August 20, 2007:
Low level fighting continues in
Baluchistan, as a few groups of tribesmen make hit and run attacks on army
checkpoints, bases and patrols. In the northwest tribal areas, the army
maintained its roadblocks, and a few of them were subject to attack by unguided
rockets or suicide car bombers. The army launched several attacks on villages
known to harbor Islamic terrorists. About fifty have been killed in the
last week, most of them Islamic terrorists. This included several armed
In India, low level fighting with Maoists
continues. But two Maoists were arrested in the city of Mumbai (Bombay). The
two were caught with bombs, apparently for an urban terror campaign.
The main problem in the tribal areas is that, while
the tribes are not big supporters of Islamic terrorists, they are even less
enthusiastic about government control. The tribes have always been free to run
their own affairs, and that is largely done in a "live and let live"
manner. Thus, al Qaeda and Taliban can settle down in the tribal areas as long
as they respect tribal authority. But sometimes the Islamic militants make
themselves unpopular by trying to enforce strict Islamic lifestyle rules on
towns and villages. That has resulted in some tribes rising up and killing or
expelling Islamic militants. But these same tribal warriors will battle
soldiers coming in to also fight Islamic terrorists.
In South Waziristan, the
tribal district most prone to Islamic radical activity, the government has
negotiated a new ceasefire with the local tribes, and will remove checkpoints
and roadblocks. The army will also release ten tribesmen, and fifteen
paramilitary tribal security troops will be released by the tribes (who killed
one of them during the negotiations). The tribes will also cooperate in hunting
down Islamic militants. This kind of deal hasn't worked before, and probably
won't work again.
August 18, 2007: In Kashmir,
Islamic terrorist threats against workers from outside the province, caused
over 20,000 of the workers to flee in the past few weeks. Even though the
terrorists withdrew the threats, the workers, most of them Hindus, were well
aware of past Islamic terrorist attempts to expel all non-Moslems from the
August 16, 2007: About half a
dozen tribal chiefs who took part in a meeting with their Afghan counterparts
in Kabul, received death threats from Islamic radicals on their return.
August 14, 2007: The
ammo depot fire and explosions in Kashmir killed twenty people and caused
30,000 nearby civilians to flee their homes. Some 20,000 returned after about a
day, but 225 square kilometers of land around the depot is now littered with
explosive shells (ranging from 20mm to 155mm) that have to be carefully removed
before people can return to their homes and farms. Shells were found up to four
kilometers from the depot, and the army estimates it will take six months to
clear up the mess.