This is from the Guardian (UK)
The US wants to defuse the tension between India and Pakistan so that Pakistan can concentrate on the war on terror but it seems that this is not to be. I suppose India believes that if the US can use drones to attack jihadists in the territories then India should be able to use air attacks against suspected jihadist sites in Pakistan.
Pakistan 'deploys soldiers to Indian border'
Saeed Shah in Islamabad, Maseeh Rahman in Delhi
The Guardian, Saturday 27 December 2008
Pakistan moved troops away from its western border with Afghanistan, amid reports that thousands of soldiers were being redeployed along the eastern frontier with India yesterday, in what would be a major escalation of the confrontation between the two countries after the Mumbai terrorist attack last month.
Most experts still believe that war between the nuclear-armed adversaries is unlikely but, if confirmed, the troop movements risk triggering a conflict, with both sides in a state of nervous high alert.
A Pakistani defence official said: "Troops in snowbound areas and places where operational commitments were less [in the west], have been pulled back."
The official denied that the soldiers had been sent to the Indian border. However, media reports quoted witnesses who had seen long convoys of trucks carrying troops, passing through towns.
Pakistan has cancelled leave for all its soldiers, while India has told its citizens not to travel to Pakistan. "We are at the cusp of war," said Zafar Hilaly, a retired Pakistani ambassador turned analyst. "I really do think there is a chance. We shouldn't, by any means, rule out some kind of hostile action on the part of India."
Washington reacted with alarm at the reports, contacting Islamabad and New Delhi. "We hope that both sides will avoid taking steps that will unnecessarily raise tensions during these already tense times," said a US national security council spokesman, Gordon Johndroe.
New Delhi has blamed "elements from Pakistan" for the assault on Mumbai, hinting that the Pakistani-based extremist outfit that carried out the attack had support from a section of the army. Islamabad has offered to co-operate but says that no evidence has been shared by India.
A terrorist attack in India in late 2001, again blamed on Pakistani militants, triggered a massive build-up of troops on both sides of the border, with US intervention needed to avert the possibility of war.
Analysts believe that India's military options are limited to air strikes, but they are likely to be counter-productive and risk setting off a full-scale conflict. India would lose any moral high ground, and air strikes could not destroy the jihadist network.
There have been unconfirmed reports in recent days that India has moved troops to Rajasthan, which borders Pakistan. New Delhi was also reported to have cancelled all military leave until April after the attacks on Mumbai on November 26. The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, met the army, navy and air force chiefs yesterday for the second time in a week.
Pakistan fears that India could launch an invasion from Rajasthan into Sindh province, aiming to cut off the north from the southern half of Pakistan. The calculation from India is thought to be that going into Sindh would not trigger a nuclear response from Pakistan - unlike the risk posed from invading the country's heartland Punjab province.
"Pakistan and India are at some distance from war, but when troops start moving, any misperception, or any miscalculation, can be dangerous," said Hasan Askari Rizvi, an analyst based in Lahore.
The Indian government has at times ruled out war, while at other points suggested that "all options" are open.
Since the Mumbai incident, India has demanded that Pakistan crack down on militant groups and believes that Islamabad's actions so far have not been genuine. "The issue is not war," Singh told reporters earlier this week. "The issue is terror, and territory in Pakistan being used to promote, aid and abet terror here."
Pakistan maintains that it cannot act without evidence. "There is not much that Pakistan will or can do to address Indian demands," said Kamran Bokhari, head of Middle East analysis at Stratfor, a private US geopolitical intelligence firm. "There are signs from both countries of preparation for war. Unilateral military action on the part of New Delhi appears quite likely."
India's foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said yesterday that "instead of raising war hysteria, they [Pakistan], should address this [militant] problem".
"We are for peace, not conflict," said Pakistan's prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani. "But if there is any action, we will retaliate."