India and Pakistan are close to war over Kashmir

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A REAL scare, on this, the Mother of All Halloweens! Which will last longer before crashing, GICC or the world as we know it?

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Indian general warns of new mountain war

By Peter Popham in Delhi

01 November 2001

India and Pakistan are closer to war over Kashmir than at any time since 1965, the commander of the Indian army in the disputed Himalayan territory warned yesterday. That was the year in which the last full-scale war over the Kashmir issue erupted between the perennially hostile south Asian neighbours.

Speaking at a seminar in Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir, Lieutenant-General R. K. Nanavatty, head of the Indian Army's Northern Command, said: "In August 1965 the situation was not entirely dissimilar to what it is today, when we undertook a conventional war in the Haji Pir area." The 2,700-metre Haji Pir Pass was the site of India's first campaign of the 1965 war.

The commander discounted the idea that fears of a nuclear exchange might dissuade India from fighting. "The nuclearisation of the subcontinent might have affected the situation," he said, "but despite that the space exists for a limited conventional operation."

Within the upper echelons of the Indian government, a coalition dominated by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the urge to mete out punishment to Pakistan has rarely been keener. Jaswant Singh, the Indian Foreign Minister, recently described Pakistan as "the epicentre of terrorism".

In India's eyes, Islamabad is being flattered and bribed by the American government to support its Afghan campaign, while terrorists, allegedly trained and financed by Pakistan, continue to launch bold attacks in Indian Kashmir.

Yesterday was a quiet day in the low-intensity conflict India calls it a "proxy war" that has lasted for 11 years: one Indian soldier died and four were wounded after Pakistani troops opened fire across the Line of Control that divides the sectors controlled by India and Pakistan. But on 1 October a suicide attack on Kashmir's state legislature in Srinagar killed 40 and wounded dozens more, and Western diplomats in Delhi believe that in the following days a new Indo-Pakistan war was narrowly averted.

In the past fortnight, Indian politicians have moderated their bellicose rhetoric, claiming for instance that they will not engage in hot pursuit of foreign militants across the Line of Control. But Western diplomats in the region believe the peace remains extremely fragile. "The situation remains volatile," said one. "Another incident like that of 1 October would concentrate the minds of the Indian government. Reassurances are only good until the next incident."

Earlier this week, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Indian Prime Minister, said he had decided against taking the opportunity of his visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month to meet Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf. Mr Musharraf retorted that he "was not going to beg" for a meeting.

Copyright Independent Digital (UK) Ltd., Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes Only

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), October 31, 2001

Answers

URL: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia_china/story.jsp? story=102615

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), October 31, 2001.

Hopefully saner heads may prevail . . . but note the date.

URL: http://www.hindustantimes.com/nonfram/261001/dLNAT11.asp

War with Pak now will be destructive: Gen Rao Hyderabad, October 26

Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Gen (retd) K V Krishna Rao on Friday warned that any bid by India to wage a war against Pakistan for its role in aiding and abetting militancy, specially at this point of time when US-led forces were engaged in a war against terrorism, would be "destructive". "What is needed for Indian Army now is the whole-hearted support from the government and public as a whole to confine itself to its territory to fight and combat effectively militancy across the border without going for war," he said in his lecture on "Afghan war: Strategic issues of importance to India" organised by press academy of Andhra Pradesh here.

Attributing the September 11 attack in US to "intelligence failure", he said the incident was "a disgrace for US" and should serve as an eye opener for others, including India.

Copyright, Hindustan Times Ltd., Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes only

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), October 31, 2001.


It's getting worse. URL: http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/nobyline-2001111114214.htm

November 1, 2001

India : Pakistan moving troops near border

NEW DELHI, India, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- India said Thursday Pakistan is moving its troops along the disputed border in Kashmir and in the northwestern desert state of Rajasthan. According to news reports, over the past two weeks, the Pakistani army amassed two infantry divisions and an extra-strength armored brigade 20 miles from Akhnoor Border in Kashmir. A similar build-up was reported from the Bhawalpur area facing Ganganagar in Rajasthan. "The Pakistan army has been put on a state of high alert, with cancellation of leave of personnel and officers and men stopped from attending specialized courses," the Press Trust of India quoted Indian defense officials as saying. Indian defense officials said they, too, have taken preventive measures.

Tensions between the two countries have increased since the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington. India wants the United States to include separatist groups operating in Kashmir in its ongoing war against terrorism. Pakistan, which is granting airbases and logistic support to Washington in its airstrikes in Afghanistan despite local opposition, does not. It regards the Kashmiri groups as freedom fighters. The two countries have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir and have regularly traded mortar and artillery fire since Sept. 11.

Copyright, Washington Post, UPI, Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes Only

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), November 01, 2001.


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