India-Pakistan: December 26, 2003

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Pakistani police said they have identified one of the three suicide bombers who tried to kill president Musharraf  yesterday, but would not release the name. This is apparently because they are trying to round up the dead man's associates. But it was also revealed that another of the suicide bombers was not Pakistani. This does not indicate al Qaeda involvement, because many foreign Moslems have come to Pakistan to study in Saudi financed religious schools, or join the Islamic radical groups fighting in Kashmir. Local Islamic radicals want to establish an Islamic republic in Pakistan and convert everyone in the world or Islam. The Islamic conservative political parties, which now control parliament, are probably not behind the attacks. But the Islamic radical organizations, which Musharraf has been trying to root out, probably are. Musharraf has basically declared war on the radicals, and it looks like this war is about to escalate.

In southern India, Maoist rebels have taken to trying to assassinate senior provincial officials. As a result, the province has put a price on the heads of senior Maoist leaders, offering over $100,000 for their capture.  Violent clashes with the rebels are increasing, with four policemen killed in such a clash yesterday.

The ceasefire in Kashmir is a month old, and at least 160 people, mostly rebels, have died during it. But this is a decrease from before the ceasefire, and there is much less firing by Indian and Pakistani troops across the border. Peace negotiations to finally settle the Kashmir dispute have not started, and there is no assurance that a resolution is near. 

 

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