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Foreign hand fuelling insurgency: Pakistan
March 03, 2006 16:17 IST
With US President George W Bush making clear that he will focus on issues of terrorism and militant infiltration during his Pakistan visit, Islamabad plans to launch a counter offensive by forwarding him evidence on the "foreign hand" allegedly fuelling insurgency in south-west Balochistan.
Without naming any country, Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said Islamabad would raise the issue of "foreign support" being received by the Baloch nationalists fighting for more autonomy through Afghan borders and forward evidence in this regard.
"Every terrorist in Balochistan and Karachi has a covert foreign hand involved," he was quoted as saying by media Friday.
Musharraf, in recent months, blamed India for financing the Baloch rebels who have been carrying major attacks in the province even though Pakistan has deployed large number of security forces, but Islamabad has not directly taken it up with New Delhi.
Pakistan now openly blames Afghanistan for the trouble in Balochistan to counter Hamid Karzai's allegation during recent weeks that Pakistan is not seriously pursuing Taliban leaders, especially Mullah Omar, who, according to documents provided by Afghanistan, operated from Balochistan and North West Frontier Province.
Pakistan, however, said it verified the evidence provided by Kabul and found that it was not "current".
Ahead of the visit, Bush also said he would discuss the Indian allegations on cross border terrorism and continued existence of terrorist camps and infrastructure.
However, the focus of Bush's talks were expected to be the efforts to track Osama bin Laden, Omar and top Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders as well as Pakistan army operations in Waziristan where the army is directly battling hundreds of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters who took shelter in the remote tribal area.
Ahead of Bush visit, a US diplomat was killed along with four Pakistanis in Thursday's suicide attack near the US consulate in Karachi.
Sherpao said video footage from security cameras have shown that the suicide bomber driving a Toyota vehicle reversed his vehicle directly at the US diplomat's vehicle as he arrived at the consulate.
Investigations have not yet indicated who was directly involved in the attack, Sherpao said.