Archive for the ‘tension’ Category

View From India: Pakistan Building War Hysteria

December 28, 2008

Are you as surprised as I am by the war hysteria that suddenly seems to have become the defining feature of India-Pakistan ties? In the aftermath of 26/11, many of us took pride in the maturity of the Indian reaction. Even though we knew quite quickly that the attacks were the work of terrorists based in Pakistan, Indians refused to give in to the knee-jerk response to retaliate.

By Vir Sanghvi
Hindustan Times

We had telephone intercepts that demonstrated that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyeba was behind the attacks. Phones recovered from the dead terrorists offered proof of regular calls to Pakistan. And Ajmal Kasab, the one terrorist to be captured alive, soon confessed to his Pakistani origins.

There were two ways we could have responded to this mountain of evidence. The first was to say that this proved that Pakistan was involved and to then launch surgical strikes on terrorist training camps in Pakistan. The second was to buy Asif Zardari’s claim that while the terrorists may have had Pakistani origins, they had no state sponsorship. In fact, said Zardari, the same terrorists were the ones who had killed his wife and launched attacks within Pakistan.

A Pakistani policeman stands guard in a bunker in the village ... 
A Pakistani policeman stands guard in a bunker in the village of Subhan Khaur.(AFP/File/Hashaam Ahmed)

I reckoned we had been reasonable in choosing the second path. We rejected the war option and, somewhat surprisingly, Indian public opinion did not demand a retaliatory strike.

Instead, most of us trusted Zardari, or at least gave him the benefit of doubt, believing that he was sincere when he talked about wanting peace with India and appreciating his offer not to launch a first nuclear strike made at the HT Summit.

Plus, we had faith in America. Many foreign policy experts told us that America was on our side; that Pakistan was so indebted to America that it could not afford to offend Washington; and that diplomatic pressure from the likes of Condoleezza Rice would ensure that Pakistan cracked down on the groups that had organised the Bombay attacks.

One month after those terrible incidents, two things have happened. The first is that Pakistan has gone back on its early willingness to help India get the perpetrators of the terror strikes. An offer to send the ISI chief to India was hurriedly withdrawn and the current position of the Zardari government appears to be that there is no evidence at all of any Pakistan involvement in the attacks. Even Ajmal Kasab, whose Pakistani origins have been unearthed by Pakistan’s own media is sought to be denied his rights as a Pakistani citizen. We do not know who he is, says Islamabad, and we don’t believe that he is a Pakistani.

 

The second development is that while we have congratulated ourselves on our restraint, Pakistan has built up the war hysteria on its own anyhow.

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Indians Warned To Stay Clear of Pakistan; PM Meets Military Chiefs

December 26, 2008

India has advised its citizens against travelling to Pakistan as tension continues in the wake of last month’s deadly attacks in Mumbai.

India’s foreign ministry said travel was “unsafe” after reports Indians had been detained following recent bomb attacks in Pakistani cities.

Pakistani officials say the tension has meant scaling down military operations against militants and redeploying east.

The attacks on several targets in Mumbai left more than 170 people dead.

BBC

India blames militant groups based in Pakistan for the attacks. They and Pakistan’s government deny any involvement.

Redeployment

The Indian foreign ministry statement follows recent bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.

One woman was killed and four people injured on Wednesday in Lahore.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7800329.stm

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From Reuters

India warned its citizens on Friday it was unsafe to travel to Pakistan after the prime minister met military chiefs, and Pakistan canceled army leave and moved some troops from its western border.

The warning marked a dramatic rise in tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors after last month’s attack on Mumbai, in which 179 people were killed and which India has blamed on Islamist militants based in Pakistan.

 

It followed media reports in Pakistan and India that “several” Indian nationals had been arrested in the last two days after bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.

 

“Indian citizens are therefore advised that it would be unsafe for them to travel (to) or be in Pakistan,” India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement.

 

Another Foreign Ministry official contacted by Reuters said the warning referred to all travel to Pakistan.

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office earlier said Singh had discussed tension with Pakistan during a scheduled meeting about military pay with the chiefs of the army, navy and air force.

 

“The prime minister met the tri-services chiefs to discuss the pay commission issues but obviously the situation in the region was also discussed,” said an official from Singh’s office, who asked not to be identified. There were no other details.

Read the rest:
http://www.reuters.com/article/world
News/idUSTRE4BP16V20081226

‘India Was Ready to Strike Pakistan’

December 7, 2008

The Pakistani High Commissioner in London, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, says India was ready to launch a military strike on Pakistan in retaliation for the Mumbai terror attacks, Sky News reported.

Hassan said British and American officials had to intervene to prevent India from carrying out an attack.

Fox News

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, pictured in October, 2008. ... 
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
(AFP/File/Ng Han Guan)

“On the day of the Mumbai attacks, I got some information in London that India was going to act very drastically against Pakistan in retaliation to what happened,” Hassan told Sky News.

The senior diplomat alerted the Pakistani government and President Asif Ali Zardari to the threat.

In turn, Zardari urgently contacted high level British and American officials who intervened to calm the situation.

“The president spoke to people in various places and the next day Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke to Mr. Zardari and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, India’s external minister,” Hassan told Sky News. “It was probably because of that reason why the tension that was building up was eased a little.”

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,463126,00.html