India Army Says Pakistan Deployed Troops on Border

January 15, 2009 by  


By Bappa Majumdar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s army chief said on Wednesday Pakistan had deployed extra troops along their common border since the Mumbai attacks but India had not responded in kind.

General Deepak Kapoor said some Pakistani troops had come east. “They have come to the eastern border of Pakistan with India,” he told reporters.

Pakistan’s military has denied any build-up of forces on the Indian border and said it moved a “limited number” of soldiers off its western border with Afghanistan “for defensive measures” as tension rose with India after the attacks in Mumbai.

A near-daily exchange of tough words since the attacks on India’s commercial capital has added to the tension as India, frustrated with what it sees as Pakistan’s failure to take action, has tried to pile international pressure on Pakistan.

A senior Indian official also spoke on Wednesday of “some” troop movement on the Pakistan side, adding that New Delhi had been careful not to respond in a similar fashion.

Kapoor said India did not want to whip up war hysteria but noted its armed forces were in a state of full preparedness.

“Let me assure you the Indian army has factored this part in its planning, if at any time, any operations have to be undertaken,” he said.

“That is not something which is a cause of concern for us. “(That) we in India are keeping all our options open must be clearly understood. It is not to raise any kind of hysteria for any kind of war, fight or anything.”

India has blamed Pakistan militants backed by some official Pakistani agencies for the November attacks, which killed 179 people.

“Most Unfortunate”

Pakistan denies any role, saying “non-state actors” were responsible and has offered to cooperate in an investigation.

Islamabad said the latest Indian statement was “most unfortunate.”

“Pakistan continues to make every effort to defuse tensions in South Asia and has repeatedly stated that it is prepared to extend its cooperation to the Indian government concerning the Mumbai incident,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said.

“Instead of responding to the constructive proposals made by the government of Pakistan … India continues to ratchet up tensions,” the ministry said in a statement.

India has provided Pakistan data from satellite phones used by the attackers and what it describes as the confession of a surviving gunman, part of a dossier of evidence.

Pakistan has said the dossier did not amount to evidence and that the “information” needed to be carefully examined.

Some of India’s Western allies, including Britain, have hinted there may not be enough evidence to implicate the Pakistani state.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Wednesday Pakistan’s judiciary should be given a chance to try those behind the attacks.

“I think that given that we all have worked so hard for an independent, sovereign judicial system in Pakistan, we should let it take its course,” Miliband told NDTV.

“And since there is no extradition treaty between India and Pakistan at the moment, then let’s ensure that the Pakistani judicial system takes its course.”

(Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Philippa Fletcher)

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