India-Pakistan: December 24, 2001


Pakistan is holding about 150 al Qaeda members, who were caught fleeing the fighting in Afghanistan.  India has cancelled leave for troops, and railroad employees, stationed near the Pakistani border. The head of India's ruling Hindu nationalist BJP party proclaimed that war with Pakistan would obliterate Pakistan. While many Indians and Paksitanis fear the presence of nuclear weapons in the region, many in the BJP see the nukes as a way to eliminate Pakistan as a threat once and for all. Pakistan sees their nukes as a way to level the playing field, as India has more than twice the military power of Pakistan. The Indians don't see a need to be the first to use nuclear weapons, but feel confident that they could survive a nuclear attack from Pakistan and respond in kind, and leave Pakistan a ruined and non-functioning nation. India says it has concrete evidence of Pakistan based terrorist organizations organizing the December 13th attack, but refuses to show the evidence to Pakistan (which has asked for it, to make it easier to crack down on the militants.)  India's refusal to show the evidence probably has to do with not wanting to reveal sources. Both countries have many spies in each other's government. This enables both nations to keep informed on what each other is really up to, but prevents presenting proof without endangering ones agents. Pakistan has frozen the assets of two Islamic radical organizations that the United States accused of supporting terrorism. One of these groups, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, is accused to participating in the December 13th attack. The head of the Lashkar-e-Taiba then resigned, apparently trying to appease the government and prevent further moves against them.


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