India-Pakistan: October 10, 2003

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India, Russia and Israel have signed a deal to deliver three Phalcon AWACS (aerial warning and control aircraft) to India within the next few years. This will only increase India's advantage in the air in any future war. Pakistan cannot afford such aircraft, as the Phalcon's are costing $400 million each.

Pakistani army operations on the Afghan border have, over the last three days, led to the arrest of 52 men. All are suspected of supporting the Taliban and al Qaeda. Eight Taliban fighters and two soldiers have been killed. The soldiers and tribal paramilitary fighters are minimizing the use of violence. They prefer to surround villages and demand certain men be turned over. This often works. 

Some of the tribes are protesting the army operations, insisting that the tribes only agreed to accept being part of Pakistan half a century ago, if the government kept their troops out of the tribal area. This was an informal arrangement, which the Pakistani government has increasingly seen as an affront to its integrity as a nation.

 

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