Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 21-Jul-05
Tensions build as Pakistan cracks down on extremists after London bombings

Web Log - July, 2005

Tensions build as Pakistan cracks down on extremists after London bombings

In Kashmir, a car bomb that kills and wounds dozens, including children, highlights a week of increasing tension and violence.

The London bombings are ironic for those Muslims who have lived in Kashmir, Pakistan, the homeland of the London bombers' parents, since they've seen much similar violence, which they blame on the Indian Hindus. Murtaza Shibli, a Kashmiri Muslim wrote the following:

"I am no stranger to killing and chaos in my surroundings, for I have lived most of my life witnessing, dodging and reporting such events. As a journalist in Kashmir, I have filled columns of newspapers counting the dead in dozens, collecting the pain and suffering in lifeless words, and watching, the ‘paradise on earth’ – that old designation of Kashmir – burned to a wasteland of sadness by the violence kindled by Indian rule....

By the time I went to college in Kashmir, everyone was talking about holding a gun to fight for freedom. In no time, I saw friends, teachers, neighbors, relatives exalting freedom and the gun. The first blast I witnessed occurred in 1998, and I was standing just yards away from where an old man died.

After six months in London, I returned to Kashmir. I felt I had been thrown out of life. I felt like an evictee form my own country. I came back to London and settled here. But all the time I was hiding from myself. I could no longer write. For a time, I even stopped reading about Kashmir and its killing fields. I denied everything that had formed me – my life, my background, my feelings, even my friends. For a long time, my family thought I had gone missing. My mother had become resigned to the possibility that I had been just one more name added to the thousands missing in Kashmir."

The picture is much different from the Indian side, though just as violent. What Murtaza Shibli called "the violence kindled by Indian rule," is seen by General J J Singh, head of India's army, as necessary to control violence from thousands of Pakistan Muslim militants in Kashmir:

"Previously, there were 2,000 militants in Kashmir. The number has fallen to 1,600 because in January, we eliminated 400 terrorists. ... We are likely to face the situation for some time because terrorism infrastructure is yet to be dismantled across the borders. In light of the situation, we have to continue efforts at achieving our objectives in Kashmir, which is to 'bring down the level of violence to such a degree that the other organs of the state and central governments can deliver on governance'."

The seething "Line of Control" in Kashmir, separating the Indian-held territory from the Pakistan-held terrority is the site of continuing violence. The LoC was established by the United Nations in 1947, following an extremely bloody genocidal crisis war between Pakistan and India that "settled" the Kashmir problem by partitioning the region and giving part of it to each. The U.N. mandated that an election be held in Kashmir within five years to decide which country they wanted to belong to, but India has always blocked any such election, knowing that it would lose in the majority Muslim population.

So, radical Muslim forces vow to continue the "sacred struggle" involving martyrdom and strikes against the "Indian occupational forces."

This is the environment that the families of the London bombers came from. Young men often look for ways to make something of their lives, to become heroes if they can. And if the young men are disaffected and bitter, they may look for extreme ways. What better way is there to become a hero than an "altruistic suicide," killing as many civilians as possible in England, the supporter and long-time ally of India.

Pakistan has become almost as electrified by the London bombings as England has.

One Pakistani journalist, Mumtaz Hamid Rao, says in an editorial that Pakistan is becoming hostage to the extremists:

"With a vow that enough is enough, we would like to point-out that the nation can and would, in no way tolerate extremists in any mode or manner—may they be locals or the ones who have their ancestral abodes, somewhere else—perceptibly onto the land of the antagonistic neighbour(s)—and have penetrated into the dazzling soils of Pakistan to create discomfiture for us."

Pakistan the country has been changing rapidly since July 7. Under orders of President Pervez Musharraf, hundreds of suspected militants have been rounded up and jailed, and new laws will be passed to give the police even greater power. The new laws are being called "Taliban-style public morality laws," since they will force all citizens to observe the call to prayer, singing and dancing will be banned and unrelated men and women will be forbidden from walking together in public.

Politicians around the world are calling on Musharraf to do more to keep Pakistan from exporting more terrorism, and he does seem to be trying.

Conflict risk level for next 6-12 months as of: 30-May-2005
W. Europe 1 Arab Israeli 2
Russia Caucasus 2 Kashmir 1
China 2 North Korea 3
Financial 3 Bird flu 3
Key: 1=green 1=Low risk 2=yellow 2=Med 3=red 3=High 4=black 4=Active

But Generational Dynamics tells us that it's a losing battle. It's the older generation, the generation that lived through the genocidal crisis war of the 1940s, that's willing to do anything, endure any compromise, to avoid another such war. It's the younger generations that know only the violence they see, the hopelessness they feel, who can't believe that a war would make their lives any worse than it already is.

Kashmir has appeared on my conflict risk graphic at a "low risk" level because it seems that the even with the violence at the Line of Control, a war was unlikely at this time. This rating is currently under review. An increase to "medium risk" seems to be in order. An increase to "high risk" would not be warranted unless an attempt on Musharraf's life, of which there have been many, finally succeeds.

Generational Dynamics predicts there will indeed be a new genocidal crisis war between India and Pakistan, and since both countries possess nuclear weapons, there's little doubt that they will be used. The war may begin next month, next year, or soon after, but it will happen with near 100% certainty. (21-Jul-05) Permanent Link
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