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Sunday, December 28, 2008

India Activates Bases on Pakistan Border

Karachi, 24 Dec. (AKI) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Relations between India and Pakistan remained tense on Wednesday with security forces on both countries on high alert in the aftermath of the Mumbai bombings in late November. Indian armed forces have activated three bases near the Pakistan border, said top analyst Dr. Farrukh Saleem, Executive Director of Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI)."

Indian forces have activated three bases including Rajasthan, Gujarat and Ladkah and its shows a military build-up on part of India,” Saleem said. "However, Indian forces are not capable of any surgical strikes inside Pakistan and if they try to do so, Pakistan Air Forces are capable of shooting down the aircraft.”

A senior defence analyst and retired Pakistan army officer who was in India at the time of the Mumbai bombings says that a deep anger and frustration after the attacks forced the Indian leadership to think about 'war' not only against Pakistan but also against Muslims living in India.

"I have been to India many times but I never saw such hatred against Pakistan and Muslims," retired Brigadier A.R Siddiqui said in an interview broadcasted by a local TV station."

However, there are several reasons of war mongering statements from the Indian leadership and the foremost is the upcoming elections. Indian political parties aim to use the Mumbai attacks as an election issue," Siddiqui said.

Siddiqui, who is the author of several books and served as head of the Pakistani military’s public relations arm ISPR, said that the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks and a possible war could result in a rift between the Muslim and Hindu communities as it happened in the pre-independence period of 1947.

"The most ironic aspect of this situation is that even Muslims living in India are facing the consequences of the Mumbai attacks and they are seen as the enemy," Siddiqui said.

"I am afraid of a reaction and think that in case of war, a pre-1947 situation might emerge in which all the Muslims of south Asia were on one side and the Hindus were on another side.”

There are at least 154 million Muslims in India who make up almost 14 percent of the population. India's Muslims are the third largest after Indonesia and neighbouring Pakistan.

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