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Thread: India/Pakistan

  1. #61
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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and neighboring PRC



    Pakistani Air Bases


    Indian Air Bases









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  2. #62
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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    India ignores EU Troika plan to defuse tension


    By Baqir Sajjad Syed
    December 24, 2008 Wednesday Zilhaj 25, 1429

    ISLAMABAD, Dec 23: The European Union ‘Troika’ is reported to have shelved its plan to mediate between Pakistan and India in the wake of the Mumbai attacks after getting a negative response from India.

    The ‘troika’ comprises representatives of the current presidency, the future presidency, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. It carries a mandate to speak on behalf of the 27 EU member states.

    Diplomats told Dawn on Tuesday that members of the ‘Troika’ were scheduled to visit Islamabad and New Delhi on Dec 18 and 19 as part of an international effort to defuse the tension between the two countries.

    The decision to mediate was taken by the EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels earlier this month. However, India did not respond positively to the EU initiative, which led to the shelving of the trip.

    A spokesman for the embassy of France, which currently holds the EU presidency, confirmed that the visit had been cancelled. No reasons were given for the cancellation and there was no explanation about the purpose of the visit.

    Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq, however, said that no dates had been fixed.

    India appears to be uneasy over the balanced EU stand on the issue and is learnt to have rejected the mediation offer on the pretext of not encouraging the involvement of any third party. However, it has not objected to the active role played by the UK and US to end the standoff.

    Investigation agencies of the UK and US are also working with Indians investigating the Mumbai attacks.

    The EU had been asking Pakistan to fulfil its international obligations by finding and prosecuting the elements responsible for the Mumbai attacks and taking necessary steps to stop recurrence of such incidents. The bloc’s foreign ministers in their statement at the conclusion of their Brussels meeting recognised the sacrifices made by the people of Pakistan in their struggle against terrorism and promised continued EU support.

    Meanwhile, diplomatic sources confirmed that ‘neutral’ countries are increasingly putting pressure on India to directly share evidence with Pakistan.

    The information shared so far have been made available through the UK and the US. However, Pakistan has been insisting that India must provide evidence through diplomatic channels.

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  3. #63
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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Pak govt to respond to Ajmal's letter by tomorrow

    Islamabad, Dec 23, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) --

    Pakistan, which is yet to admit that Ajmal Amir Iman is its national, today said it will respond by tomorrow to a letter written by the lone terrorist captured during the Mumbai attacks in which he has sought legal assistance from it.

    In the letter, a copy of which was sent to Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik yesterday by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, Iman alias Ajmal Kasab had detailed the circumstances of his arrest and sought legal assistance from the Pakistan government.


    "I have given the letter to experts to examine and there will be a detailed response from the Foreign Ministry by today or tomorrow," Malik told reporters after a meeting with the visiting Interpol chief Ronald K Noble.

    He claimed that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), the banned terrorist group blamed for the Mumbai attacks, did not "exist now" and the government would decide on proscribing its front organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) if investigations proved it was involved in terrorist activities.

    Malik insisted that India had shared "no official or unofficial evidence" on the Mumbai attacks with Pakistan.

    An examination of the National Database and Registration Authority, Pakistan's national database, had provided no records on any national named Ajmal Kasab, he claimed.

    "India has experienced the same sort of terrorism as Pakistan and the same people are carrying out suicide bombings here. Both countries are victims of terrorism," Malik said. "That is why we have asked for forming a joint investigation team. Let's work together and probe jointly so the perpetrators can be brought to justice and so that such incidents don't occur in future." Pakistan government had cracked down on Jamaat-ud-Dawa in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution which designated it as a terrorist group and its leaders had been detained and its offices closed, Malik said.

    "Pakistan is a sovereign state. Whatever action we take, we will take in the interest of the country (and) we will not get dictation from anywhere," he said.

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  4. #64
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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    China still reluctant to pressurise Pak against terrorism
    23 Dec 2008, 1830 hrs IST, Saibal Dasgupta , TNN

    BEIJING: The Chinese foreign ministry has finally spoken on the India-Pakistan-China axis amidst the rising tensions over the Mumbai attacks.

    But the statements show that Beijing still reluctant to pressurise Islamabad to come clean on the antecedents of the terrorists. (Watch)

    Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Tuesday expressed the hope that India and Pakistan will cooperate with each other in the investigations into the Mumbai attack. He also suggested that the two countries make "joint efforts" to ensure peace and stability in the region.

    Qin said that the question of "where the terrorists are from" is a matter that will be known after proper investigations. He was replying to a question about India's concerns that terrorists in the Mumbai attack came from Pakistan and Islamabad's refusal to accept it.

    But he skirted specific queries about China's views Pakistan's efforts to book the terrorists or track down their sources and supporters. He did not reply to questions on whether China was talking with Pakistan over the nature of investigations or it wished to take a stand on the issue.

    It seemed clear that Beijing wished to stick to platitudes even after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the international community to apply pressure on Pakistan and foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee said New Delhi's patience is already strained.

    "We hope that the two countries can have dialogue and consultation to solve relevant issues and improve their relations as major countries in South Asia," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a press conference today. The two countries can "contribute to peace and stability in the region" by cooperating with each other, he said.

    Pakistan, which signed an agreement on military cooperation with China on December 15, needs Chinese help today more than ever. China observers say Beijing sees in the current situation an opportunity to play a more important role in the region that it ever did. This is the time for Beijing to try and wean Islamabad as far away from Washington as possible.

    Incidentally, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has confirmed her plans to visit Beijing in the new year, Qin said. But the exact dates have not been announced.

    China observers said Beijing needed Pakistani support to ensure that Islamic terrorists do not enhance their campaign in Xinjiang province, which is a hotbed of separatism spearheaded by forces trained in Pakistan. China is constantly worried about the East Turkmenistan movement in Xinjiang, where terrorists are battling to carve out a separate nation.

    Beijing also feels India would be careful about stroking the fires along the border with Pakistan as long as there is a perception that it will back Islamabad. In fact, Pakistan's defiance of international pressures on the Mumbai attack issue is partly explained by its faith in China, its "all weather friend".

    Chinese leaders, who shared a long and cosy relationship with former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, have been less than comfortable with the newly elected leadership in Islamabad. The official Chinese media has been harping on the many challenges faced by the new Pakistani leadership in maintaining peace at home as well as feeding its poor millions.

    But Beijing would still make the most of the new situation to enhance its influence in Asia at a time when the US is engaged in settling down to a new regime and battling the economic crisis, sources said. The developments in South Asia come at a time when China has managed to resolve many of its long-held differences with Japan and in on the way to solve its problems in Taiwan.

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  5. #65
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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Dragon dances with terror
    24 Dec 2008, 0332 hrs IST, ET Bureau

    NEW DELHI: China is still reluctant to back India’s stand that it is a victim of cross border terrorism. The Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday said it was still early to put Islamabad in the dock. Beijing also argued on the need for “joint efforts” to ensure peace. This call comes at a time when there is near unanimity that no joint mechanism was possible between the tormentor and tormented.

    Reports quoting Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China was not ready to underwrite the Indian stand that Pakistanis were involved in the attack. Qin said that the question of “where the terrorists came from” was a matter that would be known after “proper investigations”. He was replying to a question about India’s concerns that terrorists in the Mumbai attack came from Pakistan and Islamabad’s refusal to accept it.

    Beijing’s spokesman also skirted specific queries about China’s views on Pakistan’s efforts to book the terrorists or track down their supporters. He did not reply to questions on whether China was talking with Pakistan over the nature of investigations or it wished to take a stand on the issue.

    “We hope that the two countries will continue consultations for solving relevant issues and improve their relations,” he said. China, which has signed a military cooperation agreement with Pakistan, is keen to use the opportunity for playing an important role in the region.

    Besides, it needs Pakistan’s help for preventing jihadi spillover into its Xinjiang province. The province is confronted with terror sponsored by militants trained in Pakistani camps.

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Wednesday, December 24, 2008
    India seeking cluster bombs from US

    * Indian Defence Ministry seeks fast-track purchase of 500 bombs
    * If approved by the US, purchase to cost India $375 million

    By Iftikhar Gilani


    NEW DELHI: India is seeking the purchase of 500 advanced-technology cluster bombs from the US. Although the order was placed in September, reports here suggest that the Indian Defence Ministry has called on the Americans to fast track the purchase amid rising tensions with Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

    A private news channel reported here that New Delhi had specifically asked the US to provide 510 units of the American CBU-105 cluster bomb along with full logistics support services. If Washington approves the sale, the bombs will cost New Delhi $375 million. Pentagon’s Foreign Arms Sales Division has already notified the US Congress about India’s request and the proposed sale.

    According to the notification, “This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in South Asia.” Cluster bombs are actually a conglomeration of weapons. When released from an aircraft, they splinter into hundreds, even thousands, of ‘bomblets’ that land over a large area.

    All bomblets do not explode when they hit the ground, but they can go off later – creating an indefinite minefield, which poses a severe threat to civilians and children long after the conflict is over. Former Indian Air Force western commander VK Bhatia says that although the effectiveness of cluster bombs against terrorist camps is debatable, they are lethal in all circumstances. Control Arms Foundation of India Vice President Anuradha Chenoy, however, has opposed the purchase, saying the government should base its anti-terror policies on intelligence instead of cluster bombs. On December 3, the United Nations launched the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) to ban the use of cluster bombs across the world. So far, 94 countries have signed the CCM. The prominent countries which have either opposed the convention or refused to sign or ratify it include India, Pakistan, the US, Israel, Russia and China.

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  7. #67
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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    26/11 prompts India to seek cluster bombs
    Shiv Aroor
    New Delhi, December 23, 2008

    India has sought over 500 advanced technology cluster bombs from the US. This is a clear sign that the government wants to arm itself to take on large targets, including terrorist camps.

    Cluster bombs attracted controversies during their extended use in Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia.

    India requested for them in September.

    But, after the Mumbai terror attacks, South Block has asked the Pentagon to fast-track the request, sources said.

    According to documents listing India's request - an exclusive copy of which lies with Headlines Today - India has specifically asked the US to provide 510 units of the American CBU-105 cluster bomb and full logistics support services. If Washington approves of the sale, it will cost New Delhi $375 million (Rs 1,700 crore).

    Headlines Today also has a copy of the notification made by Pentagon's foreign arms sales division to the US Congress about India's request and proposed sale.

    According to it: "This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in South Asia."

    Cluster bombs are a conglomeration of weapons. When released from an aircraft, they splinter into hundreds, even thousands, of individual 'bomblets'. These land over a large geographic area. The technique is also called carpet bombing.

    All bomblets don't explode when they hit the ground. But they can go off later.

    This creates an indefinite minefield which poses a severe threat to civilians and children long after the conflict is over.

    Former Indian Air Force Western Commander Air Marshal V. K. Bhatia said: "The CBU-105 that India is looking at is an improved cluster bomb. Unlike the older ones, it is sensor-fused and guided by global positioning systems.

    "Their effectiveness against terror camps is still debatable. But that they are lethal is beyond doubt."

    Cluster bombs, like landmines, continue to be deeply controversial in the global arms control discourse. They are notorious for their indiscriminate nature of destruction and for the collateral damage they cause in almost all war theatres where they have been used.

    Control Arms Foundation of India vice-president Anuradha Chenoy said: "These weapons are extremely dangerous. They continue to be harmful for civilians, especially children, long after a conflict and they should be prohibited across the world.

    "India should base its anti-terror policies on intelligence, not cluster bombs." On December 3, the UN opened the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) to ban their use across the world.

    So far, 94 countries have signed the CCM - including countries like Afghanistan, Laos and Lebanon - that have suffered the consequences of their use.

    The prominent countries which have either opposed the convention or refused to sign or ratify it include India, Pakistan, the US, Israel, Russia and China.

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  8. #68
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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    India stays firm as Pak talks war

    24 Dec 2008, 0423 hrs IST, Indrani Bagchi, TNN

    NEW DELHI: In a move aimed at preventing Pakistan from using war "hysteria" to deflect attention away from calls that it crack down on terror groups, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tamped down on war talk even as he made it amply clear that India was not relaxing its tough posture towards Islamabad.

    With investigators, both Indian and foreign, gathering more and more evidence that the Mumbai attacks were not just the handiwork of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and links to ISI being pursued, the PM noted that the situation with regard to Pakistan remained "worrisome". This was a clear indicator that the government, backed by the Congress leadership, will continue to insist on a list of deliverables from Pakistan.

    Asked if war was imminent, the PM said, "The issue is not war. Nobody wants war." Singh's disclaimer contrasted sharply with foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee's persistent tough stand about military option being kept open, giving the impression of a change of tack. However, the PM's message to Pakistan was the same as Mukherjee's.

    "Pakistani territory is used to aid and abet terror. We want Pakistan to take objective efforts to dismantle the terror infrastructure and the government of Pakistan knows what that implies. We expect that as a member of the UN, Pakistan should comply with UNSC resolutions," the PM said.

    He added, "The international community should use its power to persuade Pakistan (to end terrorism)." His remarks came amid signs of Pakistan trying to stoke war fears as a diversion. On Tuesday, Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani went on record to say the army could respond to India "within minutes".

    India, however, refused to get distracted. In the evening, the official spokesperson responded to Kiyani's statement by saying, "The talk of war or creating war hysteria is diversionary. The issue is not defence of Pakistan but a terrorist attack on India from Pakistan."

    Mukherjee also stuck to his "deliver on your promise" message to Pakistan. "My request to friends in Pakistan is to address the issue; that is terrorism and not raise war hysteria," he said.

    But the thrust and parry of statements once again cast the spotlight on the dilemma India faces in dealing with a recalcitrant and incorrigible Pakistani leadership. Experience virtually rules out the possibility of Pakistan's compliance with its anti-terror promises unless it is forced. But there is the risk of the military-ISI establishment exploiting India's insistence on action against terrorists to rally people by raising the spectre of a war.

    Investigations by India and the US are revealing a deeper hand of the Pakistani military-intelligence complex in the planning and strategy of the attacks that showed a degree of sophistication not associated with a terror group. In fact, sources say, Pakistan cannot actually claim with any degree of credibility that the attacks were planned and prepared by "stateless actors".

    They also said the Mumbai operation was planned to the T and was meant to provoke India into a largescale troop mobilisation like after the 2001 Parliament attack. If India had reacted with largescale mobilisation as it did in 2001, it would have suited the Pakistan army and the jihadis perfectly, because it would have entailed an instant clearing up of the FATA and northwestern border as the Pakistan army would have piled up on the Indian border, leaving Taliban to make merry in the Pashtun badlands.

    Hence the use of LeT, a primarily Punjabi, India-focused terror group, to mount the attacks, giving Pakistani security establishment's real reasons some degree of deniability.

    On Tuesday again, Baitullah Mehsud of Tehrik-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), accused of masterminding the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, claimed that "thousands of our well-armed militants are ready to fight alongside the army if any war is imposed on Pakistan", raising questions whether the Taliban and Pakistan army were indeed fighting each other or with each other.

    Hundreds of would-be bombers had been "given suicide jackets and explosive-laden vehicles for protection of the border in case of any aggression by the Indian forces", Mehsud said.

    India has resolutely refused to fall into the Pakistan military trap, which was then aggravated by reports of airspace intrusions, hoax calls, etc, all intended to whip up war panic inside Pakistan. After arresting some terrorists a few days ago, Pakistan has now released many of them, in a blatant attempt to provoke India into a more militaristic response.

    But diplomatic sources said Pakistan's approach was now beginning to annoy countries like the US and UK. It prompted a visit by the US joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, to Pakistan again. Mullen, said reports, is believed to have told Islamabad to address New Delhi's concerns, including action against terrorists. Mullen met army chief Gen Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

    India's best bet continues to be to put pressure on Pakistan by the US, and particularly the US army, which actually has huge leverage there. How far the US will use these assets on Pakistan is the question, but even the US doesn't want to be pushed too far by India to act on Pakistan. Besides, in a transition period in their government, Pakistan actually gets a lot more leeway.

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    So... I'm curious. From reading through this, I'm getting the impression India is pretty pissed about the Mumbai attacks and blaming Pakistan.

    Is that about right?

    Is that really what this is about?

    They should do something about it, but nukes? Hmmm
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Militants, army in perfect step

    Hindustan Times
    December 25, 2008

    The Tehrik-e-Taliban’s declaration of solidarity with the Pakistani government against India is of interest because the Tehrik has been at the forefront of attacks against Islamabad, including the Pakistan military. At one level, it is evidence of how hostility to India unites the most disparate elements of Pakistan. At another, it reflects the shared worldview of the Pakistani military and the Islamicist militant groups it is supposedly combating. The officer corps has made no secret of its belief that the fighting in the tribal areas could be resolved by negotiation, that the conflicts there are a “misunderstanding” or a consequence of US pressure.

    The Mumbai attack has shown how pointless it is to differentiate between a militant group that targets Kashmir and one that targets Kabul. However, Mumbai has also thrown up evidence that the difference between Pakistan’s military and its mullahs is far less than is believed. The only “non-State actor” that matters in Pakistan is its army, an institution that dwarfs the State that it is supposed to serve. And the involvement of this non-State actor in supporting groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and giving the green light for the Mumbai attacks is increasingly evident.

    Washington, the only capital with any real leverage over Pakistan, has asked itself the follow-up question: why would the Pakistani military sponsor something on the scale of the Mumbai attacks? The answer would seem to lie in the military’s desire to escape its commitments in the tribal areas. If India had followed the 2002 pattern, Pakistan would have had the excuse to move its six divisions from the Afghan border. This, in turn, would have ended the military option in the tribal areas leaving a negotiated settlement with groups like the Tehrik as the default stance.

    For its own interests, the US needs to increase pressure on Pakistan. The Pakistani military must not be allowed to escape responsibility for Mumbai, otherwise it will keep trying to find means to avoid its responsibilities in the tribal areas. The men in khaki are in a state of denial. They insist the militant problem is about India’s actions in Kashmir, Kabul’s weakness in Afghanistan, US policies in West Asia — everyone is to blame except Pakistan itself. That the Tehrik should offer a common front with the military is no surprise. They are, ultimately, two sides of the same coin.

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    India should not make the "mistake" of carrying out surgical strikes against Pakistan as such an action would provoke a strong response, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday.

    Pakistan did not want war but is ready to defend its frontiers, Mr Qureshi told reporters in his hometown of Multan. If India made the "mistake of carrying out a surgical strike", Pakistan will deal sternly with such an eventuality, he said.

    "We will be compelled to respond if it happens," he said. Asked if the possibility of war could be ruled out amidst escalating tensions in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, Mr Qureshi said: "If you are asking me, I am not ruling out anything. But if war is imposed, we will respond to it like a brave and self-respecting nation."

    He added: "I want to give a message to India that we are the torch-bearers of peace and remain committed to our desire for peace...Contrary to our reasonable, cooperative and non-aggressive attitude, some elements from India are issuing provocative statements."

    Regional tensions have escalated after India blamed Pakistan-based elements for the Mumbai terror attacks that killed over 180 people. —PTI

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    View Point: Time to strike

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that Pakistan is not inclined to oblige New Delhi by handing over more than forty terrorists whose involvement has already been established in many heinious crimes in India. The way Pakistan is changing its tone and tune each passing day one is reminded of a game played by children in both the countries- catch me if you can? More than else it has become a routine with the Pakistan leadership to first commit on an important issue and later backtrack on the same. Ironically, instead of taking steps as desired by India Government of Pakistan has summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner on Thursday to its foreign office and conveyed 'concerns' over last week's violation of Pakistani airspace by Indian Air Force jets.


    Pakistan's defiance and changing statics is leaving India with no choice except war.

    Suggestively, Pakistan is not at all serious about combating terrorism as the actions taken by it have been no more than an eyewash. The fact remains that the so called banned or sealed sites are functioning normally. Besides the Pakistani government is in a defiant mood. Evidently, the world community cannot expect political action from it, given the precarious situation it is in.

    Zardari's touching narrative on the threat posed by the religious fanatics gave rise to speculations that Pakistan will dismantle well-established terrorist groups on its soil. But now, it appears that his government is not strong or bold enough to go beyond a point. This fact has been corroborated by Nawaz Sharief former Pakistan President and an important ally in the government. "Pakistan presents the picture of a failed and ungovernable state and the problems facing the country can be overcome if the government abides by the Murree Declaration in letter and spirit, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday.

    Whether Pakistan takes any action against terrorists or not yet the chill has started costing dearly for both the countries. Cricket-the game which has been uniting the people on the two sides of LoC has become its first causality. The Government of India on Thursday called off cricket tour of Pakistan scheduled next month, formally sealing the fate of the series in protest against the terror attacks in Mumbai. The next causality is likely to be peace and bilateral talks between the two sides.

    It is alive in the eyes of the world that after every attack Pakistan is playing the game of hide and seek. In 1999, when Masood Azhar walked away from the hijacked IC-814 Air India plane towards the wilderness of Kandahar desert, Pakistan was asserting that they never knew him and assured India that if he reached Pakistani soil he would be arrested and tried. Where is he now and should we be believe that the democratically-elected government in Pakistan will do justice to India?

    As the current policy is not working what is the point in displaying goodwill gestures to a country that fails to respond despite all evidence? If Pakistan has to act only after being warned by the U.S., there is no point wasting time in drafting bilateral treaties that remain only on paper. A country kneeling before the US for funds and arms needs to be attacked militarily. Moreover, enormous international pressure is needed for Pakistan to discover that there are higher priority issues than protecting Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim.

    Undoubtedly, India is soft on terror. While the 9/11 attacks led the U.S. to completely revamp its security systems - internal and external - despite repeated attacks, we are still pondering over the ifs and buts with no concrete measures taken. There seems to be only one option left for India and it is to destroy the terror camps and bases established in Pakistan. India has deployed naval ships and put fighter planes on standby across the country. The fighters are fully armed with different varieties of missiles. All squanders have been looked into and are now on a high alert. Bangalore, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Chennai air force have also been on high alert. The Indian navy has deployed 18 ships capable of playing combat roles in the western part.

    Rightly, it is high time India should start the air strikes in Pakistan, which is the main station of the terrorists and thereby destroy the camps and bases where they are being trained.

    Sushil Vakil

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Dismantle terror camps, says BJP's Ahluwalia

    Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 25, 2008 16:29 IST

    Bharatiya Janata Party leader S S Ahluwalia in a coversation with rediff.com has ridiculed Pakistani claims that it has arrested a resident of Kolkata for his alleged role in the Lahore [Images] car bomb blast .

    A woman was killed and four persons were injured when a car bomb went off in a high-security residential complex for government officials in Lahore.

    "We know the manner in which Pakistani agencies operate. It is possible that the man named Munir who has been arrested had been languishing in Pakistani jail. He could be a Bangladeshi who had once lived in Kolkata who is familiar with the topography," Ahlwaila said.

    Sarabjit Singh, who was likely to be released has now been relegated into the background.

    "Interstingly the suspect has been given a Hindu name, Satish Anand Shukla, by the Pakistani intelligence authorties so that they could tell the world there is something like Hindu terrorism. While the attack on Mumbai [Images] was on, a Pakistani news channel was telling a different story and expressing doubts over the manner in which Hemant Karkare [Images] was killed. The biggest damage to the nation was done by A R Antulay [Images] who spoke the same language as the Pakistani news channel," the BJP leader said. According to Ahluwalia since the world supports India, we could strike at the terror camps and dismantle them if Pakistan does not do so," he added.

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan


    LAHORE, Dec 25 (APP):‑Punjab Chief Minister, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that defence of Pakistan is impregnable and no one can dare to make any aggression against it. Had Pakistan not been an atomic power, India would have attacked, he added.


    The Chief Minister said that after Mumbai incident, India is trying to isolate us at international level through leveling baseless allegations. He said that Pakistan is itself victim of terrorism and how it can support terrorist activities in any other country.

    He strongly condemned Mumbai bomb blasts and said if India provided us solid proofs, we are ready to extend every kind of cooperation.

    He said that India is involved in creating lawlessness in Balochistan while the innocent Muslim passengers of Samjotha Express were brutally killed in which an Indian Colonel was involved but no one raised voice in support of Pakistan at international level.

    He expressed these views while addressing a gold medal awarding ceremony to Karkunan‑e‑Tehrik‑e‑Pakistan on the occasion of birth anniversary of Founder of Pakistan, Quaid‑e‑Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah at Aiwan‑e‑Tehrik‑e‑ Karkunan‑e‑Pakistan, here Thursday.

    Chairman Nazria Pakistan Trust Majeed Nizami, former Chief Minister NWFP Sabir Shah, Chairman Pakistan Workers Trust Justice (Retd) Dr. Javed Iqbal, Dr. Rafique Ahmed, PML‑N leader Begum Majeeda Wyne, Aziz‑ul‑Haq Qureshi and a large number of notables were also present on the occasion.

    The Chief Minister while addressing the function, said that now when we are celebrating the 133rd birth anniversary of Founder of Pakistan Quaid‑e‑Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah we will have to make fair analysis whether the objectives of Pakistan movement have been achieved.

    He said that some prominent personalities played their vital role for transforming Pakistan in accordance with the ideals of Quaid‑e‑Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and made our geographical boundaries safe forever. He said that today Pakistan is an atomic power and therefore our enemies cannot dare of aggression.

    He further stated that on the one hand we are an atomic power while on the other hand we are begging for financial assistance.

    He said that neither we could prosperous with the assistance of others nor we can live like a respectable nation. He said that General Musharraf compromised on the interests of Pakistan only for his monetary benefits.

    He said that a dictator obeyed the orders of foreigners for prolonging his own rule and killed the innocent people of Pakistan. That is why beautiful valleys of NWFP are now presenting the scene of terror, he added.

    The Chief Minister said that history is witnessed of the fact that the military governments never come up to the expectations of the masses.

    He said that had we generated our own resources and not begged from foreigners, we would have been an honourable nation at international level today. He said that for becoming atomic power, we had completed our journey from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to Mian Nawaz Sharif with great struggle.

    He said that we will have to analyze that why we are not independent in other sectors despite being atomic power. He said that South Korea got independence in 1960 but today it is far ahead than us while China got independence after two years of our independence but now it has attained prominent position in the comity of nations.

    The Chief Minister said that we will have to analyze that whether we have achieved the targets set by the Founder of Pakistan Quaid‑e‑Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said that Pakistan was not created for cruelty in police stations, non‑availability of medicines in hospitals for poor.

    He said that best educational facilities are available for children of rich people but even basic facilities are not available to the children of the poor. He said that as Khadim‑e‑Punjab, it is his obligation to provide basic necessities to the people of the province and revolutionary steps are being taken in this regard. He said that the progress of Punjab will result in

    strengthening of Pakistan. He said that it is his belief that no one will come from outside Pakistan, instead only Pakistanis will build the country.

    He said that we will have to promote industries, agriculture, eliminate cruelty from the society and make the courts a source of justice. He said that establishment of independent judiciary is utmost necessary for provision of justice to the people and development of the country and under the sagacious leadership of Nawaz Sharif we will not rest content till the independence of the judiciary.

    The Chief Minister said that record corruption and irregularities were made during the last eight years and when the audit of district governments and TMAs was carried out, embezzlement of Rs.1.50 billion was traced. He said that when the action was initiated against corrupt mafia, they have obtained stay orders from the courts.

    He said that the development projects could not be completed on time due to loot and plunder of the previous government and if the people’s money was spent on the welfare, their fate would have been changed but the present government is ensuring the proper utilization of each penny of the public money. He said that justice is being sold in courts while the justice is not being provided to the poor.

    He said that a movement would be launched under the leadership of Chief Pakistan Muslim League‑N in and outside the parliament for the establishment of independent and impartial judiciary. He said that in order to maintain law and order during Muharram‑ul‑Haram, we will have to promote brotherhood, harmony and unity in our ranks.

    He said that some external elements are trying to damage the foundations of Pakistan but we will have to foil these conspiracies unitedly. While lauding the services of Chairman Nazira‑e‑Pakistan Trust Majeed Nizami, the Chief Minister said that Majeed Nizami has always raised voice against cruelty, supported justice and due to such personalities Pakistan is existing and Insha‑Allah will exist forever.

    Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated the function by cutting the cake on 133rd birthday of Quaid‑e‑Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Later, the Chief Minister awarded gold medals to 29 workers of Pakistan Movement. The Chief Minister also announced financial assistance of Rs.75 lakh for the fund of workers of Pakistan Movement. He said that necessary formalities would be completed during the next seven days for transferring the present building of Nazria‑e‑Pakistan Trust in its name.

    He also directed to constitute a committee to include subject of Nazria‑e‑Pakistan in the syllabus which will submit its recommendations to the federal government. He also directed to constitute a committee for the medical treatment of workers of Pakistan Movement.

    Chairman Nazria Pakistan Trust Majeed Nizami said that even after 61 years we could not transform Pakistan in accordance with the vision of Quaid‑e‑Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

    He said that the Chief Minister Punjab is making all out efforts to ensure provision of basic necessities including health and education to the people of the province.

    Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal said that Tehrik‑e‑Pakistan Workers Trust has distributed 950 medals to the workers of Pakistan Movement which included 671 from Punjab, 116 from NWFP, 104 from Sindh and 19 from Balochistan whereas gold medals have also been awarded to 32 workers of Pakistan Movement belonging to East Pakistan.

    He further informed that financial assistance of Rs.8.5 million has already been distributed among the workers while rupees one lakh are being distributed today.

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    ISTISLAMABAD: India has not been informed about the reported arrest of an alleged national of the country in connection with a car bomb attack in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, a senior official of its mission here said on Thursday.


    "We have not been informed in any manner by the Pakistani authorities about the arrest of any Indian citizen in Lahore. All we have seen are the media reports in this regard," the official of the Indian High Commission told PTI.

    TV news channels reported last night that an alleged Indian national had been arrested in connection with the car bomb blast in a government officers' residential complex in Lahore earlier in the day, which killed a woman and injured four persons.

    The claim comes amid mounting tensions between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks blamed on the Pakistan-based elements, including the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).

    While some channels identified the arrested man as Satish Anand Shukla, others gave his name as Satish Anand Sharma. They quoted Pakistani police and intelligence sources as claiming that the man was a resident of Kolkata and had purportedly served in the Indian High Commission in London for over three years.

    The Pakistani sources told the TV channels that the man had initially identified himself as Munir. There was also confusion as to whether the man was arrested alone or with others. Geo News channel reported he was arrested with two other persons.

    The local TV channels quoting the sources also claimed that three fake Pakistani national identity cards, three letters, explosive materials and "other devices" were recovered from the arrested man.

    Geo News quoted intelligence sources as saying that the man was arrested after his phone calls were traced and tapped.

    The channels claimed the man reportedly told police that three of his accomplices were also in Pakistan and that they plotting to carry out attacks on Christians on the eve of Christmas in Punjab province.

    This is probably the first instance of Pakistani authorities making an arrest in connection with a bomb attack on the day the incident occurred. Pakistan witnessed nearly 70 suicide bomb attacks last year and over 50 this year but there have been no instances of any arrest being made immediately after these incidents.

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    WASHINGTON, Dec 25 (APP): Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has warned against consequences of a war between India and Pakistan and asked the incoming Barack Obama Administration to assist the nuclear neighbors towards improving their fragile relationship. “The root of the problem is Kashmir. But it’s also part of a generalized hostility between Pakistan and India.


    “ We can offer our good offices to them, but by and large I think the fundamental point we have to make to both (India and Pakistan) is: War will destroy both the countries,” he told MSNBC in an interview.
    Brzezinski, an Obama supporter, was asked as to what the president‑elect’s administration could do to help the two countries come closer in the wake of tense South Asian situation ensuing from Mumbai attacks.

    The former top official in the Jimmy Carter Administration, who has been consulted by Obama on security matters, also pointed out the pathetic state of Muslims in India as a factor contributing to tension‑ridden South Asian scenario.

    “And, also it is related to the fact that great many Muslims in India are very underprivileged and don’t have a share of the sort of Indian development growth and all of that. So there is a lot of residual resentment among the 140 or so million Muslims in India.”

    Washington, he said, has to urge restraint on both sides. He said while India may have an edge in the case of war “but India could blow itself up.”

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    ‘Surgical strikes’ mean war, senators warn India

    ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of allowing India ‘surgical strikes’ in saying such attacks would be taken as aggression. “Any violation of Pakistani territory would be considered as war and would be repulsed with full force,” Leader of the House Raza Rabbani said while winding up a debate on national security in the Upper House.

    He rejected reports that US Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen had asked Pakistan not to retaliate in case of an Indian strike. “We were neither conveyed such a message by Mullen nor are we ready to accept such advice,” Rabbani said.

    He dismissed reports of differences between the military and civilian leadership. Rabbani offered India co-operation in the Mumbai probe but said Pakistani citizens would not be handed over to India. zulfiqar ghuman

    Courtesy www.dailytimes.com.pk

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Pakistan warns India it will fight back

    December 26, 2008 - 5:41AM

    Pakistan has warned India not to launch a strike against it and has vowed to respond to any attack.

    But it has also sought to defuse tensions with its rival in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.


    Though the South Asian nuclear powers have engaged in tit-for-tat accusations in recent weeks, both sides have repeatedly said they hope to avoid conflict.

    But India has not ruled out the use of force in response to the November 26 assault, which it blames on a Pakistan-based militant group.

    "India should refrain from any surgical strike," Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters in his hometown of Multan in central Pakistan on Thursday.

    "It should not commit this mistake, but if it does, Pakistan will be compelled to respond."

    The comments follow recent forays by Pakistani fighter aircraft over several of the country's major cities, though Qureshi noted the military has not mobilised its ground forces.

    Pakistan has also accused Indian fighter jets of violating its airspace, a charge New Delhi denies.

    Despite the heightened tensions, Qureshi said that Pakistan wants peace with India - with which it has fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947.

    "We should hope for the best but prepare for the worst," Qureshi said.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani echoed the sentiments on Thursday and urged the international community to pressure India to defuse the current tension.

    He also repeated Pakistan's demand that India provide evidence to support its claim that the 10 gunmen who killed more than 160 people in Mumbai last month were Pakistani and had links to the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    "Whenever we receive evidence, we will examine it and investigate it, and we will share it with our people," Gilani told reporters at the tomb of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in southern Pakistan, ahead of the first anniversary of her assassination on December 27.

    India has given Pakistan a letter from the lone surviving gunman involved in the attacks, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, reportedly saying he and the nine others were Pakistani.

    He also asked to meet with Pakistani envoys, but newspapers in Pakistan reported on Thursday that the government has rejected the request because it has no record of Kasab as a Pakistani citizen.

    "How can we give him consular access without having knowledge about his nationality?" Dawn newspaper quoted the head of Pakistan's Interior Ministry, Rehman Malik, as saying.

    India has said it has provided Pakistan with sufficient evidence and wants the government to crack down on Lashkar and other militants operating out of Pakistan.

    Pakistan has arrested several senior members of the banned group and moved against a charity that India and others say is a front for Lashkar. But many in India are skeptical Pakistan will follow through on its crack down against Lashkar, which was created in the 1980s with the help of Pakistan's intelligence service.

    Gilani said he understands Indian officials are under tremendous pressure to take action but sought to assure them that Pakistan was committed to cracking down on terrorists.

    "We do not want our land to be used for terrorism," said Gilani.

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Civil defence alert after Pak moves

    By Namrata Biji Ahuja
    New Delhi

    Dec. 25: In an atmosphere of heightened military activities across the border and aggressive posturing by Pakistan’s Army and Air Force, New Delhi has swung into action to activate the country’s civil defence network for any eventuality.

    The Union home ministry put civil defence volunteers on alert, particularly in Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, following reports and indications of movements on the Pakistani side of the border. The civil defence volunteers have been asked to be ready for evacuation exercises from border villages "if necessary".

    Speaking to this newspaper on Thursday, Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta said the home ministry was "working on a scheme to have civil defence volunteers in all states to assist the local police in activities ranging from law and order to internal security." Mr Gupta went on to add, however, that the move "has nothing to do with the so-called military activities on the Pakistani side of the border."

    Reports from Rajasthan indicated that an uneasy calm prevailed in the state’s four border districts following increased activities on both sides. Confirming activities on the Pakistan side of the border, BSF director-general M.L. Kumawat said his men remained fully vigilant and were prepared to deal with any eventuality. "All along the border areas, the BSF will deal with the situation any time, any problem arising from the other side," Mr Kumawat said.

    BSF officers in Rajasthan have said that a strict watch was being kept all along the 1,000-km-long border with Pakistan. In Jaipur, however, state government officials said there was no move at this juncture to relocate villagers living near the border.

    The Centre has now designated 225 towns across the country, most of them in border regions, as "civil defence towns". So far, only 135 towns have civil defence volunteers.

    The K.M Singh Committee, which had been set up by the home ministry in 2006 to examine a possible restructuring of the civil defence network, had recommended that the country’s five lakh civil defence volunteers needed fresh orientation and training. This will now be done at a cost of Rs 100 crores. "The aim is now to cover all 604 districts with civil defence volunteers in a phased manner," Mr Singh has told this newspaper.

    The home minister’s civil defence advisory committee, which comprises the defence, finance and agriculture ministers and the representatives of some states, will meet soon to incorporate anti-terrorism activities, including awareness creation, in its training schedule.

    The Centre, meanwhile, has also alerted the Border Security Force to increase its vigil in view of the reported rise in activity by drug smuggling gangs across the Punjab and Rajasthan borders inside Pakistan. "There is news of some movement of gangs across the Punjab and Rajasthan borders. The Intelligence Bureau headquarters and the home ministry had communicated this to the IG, BSF in Jodhpur, and we also faxed him as we had the (same) information," Rajasthan DGP K.S. Bains said, our Jaipur correspondent reports.

    ***

    Sindhu tipped for NIA chief

    Srinagar: Nechal Sin-dhu, a special director in the Intelligence Bureau, is tipped to head the new National Investigation Agency, sources said Thursday. He is likely to take over as NIA chief soon. —IANS

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    Default Re: India/Pakistan

    Border flurry on both sides
    New Delhi, Dec. 25: Eyewitnesses in Barmer, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and in Ferozepur in Punjab are reporting intensified military movement on both sides of the international border with Pakistan.

    But sources in Indian Army headquarters in New Delhi are insisting that there is no order for a mobilisation of forces. “Whatever movement is being reported is normal for this season,” an officer at army headquarters said. “This is the time when we have exercises and a certain amount of movement takes place.”

    Senior officers of the Border Security Force have reported “unusual movement” on the Pakistani side of the border. The Pakistan Air Force’s intensified sorties are already known. The Indian Army has also deployed quick reaction teams (QRTs) on some points along the border.

    In the procedure of deployments, QRTs precede the movement of bridging equipment — to cross canals in Punjab — and of heavy guns.

    In anticipation of hostilities, the BSF is put under the army and so is its counterpart, the Pakistani Rangers. Across border points in Rajasthan, BSF sources said, posts held by the Pakistani Rangers are being taken over by the Pakistani army. During the 2001-02 mobilisation, the BSF was asked to report to the army through a formal order from the cabinet committee on security. No such order is known to have been issued for now.

    The army’s 10 corps, headquartered in Bhatinda in Punjab, is also moving assets. The army formation is not known to be an offensive force.

    Since the Indian Army adopted a new doctrine, termed “cold start”, a large-scale mobilisation of the armed forces can follow an assault. In 2001-2002 such a doctrine was not adopted and a full-scale mobilisation was ordered.

    A large-scale mobilisation is difficult to conceal because it means that not only troops, but also hardware — tanks, cannons, field shelters and ambulances — are moved in railway rakes and by long convoys of road transport. Primarily, it will involve the movement of strike corps from Bhopal, Mathura and Ambala.

    The army’s strike corps are its largest formations with extra-heavy contingents of tanks, artillery and troops supported by the air force.

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