Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Islamabad – Beijing Watch – South Asia Theatre:
India Accuses Pakistan of Second Ceasefire Violation in Less Than a Week – One Soldier Killed – India Increases Troops on Border – India Police Receive New Bomb Threats From Pakistan Based Islamic Group Targeting Four Cities on May 23 – Iaf Conduct Three Air Strikes in Gaza
Night Watch: MENDHAR – Tehran-Islamabad seem to have decided this is the time to set off President General Pervez Musharraf’s offensive “Action Plan” against India knowing it will lead to the fourth war since India/Pakistan became independent in 1947. Musharraf presented the plan to Tehran in February last year as part of his nine nation tour and I always suspected it would unfold gradually and not begin with a sudden large scale assault. Not only would infiltration attempts into India’s part of Kashmir increase but also bomb attacks inside India which would occupy the attention of internal security and perhaps intended to create confusion. NewsBlaze reported yesterday a senior India military officer, speaking on condition of anonymity stated, “Pakistani troops resorted to heavy indiscriminate firing on the forward posts at Mendhar in the Poonch sector Monday morning.” He said the firing was made by automatic weapons for 15 minutes killing one soldier. The Indian units did not return fire but they have logged a complaint with Pakistan seeking clarification. What are called “Flag Meetings” are held between the two sides whenever there is an incident and this is the second in less than a week. May 14 Pakistan denied India’s accusations of violating the ceasefire and on May 10 there was strong evidence Pakistani Rangers provided cover fire for a dozen militants in their infiltration into India’s part of Kashmir. This latest attack has caused Delhi to increase its troops on the border with the orders to maintain a close watch. It is without doubt a hair trigger watch and I would be surprised if Indian troops hold their fire next time.
Aligarh – In a parallel development AKI/Asian Age are reporting Indian police are investigating multiple new bomb threats from an Islamic militant group based in Pakistan the Jaish-e-Mohammad, one of the major units that have been attacking India’s occupation of Kashmir since the latest Islamic uprising began in November 1989. A number of times since then Pakistan/India have been extremely close to their fourth war but Tehran was not yet ready to enter as heavily as they are now. Major preparations have been made by Iran to see if Islamic rulers can control most of the sub-continent once again. Sunday night a letter was received by Indian government and railway police in the northern city of Aligarh 70 miles southeast of Delhi. It was written in Hindi and signed by Jaish-e-Mohammad and threatens “devastating attacks” on important sites in four Indian cities on Friday May 23 just one week after the bomb attack in Jaipur which killed 66 people and wounded 200. [AKI]
That attack was caused by what security described as a bomb of “medium intensity” so obviously Jaish-e-Mohammad, and their state sponsors have something much more powerful in mind. The letter mentioned in New Delhi the Parliament building is one of the targets as is the National Islamic University, the Akshardham Hindu temple, the historic Red Fort and Connaught Place a major square in the capital. And three cities in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most heavily populated province are being targeted: Lucknow, Aligarh and Agra the site of the Taj Majhal. If these series of attacks are successful it would be the best chance for Iran-Pakistan to force India to use its “hot pursuit” policy of attacking the bases and training centers inside Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. There are an estimated 2,500-3,000 Islamic fighters on “launching pads” waiting for orders to infiltrate and Delhi has long demanded Islamabad close the bases. Pakistan’s government has always stated if that ever happens they will be forced to respond and the fourth war would be underway with both Iran and China poised to enter. Beijing has publicly claimed, through its Ambassador to Delhi, northeast India-Arunachal Pradesh, is Chinese territory. That is the same region China invaded India for one month in October 1962.
It is no coincidence these attacks and violations have encompassed the four day visit to Pakistan by members of Iran’s powerful Council of Guardians which ends today. They met Pakistan leaders and openly praised the architect of the Action Plan President General Pervez Musharraf. This proves what I have suspected all along that the three nation negotiations engineered by Tehran with Islamabad/Delhi on the oil pipeline, what Iran called a “pipeline of peace” was really a pipeline of deception. It was proposed back in 1995 and years of negotiations and conferences were just a diplomatic smokescreen as Tehran-Islamabad prepared to invade.
Gaza City – Haaretz/News Agencies report the Israel Air Force (IAF) has conducted at least three air strikes Tuesday as Hamas/Israel still mouth a pretense of ceasefire talks on the eve of Israel’s offensive. All during this time, for the past two weeks, Palestinian rocket-mortar fire has continued causing major damage, especially in Ashkelon and killing two Israeli citizens in other Negev communities. But this is Israel’s largest air response with these three attacks the first hitting a Palestinian rocket squad in northeast Gaza as they were in the act. A second IAF attack prevented Palestinians from planting explosives on a border fence in central Gaza with Israel and a third attack took place in south Gaza City. The death total today makes fourteen Palestinians killed in the past two weeks. [HAARETZ]
Most senior Israeli leaders have been in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh participating in the World Forum Conference this week so I suspect Israel’s offensive will begin either late this week or next.