India-Pakistan: May 25, 2003


In the past month, Indian commandos and mountain troops scoured the mountainous parts of Kashmir, much of which are inaccessible in the Winter because of deep snow. The Indian troops found and destroyed 94 rebel hideouts, including some concrete bunkers and caves. The operation, which began on April 21st, also left 62 rebels dead.  The Indians called this a "shock and awe" operation (India has the second largest, after the US, population of English speakers in the world. This is Indias middle and upper class, and they are quick to pick of new words and phrases coined in other English speaking nations.)

The Indian army estimates that there are 1,500 rebels active in Kashmir. But up to five percent of this force is lost (killed, captured, desertions) each month and must either be replaced by new men from Pakistan or through recruitment in Kashmir. It's not been possible to recruit enough Kashmiris to maintain the current force, so foreigners (Arabs and Pakistanis) have been brought in for years. Pakistan's inability or unwillingness to stop the line crossers is the major source of friction between the two nations.




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