India-Pakistan: March 8, 2004


Pakistan is making a major effort to assert its authority over the Pushtun tribes along the Afghan border. The government is demanding that the tribes hand over Taliban and al Qaeda members that have been hiding out in the tribal areas since late 2001. While Pakistani intelligence has worked with American CIA, Special Forces and FBI personnel to collect information on who is where in the tribal areas. Those investigations, which include lots of surveillance by space satellites and aircraft (manned and unmanned). This has revealed some collaboration by Pakistani troops with the Taliban. Bribes, or diehard Taliban loyalists in the ISI (Pakistani military intelligence, which created the Taliban in the early 1990s) are probably the reason for this. When Pakistani generals saw the evidence, they vowed to deal with it. The problem is, the Islamic radicals in the Pakistani military have been a problem to be dealt with for several decades. No one wants to push it so far that a civil war would be triggered. But that's where it's headed.




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