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News18 » India
1-min read

Zardari admits moving troops from border with India

The troops have been pulled in to fight the Taliban.

Atishay Abbhi |

Updated:May 9, 2009, 10:15 PM IST
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Zardari admits moving troops from border with India
The troops have been pulled in to fight the Taliban.

New Delhi: Across the border, it's all about the changing alignment between the Pakistani government and the Taliban. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari admitted on Saturday that he has moved troops from the border with India to fight the Taliban in Swat Valley.

An unambiguous message from Washington to Zardari - that Taliban is a bigger enemy than India - has now officially been endorsed by the Pakistan President.

Zardari has finally admitted that troops fighting the Taliban in Swat are those which have been pulled back from the Indian border.

Speaking on an American chat show, Zardari said: "Let me tell you that we have moved some more troops recently because the action asked for it. And if need be, we will move more."

And Zardari's obedience has paid. The US Congress has approved the $1.9 billion in military and non-military aid to Pakistan and another $700 million for training and equipment for the armed forces.

But the US has not taken its eyes off the Afghan ball. Washington has brokered an Afghan-Pak plan to form a joint-border security force to check the flow of men, money and machine guns across the border.

Till then, the Pakistani army is going full throttle with its operation against the Taliban in Swat - blasting Taliban hideouts in Mingora and killing 24 militants, an operation that has now left more than 1 million people displaced and the rest - people of Swat claim - left to die.

A displaced man, Hazrat Nawab, says, "Only civilians are dying. No Taliban or soldier is dying. People are traveling on foot, there is no transportation. We are in trouble."

But America wants more. Washington has shifted the goal posts, describing Pakistan as the global headquarters of al-Qaeda implying that defeating the Taliban is only half the story.

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