India-Pakistan: Negotiating a Terrorist Sanctuary


April 1,2008: The U.S. CIA believes that al Qaeda and the Taliban has established base areas in Pakistani tribal areas along the Afghan border over the last year or so. The Pakistani government has been unable to assert police or military control over many border areas. The army is not willing to take the losses, and the paramilitary forces that regularly police the border areas, are reluctant to fight guys who are often from the same tribe or family. The recent elections in Pakistan have brought a new government into power (although Pervez Musharraf remains president, an office subject to a separate election). It appears that the new government will be no more aggressive against the pro-Taliban tribesmen than was Musharraf. For over half a century, Pakistan had an "arrangement" with the border tribes. As long as the tribes caused no problems outside the tribal areas, the government would leave the tribes alone. But many Islamic extremists want to turn Pakistan into a religious dictatorship. Many in the Pakistani government are willing to make a deal whereby the Islamic extremists would be left alone, as long as Pakistan was spared further terrorist attacks.

In eastern India, police raided a Maoist camp, and killed at least eight Maoists, and caused 30 or more to flee. Many weapons and much ammo was captured, along with documents.

March 28, 2008: In northwest Pakistan, fighting between Sunni and Shia extremists left over twenty dead, and even more wounded. This violence has been going on for over half a century.

March 26, 2008: Near the Afghan border, tribesmen seized a bus, and its 40 Afghan passengers, in an attempt to get Afghanistan to release three members of the Pakistani Pushtun tribe who were recently arrested in Afghanistan.

March 25, 2008: Over a dozen trucks carrying fuel to Afghanistan, were destroyed by bombs. This traffic has been under attack for years, but of late, more trucks have been lost. The trucking companies make payoffs to be free of attack, but more of the attackers are Islamic terrorists, not gangsters running a protection racket. While the fuel trucks are described as "supplying U.S. forces in Afghanistan," all fuel going to Afghanistan, comes by truck. Even the Taliban are dependent on this traffic.

March 22, 2008: While Islamic terrorist violence is down in Indian Kashmir, the terrorists are still getting support from Pakistan. What is uncertain is to what degree the ISI (Pakistani intelligence agency) is still running Islamic radical support operations. The Pakistanis say no, but Indians still capture terrorists who indicate there is still government support for the terrorists in Pakistan. India is facing increased Islamic terrorism in other parts of the country, but it is unclear to what extent the ISI is responsible for this.


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