- ISLAMABAD - The government
has indicated the prospect of an Indian attack on Pakistan, saying that
New Delhi has no option now but to go for a possible attack on Pakistan,
as it had put itself into a corner and it will be difficult for it to back
- Military spokesman Major General Rashid Qureshi was asked
at the Foreign Office briefing how close India was to starting a war with
Pakistan. He said: "India started the deployment of troops and a
momentum was established by these concentration of troops. The Indian
has put itself in a corner and it will be difficult for them to back off
now. Any deployment in excess of what is required at the border is seen
as a threat by the other country. They now claim to have deployed
missiles and each step that they take increases the threat. Pakistan,
has exercised restraint and only deployed forces for defence. We continue
to exercise maximum restraint but we will ensure that we retain the
to defend ourselves."
- When asked about reports that Pakistan was constrained
to withdraw troops from its western borders, General Qureshi replied:
don't talk about deployment and readiness of our troops." He also
declined to comment on whether Pakistan had deployed its surface-to-surface
- However, at this stage the government says it is not
ready to move to the UN Security Council about the Indian threats as
for the moment is taking all diplomatic measures to defuse the
- The military spokesman said in the last 24 hours there
had been no serious clash along the LoC. Meanwhile, Foreign Office
Aziz Khan said that if New Delhi continued to take measures against
like it has been doing these past few days, then Pakistan would be
to react with the same actions.
- "We express our disappointment at the measures taken
by India yesterday evening. We have been constrained to take reprisal
Despite our best efforts and constant endeavours for dialogue more and
more impediments are being put in our way. We constantly strive for a
settlement of all problems," he said.
- He was referring to the measures announced by New Delhi
under which all PIA flights would be banned from flying over India from
January 1, the Pakistan High Commission staff would be reduced by half
and Pakistani diplomats constrained to stay within the limits of the
- Aziz said that from Pakistan's side these measures, which
it has also announced for India, would become effective from January 5
when special flights would bring back Pakistan's diplomatic staff.
- However, he said that the Saarc summit would go ahead
as planned with the Foreign Secretary Inam ul Haq having left for Kathmandu
and the foreign minister would leave shortly for the senior ministers'
meeting before the summit.
- President Pervez Musharraf, despite the restrictions
imposed by India while banning overflights of PIA, would attend the summit.
Aziz said that the recent restrictions on over flying India would
the Indian flights as well. "The Indians talk of more contact (between
the two sides) yet they take these measures," he added.
- General Qureshi said, "While about 12 PIA flights
would be affected, the decision by India would affect 111 Indian flights
- When asked what step the international coalition was
taking to help Pakistan in a situation when India was ready to attack its
borders, Aziz replied, "Pakistan is in touch with all governments
and leaders. The foreign minister was recently in touch with the secretary
generals of the UN and the OIC. We have urged them to advise India to show
restraint and to emphasise that tensions should not be
- General Qureshi added: "All communications that
world leaders have had with President Pervez Musharraf indicate that they
totally understand Pakistan's view and also agree with our
- Commenting on reports that the latest video released
of Osama Bin Laden had been sent from Pakistan as claimed by the Afghan
government, the military spokesman replied, "The US has rejected these
claims made by Afghanistan. But if they really have some sources or
then they should share it with us and with the coalition."
- As regards the US putting Lashkar-e-Tayba and the
on the international terrorist list, Aziz Khan said, "Pakistan's
is that each group is under scrutiny and any individual group or person
involved in any undesirable activity will have action taken against
- In this regard, Qureshi said, "Maulana Masood Azhar
has been put under preventive detention and about 20 people from his party
have been arrested for keeping unauthorised weapons."