Wednesday, December 31, 2008
‘India is on verge of attacking Pakistan’
* Senator John McCain says situation is ‘very dicey’
WASHINGTON: Former Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain has voiced his deep concern over the tense South Asian situation, saying India is preparing for some kind of attack on Pakistan in the wake of last month's Mumbai attacks.
McCain’s statement preceded a relative de-escalation in the tension as both Islamabad and New Delhi stressed avoidance of war and talked peace over the weekend. "The Indians are on the verge of some kind of attack on Pakistan" such as an air attack on suspected militant camps, McCain told a daily newspaper in his home state Arizona in an interview published Monday.
Pakistan Tuesday saw some positive signs over the last two days in Indian leaders' statements but recommended New Delhi de-activate its forward air bases and move its ground troops back to peacetime locations to resume friendly atmosphere. "I think it's a very dicey situation," McCain told The Daily Courier, noting how both countries have nuclear weapons. "We're going to be in for a very difficult time there," added McCain, who earlier this month visited both New Delhi and Islamabad as part of US efforts to avert any standoff between them.
The US and China have been making diplomatic efforts to urge Pakistan and India to ease the situation. McCain's remarks corroborated Islamabad's position last week on New Delhi readying its forces as the Pakistani officials said India had resorted to some "potentially dangerous" moves.
Meanwhile, leaders on both sides have called for peace with Pakistan emphasising cooperative efforts against violent extremism. app