India-Pakistan: Nuclear Shield Protects Terrorists


December 26,2008:  Pakistan has moved two brigades to the Line of Control (which divides Pakistani and Indian portions of Kashmir). No reason given, although the Pakistanis may want to help keep the Islamic terrorists from crossing into India. That would be nice.

The Pakistanis continue military operations against the Taliban along the Afghan border, but things have slowed down because of the Winter weather. Pro-Taliban tribal gangs continue to threaten U.S./NATO truck routes into Afghanistan. This is seen more as an extortion scam, than an attempt to cut NATO supplies lines. The groups attacking the truck traffic are asking for more money to stop the attacks. Doesn't sound like, as some pundits have speculated, that the attacks are retaliation for the many successful missile attacks on terrorist leaders recently.

The Pakistani government continues its crackdown on illegal banking. These operations are used to finance terrorist groups, but in this case, the Pakistanis are more interested in the illegal movement of billions of dollars out of the country. This occurred as the Pakistani economy got hit with the effects (smaller export orders) of the current world-wide recession. The illegal movement of such large amounts of foreign currency makes it more difficult for the government to finance imports, and get foreign aid. On the other hand, the wealthy families that own the exported billions are getting a higher rate of return overseas, and avoid the risk of any of their money being seized (for unpaid taxes or criminal activity.) The endemic corruption in Pakistan makes it difficult to run a business, or an economy, efficiently.

Pakistan has sent counter-terror officials to Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka, to see if successful counter-terror methods used there could be useful against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan. There may be some useful techniques that can be borrowed, but Pakistans situation is quite different from that in Saudi Arabia or Sri Lanka. Pakistan, for example, has a weaker and more divided government, and is faced with a much larger and aggressive terrorist threat. Despite the Mumbai attacks and the Islamic terrorism along the Afghan border (and occasional attacks in non-tribal areas) the government refuses to shut down all the "charities" and other organizations that belong to the terrorist groups. The Pakistanis get away with this because most of them believe that their nuclear arsenal stops India from attacking, or doing anything, to coerce a real crackdown on the Pakistani terrorists groups.

December 25, 2008: In the Pakistani city of Islamabad (the capital), police raided a terrorist bomb factory and seized over half a ton of explosives, 520 detonators and other bomb making materials. The three men who operated the bomb factory escaped the police, but their identities are known. The bomb factory location was discovered by high-level intelligence units, and passed on to the police. There are suspicions that this was an ISI operation, and that the pro-terrorist operatives at ISI warned the three terrorists, as the police would not explain how the three men operating the bomb factory escaped capture.

India continues to have problems with Maoist violence in the eastern part of the country, and with tribal separatists in the northeast. But both these situations are far smaller, and less bloody, than what Pakistan faces.

December 22, 2008: More Sharia (Islamic law) courts are being established in the tribal areas. Not because the tribesmen back the Taliban or al Qaeda, but because the civil courts are so corrupt and inefficient. Some cases drag on for decades. With a Sharia court (conducted by religious scholars), you can often get same day justice. This is different from imposing Sharia law on a population, which the Taliban continues to try to do in parts of the tribal territories. This is not popular, especially the Taliban attitude towards educating women and girls (don't) or having fun (no booze, music or vids).

December 18, 2008: A recent opinion survey in Pakistan found that 73 percent believed their economic improved last year, but were not so optimistic about 2009. There has been a big drop in confidence in the government (only 31 percent in October, versus over 80 percent in June.) Pakistanis do not believe their government is doing a good job with the economy, or the terrorism problem. The U.S. has also been openly criticizing Pakistan for not cracking down on Islamic terrorism enough. As always, the problem is that so many (perhaps a third) of Pakistanis back the goals of Islamic terrorists (the establishment of an Islamic religious dictatorship to rule the world.) More Pakistanis now believe that Islamic terrorists were not responsible for the recent attacks in Mumbai, India. A growing popular belief in Pakistan is that this was the work of the Israeli Mossad (secret service.)


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