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Pakistan hits back; blames Delhi, Kabul for unrest
July 31, 2008 12:20 IST
Last Updated: July 31, 2008 13:21 IST
Facing intense pressure from the United States to act against militants thriving in its restive tribal region, Pakistani has blamed India and Afghanistan for stirring trouble in its northwestern areas and Balochistan province.
Ruling Pakistan People's Party leader Rehman Malik, who functions as the interior minister and is a confidant of party chief Asif Ali Zardari, appealed to Pakistan's western allies, including the US, to stop India and Afghanistan's alleged activities.
"India wants to destabilise Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). What India and (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai are doing must stop. They must stop this," he told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.
Malik, who was a member of the delegation accompanying Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on his visit to the US, also blamed India for indulging in 'baseless propaganda' against Pakistan though the country itself was a victim of terrorism.
"The time has come for us to reveal the facts and tell the world how outside forces are creating trouble in Pakistan," he said.
Asked to identify these outside forces, he named India, Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, Chechens and Uzbeks who he said were using Pakistan to serve their vested interests.
Though Pakistan has always blamed foreign hands for stirring trouble in Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province, this is the first time since the February 18 election that a senior government official has blamed India for fomenting unrest in the country.
During his three-day visit, Gilani was pressed by the US leadership to go after the Taliban and Al Qaeda [Images] militants who have found a safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
Malik alleged that India and Afghanistan had direct links to people like Baloch nationalist leader Barhamdagh Bugti and "one call from outside leads to the death of four people in Balochistan".
Asked if his comments were on the record, he said, "Yes, I am not afraid of anyone."
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