Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Nishit Dholabai, "Pak border build-up," Calcutta Telegraph, December 4, 2008.

  Pakistan now has about 100,000 troops along the Afghan border to assist the US war on terror.

New Delhi, Dec. 3: A build-up by the Pakistani Rangers has been reported in Punjab over the past two days even as India weighs its options after the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan’s border force has stopped granting leave to its soldiers, who are being ordered back to their outposts, sources said.

“In some places we have observed that the Rangers have been getting small reinforcements and are augmenting troops,” said a source in India’s Border Security Force, which has been on alert since the Mumbai attacks.

Punjab has a 500km border that has, historically, had a strong presence of troops. The border is fenced but, earlier this year, infiltrators had sneaked in and taken hostages in Jammu.

Sources said it is not known if the build-up by the Rangers was in anticipation of a likely Indian troop build-up or preparation for an offensive.

Intelligence sources said among the soldiers taking their place at the border posts were those who had been stationed either in the federally administered tribal areas or the Northwest Frontier Province along the Afghan border.

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