Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Islamabad – Beijing Watch – South Asia Theatre: Pakistan Violates 2003 Ceasefire By Firing on Indian Forward Positions in Kashmir – Guardian Council of Iran to Visit Pakistan – Shopping Center in Ashkelon Hit By Katyusha Rocket
Night Watch: TANGDHAR SECTOR – There has been a serious violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement between India/Pakistan as Pakistani troops fired on Indian forward positions in the Tangdhar sector of Jammu-Kashmir. This incident was reported by WebIndia123 which said the firing, by automatic weapons, was indiscriminate and continued for half an hour. There were no reports of casualties or of Indian troops returning fire. Though there have been minor violations in the past none have been on this scale and this occurred just one day after Islamic militants used their network inside India to set off several bombs in Jaipur, Rajasthan that killed eighty people and wounded twice that many. The network is controlled by Tehran-Islamabad with major connections to Islamic units and bases in Bangladesh as Indian investigations have proven. However, this is the first time there has been deliberate cross border firing by Pakistani units after a bomb attack inside India. The firing was across the Line of Control (LoC) which was drawn in 1972, the year after the last major war between the two countries and it demarcates Kashmir between them. This incident also took place just two days after the Chief of Staff of India’s army General Deepak Kapoor visited the forward areas of Kashimr for three days. At the same time there have been three infiltration attempts by Islamic fighters from Pakistan’s part of Kashmir into India in less than a week. [WEBINDIA123]
Violence always increases in May with the melting of the snow and it was in May 1999 when Pakistan conducted its Kargil Probe offensive which nearly set off their fourth war since 1947. The probe was planned by then General Pervez Musharraf who is now Pakistan’s President. In February 2007 he visited Tehran and presented them his offensive “Action Plan” a war Tehran-Islamabad have stated they intend to use to unite the entire Islamic world. Saudi Arabia held ground forces maneuvers with Pakistan in December 2006 in the eastern Punjab and in the mid-1980s Riyadh purchased 50-60 CSS-2 intermediate range ballistic missiles from Beijing. The CSS-2 has a range of 2,500 miles (4,000 km) and can easily reach all of India.
Islamabad – As a massive show of support for Pakistan’s policy against India Iran is sending a six member delegation of its most powerful decision making group the Guardian Council to Islamabad from May 16-20. Xinhua reports the delegation will be led by the head of the council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati and they will meet with senior Pakistani leaders: Chairman of Senate of Pakistan, Speaker of National Assembly and the Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Federal Shariat Court. [XINHUA]
Ashkelon – This is just in from the Jerusalem Post/AP, at least fourteen people have been injured when a Katyusha (Grad) rocket hit a shopping mall in Israel’s port city of Ashkelon just nine miles from northern Gaza. Some reports say two missiles were fired with one hitting the top floor. The attack came Wednesday evening just as Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and U. S. President George W. Bush were ending their meeting. An Israeli government spokesman has already said Bush’s presence “won’t prevent an immediate response,” which could already be under way as I write this. Most likely Israel will respond with large airstrikes coupled with a large ground offensive at least into northern Gaza where most of the rockets are launched. Both Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Resistance Committees (PRC) have claimed responsibility. The city of 100,000 has been targeted by countless Qassams and many Katyushas but none has been this effective. This is the kind of devastating impact the Katyushas fired by Hezbollah in 2006 were able to inflict. It would be catastrophic if the oil terminal were hit. This may have blown away any pretense of negotiating peace or ceasefires. [JPOST]