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Monday, December 29, 2008

No Easy Indian Response To Pakistan’s Troop Shift - Somini Sengupta

Though tensions have risen in the past few days, neither India’s governing coalition led by the Congress Party nor its habitually hawkish political opposition is advocating a military confrontation with Pakistan, the country’s neighbor and archrival.

Pakistan’s redeployment of troops late last week to its border with India, from its tribal areas in the northwest, raised fears. The troop movement came a month after the attacks in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, which India says were orchestrated by Pakistan-based militants.

Fear of a conflict in South Asia is unlikely to pass quickly, as Pakistan has resisted a broad crackdown on the militants India says were behind the Mumbai assault.

But for India, many here say, the cost is too high, not just because both sides have nuclear arms. As an Indian official put it, “Almost anything against Pakistan would be messy."


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