In the first three months of
the year, 90 women were the victims of "honor killings" in Pakistan.
Half of these occurred in the tribal territories, where only 20 percent of the
population lives. Women are killed by their families for real or imagined acts
(like dating or marrying the wrong guy) that offend family honor. While
technically illegal, these murders are rarely prosecuted.
polls show public support for suicide bombing sharply falling throughout the
Moslem world in the last five years. In Pakistan, support for such tactics has
fallen from 28 percent to five percent in that time. But even five percent of
the population provides millions of willing supporters for such attacks.
along the Afghan border in Pakistan continues, with the Taliban and al Qaeda
taking heavy losses (over 400 are being killed a week). The fighting is
concentrated in three places (Swat Valley, Bajaur and Waziristan) where the
pro-Taliban tribes are located. The tribes cannot stand up to the army, and
suicide and roadside bombs do not do enough damage to stop the troops. The
government refuses to negotiate and is demanding surrender. Public opinion,
even in the tribal areas, is turning against the Islamic radicals. Even the
stories of U.S. commandos and UAV missile attacks inside Pakistan are not
changing that trend.
22, 2008: Pushtun tribes along the
Afghan border are unhappy with the army invasion to fight pro-Taliban and al
Qaeda tribes. The pro-terrorist tribes are a minority, but most tribes want the
army and the terrorists out. Some tribes are fighting both the terrorists and
the army, and the government is trying to work out deals to get the
anti-terrorist tribes to stop fighting the soldiers.
kidnapped a senior Afghan diplomat in the Pakistani tribal region near the Khyber
pass (the ancient invasion route from Central Asia into India.)
India, Maoist rebels are killing each other in yet another internal political
dispute. There have been several deaths and over a dozen casualties so far. Police
are being kept busy with increased Hindu radical attacks on Christians in
20, 2008: In Pakistan's capital, two
truck bombs destroyed the well defended Marriott Hotel complex, killing 60 and
wounding nearly 300. Most of the casualties were Pakistanis, even though the Marriott
is favored by Western visitors. While al Qaeda realizes that bombing attacks
that kill locals hurt their cause, they apparently believed they would kill
many foreigners and government officials in this attack. That did not happen,
as the government meeting was cancelled at the last minute, and only a handful
of foreigners were killed. So the attack was seen as an attack on the
Pakistanis people. This is the sort of thing which has destroyed Islamic
radical movements in many nations (Algeria, Egypt, Iraq) over the last two
decades. Once the people turn on the Islamic radicals, it becomes too difficult
for the terrorists to operate, and most of them are killed, jailed or driven
into exile. Al Qaeda is trying to resist this fate, but has so far failed.
Afghan border, thousands of Pushtun tribals have fled to Afghanistan, to escape
the fighting between pro-Taliban tribesmen and the army.
19, 2008: In New Delhi, Indian police
cornered five Islamic terrorist suspects in a Moslem neighborhood. Two of the
terrorists were killed in a gun fight, but two escaped.
18, 2008: The fighting in Pakistan,
along the Afghan border, has interrupted efforts to inoculate children against
polio, and eliminate the disease forever. So far this year, there have been 55
cases of polio in the tribal region, versus 32 for all of last year and 39 in
17, 2008: Low level Islamic terrorism
continues in Kashmir, where India has moved Su-30 fighters, to match the F-16s
that Pakistan has now based just across the border. On Pakistan's Afghan
border, American UAVs apparently fired four Hellfire missiles at terrorist
targets. Also along the border, villagers tried to seize three suicide bombers,
and two of the bombers detonated their explosives rather than be captured. The
three were believed trying to take control of a school and hold the children hostage.
Many of the tribal people along the border oppose the Taliban and al Qaeda, and
those anti-terror attitudes are becoming more popular.