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Pakistan Ties India's Hands in Assam

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    Pakistan Ties India's Hands in Assam

    Pakistan Ties India's Hands in Assam

    Guerrilla separatists in India recently announced intentions to step up their fight for an independent Assam, a northeastern Indian state. Their efforts may force the Indian army to redirect attention away from its disputed border with Pakistan. Islamabad benefits from this, raising the possibility that Pakistan may even have been involved in the guerrillas' waxing enthusiasm.

    The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), a separatist guerrilla group in India's northeastern state of Assam, announced Dec. 22 that it would enhance its "striking power" through a campaign to unite the region's rebel groups. ULFA intends to intensify the violent independence struggle, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives since the late 1970s.

    In the past, Pakistan has worked to galvanize India's separatists, creating a diversionary ploy to preoccupy India's army in a region far from Pakistan. Now, Islamabad may be employing the same tactic so that it can focus efforts on problems at home.

    In recent weeks, Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf and his government have made moves suggesting that the government is weakening traditional support for Afghanistan's ruling Taliban. These moves include overtures toward Iran, which supports the Taliban's warring opposition, as well as a ban on wheat exports that shot food prices in Afghanistan to dangerously high levels. Most recently, Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider announced Dec. 21 that his government is ready to help resolve conflict between the Taliban and United States over the return of alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden.

    Pakistan's shifting allegiance will likely disrupt internal stability. By moving away from the Taliban, the government is likely to anger religious extremists within the country, who helped found and support the Taliban. That anger could lead to violence and generate trouble for Pakistani leadership.

    As well, weakening support to the Taliban could affect Pakistan's ability to maintain its position in Kashmir, where India and Pakistan have been battling over a territory dispute for decades. The Taliban has traditionally fought alongside Pakistani rebels for control of the area. If the Taliban loses the government's support, its forces may be less willing to join the fight.

    Both results backlash within Pakistan and a loss of Taliban support in Kashmir give Pakistan reason to ensure that neighboring India, too, is distracted from the contested territory. Riling up Assam's separatist guerrillas could easily accomplish that goal, as it has in the past.

    #2
    fortunately, china is not in this game at least now and thanks to indira, bangladesh is liberated.

    fortunately level of local support now is low. but the policy of terrorism is to deprive every developement actity and themn blame govt. of deprivation. talking to people and being in contact with several groups will make sense. the idiotic policy in kashmir had been to put all eggs in farooq abdullah basket. so other groups dont even feel they have political future.

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      #3
      How come the fighters in Assam are guerrillas while those fighting in Kashmir are terrorists and militants. What's the difference, is it because the Kashmiri freedom fighters are muslims or because your media always sees Pakistanis and Taliban there, but no indegenious fighters. If Pakistan can interfere in every freedom movement in India, it does not say much about your intelligence agencies, does it?

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        #4
        http://www.stratfor.com/asia/commentary/m9912222320.htm

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          #5
          in any case shifting away from taliban or haning over osama will be difficult for pak and musharraf. the price will be heavy even if they try to catch india in assam. right now they have hasina in bangladesh and not khalida.

          i dont think pak will be able shift away from taliban so easily. taliban will get at its throat.

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