May 27, 2009 4:32:29 pm
There is no evidence to substantiate Pakistan’s claims that India is supporting Baloch rebels,a US think tank has observed,cautioning that New Delhi might consider this option if Islamabad fails to act against LeT,responsible for the Mumbai terror attack.
Over the past five years,Pakistan has accused India of aiding Baloch insurgent groups through its consulates in Afghanistan,but has not provided any evidence,Center for International Policy,a Washington-based think tank observed in its report.
The report,”Pakistan: The State of the Union,” concluded that Pakistan’s charges have lacked credibility as Baloch rebels have fought with ineffectual small arms.
“They say this weaponry has been purchased on the black-market,with funding from Baloch compatriots in Dubai and other Persian Gulf states.
“Should India in fact,decide to give the Baloch large-scale sophisticated weaponry,logistic help and funds,they could rapidly expand their present force of 4,500 fighters drawing on the large number of Baloch educated unemployed,” Selig S Harrison,director,Asia Program of the think tank said in the report.
India might seriously consider the option of supporting the separatist Baloch and Sindh movements of Pakistan,if Islamabad does not take decisive action against LeT,an option it has resisted so far,it said.
Harrison cautioned Pakistan that of late there has been an increasing effort on the part of Baloch and Sindh insurgents to seek military help from India,which New Delhi has so far avoided.
But this policy of non-interference in Pakistan by India could change in the future,if Islamabad fails to dismantle and disarm LeT and other terrorist organisations who have carried out terrorist attacks inside India,the report said.
“Relations between India and Pakistan have sharply deteriorated since Mumbai terrorist attacks. As Indian anger grows,so does the view that India should support Baloch and Sindhi separatism,either as an alternative to full-scale military retaliation against Pakistan or as a key part of a two-front military strategy,” the report said.
Until now New Delhi has rejected Baloch and Sindhi separatists’ appeals and the consensus in India has been that a stable Pakistan is in the Indian interest,it said.
But Indian support for separatists in Pakistan will grow,Harrison predicted,unless Islamabad disarms Lashkar-e-Taiba and other jihadis based in Pakistan.
“As an alternative,it would avoid the risk of a direct military encounter that could escalate to the nuclear level and lead to an exodus of foreign investment.
“As part of a two-front strategy,Indian support for Baloch and Sindhi insurgents would keep substantial Pakistani force tied down on the long Sind frontier while others face Indian forces in Kashmir,or the Punjab,or both,” Harrison said.
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