the delivery of weapons and distribution of them to Afghan fighters. Bin Laden demonstrated an exceptional organizational talent and, as the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988, bin Laden formed al Qaeda to continue his work of organizing Islamic terror groups and planning operations against non-Moslems, especially those in the west. Bin Laden was responsible for planning the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and Washington. This made him a much more effective fund raiser and recruiter of Islamic terrorists. Bin Laden evaded detection for 10 years by obtaining sanctuary in a Pakistani military city. Bin Laden’s successor, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri had to improvise. The Taliban government of Afghanistan denied any knowledge of Zawahiri entering or living in Kabul. The Taliban criticized the United States for firing missiles at targets in the city.
Bin Laden had organized over a dozen al Qaeda affiliates before his death. The American commandos carried away his body and all his files, which detailed how bin Laden and al Qaeda operated. Zawahiri carried on bin Laden's work and was responsible for going stealthy after ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) showed up in 2013. Zawahiri saw ISIL as an opportunity, not a threat. ISIL factions were always smaller than nearby al Qaeda groups and would attack everyone, including other Islamic terror groups who refused to be absorbed into ISIL. Zawahiri told al Qaeda affiliates to avoid getting into a war with local ISIL but to seek a truce so ISIL could go after more appropriate targets. ISIL was always the primary target for counterterrorism efforts, including airstrikes. That meant fewer attacks on al Qaeda which continued to establish new affiliate groups and expand existing ones. When an al Qaeda group got into trouble, as the one in Yemen did, Zawahiri would advise them and send money so that they could go quiet for a while and rebuild. Yemen’s ISIL group is down to a few dozen members and growing weaker.
It is unclear who will succeed Zawahiri, who had long been bin Laden’s designated successor. Zawahiri never revealed who, if anyone, was his designated successor. There may be one, for Zawahiri had several capable associates. He never met with them regularly, as that was part of his survival strategy. Not naming a successor kept that successor off the target list. Zawahiri did have a designated successor initially, but he was killed in 2015. Whoever Zawahiri’s successor is, he won't have over a decade of working personally with the al Qaeda leader. Zawahiri had strategic and organizational skills before he joined al Qaeda and bin Laden depended on Zawahiri to deal with operations. The capabilities, or lack of them in Zawahiri’s successor is decisive for al Qaeda growth. Without capable leadership al Qaeda ceases to be a successful affiliation and source of support. Current affiliates will weaken and there will be less Islamic terrorism.
July 27, 2022: In the Philippines, a national opinion survey conducted at the end of June found that Filipinos trusted the United States, Australia and Japan the most while trusting India, China and Russia the least. Respondents were asked to rank a list of ten nations in terms of trustworthiness. The results of the survey were, in order of trust; the United States, Australia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Britain, Indonesia, India, Russia and China. India has joined the coalition of nations opposed to China's territorial claims on areas that legally belong to other nations. India is facing claims on large areas on its Chinese land border. India is not considered a reliable ally nor is India as powerful as its population (second only to China) would suggest. Despite the equal populations the Chinese GDP is over five times larger. Tiny Japan has a GDP twice that of India and the Japanese and South Korean fleets combined are more powerful than the ramshackle Indian Navy. At the same time India still cooperates with Russia and China in military and economic matters
Some Filipinos support China but the U.S. had more than three times as much support. This meant the Americans had the support of most Filipinos while China had only a small minority. Only Russia and China had the majority of Filipinos mistrusting them. Trust of Russia used to be positive but the February invasion of Ukraine and Chinese support for it made Russia nearly as untrustworthy as China to most Filipinos. Until China expanded its “lost territory” claims to the South China Sea nearly two decades ago. China was seen as a potential ally of, and investor in, the Philippines. Despite numerous Filipino diplomatic efforts, China refused to compromise on its claims. At this point China is seen as the greatest threat to the Philippines, especially since the Chinese appear to have additional claims on Filipino territory and independence as a nation.
July 26, 2022: In eastern India, the government reported that the number of districts where communist Maoist rebels were a problem had declined from 70 in 2014 to 46 in 2021 and the decline was continuing. The half century old Indian communist Maoist (radical communist) rebel movement suffered accelerated losses in the last two years, with over a third of the senior leadership captured or killed. Since 2021 over a hundred of the Maoist leaders a year have died (from combat or disease), been captured or, increasingly just surrendering, often because they have lost faith in their cause or the possibility of ever succeeding.
The Maoists have been having personnel problems throughout eastern India for over a decade. Time and technology have caught up with these leftist rebels as tips from civilians about Maoist activity or specific Maoists with a reward offered for their death or capture. Rewards are also offered for hiding places where weapons or equipment are stored.
The Maoists are still active but are feeling pressure from over a decade of attacks by local police and paramilitary police battalions. The Maoists have seen reduced membership and a reduction in territory where they exercise any effective control. The downside is that the paramilitary forces are often operating in unfamiliar territory and more vulnerable to ambush or roadside (or trail side) bombs. Such attacks are less frequent as are the casualties the security forces suffer.
Civilians in Maoist infested areas are less afraid of providing police with information about Maoist movements. It has also become easier to recruit Maoist members to become active informants. These spies are paid monthly and the sudden affluence of their families often alerts Maoist leaders to the presence of police informants. While details about informants are kept secret, the losses suffered because police had inside information is often obvious. The Maoist decline has demoralized leftist leaders, who have not been able to come up with any way to halt or reverse the losses. Maoists are a radical faction of the once mighty Indian communist party. Many Indian communists were slow to understand why all those East European communist governments, including Russia, collapsed between 1989 and 1991. Despite that many Indians still support communism, but not the violent, ineffective and increasingly unpopular Maoists.