India-Pakistan: Waiting, Waiting, Waiting


June 17, 2010: Still no Pakistani offensive in North Waziristan (4,700 square kilometers, and 365,000 people), where the government continues to negotiate cooperation, or at least no hostility, from local tribal leaders. But many in North Waziristan have long backed Islamic radicals (Taliban, al Qaeda and smaller, similar, groups). The army want to go in and shut the Islamic radicals down quickly, but if too many armed men come out to fight, the battle could drag on. Many tribal warriors will, as is their custom, fight from their hillside fortified compounds, with their families cowering behind the walls, but vulnerable to the artillery and aerial bombs the Pakistani military now favor. Pakistan does not want a lot of dead civilians, the Islamic radicals know it, but the troops appear ready to come in anyway. Meanwhile, many Islamic radicals have fled North Waziristan (and often get caught or killed while doing so) and reinforced the Islamic radicals already operating in Punjab (205,000 square kilometers, 93 million people). There, Islamic radicals are far more rare, and the police are much more powerful. But the influx of fleeing radicals from the tribal territories has created several cells that are starting to kill people.

Pakistani troops continue to hunt down armed groups of Taliban in the rest of the tribal territories, particularly Bajur, Orakzai and Swat. There continue to be 300-400 casualties a week, most of them Taliban or civilians. With so much army pressure on them for so long (over a year), the Pakistani Taliban have called on the Afghan Taliban for help. But the situation is bad in Afghanistan as well, where the Taliban there are complaining of the lack of reinforcement, weapons, ammo and cash they used to receive from their Pakistan bases. In one exception, a large group of Afghan Taliban crossed the border on the 14th and attacked a Pakistani Frontier Corps camp, which was monitoring the area. Seven Pakistani troops were killed and several dozen apparently captured and taken back to Afghanistan.

The Pakistani continues to vigorously deny charges that some of its intelligence and political officials cooperate with the Taliban. Charges continue to be made, but little real evidence is put forth. It appears that there are many Pakistani officials, as with the general population, who back Islamic radicalism. But despite up to a third of the population favoring Islamic radicalism, the government is officially against it.

Pakistani police are scrambling to cope with the hundreds of Islamic terrorists, fleeing the army offensive in the tribal territories, and ending up in the huge (18 million people) port city of Karachi. Always a polyglot place, there are many neighborhoods full of tribal peoples, who are likely to ignore tribal terrorists living among them.

June 15, 2010: In eastern India, eight Maoists were killed in a gun battle, and a hundred detonators, and weapons, captured.

June 14, 2010: In northeast India (Bihar, on the Nepal border), attacked a rural town and destroyed a railroad station and a bank.





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