Under pressure Pak to shift 6,000 troops from border with India to Afghan side
New York, Apr. 30 : Under immense pressure from the United States and the international community, Pakistan has decided to shift around 6000 troops from its eastern border with India to the western Afghan border, The New York Times reports.
The newspaper, quoted a Pakistani official as confirming the movement of forces to a pre-Mumbai attack position.
The redeployment of troops is seen as an important step by President Zardari ahead of the proposed trilateral talks with his US and Afghan counterparts in Washington next week.
Several American officials, in recent times, have questioned Pakistan’s sincerity in the fight against extremism in the region.
A senior military official saw Pakistan Army’s offensive in the Buner and Dir region of the NWFP as a ‘fake’.
He said it was “inexplicable” that the incidents like the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, attack on Sri Lankan cricket team and on a police training academy had not “galvanised the Pakistan Army and civilian leaders to link arms in a comprehensive, sustained campaign to fight back.
The United States has repeatedly asked Pakistan to focus more on its internal ‘existential’ threat rather than India.
CENTCOM chief General David Petraeus recently highlighted the immediate need for Pakistan to address its internal threat.
"Pakistan must reconfigure its military forces to deal with counterinsurgency operations rather than to continue its conventional focus on traditional rival India," Petraeus said.
However, US also believes that convincing Pakistan that the internal threat posed by extremism is a bigger threat to it than India is a "tough sell".
Addressing a US think tank recently, Senator Joseph Lieberman highlighted the need for Islamabad to understand and realize who its real enemy was.
"Pakistanis have to understand that their major enemy in the region is no longer India, but its extremism. In fact, they have a common enemy in that with the Indians," Lieberman told Council on Foreign Relations.
He said that it was very difficult to make Pakistan accept the fact that it''s internal problem is the root cause of all the trouble. (ANI)