Sunday, November 30, 2008
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Tensions between India and Pakistan over the Mumbai attacks and threats to move troops to the border between the nuclear rivals are unlikely to lead to a flashpoint, analysts said on Sunday.
But the United States could get ensnared in the row and it may prove to be a setback in the war on Islamic radicals on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, they said.
“Relationships between the two countries will deteriorate,” said Kuldip Nayar, a veteran commentator on India-Pakistan ties.
“It may not come to a level where people think there will be a flashpoint or any kind of hostilities. But these are going to be anxious times for both countries.”
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Indian officials have said the Islamist militants who rampaged in Mumbai for three days and killed nearly 200 people were from an anti-India group based in Pakistan.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, whose wife Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by Islamist militants last year, vowed to crack down if given proof.
But security officials in Islamabad said Pakistan would move troops from its western border with Afghanistan, where forces are battling al Qaeda and Taliban fighters as part of the U.S.-led campaign against militancy, to the Indian border if tension escalated.
“It’s part of the usual blackmail of the United States that Pakistan does to take more interest in India-Pakistan issues,” said B. Raman, a former head of Indian intelligence agency RAW.
This article was posted: Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 10:00 am