India Has No Option But Possible
Attack On Pakistan Says Qureshi
By Mariana Baabar
The News - Pakistan

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 off.
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 certain momentum was established by these concentration of troops. The Indian government 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 surface-to-surface missiles and each step that they take increases the threat. Pakistan, meanwhile, has exercised restraint and only deployed forces for defence. We continue to exercise maximum restraint but we will ensure that we retain the capability to defend ourselves."
When asked about reports that Pakistan was constrained to withdraw troops from its western borders, General Qureshi replied: "We don't talk about deployment and readiness of our troops." He also declined to comment on whether Pakistan had deployed its surface-to-surface missiles.
However, at this stage the government says it is not ready to move to the UN Security Council about the Indian threats as "Pakistan for the moment is taking all diplomatic measures to defuse the situation"
The military spokesman said in the last 24 hours there had been no serious clash along the LoC. Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesman Aziz Khan said that if New Delhi continued to take measures against Pakistan like it has been doing these past few days, then Pakistan would be constrained 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 actions. Despite our best efforts and constant endeavours for dialogue more and more impediments are being put in our way. We constantly strive for a negotiated 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 capital.
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 inconvenience 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 over Pakistan."
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 escalated."
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 views."
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 information then they should share it with us and with the coalition."
As regards the US putting Lashkar-e-Tayba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad on the international terrorist list, Aziz Khan said, "Pakistan's concern is that each group is under scrutiny and any individual group or person involved in any undesirable activity will have action taken against them."
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."
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