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All options are open for India: Army chief
Published on 15 Jan. 2009 1:26 AM IST
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Noting that Pakistan has moved troops towards border with India, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor today said New Delhi has kept all options open, including the “fighting option” as a last resort. “It must be clearly understood that we are keeping all our options open whether diplomatic, economic or as a last resort, the military one,” the Army chief said. Kapoor said tension between India and Pakistan were “larger” in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, but said there was no need to create any hysteria. “Some Pakistani troops have come from FATA (Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan) to the Indian border but let me assure you that the Indian Army has factored all this into its plans. It is not a cause for worry,” General Kapoor told reporters on the eve of the 61st Army Day on January 15. “There is a larger amount of tension after 26/11. Because we feel that the perpetrators of 26/11 came from Pakistan. In view of that, we in India are keeping all options open,” he said. He said that Indian military presence in Afghanistan could give it some strategic depth against Pakistan. However, he added that a decision in this regard has to come from the political leadership. Kapoor said India has been providing “soft assistance” to Afghanistan and any decision regarding policy change has to come from political leaders. “I think it will have to be a political decision if any change has to be there. We have been providing soft assistance in road construction, education and medical aid. Military support or whatever the decision has to come from the hierarchy of the political leadership,” Kapoor said. “It can be a factor in the decision,” Kapoor said in reply to a query if Indian military presence in Afghanistan would “squeeze” Pakistan on its western front. India has time and again ruled out sending troops to Afghanistan to be part of the US-led war on terror but has been providing developmental and medical aid as mandated by the United Nations. Meanwhile, Times Now reports that India is going to approach the United Nations security council asking it to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar under Resolution 1267. The listing will make it difficult for Pakistan to duck the issue. Under the resolution, the UN established a sanctions regime to cover individuals and entities associated with al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban wherever they are located. The regime has since been reaffirmed and modified by a dozen more UN Security Council resolutions. Since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the sanctions have been applied to individuals and organizations in all parts of the world.

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