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December 24, 2001
1242 IST

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Pakistan army put on high alert

Pakistan on Monday cancelled leave for troops and recalled all its military personnel on leave as part of its high alert to the build-up of Indian troops in Rajasthan, Sindh and central Punjab borders.

All defence personnel on leave have been directed to report for duty at the earliest, an action taken to face any eventuality, defence officials in Islamabad said.

Reports said that there was movement of heavy defence equipment towards border areas.

"Defence officials are closely monitoring the situation at the borders and have taken all appropriate measures," the officials were quoted as saying by Dawn.

Besides the military build-up on the international border, the tension on the Line of Control dividing Kashmir was also mounting, the paper said, adding that Pakistan has already re-deployed its troops on the LoC.

The paper said that the government last year had unilaterally withdrawn the troops as part of its policy of 'maximum restraint' aimed at normalisation of relations with India.

It said the intensity of skirmishes between two armies on the LoC had increased significantly over the past few weeks.

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