Monday, December 1, 2008

Pakistan may pull out nearly 100,000 troops from Afghan to Indian border

Press TV reports:

Pakistan may pull out nearly 100,000 troops from its western borders with Afghanistan and will deploy them on the eastern border with India.

Media reports quoted Pakistan's defense ministry officials on Sunday that Islamabad had already stated the decision to the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The officials added that Pakistan's priority on the so-called 'war on terror' would shift and it would to take care of the more immediate threat to its security on the eastern border with India.

Pakistan has deployed thousand of soldiers in its troubled northwestern tribal belt along the Pak-Afghan border to combat al-Qaeda and Taliban linked insurgency.

The developments come after India's Foreign Minister Prefab said that initial evidence in the Mumbai terror attacks show that the militants who carried out the terror spree had links with Pakistan.

India has already put its air force on high alert, the unnamed Pakistani officials said, adding that Pakistan would take measures to ensure its security and safeguard its interests.

The Indian Air Force has been put on high alert following the Mumbai terror attack. The defense sources also noted the next 48 hours would be crucial.

India has in the past accused elements in Pakistan of supporting militants battling against Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region, and of involvement in bomb attacks elsewhere in India.

Pakistan's top officials have condemned terrorist acts in India and promised full cooperation in fighting terrorism, however.

The two nuclear-armed neighbors have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

Gunmen targeted several places across the port city of Mumbai late Wednesday, killing almost 200 people and injuring 300 others.