Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s desire to pull troops from the Indian border is facing growing opposition within the military, which many members believe would leave them open to potential attack from their long-time enemy.
Though the civilian leadership of both Pakistan and India seem eager to move toward resuming peace talks and calming the tensions caused by last November’s Mumbai terrorist attacks, reactions from the military and defense establishments in both nations suggest that the old India versus Pakistan paradigm will not easily fall by the wayside.
Both sides enhanced their border presence in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, after which some in India were openly talking of invasion in retaliation. As Zardari seeks to reduce Pakistan’s defenses along the border in favor of fighting his offensive wars in the tribal areas, Indian Defense Minister Antony made it clear today that his country has no intention of letting its guard down along the border, citing concern over “anti-India elements” operating in the nation.
Likewise, the Indian government is expressing discontent to the United States for providing Pakistan with such high tech weaponry for its anti-terrorism offensives, and is complaining that Pakistan is ignoring anti-Indian militant groups in favor of anti-US and anti-Pakistani groups.