Pakistani militant confesses to role in Mumbai attacks
The diplomatic row between India and Pakistan continues to deepen following the November terrorist attack as both countries send more troops to their borders.
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Pakistan claimed India had moved troops to their shared border Tuesday, days after Pakistan itself shifted soldiers to the frontier, but New Delhi insisted it had done nothing to add to tensions between the nuclear-armed countries....
Most observers say a fourth war between the countries is highly unlikely, not least because few can imagine a scenario where India would benefit from it. Any attack on Pakistan would destabilize the country's new civilian government and strengthen its militant fringe, they say.
Last week, "Pakistani intelligence officials said the country was shifting up to 20,000 troops from the Afghan border area – where they are among more than 100,000 fighting al-Qaida and Taliban militants – to the Indian frontier. They spoke on condition of anonymity." The AP reports.
Indian officials denied that their troop movements were in preparation for any sort of attack, calling them normal winter exercises, according to The News, an English-language newspaper in Pakistan.
Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee denied on Tuesday mobilisation of Indian forces on Pakistan border. He was responding to [Pakistani] Foreign Minister Shah Mehmud Qureshi's proposal to India to de-activate forward bases and re-location of army units to peacetime positions to de-escalate tension in the region.
"We have not created any tension.... First there should be escalation from Indian side then the question of de-escalation will come. We have not escalated anything," he said. Mukherjee said the Indian army has made it clear that its military movements were a "normal winter exercise" and there was no question of such mobilization.
Many Pakistanis still view India as their real enemy and are far less concerned about the spread of radical Islam in their midst, while the country's powerful army appears to be more comfortable facing its conventional cross-border adversary to the east than waging a messy counterinsurgency campaign against fellow Muslims and Pakistanis on its own territory....
Even if the recent shift of troops away from the Afghan border and toward India proves largely a symbolic gesture, however, some analysts here say they worry a thinning of military ranks in the northwest could give Islamist forces a chance to become more entrenched in the conservative, impoverished region less than 100 miles from the capital.