Pakistan Poised to Pull Troops From Afghan Border as India Relations Sour

In comments today Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani has said Western allies have been informed the nation will commit the approximately 100,000 troops deployed in the border region near Afghanistan to the Indian border. As tension rise the Prime Minister says “we can’t have a two-front situation.”

The tenuous peace between Pakistan and India has been threatened in recent days by last week’s massive terrorist attack in Mumbai. Indian officials immediately sought to link the attacks to Pakistan, and they now say the only gunman they caught in the multi-day siege claimed to be a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The LeT has denied involvement in the attack, and indeed publicly condemned it. Still, the Kashmiri separatist group has long ties to Pakistan, and in spite of being officially banned for several years the link has put relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbors on the worst footing since late 2002.

For its part, Pakistan’s civilian government is attempting to smooth over the tensions, with ambassador Husain Haqqani emphasizing in an interview that the Mumbai attackers were “non-state actors” and that the government should not bear the blame for one of the largest terrorist attacks in India’s history. Still, as pressure rises at the border the two nations seem drawn ever closer to a conflict neither side seems to want.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.