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Hoax India call put Pakistan on high alert: report

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Saturday, Dec 06, 2008

A hoax phone call from someone claiming to be India’s foreign minister put Pakistan on high alert last weekend as relations between the two nuclear powers deteriorated, a report said Saturday.

The caller told Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari that India would take military action if Islamabad did not hand over the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks, the Dawn newspaper said, quoting diplomatic and security sources.

Pakistan responded by putting its air force on high alert and the incident triggered a flurry of intense diplomatic activity, as some world leaders feared the row over the attacks could lead to war.

New Delhi has increasingly pointed the finger at Islamabad over last week’s devastating Mumbai siege by Islamic militants in which 163 people died.

The violence, sometimes referred to as ‘India’s 9/11,’ has enraged public opinion and threatened a slow-moving peace process.

Dawn said the caller managed to bypass the standard procedures and was transferred directly to Zardari after introducing himself as Pranab Mukherjee, India’s foreign minister.

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This article was posted: Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 4:52 am

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