‘Pakistan’s troubles impacting India, region’

March 20th, 2008 - 8:33 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The marked deterioration in Pakistan’s internal situation has “serious implications” for India and the region, the Indian defence ministry said Thursday, adding that instability in the neighbourhood “could fuel disturbances for our internal security as well”. In its annual report for 2007-08 tabled in parliament Thursday, the ministry said: “There has been a marked deterioration in the internal situation of Pakistan, which has serious implications (for the) overall stability and peace in the region.”

Terming the assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto in December as a “setback” for the forces of political moderation, the report said: “The growth of extremist violence and terrorism in Pakistan has serious security implications for India.”

In this context, the report pointed out that India wished to create an atmosphere of trust and confidence “free from violence and terror” and that New Delhi was “working on various confidence building measures” with Islamabad.

At the same time, the report noted that the security environment and instability in the neighbourhood could “fuel disturbances” in India as well.

“Apart from a conventional war scenario for which the armed forces are prepared, the increasing ongoing internal security situation of a proxy war scenario has to be taken into account,” the report said.

“The growing menace of terrorism continues to be an area of great concern, where we are facing newer challenges. Our armed forces are geared up to the challenges of meeting this asymmetric threat,” it added.

Dealing with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where a Muslim separatist campaign has raged for almost two decades, the report said this was “well under control.

“The violence has been brought down considerably by effective counter infiltration operations along the Line of Control (LoC) and sustained counter terrorist operations by the security forces in the hinterland.

“This is a highly commendable achievement. But despite assurances, terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country continued to be sponsored and supported from across the country,” the report maintained.

The report also pointed to the “marked improvement” in the security situation in some northeastern states, noting at the same time that continued violence by some insurgent groups and their reported cross-border links in states like Assam and Manipur was a matter of concern.

“The armed forces, therefore, continue to be deployed in aid to civil authorities in some areas of the region,” the report added.

It also noted that the activities of the Maoists “have the potential for causing internal security problems in some areas of certain states.

“In this context, funding through illegal flows and possible (entities) indulging in arms and smuggling are also matters of concern,” the report added.

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